June 4, 2009 · 10:00 pm
I saw a preview for the movie, Music Within, which is based on the true story of Richard Pimentel, the man who is credited with championed the Americans with Disabilities Act, into becoming law.
Here is summary of his life story as found on www.miltwright.com:
Richard Pimentel was pronounced dead at birth in the delivery room. In a miraculous turn of events, he lived. His mother, who had experienced three miscarriages before his birth, left him in an orphanage, unable to come to terms with his existence. After his father’s death, he was raised by his impoverished grandmother and deemed “retarded” by a school guidance counselor. He never spoke a word until age six.
After his mother abandoned him again for a new boyfriend, Richard was left homeless and roamed from friend’s homes to his father’s old workplace, a strip bar. He lived and slept in the dressing room. During these hard times, he managed to win two national high school speech championships and was offered a college scholarship by College Bowl founder, Dr. Ben Padrow. Richard arrived on campus only to hear Dr. Padrow tell him to come back when he had “something to say.”
Richard followed Dr. Padrow’s advice and quit school. Soon after he was drafted to Vietnam, where he survived a volunteer suicide mission and became an acknowledged war hero. During his brief celebration, a stray bomb exploded in his bunker and ravaged his hearing. Not only did Richard lose his hearing, he developed tinnitus, a constant ringing in the ears. The government dismissed his dreams of college and public speaking, insisting his fate was one of insanity and rage due to his condition.
Richard refused to accept this fate. He returned to college where he met Art Honneyman, “the smartest and funniest man he has ever known,” who just happened to have a severe case of cerebral palsy. No one could understand Art due to his wheezing, garbled speech—-except for Richard, who could hear Art’s true voice due to his hearing loss.
At 3 AM, in celebration of Art’s birthday, Art and Richard sat down in a local restaurant for a pancake breakfast. Their waitress threatened to call the police, deeming him the “ugliest, most disgusting thing” she had ever seen. They refused to leave and were arrested under the “Ugly Law,” a statute that prohibited public appearances of people who were “unsightly.” This injustice propelled Richard, with the help of Dr. Padrow and a host of friends, headlong into the nascent disability movement
Filed under life, movies
Tagged as Americans with Disabilities Act, film, life, movie, movies, Music Within, Richard Pimentel, Ron Livingston, vet, vietnam
April 20, 2009 · 3:37 pm
Another random fact about the Oscars…
The nominees for best picture for this years Oscar ceremony were:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Now, look closely – can you notice what these movie titles have in common?
I will give you a hint, the last time the Best Picture nominees had the same thing in common was in 1964 when the following films were up for the Academy’s biggest award:
My Fair Lady
Zorba the Great
Still don’t have the answer?
Here it is: Each of the 10 titles above refer to the main character(s) in each of the films.
I thought that was interesting and so will any other movie nerd.
Filed under life, movies
Tagged as 1964, Audrey Hepburn, awards, Becket, Benjamin Button, Dr. Strangelove, Frost/Nixon, Julie Andrews, Kate Winslet, Mary Poppins, milk, movies, My Fair Lady, oscars, Peter Sellers, Reader, Sean Penn, Slumdog Millionaire, Zorba the Great
March 31, 2009 · 10:22 pm
Alfred Hitchcock was originally a draftsman/advertising designer for a cable company, he then became interested in photography and broke into the movie industry by designing the titles for silent movies.
It only took 5 years from the time he started as a title designer to become a film director.
March 20, 2009 · 3:47 pm
Although he ranks alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the most popular and influential film comedians of the silent film era – he was always less known to me – the man I am talking about is Harold Lloyd.
Harold Lloyd as his "Glasses Character"
Harold Lloyd was a brilliant comedian, superb athlete, and daredevil who did most of his own stunts even after a 1919 accident…
On a Sunday in August of 1919, Harold posed for a photographer. The set-up called for him to light a cigarette with a prop bomb — the round, black, type you might see in the cartoons. The bomb wasn’t a prop at all; it exploded in his hand. It ripped open the sixteen-foot ceiling and left Harold blind and with most of his right hand missing. Doctors told him he would never see again. His career was over.
But the doctors were wrong. Eventually, his sight did return, the scars healed, and a glove was crafted to hide his handicap from his public. The comedian, known for doing all his own daredevil stunts, felt his audience would be concerned for his safety and not laugh at the movie if they knew about his injury. So he wore the glove in every movie he ever made after the accident.
(from the official website of Harold Lloyd)
If have ever seen his 1923 movie Safety Last! you will find it hard to believe all of the stunts that he accomplished with a prosthetic hand.
Filed under life, movies
Tagged as 1919, 1923, accident, bomb, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, comedy, era, film, glasses character, Harold Lloyd, influential, missing fingers, movie, movies, prosthetic, Safety Last!, silent
March 8, 2009 · 4:14 pm
This Samurai character:
John Belushi on SNL
Is based on this Samurai character:
Toshirô Mifune in Sanjuro
But wait, there is more..
The masterless samurai Sanjuro appears in 2 of Akira Kirusawa’s films: Yojimbo and Sanjuro.
Kirusawa used the American genre of westerns for these films, but set them in feudal Japan.
Then Yojimbo was remade (into a western) by Sergio Leone as A Fistful of Dollars, starring an American “masterless samurai”, Clint Eastwood.
Filed under life, movies
Tagged as 1961, 1962, A Fistful of Dollars, Akira Kurosawa, characters, Clint Eastwood, criterion, Feudal, film, Japan, John Belushi, life, movies, samurai, Sanjuro, Saturday Night Live, Sergio Leone, SNL, Toshirô Mifune, westerns, writing, Yojimbo
January 26, 2009 · 9:55 pm
As I grow older, I catch myself questioning sayings that I or others around me are saying.
For instance, ‘In like Flynn’ came up in a conversation at the movie theater on Sunday. I asked aloud if Flynn refers to the swashbuckling actor, Errol Flynn, when my companion did not know- I decided to take action.
wicked, wicked ways
After scouring the internet (or at the least the first page of google) I discovered the following:
Apparently, “in” was used in for quite some time in regard to an individual’s success. The first time that we saw “in like Flynn” in print was in the 1946 edition of American Speech. The intention of the phrase has been explained two ways.
The PG version:
“In like Flynn, everything is O.K. In other words, the pilot is having no more trouble than Errol Flynn has in his cinematic feats.”
This version was said to be used by pilots in WWII and is the example cited in the 1946 edition of American Speech.
The Rated R version:
“Relax. You’re there. She’s practically eating out of your hand. Just buy her another drink and you’ll be in like Flynn.”
This version has more of a modern twist and refers to sexual exploits (just in case you didn’t figure that out on your own…). Supposedly Mr. Flynn was well endowed and really not ashamed in the least about it. You might say he gladly shared the – ahem- “gift” that was given him.
I was satisfied with knowing the above because it proved that my guess was correct.
However, there is one more less likely source to this saying – political organizer Edward J. Flynn.
Edward J. Flynn (R)
Edward J. Flynn (AKA Boss Flynn) was a New York City political boss who became a campaign manager for the Democratic party during FDR’s presidency. “In like Flynn” may have been used as a political saying to boost the prominence of Boss Flynn. However, this research only surfaced after etymologists began looking in the origin.
It really becomes a what came first, the chicken or the egg – but in this instance I think its safe to say Errol came first.
The Straight Dope
The Phrase Finder
January 22, 2009 · 5:01 pm
Everyone knows Mae West. Even if you have never seen a her in a film, I am sure you know at least one of her famous lines.
i.e. “Why don’t you come up an see me sometime..ooh”
Grant & West in She Done Him Wrong
Everyone knows who Roseanne is – (that’s why she doesn’t even need a last name!)
And when we think of her we probably remember her like this:
Lookin' good Arnolds!
Well here is what I learned: Mae West is one of Roseanne’s favorite comedians (Redd Foxx is her other fave). Not entirely interesting or surprising, but news to me.
What is interesting is that learning part III of this entry makes me believe a little theory of mine even more…
About a year ago I saw my first Mae West film, She Done Him Wrong. As I was watching I couldn’t help but to be reminded of post plastic surgery Roseanne.
I had forgotten all about that thought until I watched Myra Breckinridge the other day and now I am sure (or at least there is a good chance) that Roseanne’s goal was to look a little more like her idol.
Am I right?
The resemblance is uncanny, if you ask me.