Born on this day, 101 years ago. Something I wrote about her shortly after her death.
Tag Archives: entertainment
Raquel Welch’s Obituary
Like Philip Larkin’s poetry, there are Mary Tyler Moore Show references for nearly everything in this life, I swear. I post this with no disrespect to the glorious Raquel Welch – in fact, the contrary. She was an icon and I would bet she loved this reference. Check out the 2 minute mark, or, better yet, watch the whole episode.
Doris Day at 100
Doris Day would have been 100 today. In tribute, here is the column I wrote about her after her death. The initial draft was more about how the Boomers made her sort of a strawman/scapegoat for everything they hate (as they did with John Wayne), but this was too complicated/shocking an idea, apparently, so after some back-and-forth with the very nice and professional editor, I changed it. I so wanted to write about her. Ah well. (The comments are a hoot, btw. People have too much free time.)
It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so I want to take a moment to recommend to my dear readers the exceptional Kenneth Branagh film Belfast. I am of Irish (Protestant) background on my father’s side and so much of this movie resonated with me: a boy’s memories of what most of us would see as something terrible – so much violence – but for a nine-year-old it was a place and time he did not want to leave. And the music! What a joy. Van Morrison’s stirring rendition of Carrickfergus is part of the soundtrack – yes, I know Van is a bit off, but there is no denying this talent.
The Big Issues
Because I’m not afraid to tackle the big issues: a thing I wrote about Emily in Paris versus And Just Like That. Spoiler alert: Emily wins.
Mort Sahl died, and, apart from his contributions and life, there is something else noteworthy about his passing: an extraordinary piece of writing about him. It is rare that I say, about the New York Times, “Wow, what excellent journalism,” but I will say it about this obituary. Do read it. I’ll admit to getting tremendously sentimental when I watch clips of Sahl, as my parents were certainly big fans. He was that era’s sophisticate – without being condescending – and he revolutionized comedy – without ever being vulgar. There is a terrific clip of Sahl embedded in the linked-above piece. Watch it and ask yourself who the 2021 equivalent of this man is: I can’t think of anyone. What a shame.
Olivia de Havilland
Rest in peace, a fine actress and, apparently, a politically astute one. Good for her.
I loved her in so many fiIms including – trigger warning – Gone With the Wind, a story about the dangers of romanticizing people, ideologies and the past (most of which, the movie tells us, were never what we thought). I loved her with Errol Flynn – what a pair! I have a fond childhood memory of watching The Adventures of Robin Hood. Probably my favourite de Havilland film, though, is The Heiress. Every woman should watch this. The last scene is extraordinary and I have tried to find it on YouTube, to no avail. I did, however, find this – a Carol Burnett Show satire, which captures the original hilariously!
The Importance of Leadership
The great actor Sir Ian Holm died recently. He was wonderful in Chariots of Fire, of course and people tell me he was fine in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which I haven’t seen. But the movie I most loved him in was The Emperor’s New Clothes, a movie that imagines Napoleon coming back to France from St. Helena, and not being recognized. The former Emperor, down on his luck, meets and falls in love with a fruit vendor, and decides to help her fix her failing business. This has to be my favourite scene in the film, a moment that captures the importance of leadership and planning. So inspiring – whatever you do, do it well!
Carl Reiner, Thanks for the Laughter
I really have to thank Carl Reiner for so much of my childhood laughter, and, come to think of it, my adulthood laughter! I think The Dick van Dyke Show is probably the greatest sitcom ever (perhaps tied with The Mary Tyler Moore Show) – I grew up watching it in reruns in the 1970s – and The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming one of the funniest movies. Here’s a clip from the latter – I love the Norwegian reference, of course. And the mouthy little kid is so funny.