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Found 11 results

  1. A 26-year-old Lee Majors, in a 1965 "Alfred Hitchcock Hour" episode. His voice got appreciably deeper in the 1970s - it's strange hearing him talk at this age.
  2. I'm taking this moment to tip my cap to Milt Pappas, surely one of the most underrated, underappreciated players in MLB history. Pappas is best-known for "the main player in the Frank Robinson trade." That's fine, but why did the Reds want him so badly? Look at his stats: a career record of 209-164. 13 seasons with at least 12 Wins, a 3-time All-Star, and the NL leader in shutouts in 1971. This gentleman is worth remembering; not as fodder for Frank Robinson, but as a winner of 54% of his games over the course of his 17-year Major-League career - he won between 12-17 games in 13-out-of-14 seasons - how many players in Major-League history can say they won 12+ games in 13-out-of-14 seasons? Probably less than 50. In a sport where 10% means a lot, Milton Steven Pappas was well-above average as a Major-League pitcher - easily in the top-half of all pitchers measured over the course of history. Don't ever forget: If it wasn't for Milt Pappas, the Orioles might not have gotten Frank Robinson (think about that for a moment).
  3. To any hardcore baseball fan (which is short for "fanatic"), this photo will emblaze a permanent memory. If you're not sitting down, sit down before you read any further - to fully understand the level of royalty in this photo, scroll down to read the fact list about each player. Standing, L to R: Honus Wager, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Tris Speaker, Nap Lajoie, George Sisler, Walter Johnson Sitting, L to R: Eddie Collins, Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, Cy Young
  4. The only thing I know about <<La Règle du Jeu>> ("The Rules of the Game," a French film from 1939), is that it has a reputation of being one of the finest movies ever made. That's it - I know nothing else, so here I begin, in complete ignorance: To be honest, I didn't even know it was a French film until five minutes ago. I will, obviously, be giving my thoughts as I go ... The film takes place on the Eve of WWII, when (fictional) famed aviator André Jurieu (played by Roland Toutain) makes a trans-Atlantic crossing in 23 hours - 12 years after Charles Lindbergh's real-life 1927 flight which took 33 1/2 hours in the Spirit of St. Louis (which is housed in the National Air and Space Museum on The National Mall in DC). Call me a dweeb, but I love fictional films that interweave non-fiction - I love to learn, and any real-life info-nuggets I can pick up are always remembered. Note that "La Règle du Jeu" takes place in contemporary time - the events took place in 1939, and the movie was released in 1939. After Jurieu is swarmed by the media, he is greeted by his friend, Octave (Jean Renoir, the son of famed painted Pierre-Auguste Renoir (really!)) - Jurieux is clearly crestfallen that the girl of his affections - the very inspiration he made the flight - Christine de la Chesnaye (Nora Gregor) wasn't at the airport to greet him, and he doesn't take it well in front of the media - clearly, "love," or possibly "unrequited love" could play a central role in this plot. Christine was listening on the radio along with her (seemingly) faithful maid, Lisette (Paulette Dubost), with whom she seems to have a friendly, respectful, relationship. To create a liaison, Christine jokingly asks Lisette if she's having some sort of relationship with Octave - both Christine and Lisette are married to other men: Christine to Robert, Marquis de la Chesnaye (Marcel Dalio) for three years, and Lisette to Schumacher (Gaston Lodot), the gamekeeper at Robert's country estate, for two years - the French do enjoy their extramarital dalliances. Robert, meanwhile, is having an affair with Geneviève (Mila Parély), whom he sees the next morning (can you tell this is confusing yet? My *goodness* the relationships, and ex-relationships; the crushes, and non-crushes; in this film are mind-bending, and very difficult to keep up with, so *pay attention to the characters and their relationships with one another* - at least for the first twenty minutes of the movie.) I have a feeling it's going to be imperative, and will pay off in spades, to have these character relationships down pat inside your head before the movie progresses too far. I can see this film going in any of several directions - a mistaken-identity comedy a la "Marx Brothers," or a drama about lost or unfulfilled love, or something else entirely, but it's clear that human interaction is playing a crucial role thus far, and I'm only about 20% of the way through (overall, it seems more comedic than dramatic so far). Make the investment, and pay close attention to avoid needing to watch the opening more than once - at least up until the point where the film fades, and the automobiles are heading to La Colinière in Sologne. At La Colinière, Schumacher catches a poacher, Marceau (Julien Carette), and turns him over to Robert - who's impressed with his trapping skills, and hires him on the spot (much to Schmacher's dismay). The next thirty minutes are merely a "slice of life" about the upper crust in France, and their vacation lives of leisure at the country home, replete with interpersonal relationships, jealousy, shocking candor, and it leaves me wondering where this is all going. I'm almost halfway through this film, and for it to be considered "greatest-ever" material, it had better start improving, pronto - I just don't see it yet: I'm starting to fear this is one of "those" movies that all the critics like because they're supposed to like it. There are elements of well-played character development, but this all needs to have an end game, because it's not standing on its own - at least, not yet. Yes, it's a satire of the leisure class, perhaps to the point of being farce, but it needs to be more than this - I'm still hopeful, because there's been nothing "bad" about it whatsoever; it's just not compelling, or even all that witty. A discussion, at a gala, between two men having affairs: "You haven't seen me." "Why?" "Schumacher's after me." "What for?" "On account of his wife. We were playing around. He saw us and he's not happy. Oh, your lordship ... women are charming. I like them a lot. Too much, in fact. But they spell trouble." "You're telling me." "You've got it bad, too?" "Somewhat ... Ever wish you were an Arab?" "No, what for?" "For the harem ... Only Muslims show a little logic in matters of male-female relations. They're made like us." "If you say so." "They always have a favorite ... But they don't kick the others out and hurt their feelings." "If you say so." Meh, this is just not that good - I understand it's 77 years old, but it's still just not that good. I'm thinking maybe in context of France, 1939, this is considered pretty "bold" satire, making fun of the upper class like this, but if that's what makes this movie great - it's just plain dated. Still, I'm only halfway through ... onward. Okay, with about twenty-five minutes remaining, I've peaked at a few reviews, all of which say this is "one of the greatest films ever made." I'm afraid I'm going to need to be told *why* it's one of the greatest films ever made - I guess that's the difference between my knowledge of restaurants and films: with restaurants, I'm the one who can do the telling; with films, I guess that sometimes, I need to be told. Damn this is frustrating. I mean, I can see it's a scathing social commentary, I can see it's a farce, I can see it pits upper class vs. lower class, man against woman, and makes all sorts of fun against high society, but *one of the greatest films ever made*? Are there any film scholars here? If so, I ask for your help - this is like "Middlemarch" meets "Reefer Madness." Great works of art often go over my head the first time I experience them, and I'm willing to accept that such is the case here, but I'm going to need some assistance with this one. As great as "Citizen Kane" is, that film has plenty of detractors who wonder why it's so great - I don't think those people are Luddites; I think they honestly just don't get it. To me, "Citizen Kane" is *terribly* boring in parts - it really drags - but I can see greatness in it; I'm just not seeing that greatness in "La Règle du Jeu," unfortunately. I think its okay, but I'm not getting the multi-layered nuances it supposedly has. There's one line I just saw that sums it up for me to this point: "Corneille! Put an end to this farce!" "Which one, your lordship?" At the end of the movie, loose ends are tying themselves up, and it's clear to me that the upper crust values their lot in life more than they value humanity - *their* humanity. It's a savage beatdown, and a funny one, but not in a "ha-ha funny" way. The film is filled with stereotypes, and man it's hard to absorb on the first viewing - this is not a movie to watch alone; it's one to watch among other film lovers, and discuss as it's happening. Well, it was pretty powerful, all right - I watched it over two nights, and was very tired both evenings. I need to study it some more - much of it went over my head for sure, but I can sense how ruthless it is. "La Règle du Jeu" is free on Hulu - would a few of you all please watch it and tell me all the wonderful things I'm missing?
  5. Yes to Stagecoach! I love westerns too much to pick a top one, or five, or even ten, but Stagecoach is right up there for me, not Shane. I like elements of the Shane story better in Pale Rider with Clint Eastwood, Carrie Snodgrass, Michael Moriarty, and Sydney Penny. I like the supernatural element in Pale Rider.
  6. It's been a fantastic first day. Two major upsets. Plus the vast majority have been close games, including multiple 1-point games.
  7. There are currently two versions of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" available on Amazon - the original 1939 version, and the 2014 release from the Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center, with damaged parts repaired. The former is $3.99 to rent; the latter is $2.99 - I decided to save a buck and leave the original version for film historians (which I would love to be, but there are only so many things you can do in a single life). The big names in this film are Jimmy Stewart (newly appointed Mississippi Senator, Jefferson Smith), Jean Arthur (Clarissa Saunders), and Claude Rains (the other Mississippi Senator, Joe Paine). I have never seen this movie before, and am about to start watching it now. If you look at the bottom of the second page of opening credits, there's someone named Baby Dumpling (it turns out he's one of Governor "Happy" Hopper's *eight* children). When Governor Hopper flipped the coin after consulting with his children, I pretty much knew what was going to happen, but it was still a fun moment to watch. There's a goof when Hopper tries to convince the Good Old Boys Club about the virtues of Jeff Smith (a boy scout leader) - he says, "He can recite Washington and Lincoln by heart" (something his children told him), but then a moment later, Senator Payne says "recites Lincoln and Jefferson ...." - it's unimportant, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't in the script, because no mention was previously made of Jefferson. When Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart) first appears at the "star-spangled banquet" in front of the Mississippi citizens, while listening to his speech, I thought of two people: Brooks Robinson (see Roy Firestone's video - *now* I understand what he meant when he said "a young Jimmy Stewart"), and to a lesser degree, a certain unnamed politician from today's era who seems to be extremely anti-corruption, although the cynicism of today's politician is understandably already in place. It was very interesting to see Union Station circa 1939, equally interesting to see Smith's initial tour of Washington, DC's monuments. It was also touching to see an elderly gentleman of color remove his hat at the Lincoln Memorial; I wish they had chosen someone with darker skin, however - I guess sometimes, you have to take what you can get. At least the porters at Union Station were dark-skinned, sigh. I wonder if the first restaurant/bar scene is in the Old Ebbitt Grill (or, could it have been Mr. Smith's?) Is there a painting of a horse race in Old Ebbitt Grill? Mr. Smith's "revenge scene" against the press was hilarious* - it was perfect! As was the line, "The dopes are going to inherit the Earth." Hoo, boy, the restaurant scene with Clarissa Saunders and Diz Moore got to be drawn out, tedious, and boring - this scene was the very first part of the movie I really didn't like. However, I suppose it was necessary as a build-up for the following scene in Smith's office. It's cute in some of the scenes with Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur, the score begins playing "I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair" - the Lincoln Memorial scene after The Betrayal is one example. The ending of this movie is incredible, and it's more timely now than it was in 1939. Is it corny? Parts of it are, but so what - every single person in this country of voting age (and even a couple of years younger than voting age) should see this film. I loved it. And I *love* that there are several, perhaps a couple dozen, movies of this caliber that I've never before seen - I have a lot to look forward to. The actors and actresses were just about perfectly selected, and Jimmy Stewart fully deserved his Best Actor Academy Award nomination - he was wonderful.
  8. I have never read "Ball Four," but I suspect at least a couple of people here have, and I'm wondering if it's worth spending time on now that all the dirty laundry has been aired. "'Ball Four' Changed Sports *and* Books" by Rob Neyer on static.espn.go.com "Wit, Wisdom, and Social Commentary" by Jim Caple on staic.espn.go.com If nothing else, "Ball Four" is probably the most significant thing ever to come out of the Seattle Pilots expansion team, which lasted exactly one year before moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers.
  9. I've always been curious about "The Dinner Party," but have never spoken with anyone who has actually seen it in person. Just how accessible is it (each side of the triangle is 16 yards long), and and how much time would you say needs to be spent there to get a good feel for it? Is the setup conducive to spending, say, an hour? Is there any reading material handy, or do you have to buy it at the gift shop first? It looks like it's fenced in, and unless you can get close enough to hover a little bit, I doubt it could be fully appreciated (each plate, for example, is hand-painted). The shape of it is something I've always found amusing (I take my inspiration from very disparate places).
  10. Most of us remember 7'2" Richard Kiel as the lovable, bumbling assassin who played "Jaws" in the third and fourth James Bond films starring Roger Moore: "The Spy Who Loved Me," and "Moonraker." Kiel, however, was a good enough actor where he had several parts written for him, and one I remember best is the space alien in The Twilight Zone's 1962 Episode, "To Serve Man." <--- THE FULL EPISODE IS JUST BELOW *** SPOILERS - if you ever want to watch this, and you should if you haven't, don't open this link. *** In fact, I may even watch "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "To Serve Man" again today, in Mr. Kiel's honor. There are huge numbers of tribute Tweets today, honoring Kiel, with many websites highlighting celebrity tweets.
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