Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Overlooked Movies -- The Count of Monte Cristo (1934)

I've read The Count of Monte Cristo, and I've seen a couple of movie versions.  I've also seen several of the spinoffs, but I'd never seen this 1934 version starring Robert Donat as Edmund Dantes.  I'm glad I got the chance because it's very good, even if it's not as swashbuckling as I'd expected (only one sword fight).

The story is familiar to just about everybody, I suppose.  Edmund Dantes is imprisoned unjustly for delivering a letter that he hasn't even read.  The letter is judged as treasonous, but the real reason Dantes is tossed into the Chateau d'If is that the city magistrate, Raymond de Villefort, Jr. (Louis Calhern) is in love with Dantes' intended bride.  Two others conspire with de Villefort for reasons of their own, and Dantes is not just imprisoned but declared dead, never to see daylight again.  

After a number of years in prison, Dantes makes contact with the prisoner in the next cell, the AbbĂ© Faria (O. P. Heggie).  They remove a stone in the wall, meet in person, and become friends.  Faria educates Dantes, and after many more years is injured in the cave-in of a tunnel they're working on.  He dies and becomes the means of Dantes' escape.  After the escape, Dantes finds Faria's fortune, becomes the Count of Monte Cristo and exacts his revenge on the three who betrayed him.  

The movie takes some liberties with the novel, but that's to be expected.  It does a great job with the revenge story, and Donat is dandy in the role of Dantes, who almost forgets his humanity but then recovers it.  The rest of the cast is fine, too, and the movie comes to a satisfactory conclusion (not the one in the novel).  Great stuff.  See it if you get a chance.

The Count Of Monte Cristo

The Count Of Monte Cristo 1934 TRAILER Robert Donat - YouTube:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Frank Deford, R. I. P.

NY Daily News: Legendary Sports Illustrated scribe Frank Deford who won over a legion of fans with witty writing and colorful commentary and launched the nation’s only daily sports newspaper died Sunday.  He was 78.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Daily Mail Online: Don't make him angry... you won't like him when he's angry! Flash Gordon and the Incredible Hulk have to be separated by fans after the two actors get into a blazing row at London's Comic Con Actors 

Sam J Jones and Lou Ferrigno clashed at ComiCon event in London 

Pair argued while they signed autographs and posed for pictures at event 

Fan came between giant pair and told them to 'act like adults and grow up

Caverns of Sonora

Caverns of Sonora – Sonora, Texas: A Texas cave network is home to some of the world's most spectacular-looking and bizarrely named mineral formations.

Song of the Day

The Statler Brothers - More Than a Name On a Wall - YouTube:

10 Great Books of Washington Intrigue

Crooks, Liars, and Spies: 10 Great Books of Washington Intrigue

Today's Vintage Ad

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

25 Best Sci-Fi Movies Of the 21st Century


William Colt MacDonald, The Red Rider of Smoky Range, Hillman, 1949

I Miss the Old Days

30 Fascinating Vintage Photographs of a Young Eric Clapton in the 1960s: While few would not agree that Eric Clapton is one of the finest guitarists of all time, it is sometimes forgotten just how pivotal, influential and downright startling his work was during the 1960s. And while in following decades Clapton has remained a musician and songwriter of rare ability with moments of glory present album after album, it was during this decade that he stepped into the public eye and his awesome skills were used most creatively.

How the Beatles Wrote "A Day in the Life"

How the Beatles Wrote "A Day in the Life": This coming Friday, May 26, will be the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Atlantic takes a close look at one of its most memorable songs, "A Day in the Life."

Forgotten Hits: May 29th

Forgotten Hits: May 29th: "Respect" by Aretha Franklin finally claims the top spot on this week's Super Chart, dethroning "Groovin"" by The Young Rascals after a couple of weeks at #1.  (It now falls to #3).  "I Got Rhythm" by The Happenings climbs up a notch from #3 to #2, followed by Engelbert Humperdinck's "Release Me" at #4 and The Mamas and the Papas' "Creeque Alley" at #5.  The Supremes fall to #6 with their former #1 Hit, "The Happening", while Paul Revere and the Raiders ("Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be") and Arthur Conley ("Sweet Soul Music") are also on the decline.  New to The Top Ten this week are "Somebody To Love" by Jefferson Airplane (up from #13 to #9) and "Mirage" by Tommy James and the Shondells, which moves from #12 to #10.  (Both of these records have already topped the charts here in Chicago.)  

Includes a survey.

Remember the Fallen

Memorial Day: Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. 

 Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

There Is Nothing Lower

State busts gator racketeering ring

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

Heat Lightning (Outlaw Ridge, Texas Book 1) by [Reeves, Joan]Heat Lightning (Outlaw Ridge, Texas Book 1) - Kindle edition by Joan Reeves. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.  Secrets, lies, passion. What Tessa doesn't remember may mean the death of her.

Her husband found her, claimed her, rescued her. David’s touch makes Tessa throb. Desire flashes between them like heat lightning on a summer night. Her body knows David, but when she looks at him, he is a stranger to her. Not a flicker of memory is left of him or their life together since she awakened from a coma.

Amnesia has left her with nothing but questions. Who is she? Why does David seem to hate her even as he pulls her into his arms? What is he hiding? How can she trust him when her gut says, Trust no one?

Laundry Day

From the very beginning of our marriage, Judy and I shared the household chores.  We never had any discussion about it.  It just seemed natural for me to do some things and for her to do others, either because of inclination or scheduling.  So for the first six years of our marriage, I was the laundry guy.  The first apartment house we lived in even had a clothesline, and I'd hang out some of the clean items to dry on the line, mainly sheets and pillowcases.

When we moved to Brownwood and bought our first house, Judy took over the laundry.  We had our own washer and dryer, and Judy was no longer working, so it seemed only natural.  I've forgotten what day she preferred to wash, but after we moved to Alvin, Tuesday became laundry day.  The reason was that we liked to have the weekends free, and most of the other days were Judy's days for playing bridge.

With doing the laundry came other chores, like folding the clothes, putting them away, and making the bed.  Judy was the folder, and she put the clothes away.  She'd often make the bed, but I usually helped with that.  In later years, I always helped or did it myself because she often wasn't up to it.  

Now Saturday is my laundry day because I don't go anywhere on the weekends, and it's a slow day for the most part.  I do the folding and make the bed, too, which finally brings me to the point of this post.  When Judy and I made the bed, she'd do "her side" and I'd do "my side."  Yesterday I was putting on the top sheet and looked across the bed.  For just a fraction of a second, I could see Judy there on her side, just as plain as day, looking just the way she did more than fifty years ago in our first apartment.  She wore the same house dress she often wore then, and while holding the top edge of the sheet in her left hand, she swept her right hand down from the top of the bed to the bottom and side to smooth the sheet just exactly the way she always did.  And then she was gone.  

Song of the Day

Classic Southern Gospel Music Hee Haw Gospel Music Quartet Just a Little Talk With Jesus - YouTube:

I Miss the Old Days

27 Glamorous Vintage Pictures From The Cannes Film Festival

Today's Vintage Ad

The Sudden Death That Led to the First MLB All-Star Game

The Sudden Death That Led to the First MLB All-Star Game  I

Hat tip to Rick Klaw.


William Cold MacDonald, The Deputy of Carabina, Hillman

Top 10 Most Popular Crocodile Movies

Top 10 Most Popular Crocodile Movies

The Best Album Ever?

The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' Turns 50: Is It The Best Album Ever?

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot Last Week

Diamond from ring bought for $13 to sell at auction for $453,000