A Liebster for Leah – 3rd in a series


I am rapidly turning the Liebster Award into a blog genre of my own! But don’t blame me. When I wrote questions for my previous Liebster nomination, one of the recipients was Leah at the blog Cary Grant Won’t Eat You, and she proceeded to nominate me right back — so here we go again! (If you don’t believe me, click on her blog’s name, above, for the link.)

Happily, I have persuaded one of my favorite actresses, Adrienne Barbeau, to model my Liebster Awards. Don’t her friends look impressed by them?


In any case, if you’re bored with my Liebster talk, feel free to ignore this blog entry. Otherwise, here, once again, are the Liebster Award rules. Every Liebster nominee is expected to:

  • Answer his or her nominator’s 11 questions.
  • Nominate 11 additional bloggers.
  • Ask 11 questions of your nominees.
  • Share 11 additional facts about yourself.
  • Forfeit his or her Liebster Award if he or she is unable to fulfill the Award obligations for any reason for the upcoming year. (Nah, that last one’s a fake. It just sounded good.)

Without further ado, here are Leah’s Liebster questions and my answers.

1-5. What’s your favorite movie when you’re feeling these moods, and do they help you get over the mood, or intensify it?

Blue – Glengarry Glen Ross. It always makes me feel better because it reminds me that there are a lot of people out there, particularly in the job market, who are a lot worse off than I am.

Angry – The War of the Roses, with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. So many movies about anger nevertheless have an undercurrent that shows they want you to like them. Roses was one of the few movies I’ve seen where a couple started out unapologetically nasty and stayed that way right to the very end.

Nostalgic – Any 1930’s or ’40s movie set in New York or L.A. I get a rush watching actors saunter through that classic style, as if their characters knew they were making movie history.

Giddy – The Palm Beach Story. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: That movie is like mainlining joy right into my soul.

Undercaffeinated – W.C. Fields’ The Bank Dick. That movie was written and performed by an unrepentant drunk, and its very rhythm gives you the effect of feeling cheerily soused all the way through.

6. What invention in your lifetime has affected you the most?

The Internet, if that counts as an invention; if not, definitely the personal computer. I have enough social skills to get by in life, but I don’t really interact that well with live people. The Internet allows me to socialize all I want without having to come up with superfluous small talk.

7. Which actor or actress (the performer/character he/she plays) would make the best superhero in your estimation? Why?


It’s a pity that Jane Russell was never asked to play Wonder Woman in her lifetime. Physically, Lynda Carter looked smashing in the role, but she never seemed to have much fun with it. I can just imagine Jane tossing off one-liners under her breath as she saved the world.

8. Which classic movie character would you ask romantic advice?


Buster Keaton — not the real man, but the character he plays. He starts out every feature film behind the eight-ball, and by movie’s end, he has conquered some major hurdle and gotten the girl. I’d just have to ask him where he finds so much reserve. I’d have lost it by the end of the first reel.

9. Which movie character (classic/current) would give you terrible advice about everything?


Just the other night on TCM, I saw In This Our Life for the first time. I couldn’t resist mis-advising Stanley Timberlake (Bette Davis) just so I could watch her f**k everything up. (I’d also yank her chain by asking her if all her hang-ups had to do with the fact that she’s a female named Stanley.)

10. Which literary/movie character would you ask to help you with your least favorite errand?


Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) in Working Girl. I do most of the housecleaning duties in my home, but they really are drudgery. Having Tess help me topless would certainly make the job more tolerable.

11. Which actor/actress are you surprised you like? Why?

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Susan Sarandon. I first saw her in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and it didn’t surprise me that she wasn’t all that great in that movie, since it was meant to be campy. But for a while, her acting never seemed to get any better. I think the turning point for me was Dead Man Walking, where I was astounded at what a three-dimensional role she was playing. I’ve been pretty impressed with her ever since.


I’m not going to bother nominating 11 people, because most of my nominees are too busy (at least that’s what I tell myself) to answer my questions anyway. However, I am happy to provide 11 questions. If you deign to answer them, please let me know — I’d love to read your replies!

  1. Past or present, who is an actor or actress whose popular appeal you have never been able to comprehend?
  2. What movie would you like to insert yourself into (either as a major character or an extra), and why?
  3. Colorization debate aside, is there a black-and-white movie whose settings you’ve ever wondered (or fantasized) about in color?
  4. If your life story was made into a movie, which genre would you prefer it in?
  5. What fictional movie city would you most like to live in?
  6. Your all-time favorite movie musical number?
  7. Which modern-day actor or actress do you think would have been tailor-made for silent movies? (Please leave Johnny Depp out of the discussion; he’s pretty much proven his chops already.)
  8. If you could, what movie character would you grab by the lapels or collar and give a good talking to?
  9. The gods have granted you 10 seconds to appear as a ghost and give a piece of advice to a movie star, past or present. Which star, and what do you tell them?
  10. You have the opportunity to yank moviegoers’ chains. What’s a movie in one genre that you’d remake in another genre (e.g., a drama you’d remake as a comedy)?
  11. What advice would you give to the current Powers That Be in Hollywood?


Scraping the bottom of the barrel even further, here are 11 more facts about little ol’ me.

  1. I never tried shrimp until I was 22 years old — and when I did, I didn’t know you were supposed to peel it first. My brother had a great time when he found out why I hadn’t left behind any shells.
  2. When I was a kid, I didn’t like ice in my soda because it melted too fast and left you with a watery drink. One day when I was 11 years old, I went to a theater to see a movie. I bought a large soda, and I actually went so far as to dip my hand in it, pull out the ice, and drop the ice into what I thought was a tall trash can. Then an usher came up to me and said, “That’s where we put all of the torn movie tickets.” Oops.
  3. In grade school, I won the school spelling bee twice and was a first runner-up another year. I very much identified with the movie A Boy Named Charlie Brown where they made a big deal out of him winning the spelling bee.
  4. Long before he died, I somewhat “corresponded” with Roger Ebert via his “Movie Answer Man” column. That is to say, he actually answered, online, a few of the questions I submitted to him. One of them is even printed in his book Questions for the Movie Answer Man. That meant a great deal to me because I hugely admired his movie criticism.
  5. About six months after my wife and I got married, we were sitting around one day talking about the University of Florida, where we had attended college at approximately the same time without knowing each other (or so we thought). We compared notes and realized that seven years previously, for about three months, we had worked together in a work-study job, after which we promptly forgot about each other. My wife said the turning point for her was when she asked me out with her friends to the on-campus pub one Friday afternoon, and I told her I had a class to attend. She said she knew then that she didn’t want to have anything to do with a guy who would rather go to class than drink beer.
  6. I have lived in Florida for the last 37 years, with the exception of June 1987 through February 1988. In ’87, when I was 26 years old, I had long nursed a dream of moving to L.A. and become a writer of or about movies. On a whim, in May of that year, I spent five weeks gathering up all the money and belongings I could and then headed out to L.A., where the only person I knew was my best friend from high school. I thought I’d end up spending the rest of my life out there, but I moved back less to Florida less than a year later due to a strange case of homesickness. It turned out to be quite an adventure, though.
  7. I had mononucleosis when I was 8 years old and spent a week in the hospital. I had no idea how deadly it could have been; I just knew I loved the nurses fawning over me. The only part I hated was when they drew blood from me for the first time in my life.
  8. As I mentioned in my first Liebster factoid, I’ve written several plays that have been performed locally. I taught myself how to write scripts. First, I read some scripts that were printed in books. Then when I was about 13, I transcribed a TV show one night and “wrote” it back out in script form. It was like Malcolm X learning how to write by copying the dictionary. You’d be surprised how much you can teach yourself by rote.
  9. Have you had a moment where a piece of entertainment “spoke” to you? I first heard John Lennon’s first solo album Plastic Ono Band when I was 16, and I’d swear it saved my life. When he sang, “They hurt you at home and they hit you at school” on “Working Class Hero,” it made me realize, as Lennon himself said he realized through art, that I wasn’t crazy — that someone else had gone through the same kind of dysfunctional growing-up years as I was going through.
  10. I am always impressed by people who can express themselves physically — ballet, dance, etc. Maybe that’s why I enjoy physical comedians such as Chaplin and Keaton. I’m always astounded when I see Internet videos of things such as pre-K kids who can do kung-fu moves. My family doesn’t even trust me with a hammer.
  11. I’m not terribly proud of this, but I listened to the Bob & Doug McKenzie comedy album so much in the 1980’s, I found that I had memorized it. Decades later, when I had a son who got into their humor, I astounded him by putting on a CD of the album and reciting to the CD almost word for word.

That’s it for this Liebster episode. Thanks for reading!



So you’re finished with another hot summer day. You’re cool and refreshed, you have your snacks at hand, and you’ve turned on Turner Classic Movies to watch that favorite film of yours that you haven’t had the chance to see in decades. And then, as the minutes roll on…

Your nostalgia melts like a Sno-Cone in the summer sun, as the memories of that movie you treasured for ages suddenly devolve into, “What did I ever see in this thing?”

It’s happened to all of us. Some movies only get better with age, while others remain frozen in time, their once-vibrant charms faded like a reel of nitrate film left in an outhouse in the 1930’s.

Only by writing about this wrenching event can you regain power over your movie-watching experience. Hence…THE “MOVIES THAT HAVEN’T AGED WELL” BLOGATHON!!

We don’t want you to postpone this personal growth experience — there’s no time like the present! Right this wrong by writing about the movie that’s done you wrong. Then follow these steps:

* Post the writing at your blog.

* Go to the “Comments” section below, and post the name and URL of both your blog and the movie you’ve written about.

* Grab the banner shown at the top and bottom of this blog entry, and link it back to this URL. (Be sure to link it back to the URL that references this blogathon, not just our blog’s general URL!)

* As soon as we see your listing in the “Comments” section, we’ll link back to your blog for all the world to read your movie memoir!

Again, this blogathon is running right now, through Aug. 31, 2015. You don’t have to wait for some far-off date in the future — share your cathartic movie experience with our blog’s readers ASAP. If global warming is going to keep us trapped in our homes for the entire summer, let us at least make it count for our fellow film buffs!

Here are the blogathon entries thus far:

Movie Movie Blog Blog – His Girl Friday (1940)

BNoirDetour – A Clockwork Orange (1971 – WARNING: Review includes NSFW images)

Old Hollywood Films – Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Serendipitous Anachronisms – Rent (2005)

Almost Ginger – The Carry On film series  (1958-1978)


Like a mint-condition, first-edition copy of The White Album, our blogathon continued to entertain and impress right to the very end. Let’s wrap things up with a recap of


In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood offered an insightful critique in John Lennon’s only non-Beatle film role, as an Army private in Richard Lester’s How I Won the War.


Critica Retro posted a terrific take on the movie that started it all, A Hard Day’s Night.


And to bring the Blogathon to full circle, I couldn’t resist adding some final thoughts on the remaining “Three-tles'” 1995 “reunion” video, “Free as a Bird.”


If you have missed reading any of the other wonderful entries from the previous two days of this blogathon, please click on the appropriate recap below to find what you’d like to read.

Original blogathon announcement * Day 1 recap * Day 2 recap

We hope you have enjoyed our heartfelt tribute to The Fab Four and the musical and cinematic delights they have brought to the world. Now, I’ve got to take a break for a while…I’VE GOT BLISTERS ON MY TYPING FINGERS!!


The Beatles’ video for “Free as a Bird” (1995)


The following is my second and final contribution to my Beatles Film Blogathon, held July 5-7, 2015 to honor Ringo Starr’s 75th birthday and his recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Click on the above banner, and read bloggers’ insights into Beatles-starring and Beatles-related movies and videos!


We sure love to knock our heroes down to size, don’t we?

Free As a Bird was the “teaser” single from the long-awaited Beatles Anthology 1. The “Three-tles” took two solo tracks done by John Lennon in 1979 — this one (which was incomplete before it was turned into a Beatles single) and Real Love — and added their vocal and music accompaniments to it. Though the Anthologies received rave reviews and shot up the charts despite little airplay, the Beatles Anthology singles were almost universally disdained. And as the title of one of their older songs declares, I wish someone would “tell me why.”

For 25 years, Beatles fans were clamoring for a reunion, even after a certain person with a handgun snuffed out John Lennon. Well, folks, this is as close as you’re likely to get to a Beatles reunion, and you could do a lot worse. The Beatles in 1995 sounded like most of their die-hard fans — a bit beaten down by life, but still willing to give it a chance. It might not be The Beatles’ greatest work, but given the depths to which they could sink as a quartet (try listening to the lesser numbers on the original Let It Be album some time), it’s hardly an embarrassment.

Like the song, its video — directed by Joe Pytka, best previously known for his Nike commercials pitting Bugs Bunny against Michael Jordan — is a visual delight, stuffed to the margins with references to The Beatles’ earlier work. Apple Corps claimed there are more than 80 such references in the video, but every time I try to count them, I get lost in the sheer spectacle of the thing. If you’re a hard-core Beatles buff, just sit back and enjoy it.

SEX! BLOGATHON – The big finish!

It’s been a hot little weekend here at Movie Movie Blog Blog. But all good things must come to an end, so gather ’round for…


Not counting yours truly, we had one dozen delicious entries on the topic of movies that suggested sexuality rather than overtly depicting it. Our last two bloggers gave it everything they had and made it to the finish line with these entries today:


Reel Distracted held up The Thomas Crown Affair as a shining example of the games lovers play (especially chess) when they’re afraid to let down their guard with each other,


and thestopbutton.com discussed Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan doing their best to satisfy both themselves and the Production Code in Tarzan and His Mate.

If you missed these or any of the other participating blogs, click here to go to our original blogathon announcement, which provides links to all of the blog entries.

My thanks to all of the wonderful and gifted bloggers who took the time to write and post their thoughtful entries. Further thanks goes to all of the readers who visited both this blog and the participating blogs to get a wide range of viewpoints about the depiction of sex in cinema.

Lastly, if you are a fan of The Beatles and/or their movies and music videos, I encourage you to participate in this blog’s upcoming Beatles Film Blogathon, being held July 5-7, 2005 in honor of Ringo Starr’s 75th (!) birthday and his recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Click on the banner below to read more about the blogathon and how to participate in it.


Thanks once more to everyone who joined in this blogathon, and try to stay cool this summer!




(INTRODUCTORY DISCLAIMER: This blogathon is in no way connected to or endorsed by any of the Beatles or by Apple Corps Ltd.)

As a celebration of both Ringo Starr’s 75th birthday and his recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Beatles buff otherwise known as Movie Movie Blog Blog would like to announce…


Following are the rules.

Primary rule: Please note that I will not accept duplicate entries about the same movie. There is a wide range given below from which to choose, so it’s first come, first served.


Feel free to submit a blog about one of your favorite “official” Beatles movies: A Hard Day’s NightHelp!Magical Mystery TourYellow SubmarineLet It Be, or The Beatles Anthology.

Since this is obviously a limited menu from which to choose, I will also accept blogs about any of the following:

* Beatles-related documentaries, such as the Maysles Bros.’ Beatles documentary, 1982’s The Compleat Beatles, or 1988’s Imagine: John Lennon.

* Movies in which a Beatle appeared solo, either in a starring or co-starring role — anything from John Lennon’s starring turn in How I Won the War, to George Harrison’s cameo in The Rutles.

* Music videos featuring any of The Beatles, either as a group or separately.

* If you can provide a detailed critique about how their music adds to the film in question, I will also accept blogs about movies for which The Beatles contributed only a musical score, such as The Family Way (Paul McCartney) or Wonderwall (George Harrison). (Again, be sure to note how the music relates to the film as a whole, rather than just critiquing the score itself.)

* Fictional movies whose main source of plot is The Beatles’ music, such as I Am Sam (2001), the musical Across the Universe (2007),  or Nowhere Boy (2009).

Don’ts – Please do not blog about any of the following:

* Movies for which any of The Beatles served only as behind-the-scenes personnel (such as George Harrison’s Handmade Films productions).

* The 1966-1969 Beatles TV cartoon, since The Beatles themselves really had nothing to do with it other than the use of their songs.

* TV appearances, such as The Beatles guesting on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” or John and Yoko co-hosting “The Mike Douglas Show.”

How Do I Join the Blogathon?

In the “Comments” section at the bottom of this blog, please leave your name, the URL of your blog, and the movie you are choosing to blog about. At the end of this blog entry are banners for the ‘thon. Grab a banner, display it on your blog, and link it back to this blog.

The blogathon will take place from Sunday, July 5, through Tuesday, July 7 (Ringo Starr’s birthday). When the opening date of the blogathon arrives, leave a comment here with a link to your post, and I will display it in the list of entries (which I will continually update up to the beginning of the ‘thon, so keep checking back!).

I will not be assigning particular dates to any blog posts. As long as you get your entry in by the end of the day on July 7, I will be satisfied. (That said, the earlier the better!)

Again, be sure to leave me a comment and grab a banner, and have fun with your blog entry. Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Here is the list of participants thus far:

Critica Retro – A Hard Day’s Night

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies – Help!

Moon in Gemini – Yellow Submarine

Back to Golden Days – Let It Be

Movie Movie Blog Blog – Music videos for George Harrison’s “This Song” and “Crackerbox Palace”;  music video for The Beatles’ “Free as a Bird”

Summer Reeves – I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Love Letters to Old Hollywood – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

A Shroud of Thoughts – Across the Universe

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood – How I Won the War


Beatles Film Blogathon Banners