Thursday, August 24, 2017

Let's Drink to Hal's Birthday!

Born on this date 101 years ago, talented character actor Hal Smith (1916-1994) is probably best-known for his recurring role as the perpetually tipsy Otis Campbell on The Andy Griffith Show. But he won one of his first career breaks when he was cast as next-door neighbor Charlie Henderson* on I Married Joan. Less frequently seen than his wife Mabel (played by Geraldine Carr), he nonetheless turned up in some of the series' best episodes, including "Changing Houses" and "Mabel's Dress" ("You know your orange cake is dynamite!")

For more about I Married Joan, one of the funniest sitcoms of the 1950s, go here.

*Or Charlie Harrison. The writers couldn't seem to make up their minds.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Rose Marie's Turn

Wishing a very happy 94th birthday today to multi-talented Rose Marie, who's been entertaining us since she first stepped on stage as a toddler.

Did you know that there's a new feature-length documentary chronicling her life and work? Go here to read all about it, and find out how you can see it.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Grumpy Old Guy at the Movies

Last night I tried for the first time in a couple of months or more to watch a contemporary movie. I made it about halfway through.

Here, in no particular order, are a few of the grouchy gripes I noted before throwing in the towel:

1. The movie was over two hours long, and needlessly so. It wasn't that complicated a story! Was it Harry Cohn who said, "When my ass gets tired, the picture's too long!"?

2. The "naturalistic" acting was so "natural" that I had to turn on the subtitles to understand what one mushmouth was saying.

3. Yes, I realize people have medical procedures done that involve intense pain. Doesn't mean I want to see two of them in 45 minutes, acted out in excruciating detail. Call me squeamish.

4. Put the damn credits at the beginning. I want to know who's in the movie, and who directed it. And speaking of credits, five production companies (each with its own logo, of course) to make one modestly budgeted film? Really?

If this is modern moviemaking at its finest, I'll take the 1940s any day.