Monday, July 24, 2017

Just Sayin'

"The peculiarity of being a writer is that the entire enterprise involves the mortal humiliation of seeing one’s own words in print." — Joan Didion

Friday, May 26, 2017

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: The Beatles Release Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band In The UK

I've got nothing in particular to say about this milestone in music history except that thirty (-ish) years ago I was eating breakfast in a hotel lobby in my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, and some local radio station was broadcasting live in honor of Sgt. Pepper and asked the assembled throng whether any of us knew anything about the Beatles. My "pals" volunteered me and I wound up on the radio answering Beatles questions and won $125. Good for me.

Great record, by the way. Established once and for all that rock n roll was a lasting art form. Not to mention it wedded pop to the avant garde (and classical, Indian and a lot of other influences) in a way that sold eleventy thrillion copies and guaranteed the future relevance of all those musical forms, which had been threatening to vanish up their own backsides for some time.

Yeah, you can argue that the Velvet Underground was more inventive or that the Beatles Revolver was a better record or any of the other things people like to say when they slag Sgt. Pepper. But a cultural awakening comes when it comes and it wasn't the Velvet Underground or Revolver or anything else that smacked people in the face.

Beyond that, I've got nothing to say and it's okay. Good morning, good morning.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Powers Boothe: 1948-2017

The Big Sleep (1946) is my favorite Philip Marlowe movie, followed closely by The Long Goodbye (1973) and Murder My Sweet (1944), and a lot of fine actors have essayed the role — Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Elliott Gould, Dick Powell, James Garner, James Caan — but my favorite Marlowe performance, the one closest to the books for my money, was by Powers Boothe in a little-seen HBO series from the mid-1980s.

In honor of Boothe, who passed away yesterday at age 68, we here at the Monkey present an episode from that series, "The King In Yellow," based on a Raymond Chandler short story.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Final Four

Barbara Stanwyck versus Audrey Hepburn; Ava Gardner versus Elizabeth Taylor. To vote, click here.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Round Four Is Underway

Four close matches in the previous round but all the pre-tournament heavyweights emerged to compete for a shot at the Final Four.

For the right to represent the 1930s bracket, we have Barbara Stanwyck and Myrna Loy. In the 1950s, it's Audrey Hepburn versus Deborah Kerr.

You have until Friday to vote. To vote in the 1940s and 1960s bracket, click here.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Round Three!

Did you know that Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly have squared off every year since this tournament began and the winner has always wound up representing the 1950s bracket in the final four. Amazingly, neither actress has won the whole thing. Maybe this is the year.

Round three runs until Saturday.

Click here to vote in the 1940s and 1960s brackets.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Second Round Continues! Remember, Your Vote Counts!

Nothing but close matches to open round two, with Barbara Stanwyck and Debbie Reynolds advancing by a single vote, and the other matches decided by four votes each. Who says your vote doesn't count?

Click here to vote in the 1940s and 1960s brackets.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Round Two! Vote Now!

The first half of round two starts now and runs through lunch on Wednesday. Only one upset in the opening round with Eleanor Parker edging Maureen O'Hara, 21-16. Would have bet money on Big Mo making it through to the third round at least. Shows what I know.

Click here to vote in the 1940s and 1960s brackets.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

March Madness Has Begun! Vote Now!

The polls have opened in the 2017 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tournament. I'll be hosting the 1930s and 1950s brackets, the tournament's founder, Monty, will be hosting the 1940s and 60s here.

We're starting a day early because, well, it's March 5th somewhere.

This year there will be 64 contestants. (Past winners — Irene Dunne, Ginger Rogers, Carole Lombard, Bette Davis, Natalie Wood, Greer Garson and Doris Day — have been retired from competition.)

Half of the first round matches start today and run til Wednesday, the other half will start after that and run until next Saturday.

1930s (The Irene Bullock Division)

1950s (The Kathy Selden Division)