Thursday, December 30, 2010


Je vais essayer de faire mes commentaires sur Le Papillon Schaphandre et en français depuis le réalisateur Julian Schnabel a insisté sur l'interprétation de raconter son magazine Elle l'éditeur Jean Dominique Bauby dans sa langue originale. La plupart du film est du point de vue de Bauby, qui est paralysé à l'exception de son oeil gauche. Il s'agit d'un point de vue unique dans lequel à la base un film et est largement réussi.

Il ne me rappellent un peu de la Humphrey Bogart film Dark Passage (Le Couloir Sombre). Je comprends que ma structure de la phrase française ne peut pas être très précis, je crois néanmoins la nécessité de mentionner Charles De Gaulle, Brigitte Bardot crêpes et de la Tour Eiffel. Et Fries français, ne l'oublions pas Fries français!

Je vous remercie, Krista.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


(Rod and Chip Go To the Movies Part 3:The Final Chapter)

The names have been changed to protect the innocent. The events depicted are real…sort of.

Sometime in the 80’s…

Rod and I came out of The Silver Screen Theater breathing a sigh of relief. After the fiasco a couple of weeks ago involving our unwitting viewing of the gay oriented films Satyricon and Sebastiane, our recent Silver Screen double feature viewing of Peeping Tom and Black Narcissus provided a welcome relief.

“Can you believe Peeping Tom was made over twenty years ago?” I asked Rod.

Rod rubbed his chin as he thought my question over. “It kind of puts Blood Beach and New Year’s Evil in their proper place on the movie quality food chain. Oh, and did you catch the nude scene? It was only for about a second. But I clearly saw breasts.”

“No way, that was a 1960 movie. You were just imagining things.” I said.

“I know what I saw,” Rod said, holding his position.

I told him that if he imagined a brief nude scene, than a nude scene it was. I didn’t want to argue the point. When I asked him about the other film we saw, Black Narcissus, he looked much more puzzled.

“That was a tough nut to crack,” he said. “Beautiful looking film. I wasn’t sure of the point. I have to admit when that nun shed her habit and put on her lipstick it was pretty darn sexy.”

“We got to get you a girlfriend, pronto.” I snickered as I said it, but I actually found the scene a bit provocative as well.

“Back to your original question,” Rod said. “I wasn’t really sure of the point of Black Narcissus, but just by definition of it being shown at the Silver Screen, it had to have a point. Am I not right, Chip old man? That’s the comfort in seeing a movie here. You know they're not going to show something like Chu Chu and the Philly Flash or Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen. What they show will have significance to someone, somewhere in someway. Comprende?”

I nodded as I thought he had actually made a good point. As we left the theater, I grabbed the Silver Screen calendar.

“Before you continue with your metaphysical philosophy on film choice, why don’t we take a peek at the coming attractions,” I said.

I looked at the calendar for a moment before all feeling left my hand and dropped the calendar to the sidewalk.

Rod picked it up and looked at it. “What’s the matter with you, are you-Oh, my God!”

Rod and I sat down at the same time on the bench outside the box office.

“It’s over. Can you believe it? This is the last movie,” Rod said.

Neither one of us said anything else for the next minute until a man in a three-piece suit came up to us.

“Hey, I know you guys,” the man said. “I saw you at the Rhodes for Motel Hell and for Il Sebastiane here couple of weeks ago.”

Being still in a state of shock, it took a moment for us to recognize him as the man who was dressed as Frank-n-Furter at the Rhodes Halloween week and the man who was with another man he referred to as his husband during the showing of the infamous Sebastiane the week after. It’s funny how the embarrassment of seeing that film seemed suddenly so unimportant.

“Oh, hello. You look different.” I said to him, though my mind was still on the closing of the theater.

“Well, I wouldn’t get much business as an accountant if I dressed like a queen from nine to five, would I? Anyway, my real name actually is Frank. You probably don’t believe it, but it's true.”

He stuck his hand out for us to shake. After we shook his hand, he joined us on our bench.

“A shame this place is being shut down, isn’t it?” he said.

“What happened Frank? Why are they taking away our theater?” Rod asked.

“Georgia-Pacific bought it, I believe. The venerable old movie house just doesn’t do enough business anymore. People want to see second run movies, they just rent a videocassette these days.”

I looked at him like he was crazy. “Videocassettes? Like I have Eight-Hundred dollars to buy one of those players or sixty more to buy a movie. And I want to see it on the big screen anyway. What the hells the matter with people?”

“I know. I know.” Frank said as he tried to comfort me by patting my hand. “You’re preaching to the choir, honey.”

As if suddenly waking out of a trance, Rod grabbed me by my shirtsleeve. “At least we still have the Rhodes. They aren’t planning to shut that down I imagine.”

Frank handed Rod a copy of the Arts and Entertainment section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he had just pulled out of his breast pocket.

Rod looked down the pages and began to read: Atlanta’s Rhodes theater will be showing the 1938 Spencer Tracy-Clark Gable movie Test Pilot this weekend.

Rod looked up. “You see! They’re still in business.”

“Keep reading.” Frank said.

The Rhodes is showing this film because it was the first film it showed in 1938, so the management thought this would be a fitting final farewell before the Rhodes goes under the wrecking…

Rod pulled his head from the paper and looked skyward before looking back and finishing…before the Rhodes closes its doors for good and goes under the wrecking ball.

Rod handed the paper back to Frank who casually tossed it to the ground.

The three of us sat on the bench and starred across the parking lot at the venerable Oxford Bookstore, wondering if even that Atlanta institution might one day be vulnerable to the greed of land developers.

“So, what do we do now?” I asked.

Frank turned to us and put out his hand to emphasize his point. “And they’re moving Rocky Horror from Garden Hills to Northlake Plaza next week. Can you believe it? suburbia”

Rod showed a little interest “I’ve never seen it. You, Chip?”

I shook my head.

Frank let out a laugh that came close to registering as a squeal. “Oh, my. A couple of virgins, huh? Well come down to Northlake next Saturday, midnight.”

“We might as well,” Rod said. “Our social options seem to be suddenly limited.”

Frank stood up. “I got to run. I’ll look for you kids. Remember Rocky Horror. It’ll make you forget about this disappointment. Come dressed up if you dare. I’ll copy an extra script for you if you want to participate. Hey, you’d make a good Eddie,” Frank said looking my way as he left the two of us on our bench.

“What did he mean by that?” I asked Rod

“Oh, I’m not sure. I’m not sure of anything anymore. My whole worldview has been decimated into fragments.”

I took one last look at the calendar. “Peeping Tom and Black Narcissus have one more showing tomorrow. You want to come back?”

“We’ve already seen these two, but I guess we could come tomorrow and watch them again. One more chance to…no, that would be prolonging the agony. I’m done. It’s time to move on.” Rod sighed.

“I guess you’re right. Guess I’ll save up for a video cassette player.”

“Guess the first movie you’ll get will be Pillow Talk. You’ll be able to watch it anytime you want.”

“Shut up about Pillow Talk already!”

Rod laughed and I couldn’t help but smile a little too. Though I was not smiling at his endless need to make fun of the movie Pillow Talk. I was instead thinking of all the great movie moments that I had experienced at the greatest theater in the world over the last few years.

We both turned our gaze to the Silver Screen marquee one last time before driving away.


It’s taken me awhile to get to 100 posts, but here is the list of movies I have noted on this blog so far. I’ve seen a lot of movies I’ve always wanted to see, seen some movies I had never heard of before and revisited some old favorites (and a few not-so-favorites). There are 123 films listed here. 112 from the 1001 movie book. So that would make 878 to go, right? Wait. Different editions have different movies. So would that number be closer to 960? Oh, God! Could I get some more caffeine, please?

Films seen from The 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die List since starting blog

Adaptation (2002)
The African Queen (1951)
Amadeus (1984)
An American in Paris (1951)
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Annie Hall (1977)
Ashes and Diamonds (1958, Poland)
An Autumn Afternoon (1962, Japan)
The Bank Dick (1940)
The Battle of Algiers (1965, Algeria)
Beauty and the Beast (1946, France)
The Best Years of Our Life (1946)
The Bicycle Thief (1948, Italy)
Breathless (1959, France)
Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, Great Britain)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Cabaret (1972)
Children of God (2002, Brazil)
A Christmas Story (1983)
Citizen Kane (1941)
City Lights (1931)
A Clockwork Orange (1971, Great Britain)
Closely Watched Trains (1967, Czechoslovakia)
The Color of Pomegranates (1969, Armenia)
The Constant Gardner (2005)
Crumb (1994)
The Defiant Ones (1958)
Dirty Harry (1971)
Dracula (1931)
Easy Rider (1969)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999, Great Britain)
Eyes Without a Face (1960, France)
Floating Weeds (1959, Japan)
Footlight Parade (1933)
The 400 Blows (1959, France)
42nd Street (1933)
Freaks (1932)
The General (1926)
Gilda (1946)
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
Grand Illusion (1937, France)
Grave of the Fireflies (1988, Japan)
The Great Train Robbery (1903)
Grease (1978)
Harvey (1950)
The Haunting (1963)
High Plains Drifter (1972)
High Sierra (1941)
Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1959, France)
Horror of Dracula (1958, Great Britain)
I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
It’s a Gift (1934)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Jaws (1975)
The Kingdom (1994, Denmark)
Last Year at Marienband (1961, France)
Laura (1944)
The Lion King (1994)
Marty (1955)
Metropolis (1927, Germany)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975, Great Britain)
Munich (2005)
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
My Darling Clementine (1946)
My Fair Lady (1964)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
No Man’s Land (2001, Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Open City (1945, Italy)
Ordet (1955, Denmark)
Ordinary People (1980)
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Pi (1998)
Play Time (1967, France)
Princess Mononoke (1997, Japan)
Psycho (1960)
Raise the Red Lantern (1991, China)
Run, Lola, Run (1998, Germany)
Sansho Dayu (1954, Japan)
Satyricon (1969, Italy)
The Seventh Seal (1957, Sweden)
Shadows (1959)
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964, Soviet Union)
Shane (1953)
Sherman’s March (1986)
Smoke (1996)
Solyaris (1972, Soviet Union)
Spirited Away (2001, Japan)
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Star Wars (1977)
La Strada (1954, Italy)
The Thin Blue Line (1988)
The Third Man (1949, Great Britain)
This is Spinal Tap (1984)
Through a Glass Darkly (1961, Sweden)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Tokyo Story (1953, Japan)
Top Hat (1935)
Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967, France)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Great Britain)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Unknown (1927)
Vertigo (1958)
Walkabout (1971, Great Britain)
Weekend (1967, France)
West Side Story (1961)
Winter Light (1962, Sweden)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Z (1969, Algeria)

Additions (Some more worthy than others)
Billy Jack (1971)
The Fog of War (2003)
Late Spring (1948, Japan)
The Merchant of Venice (2004)
My Dinner With Andre (1981)
The Paleface (1923)
The Pawnshop (1916)
Paul Blart: Mall Cart (2009)
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Taken (2008)
You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939)

More meaningless stats
Films seen by decade
1900 (1)
1910 (1)
1920 (5)
1930 (12)
1940 (15)
1950 (22)
1960 (21)
1970 (15)
1980 (10)
1990 (10)
2000 (11)

34 non-English speaking films seen, more or less.

*I still haven’t actually seen Chariots of Fire, but I’ll get to it.

Friday, December 24, 2010


When I was about nine or so, I saw that a version of the old fairy tale Beauty and the Beast was coming on TV. This was most exciting news. I wondered how scary the beast might be. It was a time and an age you could still be scared by things like that.

It was on PBS, if memory serves, but it was in black and white! Our spectacular new color TV made me not want to watch anything black and white at that moment.

But then again, plenty of Abbott and Costello movies that I liked were in black and white. I could still remember before last year, when everything on TV was in black and white. It was such a shock when I saw The Wizard of Oz this year magically turn to color when Dorothy went to Munchkinland.

But I digress.

Beauty and the Beast was starting. I watched. Oh, my. This was in a foreign language and I didn’t speak French! You mean I had to read and watch a movie at the same time? “Okay, I’ll do it,” I said. But that Beast better be really frightening.

Finally we got to a scene with the Beast. He was pretty scary despite wearing ruffles, but guess what? He spoke French, too! I watched the Beast’s scene, but once there was a scene without him, I turned it off.

So it took me over thirty years to finally watch it again. I’ve seen hundreds of black and white movies since-that’s no problem. I’ve seen many movies in French-that’s no problem, either. But now this movie has to compete with my image of the Disney Beauty and the Beast, which I’ve seen so many times.

Well, in the old Beauty and the Beast (AKA Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast) the walls were alive, but they didn’t do show tunes like in the Disney version. A hand did come out of the dining room table to pour drinks and the faces on the walls did stare at you. I guess I can live without the show tunes.

There are shady characters in the Cocteau version, though none as dastardly as Disney’s Gaston. I can live with that, though I do miss Gaston’s songs.

There are some funny characters in Cocteau’s film (Belle’s sisters), but they can’t really compete with a wisecracking candlestick or a dancing teapot. But I guess, I can live with that.

I’ve just got to realize that the Cocteau film is a just a subtler movie experience …but I can live with that and hope I don’t have to wait another thirty years before I see it again.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Here’s the scene where…

I’ve just finished watching the scene from The Best Years of Our Lives where soda jerk Dana Andrews encounters a customer that questioned his friend Harold Russell's wisdom in participating in a war that cost him his hands. Dana punches the customer, who falls through a glass case and Dana is fired. "The customer is always right, but this customer wasn't.”

This made me think about some movies that I've seen over the years where you might be flipping channels and you come to a part in the movie where you say, Here’s the scene where…(Example: Here’s the scene where Dana Andrews punches out the guy that insulted Harold Russell!)

So I made a list of 20 Here’s the scene where… moments.
Not necessarily a TOP 20, just 20 that come to my head

There is a clear number one, however.
1) The Godfather
In my book, The Godfather is the king of here’s the scene where moments. Here’s the scene where …Michael protects Vito Corleone at the hospital from a hit."Stand him up." The crooked cop says before he hits Michael in the face. I was going to list more, but The Godfather has so many here’s the scene where moments, they are just too numerous for me to get into right now. This may explain why its so hard to watch one scene when this comes on television because it leads to yet another here's the scene where moment! and you probably just ought to watch the whole damn thing at that point.

The sequel ain’t bad either.
2) The Godfather II
Here’s the scene where …Freddo whines to his brother how he's smart and was
passed over in the chain of command. Michael Corleone admonishes him.
"Your not a brother, you're not a friend. If you come to visit our mother, I want to know a day in advance so I know not to be there.”

Reveal scenes are good too.
3) Tootsie
Here’s the scene where …Dustin Hoffman takes off his wig on live TV and shows that he’s not a woman. Reveal scenes don’t have to be quite that dramatic to be a here’s the scene where …moment, but it helps.

When you see a movie dozens of time in your youth and practically have it memorized,it’s going to have its share of here’s the scene where moments.
4) Animal House
Here’s the scene where …they have a cafeteria food fight or the Delta House invades the parade or they go to the grocery store in Flounder’s brother’s car or they steal Niedermeyer’s horse or they go see Otis Day and the Nights…You get the idea.

Most movies with Clint Eastwood have built in here’s the scene where …moments.
5) Dirty Harry
Here’s the scene where …he doesn’t’ know whether he has any bullets left in
his gun and…well, you know the rest. Or you should know the rest.

Great transcendental moment scenes from important movies of their era
6) Easy Rider
Here’s the scene where …Jack Nicholson smokes pot for the first time
and discusses the aliens living among us. The scene in the cafeteria with
the rednecks is a pretty good here’s the scene where …moment as well.

Famous coming of age moments
7) The Graduate
Here’s the scene where …Anne Bancroft tries to seduce Dustin Hoffman.
“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.”

If it’s the most famous scene in movie history, it should be on the list.
8) Casablanca
Here’s the scene where …a drunk Humphrey Bogart asks Sam to play As Time Goes By.“Play it, you played it for her.”

Just one more Bogart scene
9) The Caine Mutiny
Here’s the scene where …Captain Queeg goes nuts on the witness stand and rails on about his missing strawberries. Though I think I’ve seen Rich Little’s impression of Bogart doingthis scene enough times to satisfy myself for one lifetime.

You could fill this list with movie courtroom scenes.
10) Inherit the Wind
Here’s the scene where …Spencer Tracy/Clarence Darrow puts Frederic March/Williams Jennings Bryant on the stand and questions him about evolution. I pretty much have to watch this scene in its entirety every time it comes on.

There can be an overlap between here’s the scene where …and great movie quotes,
though I doubt this particular one ended up in Bartlett’s.

11) Ghostbusters
Here’s the scene where …Billy Murray says, "Yes, this man has no dick."

Bill Murray: take two.
12) Caddyshack
Here’s the scene where …we see groundskeeper Carl pretending to be at the Masters.(BKA: the Cinderella story scene) “It’s in the hole!”
I think even pro golfers actually playing at the Masters probably pretend they are Bill Murray pretending to be a pro golfer playing at the Masters, though I have no anecdotal evidence to prove my point.

Great endings, of course
13) The Passenger
Here’s the scene where …well, it’s the ending, can't really describe it, you just have to see it.

Scenes that have been shown so much over time that they have to be on
this list whether you like it or not.(
Note: Didn’t mean to imply I didn’t like Five Easy Pieces because I do.)
14) Five Easy Pieces
Here’s the scene where …Jack Nicholson orders lunch, but doesn’t want what is on the menu!

Great transcendental moment scenes from movies from your childhood that made you
not be able to sleep the night after you first saw it.

15) The Exorcist
Here’s the scene where …her head spins around and she’s spitting up some kind of green…I can’t watch anymore!

Some scenes you don’t remember that you remember but if the movie comes on it triggers something in your brain that makes you remember that theres a Here’s the scene where moment coming up.
16) National Lampoon's Vacation
Here’s the scene where … the Chevy Chase family parks at the end of the parking lot at Wally World and jog to the Chariots of Fire theme only to reach the park entrance and find that it’s closed.

Just because you like a movie doesn’t mean it has to have a here’s the scene where …moment.
17) My Dinner With Andre
When they order quail...or the dessert...No? I admit My Dinner With Andre doesn’t really have a here’s the scene where …moment.

Famous speeches can certainly make the list.
18) The Grapes of Wrath
Tom Joad's “I’ll be there” speech. Note: sometimes the person you are watching a movie with might not want to share your Here’s the scene where …moment. And that rates as pretty bad form in my book. So, please try not to ruin anyone’s Here’s the scene where …moment!

If someone you are with hasn’t seen the movie in question, a here’s the scene where …moment may answer certain pressing questions.
19) Singin' in the Rain
Wife: Why is this movie called Singin’ in the Rain?
Husband: Because there is a scene where he sings in the rain!
Wife: I don’t believe you!
Husband: Wait for it. Wait for it. Here’s the scene where …he sings in the rain!
Wife: Wow, you were right. I thought Singin’ in the Rain was a metaphor like in the movie The Boy Who Was Ten Feet Tall. He wasn’t really ten feet tall, you know.
Husband: And you were wrong.
Wife: I bow to your superior knowledge
Husband: As you should.

20) And one more from The Best Years of Our Lives
Here’s the scene where …Frederic March comes home from the war and sees his family for the first time. This scene is early in the movie, but try to stick around for the whole movie if you haven’t seen it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Brent Musberger: We are…LIVE from Pauley Pavilion for the finale of the 64 film tournament as the battle for the definitive Christmas movie sweepstakes has reached its highly anticipated climax.

To recap: A Christmas Story defeated Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Black Christmas (which forfeited for being directed by A Christmas Story director Bob Clark and therefore creating a conflict of interest), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and Holiday Inn to reach the final four where the instant classic last second victory over the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol earned the coming of age story of Ralphie and his hunt for a Red Ryder BB gun a spot in the finals.

In the other bracket, It’s a Wonderful Life defeated Ernest Saves Christmas, Elf, Jingle All the Way, and Christmas in Connecticut to reach the final four where the story of George Bailey defeated Miracle on 34th Street in double overtime.

Onto the final: It’s a Wonderful Life vs. A Christmas Story:

Round 1
The protagonist:

It’s a Wonderful Life: George Bailey
George’s best moment: Loans out money to Bedford Fallians to prevent Potter from taking over the building and loan.
George’s worst moment: yells at his kids after Uncle Billy loses $8000.

A Christmas Story: Ralphie Parker
Ralphie’s best moment: Saves his family from Black Bart
Ralphie worst moment: He says THE word and it wasn’t fudge!

Winner: It’s a Wonderful Life. The everyman is just more sympathetic than the everyboy.

Round 2
The villain:

It’s a Wonderful Life: In the person of Mr. Potter and in the set of circumstances that keep George in Bedford Falls.

A Christmas Story: The heavies here are assorted bullies, teachers, parents and grownups whose sole purpose seems to be preventing getting Ralphie his Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!

Winner: It’s a Wonderful Life. Mr. Potter (the very definition of evil) is the difference here.
Potter to George: “Look at you! You used to be so cocky. You were going to go out and conquer the world. You once called me a warped frustrated old man. What are you but a warped frustrated young man? A miserable little clerk crawling in here on your hands and knees and begging for help…Why don’t you go to the riff raff you love so much. You know why? Because they’d run you out of town on a rail!”

Evil. Evil. Evil

Round 3
Supporting cast:

It’s a Wonderful Life: Thomas Mitchell as Uncle Billy or Henry Travers as Clarence.

A Christmas Story: Darren McGavin as Dad

Winner: It’s a Wonderful Life. McGavin is most funny as the long-suffering, cursing dad with the obsession for leg lamps, but he did steal the fra-jilly joke from The Marx Brothers.
Nobody does nincompoop like Mitchell and nobody can order “Mull wine, heavy on the cinnamon, light on the cloves” like Travers.

Round 4
Auteur curriculum vitæ:

It’s a Wonderful Life: Frank Capra directed Arsenic and Old Lace, Meet John Doe, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Lost Horizon, It Happened One Night, and You Can’t Take it With You. One of the most famous American directors with one of the most impressive resumes.

A Christmas Story: Bob Clark’s less impressive film output includes: Rhinestone, From the Hip, Porky’s I and II, Baby Geniuses I and II, and of course the TV movie classic Karate Dog.

Winner: A Christmas Story. Seems like no comparison, but since Mr. Clark dug so deep to come up with one classic within a career of such mediocrity, that I think even Mr. Capra would love this underdog story. Imagine Ed Wood pulling off Lawrence of Arabia.

Round 5
Recreation of the era:

It’s a Wonderful Life: Most of the story is set in the 1940’s and the film was made in the 1940’s.

A Christmas Story: Entire story is set in the 1940’s

Winner: A Christmas Story. The recreation of a simpler time at a simpler age is what makes the film work. It may not be a fair comparison since It’s a Wonderful Life was set in its own time, but George Bailey knows that life is not fair.

Round 6

It’s a Wonderful Life: Lots of candidates, but “Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings” is probably the best. It’s certainly better than Sam Wainwright continually saying “HEE-HAW”

A Christmas Story:”You’ll shoot your eye out, kid”

Winner: A Christmas Story. Close call, but “You’ll shoot your eye out” defines A Christmas Story.

Round 7

It’s a Wonderful Life: Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett

A Christmas Story: Jean Shepherd

Winner: It’s a Wonderful Life. You’d think I’d know who wrote the screenplay for a movie I’ve seen twenty times, but I admit to having to look it up. As retribution I’m giving this to Frances and Albert. Sorry, Jean.

Round 8
The strange cameo competition:

It’s a Wonderful Life. The guy that opens the gym floor to make George and Mary go into the water is Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer of Our Gang.

A Christmas Story: Ubiquitous screenwriter Jean Shepherd has the wonderful credit line of Man in line for Santa.

Winner: It’s a Wonderful Life. How can you beat getting dunked by Alfalfa! Sorry Jean, that’s 0-2.

Round 9
Narrator wars:

It’s a Wonderful Life: Mostly Henry Travers as Clarence

A Christmas Story: Jean Shepard

Winner: A Christmas Story, Well Jean, your narration style that was later copied for The Wonder Years finally gives you a win.

Round 10
Musical interlude:

It’s a Wonderful Life: Buffalo Girls

A Christmas Story: Deck the Halls from the Chinese restaurant.

Winner: It’s a Wonderful Life. As funny as “Deck the Halls with boughs of horry” is, Buffalo Girls is sung by George to woo Mary and later played as George asks Mary to marry him. George lassos the moon on this one.

Round 11
Longevity award:

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Christmas classic since the advent of television

A Christmas Story: A Christmas classic since the advent of cable

Winner: It’s a Wonderful Life: It may not be fair to punish A Christmas Story for only being 25 years old, but you know-sometimes you get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas and sometimes you just got to drink your Ovaltine and like it!

Round 12

It’s a Wonderful Life: Bedford Falls has Christmas lights, bells, carolers, a movie theater showing Bells of St. Mary’s, and the wonderful old Building and Loan.
Pottersville has bars, blaring sirens, night clubs, pool halls, fights every Wednesday night, pawn brokers, girls-girls-girls burlesque, and a Dance Hall where Violet Bick gets picked up for prostitution!

A Christmas Story: The leg lamp or the bunny suit

Winner: It’s a Wonderful Life. But you got to admit that sometimes it’s more fun to live in Pottersville than Bedford Falls.

Round 13
Hot mom award:

It’s a Wonderful Life: Donna Reed

A Christmas Story: Melinda Dillon

Winner: It’s a Wonderful Life. Melinda Dillon was much more attractive in other movies such as Slapshot and Close Encounters as she was a bit frumped up here to be believable as Darren McGavin’s wife.
Donna Reed was at the height of her beauty here, at least when she’s not closing up the library!!!

Round 14
Citation for scene disparaging to libraries:

It’s a Wonderful Life: When George asks Clarence where Mary is in the reality in which George was never born, Clarence informs him that the ultimate tragedy has happened: First she’s an old maid and even worse: “She’s closing up the library!”
I’ve got to dock It’s a Wonderful Life for this one.

Winner: by default is A Christmas Story

Round 15
Evilest teacher:

It’s a Wonderful Life: Mrs. Welch gets admonished by George when she checks on Zuzu. Mr. Welch later punches George. Should Mrs. Welch suffer for the sins of Mr. Welch?

A Christmas Story: Ralphie’s teacher can’t seem to understand the importance of the Red Ryder BB gun!

Winner: A Christmas Story. Sorry, Mrs. Welch. Nobody punches out George Bailey and gets away with it!

Round 16
Remake Problems:

It’s a Wonderful Life: I know I shouldn’t keep punishing for the sins of others, but the 1978 television remake with Marlo Thomas as the female equivalent of George Bailey and Cloris Leachman as the female equivalent of Clarence was just wrong and someone should be held responsible!

Winner: A Christmas Story, but I just found out it has a sequel of it’s own called It Runs in the Family from the 90’s. I’ve already awarded the round, so A Christmas Story may have gotten away with one here.

Round 17
Unsympathetic authority figure:

It’s a Wonderful Life: Gower the druggist smacks George on his bad ear. Booooo!

A Christmas Story: Santa Claus can’t seem to understand the importance of the Red Ryder either. Booooo!

Winner: It’s a Wonderful Life. Mr. Gower wins because he does become a good guy and a friend to George (Except in the world without George where he is an alcoholic child murderer!) Ahem. Wait a second. George isn’t born and Gower becomes a drunken killer? On second thought, A Christmas Story wins. Santa just doesn’t want him to shoot his eye out, after all. He doesn’t kill anybody!

Round 18
I discovered it:

It’s a Wonderful Life: It’s just been around forever so gets no credit for discovery for me.

A Christmas Story: I was the one to discover this movie. Okay, not really. But I was one of the first to appreciate it. “Why wasn’t this more popular?” I said when it first came out. Now it is.

Winner: A Christmas Story

Round 19
Dumbest kid stuff dealing with ice:

It’s a Wonderful Life: Harry Bailey sleds onto thin ice and almost drowns.

A Christmas Story: Ralphie’s friend sticks his tongue to a frozen flagpole.

Winner: A Christmas Story. Equally stupid thing for a kid to do, but funnier in A Christmas Story.

Round 20
The ending:

It’s a Wonderful Life: George’s friends bail him out, his family embraces him and they sing Auld Lang Syne.

A Christmas Story: Ralphie dreams of making hip shots with his gun.

Winner: It’s a Wonderful Life: A Christmas Story’s ending is OK. It’s a Wonderful Life’s ending might be the most inspirational ending in filmdom. A no-brainer for It’s a Wonderful Life.

Brent Musberger: And the winner in the definitive Christmas movie sweepstakes is…wait a minute, here comes Tiny Tim Cratchit and the Little Match Girl…What could they want? Tiny Tim seems to be trying to tell me something. Excuse me…we seem to have a new development. Little Match Girl, are you in agreement? All right then. Everyone grab hands. George, Ralphie, Uncle Billy, Mr. and Mrs. Parker, Bert, Ernie, Flick, Mary, Department Store Santa...come on out. Form a line.
The final decision from these two adorable little children is that you the viewer need to find room in your holiday season for both of these Christmas classics.

Merry Christmas everybody! This is Brent Musberger reporting.

*This blog is a reprint from last year, but I couldn't think of anything else new to do for Christmas. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

LAURA (1944) vs. GILDA (1946)

Why Laura vs. Gilda?
Answer: Both have a one-word title of the name of the main character, both were made during the same relative time period, both are film noirs, and both feature the premiere screen beauties of their era. (Rita Hayworth as Gilda and Gene Tierney as Laura in case you didn’t know.)

On to the categories…

Best opening line:
(Laura) “I shall never forget the weekend Laura died… A silver sun burned through the sky like a huge magnifying glass.
(Gilda)“To me a dollar was a dollar in any language.” As a pair of dice come rolling toward the screen.
Winner: Laura. Both lines are winners, but I’ve got to go with Clifton Webb’s voice over narration for Laura here.

Best setting: Laura is mostly set in the various apartments and homes of the main characters, though there is a very nice country scene where Detective Dana Andrews interrogates Vincent Price. Gilda’s setting of Buenos Aires is a bit richer and really becomes part of the story.
Winner: Gilda

Best story: Vera Caspary’s story (Laura) went through many changes and rewrites, but it is largely solid, especially the lines for Lydecker (Clifton Webb). Gilda has some good dialogue as well, such as the famous “Statistics show there are more women in the world than anything else…except insects,” uttered by the cynical gambler Johnny (Glenn Ford). I’ll still go with…
Winner: Laura

Best supporting cast: Gilda’s Joseph Calleia as the all-knowing wash room attendant and George Macready as the enigmatic millionaire are fine, but you really can’t beat Laura’s oily playboy Vincent Price and acerbic columnist Clifton Webb. (Yes, I’ve mentioned Clifton Webb three times now)
Winner: Laura

Best leading man: Tough call. Overall, I like Dana Andrews (Laura) a little more than Glenn Ford (Gilda) and I was going to give the round to Laura, but I’ve reconsidered and think Ford’s considerable chemistry with Ms. Hayworth is worth a tick in the Gilda column.
Winner: Gilda

Best use of cigarettes: Frivolous category you say? It’s a good thing classic film noir came out before there was a report against smoking from the surgeon general, because they light up in practically every scene and almost always pull their ciggy from a stylish case. At least the detective in Laura occasionally forgoes a smoke when stressed and plays his toy baseball game instead. But for its consistently noirish and seemingly endless use of smokes, I’ll give this round to Gilda, but only because it was filmed pre-surgeon general. (They’re bad for you, you know.)
Winner: Gilda

Best music: Laura’s haunting theme has been played and recorded countless times over the years. What has Gilda got? Rita Hayworth singing Put the Blame on Mame? Be serious…wait. Rita’s scene is coming on. She’s taking off her gloves. She’s dancing. She’s moving. Ahhh...she’s won me over. Guess I’m easy. Despite all logic to the contrary, you win this round, Rita.
Winner: Gilda

Best director: Both films are well done, but I'll go with Laura director Otto “Mr. Freeze” Preminger. Nothing against Charles (never played a Batman villain) Vidor of Gilda , but I’ll go with Mr. Freeze here. Interesting that Preminger and star Vincent (Egghead) Price went on to be Batman villains. Or is that just interesting to me? Anyway…Winner: Laura

Best leading lady: Of course, it comes down to this. Rita Hayworth as Gilda, the voluptuous redhead or Gene Tierney as Laura, the brunette with the impossibly beautiful face. How can you beat Hayworth’s first scene where she flips her hair and smiles for the camera? But how can you beat Tierney’s opening scene, which is really just her portrait, though it’s more than enough for detective Dana Andrews to fall in love with her?
Winners: They both are, of course.

Personal choice: Well, I’ll actually pick a winner this time. Ultimately, I’ll go with the stronger narrative and pick Laura as the winner. (But still try to catch both if you can.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


(Rod and Chip Go To the Movies, Part 2)
The names have been changed to protect the innocent. The events depicted are real…sort of.

Sometime during the 80’s…

My friend Rod and I were looking forward to seeing tonight’s double feature at the Peachtree Street's Silver Screen. We had seen many double features at the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center theater, but Satyricon and Sebastiane came equipped with an Adults Only label. It hadn’t been hard to convince Rod to come with me to see this one.

At arrival, we were a bit surprised at the long line outside the theater, but we shrugged and took our place. On the other hand, the guy ahead of us was getting a little impatient.

“They need to pipe some disco music out here, “we overheard him say to his friend.

The voice sounded familiar. He turned and looked at us.

“Hey!” he said. “Didn’t I see you two at Night of the Living Dead a couple of weeks ago.”

“Oh, yeah.” Rod said. “Your were dressed as Frank-n-Furter. Yeah. How are you?”

“I’m a little cold,” Frank –n-Furter said. “Oh, this is my partner, Bruce.”

“Oh.” Rod said. He pointed at me. “This is…the guy I go to school with.”

“How do you do?” Bruce said to us.

Why did he feel the need to emphasize the first do? I thought.

Before I puzzled on this any further, the line began moving and we headed in.

“Hey, Rod.” I said quietly as we moved to the theater ticket booth. “There’s a lot of guys here. A lot of guys that look like they’re…together.”

“You worry too much. You have to expect a little of that. This is Atlanta. No worries,” Rod said as we went inside.

2 hours later, after our viewing of Fellini’s Satyricon

“Well, my first Fellini movie is in the books now,” I said. “I wonder if they’re all as odd as that one”

“Sheesh.” Rod added. “No wonder Rome fell! And I’m wondering why they didn’t just hand out hits of LSD at the door so we could get a better grasp on what the hell that movie was about?”

“Ascyltus, my sword is blunted!” I said

“No, Ascyltus, my sword is much more blunted than yours!” Rod said in return.

I laughed and shook my head. “I would think a movie with hermaphrodites, albinos. quadruple amputees and hunchbacked dwarfs would be right up your alley.”

“It’s all about hunchbacked dwarfs with you. It always comes back to HUNCHBACKED DWARFS!” Rod said.

“I can see where Frank ‘n Furter and his friend would like this movie. There was a little bit too much of mano e mano affection for my tastes,” I said.

“Yeah, kind of like that Rock Hudson movie you love so much, Pillow Talk.”

“Yes, yes. Hunchbacked dwarfs and Pillow Talk. You really got me figured out! Ha Ha!”

Rod waved both hands at me indicating he wanted a truce. He came closer so he could whisper.” Let’s move on, shall we? This second movie, Sebastiane, is why this is adults only. They put in Satyricon as a prestige film, which gives them the leeway to shove in the hot and heavy adult second feature. I can just picture Frank-n-Furter and his boyfriend running screaming from the theater as soon as they show a naked breast.”

I gave Rod a thumbs up. “I think its about to start. Let’s go find our seats.”

“After you, sweetheart.” Rod said fluttering his eyelashes.

“Oh, shut up,” I said as we went in.

1 hour later, midway through Sebastiane

Rod and I stumbled out to the lobby. He glanced in my direction, but just as quickly looked away.

“I’m not sure what to say,” he said.

“I-I-I,” I can barely speak,” I struggled to get even a few words out.

“Let’s just call this what it is. That’s a gay porn flick!”

“No! Let’s not jump to conclusions. The scene where...”

“What scene? What scene could you possibly be talking about contrary to what I just said? Are you going to try to spin this into something it isn’t? There’s St. Sebastiane taking an outdoor shower. There’s a guy leering at his naked body. Pan back to Sebastiane taking a shower. There’s the guy watching him again. Pan back to Sebastiane. A close-up of him washing himself, thoroughly…I mean all over. And then…I can hardly go on.” Rod rubbed his forehead in anguish.

“Oh, God. I know! What about the scene with those two guys? What were they doing?”

“I closed my eyes through a lot of that one. They were naked and grabbing each other. Why were they doing that…that way? Rod asked.

“And in slow motion. Why did it have to be in slow-motion? I thought it would never end. And with an aria from Carmen playing in the background,” I said.

“I think that was Verdi playing in the background and God I’m real uncomfortable discussing opera right now! I’m even embarrassed my name is Rod at the moment!”

We both noticed Frank-N-Furter coming to the concession area. We turned away from him and shielded our eyes. He didn’t notice us as he quickly bought his Good N’ Plenty and head back into the theater. After he scurried past us to his seat we looked at each other again.

“Well, what should we do?” I asked.

“We could leave now. But if there are women in the second half of the movie, we would have stayed through the gay half and left before the naked women came to the island or whatever. I’m not comfortable with that.” Rod said.

“It’s a risk. It can’t get any worse than it’s already been.”

“Let’s go,” Rod said.

We proceed back into the theater with a little hope.

1 hour later, after our viewing of Sebastiane

After the movie ended, the lights came on. Before anyone else got up to leave I looked at Rod. I yelled at him. “Let’s get out of here!”

Rod took my cue and hurdled past me and headed out the front door of the Silver Screen. I scampered behind him. As we sprinted to our getaway car, we both turned to the sign that said The Silver Screen and cursed it.

“We are to never talk about this again,” he said.

“It never happened. It never happened.” I replied.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


(Rod and Chip Go to the Movies, Part 1)
The names have been changed to protect the innocent. The events depicted are real…sort of.

Sometime during the 80’s…

The feel of Halloween was everywhere as we entered the Rhodes Theater off of Atlanta’s historic Peachtree Street. Rod and I were especially looking forward to tonight's double feature. We plunked down our money for Ms. May, the ninety-nine year old ticket taker with the fire engine red hair, to scoop up. She gave us a smile that we returned as we headed over to purchase a snack.

"She's a legend," Rod whispered to me.

I nodded in agreement as we got a big tub of buttered popcorn to share. It was definitely a popcorn kind of movie night.

We came across a man dressed up as Tim Curry’s character Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

"Hey, you guys are going to love the second feature. It's got soooo many old people," he said. He flipped his hand out at us to give extra emphasis to the word soooo.

We gave him a hesitant thumbs up as we entered the theater.

Frank-n-Furter was talking about Motel Hell, a 1980 horror film starring Rory Calhoun, which was the second feature on the bill. We were going to sit through it all right, but it was Night of the living Dead, the first feature that we were really there to see, it being Rod's favorite movie and all.

Night of the living Dead! Night of the living Dead! Night of the living Dead!” Rod repeated the title three times and smiled in anticipation as he took his seat with the big box of popcorn.

"And on the big screen." I said for emphasis as if this special moment for Rod wasn’t significant enough already. “But, I wouldn’t say it was my favorite movie.”

Rod scoffed. “So what’s your favorite movie? Pillow Talk or something? Maybe you and Frank-n-Furter can watch next weeks Doris Day-Rock Hudson double feature together. I think there going to show The Glass Bottom Boat-”

“All right, shut up about it already. I should have never told you I liked Pillow Talk!” I said.

Rod put a finger to his lips for quiet as the lights began to dim.

It was then that we heard someone behind us noisily struggle to their seat. The guy behind us cackled and hooted after he finally sat down. You can always tell when someone sitting near you in a movie theater might be trouble. And this was trouble.

Rod looked worried.

The lights went down and the movie came on. Rod’s eyes sparkled as he watched the title flash before us on the screen.

Maybe there wouldn’t be any trouble after fall. I thought.

My relief was short lived as the dude behind us yelled ‘Woooooooooo!” As the credits rolled across went the screen. Rod looked at me with a barely restrained expression of outrage.

The guy behind us (who we quickly labeled “the dude”) didn’t make noise constantly throughout the movie, or else I’m sure that he and Rod would have come to blows.

There were, however, some disturbing incidents, most noticeably in the scenes whenever an older zombie would descend upon the house and the dude kept repeating, “Get it Granny!”

3 hours later

By the time of the end credits to Motel Hell, Rod looked at me. “That movie was alright. Love that Elaine Joyce. Glad it ended happily. But my God, our friend here slept through all of Motel Hell. Why couldn’t he have slept through Living Dead instead?”

We noticed the dude stretching as he got out of his seat when the lights came on. He looked at us. “Movies are over already? Damn, I must have tied one on.”

I looked worriedly at Rod’s bloodshot eyes, fearing there might be trouble.

“Let’s go Rod. Let's just get a beer at Jaggers,” I said.

“No, Chip. I got to say something here.” Rod said.

“Hey dude,” he said to the dude. “You know what you need?”

The dude heard the question, but just stared back at Rod with a vacant expression.

“Better material.” Rod said.

The dude looked confused, but Rod continued. “We’re going to our neighborhood bar. You want to join us?”

I was surprised at this olive branch of peace, and even more surprised when the dude (whose actual name was Dan) accepted.

At Jaggers, we began drinking a pitcher of Stroh’s Lite, when Dan brought up the subject again. “What did you guys mean when you said I needed better material?”

I started to say something, but Rod broke in. “What I meant was, if you are going to interrupt the greatest movie of all-time you better come equipped with your A-game.”

“What do you mean?” Dan asked.

Rod cracked his knuckles. “Ok, son. Heckling 101. For example: Don’t you think it is weird that they kept killing zombies? You might have said off-handedly to no one in particular, ‘Isn’t killing a zombie redundant?”

“What do you mean?” Dan asked again.

“Zombies are already dead. Why do you need to kill them?” I said.

Dan thought for a moment and then laughed. “Hey, that is kind of funny.”

“And you know how some of the zombies walked like Elvis Costello? What do you think you should say there?” Rod asked.

Dan thought for a minute as he took a drink from his beer glass. “I know. You’d say that zombie looks like Elvis Costello.”

“That’s okay, but wouldn’t it be better to say, “Ladies and Gentleman, Elvis Costello! as he walks by,” Rod said.

“Say it like you’re an announcer at a rock concert. And some of those zombie were exhibiting a lot of Joe Cocker movements. Use that too” I said.

“That’s good, Chip.” Rod said. “But you don’t want to overdue the Cocker references. After one or two, it gets stale awfully quick.”

Dan was very interested now. “I like it. You got anymore?”

“I have one.” I said. “When the zombies were marching to the house and appeared to be in unison you might start singing The Jets song from West Side Story.”

Dan looked puzzled. “I don’t know that one.”

Rod pounded his fist onto the table. “Danny, boy. You’ve got to work on getting a handle on common frames of references. Casablanca, On the Waterfront, and the entire Billy Wilder catalog are good places to start. Movies with lots of memorable quotes.

Dan nodded in agreement and actually pulled out a pen and started writing the suggestions down on a napkin.

“Comment on any repetition.” I said.

“What do you mean?” Dan asked.

“You know how they endlessly argue about whether to stay in the cellar or not? Just blurt out something like, ‘The Night of the Living Dead drinking game, one shot every time they say the word cellar.’” Rod said.

“Guess you’d get pretty drunk if you took a drink every time they said cellar.” Dan proudly observed.

“He said cellar!” I shouted and downed my drink, as did Rod.

Dan hesitated, but then smiled and chugged his beer.

“You remember how the guy is boarding up the house and keeps asking the girl to help him and she doesn’t do anything for the longest time and then after about twenty minutes she finally brings him a couple pieces of wood? Maybe talk as if you are her and say, ‘Here’s a couple of pieces of wood, can I go now?’ And don’t forget to be whiny as if you are talking for her,” Rod said.

“In her voice? Yes, that would be better.” Dan said as he scratched his chin.

“And don’t forget what I call the absurdist comparative paradox, where you come up with something totally unrelated but relevant to what the characters are saying. Like when the character says ‘Murder victims are being partially devoured by their murderers,’ you say something like ‘like what Elizabeth Taylor does with husbands.’” I said.

“Chip never misses the chance for a Liz Taylor reference,” Rod said. “But like the Joe Cocker thing, don’t overdue it.”

I shrugged at Rod’s slight rebuke. “Let’s hear yours then, Rod old man. What’s that speech the radio announcer says?”

Rod put his hand up to his ear as if he is Gary Owens from Laugh-In.
"From Washington-‘It has been established that person's who have recently died,have been returning to life and committing acts of murder.The unburied dead are coming back to life and seeking human victims.’ And then to contrast in the same announcers voice say…something like… in the lighter side of the news,lets take a look at Freddie the news chimp on his magic tricycle.”

“I get it! Because if zombies were taking over, there wouldn’t be any lighter side of the news.” Dan said.

“Yes, Danny. Yes.” Rod said, proudly praising his star pupil.

“I remember that radio announcer going on and on. Would it work with that?” Dan asked.

“Yes, when he drones on and advices to kill the brain, kill the ghoul. Say that, hesitate and then excitedly say, And on tonight’s episode of Fibber McGee and Molly…yadda yadda.”

“I think Fibber McGee and Molly is a shaky reference. Our generation may not have ever heard of Fibber McGee and Molly.” I said.

“Chip, you disappoint me. I’ve heard of it. You’ve heard of it. We don’t have to actually have to know what an episode sounds like. We know it’s an old radio show reference. We understand the reference enough to use the joke!”

I didn’t want to register my disagreement with Rod, so I let the point pass. We were in teaching mode after all and I had to admit Rod was on a roll.

Rod turned away from me and looked Dan squarely in the eye. “Dan, the whole yelling out ‘get it granny’ thing. About the third time you yelled out ‘Get it granny’ when the old zombie tries to grab them. I almost climbed over my seat to punch you.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Oh, no permanent harm done. But next time make it interesting. Say something like ‘Who said there aren’t any good roles for older actresses in Hollywood?'”

“Or at least Pittsburgh.” I interject. “Remember, it’s set outside of Pittsburgh and was shot there.”

“And Danny boy, what did you say when the naked zombie was headed to the house?”

Dan looked down in shame. “I think I just shouted out ‘Owwwwww.’”

“Can you think of anything better?”

Dan scrunched his brow in thought. “Maybe I could have said like I was talking in her voice and ask if this is the way to the zombie playboy shoot.”

Dan had a proud look on his face as we clapped for him.

“The fact that the posse needlessly shoots a black man in the last scene is an attempt to make a commentary on the unjust way that blacks have been treated in American society,” Rod said.

“What’s the punch line?” Dan asks.

“There is no punch line.” I said. “That’s Rod’s overall take on this movie.”

Rod nods. “Yes, Danny. Jokes aside, this is still my favorite movie.”

Dan stands up and throws some money on the table. “Guys. I want to thank you for giving me some things to think about.”

We shake hands with Dan and he departs.

“I think he has potential.” Rod says.

I nod in agreement.

Coming soon: Rod and Chip Go to the Movies, Part 2Where Rod and Chip go to a high-brow X-Rated movie…thought it turns out to not be the kind of movie they thought it would be.


Riget (The Kingdom)
You would think I’d have something to say one way or the other about Lars Von Trier’s five-hour Danish mini-series, which has been aptly described as Twin Peaks meets ER and doesn’t even resolve itself, even after 280 minutes! Like I might question why this was included in the 1001 movie book in the first place, but I just can’t quite put any of these thoughts into words. So instead for your reading pleasure or displeasure (whatever the case my be), I present my award* winning 500 words or less short story, The Choosers because I just don’t know what else to do.


He paced…and paced…and paced.
“Jerzy! You are making me crazy!” Felicia spoke sharply to her husband.
“What the HELL am I supposed to do?”
“If you keep using foul language like that it won’t matter, because they write you off if you talk like a low class swabie!”
Jerzy slumped into the greenroom portaseat. “I need some Coffea arabica!”
“No, love! Let’s save the genetic enhancers for another time They are probably watching us.” Jerzy put his arm around her and gave her a look that let her know that she was the most important thing in the universe to him. She instilled in him a feeling of comfort that showed that life would go on no matter how this meeting went.

A large pink-hued woman in the traditional red and black cape came out and told them they were next. The woman's namingplate read Sasha, though more than likely that ID was given to her once she became a part of the organization.
Jerzy quivered as he took Felicia's arm and followed Sasha through the sterile, impersonal bioways leading to the Choosers facilitation station.
There were usually two animatroid units surrounding all Choosers stations and Sasha gave them the couples’ DNA samples. The animatroids took only a parsec to compute the samples, which lit up, opening the door to the Chooser’s station. The units took the couple by the arm, as gently as animatroids were able to and led them inside.
Once inside a medium sized man with a hookline scar and an eye shield leaned over his platform. "Welcome Mr. And Mrs. Franklin, I've been looking forward to meeting you!"

The animatroids led the Franklins to the station portaseats where Jerzy tried to take the measure of the man before them. The man scratched on a protomag that had settled on his hookline scar as he reached and gave Jerzy a firm handshake. This Chooser reminded him of spare parts dealers he used to deal with in the Delta region. His expectation of what a Chooser had been was somewhat higher than the backhoed con jobber before him now.

“The results are in and Mr. Franklin.” The Chooser beamed. “You have been accepted!”
Jerzy extended his hands skyward, “Praise Fatima!”
His wife stood and hugged him with tears in her eyes as the Chooser spoke again. “Oh, And Mrs. Franklin…you have been rejected.”
Felicia fell onto the landing missing her portaseat completely. Jerzy’s first instinct was to comfort her, but he saw the Chooser sign with his thumb and Jerzy grabbed a sideblade from one of the animatroids. Without further hesitation he plunged it into the chest of his unsuspecting wife. The instrument retracted back into its casing after making an opening that went completely through her. Her lifeless body dropped to the floor as he handed the weapon back to the unit. Jerzy scratched his head, not knowing what to feel.

“Smile, Mr. Franklin”, The Chooser said. “We’ll find someone more suitable for you next time.”

*Golden Peabody Short Story Award of 2002 or something like that.

And I did like Riget (The Kingdom), it just seems like an odd inclusion for the 1001 canon.

Monday, November 22, 2010

EASY RIDER (1969), Z (1969, ALGERIA)

Tonight we’re going to party like its 1969!

“Nobody Knows Anything,” is the famous (or at least semi-famous) quote from screenwriter William Goldman on Hollywood’s inability to determine what is going to be a hit and what’s going to be a really big hit.

Peter Bart explores this topic in his book Boffo: How I Learned to Love the Blockbuster and Fear the Bomb.

The idea for the film Easy Rider (explored in Bart’s chapter Kaleidoscope of the 60’s) began with a stoned Peter Fonda wanting to make a motorcycle movie in response against an edict by Jack Valenti, who wanted Hollywood to make more wholesome Sound of Music type films (There is a chapter on The Sound of Music in Bart’s book, but that’s another story).
So Fonda got an unproven director (friend and co-star Dennis Hopper) and wrote the film with Hopper and Dr. Strangelove writer Terry Southern. They also brought in a B-movie actor for an important supporting part (some guy named Jack Nicholson). They managed to get it produced and backed by Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson (the folks that brought you the unusual Monkees’ epic Head). Easy Rider got made on a very tight budget, but became one of the biggest hits of the year.

Watching the movie again today, one might be prone to label it as being dated. Possibly, but I don’t see that as necessarily being a bad thing. It is definitely a product of its time. I don’t think it would have worked coming out in 1967 (too soon) or 1971 (too passé). To use an unfortunate cliché, it caught the zeitgeist of its time (I again apologize for using this phrase).
Many of the scenes, such as their time at a commune (featuring a memorable full circle camera shot of the communers by cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs), the Mardi Gras acid trip and of course the famous café scene filmed with “real” hateful, redneck non-actors are classic. But my favorite scene is still Jack Nicholson smoking his first joint (Peter Fonda: No man, this is grass. Jack: You mean marijuana?) and rambling on and on about extra-terrestrials that are living among us.
Lets also not forget about the great soundtrack (Dylan, Hendrix, The Band and, of course, the classic “Don’t Bogart That Joint my Friend.” by The Fraternity of Man.)
And if you’re looking for a movie that represents the zeitgeist of 1969 (Damn, there’s that phrase again!), I don’t think you’ll find a more fitting one than this one.

I looked over a list of other movies released in 1969. Here are some that didn’t make the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die cut.

1. Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice-A big hit at the time, I’m sure this rather odd wife swapping movie would also be dated, but I fear not in a good way. And does anyone remember when Elliot Gould was a really big star?
2. Goodbye, Columbus-based on Phillip Roth’s novella, this feels to me like a more Jewish version of The Graduate. Though not as good as The Graduate, not a bad film in its own right. And does anyone remember when Ali McGraw was a really big star?
3. If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium-Three things I remember about this American tourists traveling by bus through Europe movie: 1) The theme song was catchy. 2) It had a slew of 60’s and 70’s character actors in it (Michael Constantine, Norman Fell etc.) 3) Suzanne Pleshette looked gorgeous.
4. The Love Bug-How I did love this movie as a kid. Rock on, Buddy Hackett!
5. The Magic Christian-Like Easy Rider, another screenwriting credit to Terry Southern. This strange, trippy move has Peter Sellers adopting Ringo Starr or something and I remember something about Laurence Harvey stripping and Raquel Welch dressed as a Viking and what was this movie about again? It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, I guess. What a long, strange trip it’s been.
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service- James Bond finally gets married and Bond has to be played by George Lazenby? Sounds like grounds for an annulment to me.
7. Take the Money and Run-Woody Allen’s first starring role, this semi-documentary of a criminal is definitely one of his “early, funny ones.”
8. Alice’s Restaurant-Arlo Guthrie’s famous twenty-plus minute song translated into a movie. Dare I say this movie might be dated if viewed today?
9. Paint Your Wagon-Gotta love Clint Eastwood, but I really could do without hearing his rendition of “They Call the Wind Maria.” What next? Charles Bronson singing “The Farmer and The Cowman Should Be Friends?”
10. Winning-The only memorable thing to me is about this Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward racing pic is the theme song, to be forever played in years to come on Wide World of Sports.
Duh-Duh Duh-Duh Duh-Duh Duh-Duh Duh-Duh-Duh Duh-Duh-Duh
Duh-Duh Duh-Duh Duh-Duh Duh-Duh Duh-Duh-Duh Duh-Duh-Duh…

And finally, another entry that is in the 1001 Movie book from 1969 is the Costa-Gavras thriller Z. The 60’s, of course, had many high profile political assassinations and this film recreates this by showing the mechanics of the assassination of a charismatic Greek politician and the political conspiracy that lies underneath it. The details of the plot are a little hard to keep up with, but Z is well worth the effort.


Friday, October 29, 2010


(Father, Mother, Daughter #1, Daughter #2 and Son #1 are sitting around the dinner table.)

Father: I just wanted to say how happy I am to have my entire family with me.
Mother: Yes, I can't wait for tonight's meal!

Daughter #1: Grandmamason and her legendary Suykiaki have never let us down.

Mother: And don't forget the Shishimi, honey.

Daughter #2: Yum!

Father: Has anyone seen my bottle of sake?

Mother: Go easy on the sake, husband.

(Grandmamason comes in and serves the Shishsimi)

Father: (Twirling a chopstick between his fingers) Thank you, Grandmamason!

(Grandmamason smiles, but grunts as she serves.)

Mother: I don't know about Grandmamason carrying that
heavy food bowl. She might fall down and break a hip.

Father: And if she does, we will be sure to all handle all of her medical needs.
What's that Confucian proverb say?

Daughter #2: (Speaking quickly) Be a good son or daughter when your parents are alive for none can serve them beyond the grave. We learned that in school!

(All nod in agreement as they pass around the plates. Father watches
his family with pride before taking a drink from his bottle of sake.)

Father: And what else have you learned in school?

Daughter #2: Much...much...I am accumulating much wisdom

Father: (Smiling) And what about you eldest daughter? Isn't it about
time for you to find a husband and continue the life cycle?

Daughter #1: I don't know, I'm happy with the way things are now.

(All nod in agreement as they continue to pass around the plates. Father continues to watch his family with pride before taking a drink from his bottle of sake, which had been next to him the entire time.)

Father: How about you number one son? What do you think about your sister marrying?

Son #1: I'm just thinking about dinner.

Mother: (To husband) Go easy on that Sake.

Father: You don't need to worry about me.

Daughter #2: One question, father. Why are we talking like this?
I don't usually call you father.

Father: We're trying to have a normal family conversation
in the tradition of the films of Yasuro Ozu. He magnified the simplicity and the complexity of family life in subtle terms few have been able to master as well before or since. The subtext of any simple conversation can have multiple interpretations, such as-

Daughter #1: Oh-who? Never heard of him. And the simplicity of family life doesn't really sound all that exciting to me. Besides, eating on the floor like this hurts my back.

Father: (to Son #1) What about you? You like Japanese movies.

Son #1: If its Anime.

Mother: Now, now. All of you need to try to indulge your father.

Daughter #1: This doesn't feel right.

Father: Perhaps you aren't trying hard enough dearest elder daughter.

Daughter #2: I agree with sister. I can't keep this up. It's not natural.

Father: Not natural? It's perfectly natural when Ozu writes it.
What do you think, number one son?

Son #1: I'm just thinking about dinner.

Father: (Putting head in hands before) Oh, who am I kidding?
(Throwing his chopsticks in the middle of the table) There's only one Ozu and its not me!

Daughter #1: (Leaving the table) Don't feel bad, father. I may get married someday, though I doubt it would ever be with anyone you'd approve of anyway.

Daughter #2: (Leaving the table) I've got to go text someone. Can I be excused?

(Son # 1 starts to leave the table)

: (to son#1) Where are you going?

Son #1: To play video games. Sayanora, Otosan. (Son #1 bows before departing.)

Father: (Looking at wife) You'll stay with me, won't you?

Mother: I would dearest, but a new episode of The Closer is about to come on.
(Mother takes a couple of steps toward the living room before stopping momentarily to look at her husband with a somewhat guilty look before departing for the living room.)

Grandmamason comes out of the kitchen wiping off her hands with a towel. She stares at her son-in-law sympathetically.)

Grandmamason: Isn't Life Disappointing?

Father: (beginning to peel an apple) Yes, It Is.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Tonight we're going to party like it's 1959.

Fred Kaplans' book, 1959: The Year That Changed Everything, states that this was the pivotal year that began much of what we now call modern times in the Western world. Important points for the year include:

· Mailer-Ginsburg-Kerouac-Burroughs and the banned Lady Chatterly's Lover
leading to things of a more permissible nature seeing print.
· Sputnik-leading to the space race.
· Herman Kahn's lectures on nuclear war being a lead in to the arms race.
· The introuduction of the solid intergrated circuit.
· Miles Davis, modern jazz & the civil rights movement.
· Castro's Cuban revolution.
· Cold War heating up with Kruschev's visit to the United States.
· SETI searching for life in outher space.
· Modern Art and the opening of the Guggenheim museum.
· Popular music and Motown.
· The final application for the birth control pill.
· The emergence of John F. Kennedy and the new Frontier.

Kaplan's chapter, The Off-Hollywood Movie, discusses the 1959 John Cassavetes film, Shadows. Cassavetes railed against Hollywood movies, where he said that commercial considerations were subtle, but dominate. He was more interested in the neo-realist filmmakers of Italy, who shot many of their films in the streets of Rome. Cassavetes decided to shoot a neo-realist film of his own in the streets of New York City. The result was Shadows, a story of a young black woman who passes for white, though a plot synopsis doesn't really do the movie justice, as it is largely free form and at least partly improvised. You know a 1959 movie that has a line that scoffs at the beat generation is pretty hip (or thinks it's pretty hip). Shadows, as well as other later films by Cassavetes, weren't big money makers, but did influence a generation of moviemakers such as Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanavich and Robert Altman.
I'm just glad that commercial considerations in today's American cinema have now become secondary to artistic considerations. (Hey, stop laughing!)

Thinking further about 1959, there were some interesting films NOT in the 1001 one movie book from that year.

1) The Beat Generation- Not to be confused with Beatniks starring Peter Breck, but The Beat Generation does at least have Jayne Mansfield imitator Mamie Van Doren. Or was she a Marilyn Monroe imitator? Or am I getting these movies mixed up? Well, no matter.

2) The Killer Shrews-Speaking of movies done on Mystery Science Theater 3000, this is the island adventure featuring genetically enhanced Shrews that want to kill you (hence the title) and stars James Best, that redneck sheriff guy from Dukes of Hazzard. I guess he played the sheriff, I wasn't really a regular watcher of the Dukes.

3) Gidget-Yes, the premiere of the cute little beachnik featuring Sandra Dee and later spawned a Sally Field TV series and…who am I kidding? I’ve never actually sat through a Gidget movie, though I have used the phrase “Big Kahuna” on occasion.

4) Journey to the Center of the Earth-Sure it was based on a Jules Verne story and sure it later became the basis for Rick Wakeman's magnum opus...but really, future archaeologists will unearth an old VHS copy of this and ask only one question: So, why was this Pat Boone ever popular, again?

5) The Mouse That Roared-Of note because of multi-Peter Sellers roles and the fact that I appeared in the stage version of this in High School. (Though my performance as Professor Kokintz is NOT even mentioned in The Mouse That Roared’s Wikipedia article!)

6) Solomon and Sheba-One of those sword and sandals epics that featured Yul Brynner with hair, no less! and the Ubervoluptuous Gina Lollabridgida.

7) 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock-The only Lou Costello effort without Abbott. I remember watching this as a kid and fruitlessly WAITING for Bud Abbott to appear.

8) Compulsion-Really should be in the 1001 movie book. Based on the Meyer Levin novel (an interesting read) about the Leopold and Loeb murder case and features Orson Welles as the Clarence Darrow stand-in as well as a pre-Quantum Leap as Dean Stockwell as one of the murderers.

9) Pillow Talk-If you have to watch a Doris Day/Rock Hudson comedy, this is probably the one to see. (But you don't have to, it's really not required.)

10) Plan 9 From Outer Space-You can’t make a list of movies from this year without a reference to the most famous bad film of all time. Though hardly the worst film of all time! Not as long as Manos, The Hands of Fate and Monster A Go-Go are still around.

There’s also Hiroshima, Mon Amour which is a 1001 Movies entry and was directed by Last Year at Marienband Alain Resnais. I first saw this in a history of film class at Georgia State xx number of years ago, but don’t remember much about that viewing.
In seeing it again, I like it more that Last Year at Marienband, though it still might be one that I have to see a few times to appreciated fully. It starts out in semi-documentary form dealing with the aftermath of the 1945 atomic bomb that was dropped over Hiroshima. The film jumps to a modern day (1959 modern day of course) showing us a brief (very brief) affair between a French actress and a Japanese architect. (The plot summary says he was an architect, but I don't remember them calling him an architect. I must have been out of the room when they mentioned it.) She has past demons from the war hanging over her largely involving a past lover who was killed. He has the memories of the atomic bomb hanging over him. Features some interesting tracking shots (not overdone like in Last Year at Marienband), gives a good feel of the city and has two appealing leads. Worth a look, but may require a second (or third) viewing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

JAWS (1975)

There was no bigger summer movie in 1975 than Jaws.

Check that. There has never been a bigger summer movie in history than Jaws.

When I first saw it in the theater, me and my friend Steve sat through it twice. Some of the patrons during the second show didn’t appreciate Steve shouting out some of the lines in the movie right before the actors said them, but I guess some people just don’t appreciate performance art.

I wrote this play based on Jaws the following school year during my Home Economics class. Yes, it was Home Economics and I should have been learning how to use a sewing machine. But I defied my teachers and said, “Sorry, Ms. Wherli, but satire awaits!” Ms. Wherli didn’t appreciate my rebellion and gave me what she considered an appropriate grade at the end of the quarter. How can you fail Home Economics? I guess if you have a teacher that prescribes to such rigid grading scheme you can! I guess she didn't appreciate performance art, either.

Anyway, I’ve blown the cobwebs from my old notebook paper and placed my play here for what it's worth. The last page is missing, so I’ve had to rewrite the ending.

Jaw-Bones from January 1976

Narrator: We now go to a small Long Island town where the swimming is popular and we see a weird old man named Simon Oates holding a broken tree branch pretending to be on television.

Oates: (into the branch) Howdy out there, ladies and gentlemen. Simon Oates here on the beach. I am now going out into the water to teach you how to swim. (Oates paddles out into the water not knowing what dangers lurk ahead.) Now let us learn. The first thing you do is "Blppp." Ouch! What the Hell was that? Ahhh, my leg. Oh! Ah! Ahhhhh!

(Next morning, a young man named Ole Olson walks down by the beach seeing the remains of this weird old man.)

Olson: Yuck! Yick! Uck! Barf! What happened to you mister? You look...dead. Oh, wait. You are dead. Help! Help! Murder! I got to go call the police.

(At exactly 7:57 A. M., Olson calls the Amity Police Department and the phone is answered by Chief Martin Brody.)

Brody: Hello, Amity police department, where being smart doesn't matter.

Olson: Officer, there's a man on the beach whose face is completely turn off, his arms and legs dismantled and his guts are all over the beach.

Brody: Is he dead?

Olson: That’s a possibility.

Brody: I'll be there in a jiffy

(15 minutes later at the beach, Brody arrives and greets Olson)

Brody: Hello Mr. Olson. Where's the body?

Olson: Under this sheet.

Brody: Let me see. (He lifts up the cover) Yuck, yick, uck, barf!

Olson: What could have done this?

Brody: Let's out of control boat, a poorly manufactured paper shredder, a shark, a...

Olson: You mean a shark could have done this? I'll go see Dr. Omar Dingle.

Brody: Hey, that's my line! I'LL go see Dr. Omar Dingle. Now get on out of here, you're just a minor character anyway.

(Now at Omar Dingle's place, we see Brody bringing the body to Dr. Dingle to verify the shark attack.)

Omar: All right, Brody. Let me take a look. (He looks under the cover.)
Yuck, yick, uck, barf! That's a shark attack all right!

Brody: Are you sure?

Omar: Does Tarzan have smelly armpits?

Brody: I must find someone to help me track down this shark!

Omar: But who? Or is it whom? I can never remember.

Brody: I know a shark specialist. His name is Matt Hooper. Are you positive this couldn't have been done by a poorly manufactured paper shredder?

Omar: I'm sure that only a shark, a really, really big shark could have done this dirty deed.

(Later at the beach, we see a country bumpkin swimming by himself. The beach now has a"No Swimming" sign, which Billy Bob McCoy is attempting to read.)

Billy Bob: I'll just mosey on down to that big river and I'll...What's on this here sign? No swinging? Well, heck fire. I'm not going swingin’. I'm goin' a swimmin.'

Billy Bob: (Now in the water) Boy, ain't it quaint, just relaxing in the water and ...blppp! Ye Ha. Dagnabit.Some carnfondid fish just bit my pants off. Wouldn't be so bad, but my lag was in it. (Crunching sound) Yaaa Yooo Yaw Yuw Yow Ahhh!

(Back at Dr. Dingle's office, Billy Bob's body has been found. Brody and shark hunter Hooper arrive.)

Hooper: So gentleman, what's this I hear about a shark attack?

Brody: We've had two of them. Omar, show him the one we found last night.

(Hopper looks at the body.)
Hooper: Well, there's just one thing to say. Yuck, yick, uck, barf! Oh, my! This shark must be thirty feet long!

Brody: What kind of shark could have done this?

Hooper: A tiger shark.

Brody and Omar: A WHAT?

Hooper: Never mind. Martin, we've got to get someone with the capabilities of destroying the shark.

Brody: But who?

Hooper: Sir Edmon Farquar, the English shark killer.

Brody: Does he make sea calls?

Hooper: You bet, Martin, You bet.

Brody: Between the three of us, we're bound to catch the shark. Matt, go get him and bring him back by 4:57 P.M. Make sure he has all his equipment make sure he know the area, and make sure you are back on time!

Hooper: Ya vo, mein fureher!

(After Hooper leaves, Brody sits at his office enjoying a bottle of yahoo. The chocolate drink for men, a tattooed sea salt comes into Brody's office.)

Quint: Aye Maties, Quints me name, killing sharks is me game.

Brody: Do you really think you can kill this shark?

Quint: Can't you tell I'm a rought exteriored, sea soaked, horn swaggled salty dawg?

Brody: What's your fee?

Quint: Ten grand.

Brody: Don't call us. We'll call you.

Quint: When you change your mind, I'll be at the Quasi Moto resort for rough exteriored, sea soaked, horn swaggled salty dawgs.

(Quint leaves as Hooper returns with the English shark hunter.)

Hooper: Martin. I'd like you to meet Sir Edmond Farquar.

Brody: How do you do?

Farquar: Ah. Pip, pip. Cherrio and all that kind of rot.

Brody: Let's get down to business. How much do you want for this extermination?

Farquar: Ten

Brody: Ten? Are you crazy? I just had an expert come in here a minute ago and ask for 10. If I turn down an expert, why should I hire you?

Hooper: Martin. He doesn't want 10 thousand. He wants ten dollars. You see he's from Sussex and not too bright.

Brody: Sir Edmond, you're hired.

Farquar: A good decision, Mr. Brody. I'm a great whale hunter.

Brody: You mean shark hunter.

Farquar: Whatever.

(At the dock, we now see Hooper, Brody and Farquar loading up on Farquar's boat, "The Nausea.")

Brody: What equipment are you bringing?

Farquar: A net, a cage, a spare

Hooper: You mean a spear.

Farquar: Whatever.

(Later, out at sea)

Brody: Which direction are we going, Farquar?

Farquar: Westward, Marty my boy.

Brody: Why isn't Matt steering the boat?

Farquar: He's got it on automatic and he promised me he'd separate the equipment on the floor.

Brody: You mean the deck.

Farquar: Whatever.

Hooper: Farquar! Martin! I see something. It's big. 20 feet long at least, with teeth two feet long!

Brody: Is it a shark?

Hooper: Either that or the ugliest prom date you'd ever want to have.

Farquar: I'll shoot it with my gum.

Brody: You mean gun.

Farquar: Whatever.

Hooper: He's rocking the boat!

Farquar: I'll get him. (He fires. Kablamm! Kablamm!)
I'm falling! Help! (Brody manages to pull Farquar out of the water as the shark goes back under.)

Hooper: Get him out!

Brody: I got him. Are you all right?

Farquar: No, the flippin' fish bit off my arm.

Hooper: You mean leg.

Farquar: Whatever.

(The shark bobs up before going back down with Farquars legs hanging on his jaws. This gave Hooper, Brody and Farquar a chance to get back to shore and rush Farquar to a hospital. At the hospital, Dr.Dingle is checking Farquar.)

Omar: How is the pain, Mr. Farquar?

Farquar: I feel unstrong.

Omar: You mean weak?

Farquar: Whatever.

(Dr. Dingle goes out to talk to Hooper and Brody.)

Hooper: How is he, Doc?

Omar: You know this shark is good for business.

Brody: He asked how is he?

Omar: Oh that. He doesn't have a chance.

Hooper: If we have to, I'll tell him.

(Hooper goes into see Omar)

Hooper: Sir Edmond, your condition fatal.

Farquar: Just as long as its nothing serious.

Hooper: But Edmond, your'e going to cry.

Farquar: You mean die.

Hooper: Whatever. You got me saying it now! Edmond, Edmond. Oh No.

(Hooper returns to the others.)

Hooper: He's dead.

Omar: I told you.

Brody: I'm going to hire Quint to kill the shark.
(Dramatic music plays in the background.)

(Brody and Quint meet in Brody's office.)

Brody: I've asked you to come here for one purpose.
To hire you to kill the shark.

Quint: I give you sharkies head and you give me 10 grand.

Brody: You're going to have to come down on your price.

Quint: How about you give me 10 grand and I give you sharkies head.

Brody: Now we're getting somewhere.

Quint: I'll need you to come along as me mate and I'll need someone
else to navigate me old buzzard.

Brody: Is that your ship?

Quint: No, that's me wife. Aye, aye, aye. A little sea humor there.

Brody: Matt Hooper will go with us.

Quint: Matt Hooper? Sounds like a vacuum cleaner.

Brody: That's Hooper, not Hoover.

Quint: All righty. Sounds like a basketball player then.

Brody: That works.

(Quint, Brody and Hooper are loading the ship)

Quint: I've got all me stuff to kill the beast. Hey, Hooper
what's all the crap you're bringing aboard.

Hooper: My cage, my dart gun and my-

Quint: You forgot your six-shooter, Tex. What do you think this is? Cowboys and Indians?

Hooper: These are a necessity in shark catching.

Quint: Phooey. With our splitting the money, I"m only getting $3,333.34 out of this.

Hooper: You are getting a penny more than us.

Brody: Stop arguing! Okey Dokey, guys?

Quint: Okey Dokey? I'm hunting sharks with Captain Kangaroo and Howdy Doody!

(At sea, a few hours later.)

Quint: Hooper, do you see the shark?

Hooper: I see him. I see him.

Quint: I got him on my line. Brody give me me harpoon. Hooper, I hope you got
me barrels secure. (He fires the harpoon) Got him!

(Quint manages to shoot three harpoons into the shark. However, the shark seems
unimpeded and goes underwater. That night, the three of them got drunk.)

Quint: HIc. I got this scar by a killer whale and this one from a swordfish.

Hooper: Oh, yeah! I got these scars by an electric eel and a tiger shark.

Brody and Quint: A WHAT?

Quint: You got any scars, Brody?

Brody: (showing his hand) Sawfish.

Hooper: Sawfish?

Brody: Yeah. I saw Fish Finnigan steal some cookies in third grade.
I said I would tell, so he scratched the "bleeep" out of my hand.

Quint: Great. I served on the Indianapolis and this land lubber is
telling me stories about a Chips Ahoy thief!

Hooper: Come on guys, let's all sing.

Quint: Hic! Okay

Brody, Hooper, Quint:
Show me the way to go home. Bum bum
I'm tired and I want to go to bed.
I had a little drink about an hour ago
and it went straight to my head.
Over land or sea or foam,
wherever I may roam.
You'll still hear me

Hooper: Who said crunch? That's not how it goes.

Quint: It's the bloody shark, you twits!

(The shark goes down with a piece of the boat causing
the men to sober up quickly.)

Quint: Ah, he got away before I could blast him. But he'll be back.

Hooper: Let me go down in my cage and shoot him with my poison dart.

Quint: Go ahead. This boat can't last too much longer.

(Hooper goes down into the water and spots the shark. The shark, not
wanting to let a human get the best of him, hits the back of the cage
before reaching his jaws in and taking a bite out of Hooper.)

Hooper: Ugh. This is really bad for the liver.

(Back at the boat)

Brody: What's taking him?

Quint: He's dead.

Brody: Is not.

Quint: Is too.

Brody: Is not.

Quint: Is too.

(While they are aruging, the shark climbs onto the almost sunken boat and starts to pull Quint in.)

Quint: He's got me! Ahhh! Me insurance is really going to go up now. (The shark takes Quint's body underwater.

(The ship is almost completely underwater and Brody is hugging the ship's mast and has a rifle in his hand.)


Brody: Looks like I'm done for and there's only one bullet left in this rifle.

(Brody sees a pressurized air tank floating towards the shark.)

Brody: Oh, my God! Maybe if that shark would swallow that pressurized air tank
and I could shoot my last bullet into its mouth... But what are the odds of that happening? Wait! He's going for it! He’s going for it! (The shark swallows the air tank) Better aim. Take that you son of a bitch! (He fires)

(The impact of the bullet against the air tank in the shark’s mouth causes the shark to explode.)

Brody: Woo Hoo! Our plot just jumped the shark and the term hasn't even been invented yet!

(Brody paddles back toward the shore on the fallen mast.)

Brody: So glad I survived that! I’m free to be in All That Jazz now!(Brody starts humming On Broadway as he continues to paddle back to shore.)