Jaws

Hard to believe that it is over forty years since the movie Jaws premiered on June 1, 1975.  My favorite scene:

 

 

The delivery of the Hiroshima bomb by the crew of the USS Indianapolis to Tinian on July 26, 1945 received screen immortality in Quint’s (Robert Shaw) speech in the movie Jaws (1975).  Although historically inaccurate on several points, the scene has an understated power that makes it a gem of the filmmaker’s art:

 

“Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into her side, Chief. We was comin’ back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. We’d just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes.

Didn’t see the first shark for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn’t know, was that our bomb mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin’ by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin’ and hollerin’ and sometimes that shark he go away… but sometimes he wouldn’t go away.

Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn’t even seem to be livin’… ’til he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then… ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’. The ocean turns red, and despite all your poundin’ and your hollerin’ those sharks come in and… they rip you to pieces.

You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don’t know how many sharks there were, maybe a thousand. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour. Thursday mornin’, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boson’s mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water, he was like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he’d been bitten in half below the waist.

At noon on the fifth day, a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he spotted us, a young pilot, lot younger than Mr. Hooper here, anyway he spotted us and a few hours later a big ol’ fat PBY come down and started to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened. Waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest,  June the 29th, 1945.

Anyway, we delivered the bomb.”

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Published in: on August 2, 2019 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Radio Bird

I couldn’t be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, it’s possible to get another. There’s only one Maltese Falcon.

Kaspar Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet), The Maltese Falcon

 

Something for the weekend.  A radio version of The Maltese Falcon broadcast in 1943.  Classic radio made grand use of music in its storytelling that has never been surpassed.  Bogart, Greenstreet and Astor reprise their screen roles.

Published in: on May 11, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Radio Bird  
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Avengers: Endgame

 

My family and I went to see Avengers: Endgame and I enjoyed it immensely.  I will not do a formal review of it, since I think it would be impossible for me to do so without sounding like Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.

 

Suffice it to say if you have ever had any interest in Marvel Comic book characters, or simply enjoy a good rousing film of adventure, you should enjoy it.  As he did in the Guardians of the Galaxy flick, Rocket Raccoon stole every scene he was in.

 

Quite a bit of humor in the film, especially in the depiction of Thor:

 

Deathless film for the ages?  Of course not.  A film that manages to be three hours in length without ever getting boring, yes!  Just put your mind on neutral as to time travel paradoxes before going to see it.

 

A fun film, not to be taken seriously.

Published in: on May 10, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Avengers: Endgame  
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Have It Your Way Blast It!

(I originally posted this at The American Catholic, and I thought the fast food mavens of Almost Chosen People might find it amusing.)

 

 

Perhaps they would be a wee bit happier if they weren’t eating crappy fast food.  It is impossible for satirists to keep up with the insanity loose in these bizarre times.

Published in: on May 6, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Have It Your Way Blast It!  
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Requiescat In Pace: Peter Mayhew

Sad that even wookies must die.  Peter Mayhew was the giant behind the mask.  Unlike most Hollywood figures, he lived a quiet life with his one and only wife, and their three kids.  Born a Brit he became a naturalized American citizen in 2005.  A deeply charitable man, he was always available to have Chewbaca bring wookie cheer to sick kids in hospital.  A well lived life.  Fare you well Mr. Mayhew, and may you now be in the land where the stars only know eternal peace and love.

Published in: on May 3, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Requiescat In Pace: Peter Mayhew  
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Charles Van Doren Dies

Charles Van Doren of quiz show infamy has passed away at age 93.  It now seems almost quaint, but most Americans were genuinely shocked back in the Fifties to learn that many of the quiz shows they were watching on television were fixed, and that Charles Van Doren, scion of a family of intellectuals, who had achieved fame and fortune by his appearances on the show Twenty-One, had gone along with the cheating which had allowed him to win.  Van Doren initially vigorously denied cheating, but sang a different song when the evidence became overwhelming.  When he appeared before a Congressional committee he was contrite:

I was involved, deeply involved, in a deception. The fact that I, too, was very much deceived cannot keep me from being the principal victim of that deception, because I was its principal symbol. There may be a kind of justice in that. I don’t know. I do know, and I can say it proudly to this committee, that since Friday, October 16, when I finally came to a full understanding of what I had done and of what I must do, I have taken a number of steps toward trying to make up for it. I have a long way to go. I have deceived my friends, and I had millions of them. Whatever their feeling for me now, my affection for them is stronger today than ever before. I am making this statement because of them. I hope my being here will serve them well and lastingly.

I asked (co-producer Albert Freedman) to let me go on (Twenty-One) honestly, without receiving help. He said that was impossible. He told me that I would not have a chance to defeat Stempel because he was too knowledgeable. He also told me that the show was merely entertainment and that giving help to quiz contests was a common practice and merely a part of show business. This of course was not true, but perhaps I wanted to believe him. He also stressed the fact that by appearing on a nationally televised program I would be doing a great service to the intellectual life, to teachers and to education in general, by increasing public respect for the work of the mind through my performances. In fact, I think I have done a disservice to all of them. I deeply regret this, since I believe nothing is of more vital importance to our civilization than education.

Van Doren received accolades from some for finally coming clean.  However, Congressman Steven Derounian (R.NY) was having none of it:

“Mr. Van Doren, I am happy that you made the statement, but I cannot agree with most of my colleagues who commended you for telling the truth, because I don’t think an adult of your intelligence ought to be commended for telling the truth.”

Being fast on one’s feet intellectually, and the glibness that usually accompanies that ability, tend to be vastly overrated in our society.  Simple honesty, that base foundation for all the virtues, vastly underrated.

Published in: on April 16, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Charles Van Doren Dies  
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Star Wars: Always

(I originally posted this at The American Catholic, and I thought the Star Wars mavens of Almost Chosen People might enjoy it.

A lot more entertaining than anything since The Return of the Jedi, of course watching paint dry also fits into that category, although I do think that Solo was not quite the grand buzzard of a film that most of its detractors claim it was.

 

Published in: on March 8, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Star Wars: Always  
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News to Make All Baby Boomers Feel Very, Very Old

 

Peter Tork of The Monkees has died at age 77.  May his soul rest in peace.

Published in: on February 27, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on News to Make All Baby Boomers Feel Very, Very Old  
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The Duke Sends His Regards to SJWs Everywhere

 

(I originally posted this at The American Catholic, and I thought the John Wane mavens of Almost Chosen People might enjoy it.)

 

News that I missed courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

HOLLYWOOD, CA—After a 1971 Playboy interview with John Wayne that was deemed offensive surfaced online, liberal activists took to the streets to boycott the actor, vowing that Wayne will never work in Hollywood again.

Wayne died in 1979 of stomach cancer.

Marchers could be seen on Sunset Boulevard with signs calling for the firing of “that cowboy guy from those old movies.” Many seemed confused about who Wayne actually was, with some assuming he may have been a relative of Batman, and others thinking that maybe he was in a Coen brothers movie or something. However, they all agreed he is what’s wrong with this country, as evidenced by their chant, “John Wayne bad!”

Activist leaders announced that at 10:30 am they would hold a massive burning of John Wayne films, posters, and other memorabilia at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. When the time arrived, many people arrived but there was nothing to burn. “I don’t think anyone here has ever even seen a John Wayne movie, now that I think about it,” one activist told reporters. 

Go here to read the rest.  Hmmm.  Wayne has been dead for four decades, but in a fight between him and any number of Social Justice Warriors, my money would still be on the Duke.

 

Published in: on February 26, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on The Duke Sends His Regards to SJWs Everywhere  
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January 20, 1929: In Old Arizona

I give the talkies six months more. At the most a year. Then they’re done.

Charlie Chaplin, 1931

 

 

 

The things you find on YouTube.  Ninety-years ago the movie In Old Arizona was released.  The first full length “talkie” filmed outdoors, it featured the O. Henry character The Cisco Kid and was based on the O. Henry short story The Caballero’s Way.  The film was a hit, helping to establish that “talkies” were not just a fad, and the now forgotten Warner Baxter would receive the best actor Oscar for his rendition of The Cisco Kid.  In the Thirties he would go on to star in a number of films and was at one time the highest paid actor in Hollywood.  He died in 1951 at age 62.  With the passage of years, most fame is indeed fleeting.

Published in: on January 20, 2019 at 7:56 am  Comments Off on January 20, 1929: In Old Arizona  
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