Frank’s Fax Facts and Reviews
Vol.. XIV No. 18
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Old Movie Review
T he Manchurian Candidate (MGM)
I remembered this absorbing melodrama only too well! The cast was superb, but the drama, itself, was rather hard on the nervous system! I had totally forgotten that Frank Sinatra was the “Big Star” and not Laurence Harvey (whose role was about as complex as Movie role can get) as Angela Lansbury’s son, He ends up killing her, and then turning the gun on himself. Really a gruesome flick! But in spite of the negatives: the power of this film is gripping and unforgettable.
Draft Dodgers No Longer (or, No Place Like Home)
The first thing I did (when I was discharged from Uncle Sam’s Service) was to get a room at Lynwood’s and my favorite hotel in those parts of the world that we had seen together (The Hotel Columbia in the downtown State Capital. The second thing I did was to dial the McTeers’ number, in Varnville. S.C.. which bore an amazing resemblance (in every way) to Ellisville, MS (my birthplace!)
We had, of course, written each other letters telling in minute details what we had been doing since parting company. He was having a minor sort of conflict with his family (he was an only child, for which I thanked God I was not: every day since meeting him, and as such, did a fare case of toeing the line on everything. His parents adored him, and tried to give him everything they could to make him happy, but they were also a lot stricter Methodists than my own Catholics parents were Catholics. Lynwood had been offered a very high paying jog, working for Shindley’s Brewers, as a secretary. They were dead set against that, and felt it would be a moral downfall for their lone son. This opening was in Chicago, which Lynwood and I were only too happy to consider a desirable location. Well, let me simply cut to the chase, and tell you that his career, which was very successful, had him working in such diverse cities as New Orleans, Chicago and New York City (all of which I managed several visits, except New York, which I visited only once. It was from here, that he became ill with Tuberculosis (which ultimately killed him—the same month that Mama dies, in Ellisville.
But getting back to our reunion in Columbia, we had the time of our lives: Dinners at that fabulous hotel (always the same: steak, with potatoes and onions, and a double order of Shrimp Cocktails. That was the first night after his arrival: the very first thing he wanted to show me (his mother had let him drive her car for the trip) was to re-live the nightmarish Infiltration Course, which we had to run one time only, while the rest of our group had to run two day-time rehearsals, plus the really terrifying one in total darkness. It was as scared as I had ever been in my life! But now, standing as we were, on the very spot that was supposed to be simulating an actual battle ground by night, my mouth fell open with amazement: The entire “battleground” looked pathetically unimpressive and all things considered, we were both unable to feel any of the dread of that night so long ago!
It was time for me to get home before my parents disowned me. Reluctantly we said our goodbyes, with plans for me to visit him wherever he worked. The bus from Columbia to Laurel wasn’t too bad: it just seemed so slow because I was more than ready to be back home in Ellisville: I could hardly wait to crawl into that sweet little Jenny Lind bed, with its extra stiff mattress (for my back).
“You can’t own a cat. The best you can do is to be partners.”
Sir Harry Swanson
Old Movie Trivia Questions
1. What two male film stars filled the German air with action in Where Eagles Dare?
2. Who was the sexy lady in Ghostbusters? Hint: She also lit up a monster series.
3. Who got top billing in Ghostbusters?
4. The Women featured every MGM female star known to man. What was the surprise about the film?
5. Was Greta Garbo one of The Women?
6. One of Paramount’s funniest comedies of the 30’s was The Lady Eve. Who played this role?
7. What handsome star was a clumsy oaf, always falling over furniture, etc.
8. Who directed this gem of a comedy?
9. Where was most of the film set?
10. Who was Eve’s monacle-wearing father?