Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Houdini - 81 Years and No Word From Him

Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini

March 24, 1874 - October 31, 1926


In High School most of my peers were into Roger Staubach or Muhammed Ali. A precious few enjoyed talking about McGovern or Hitchcock. I studied Lenny Bruce, Humphrey Bogart, and Harry Houdini. A friend of mine's father helped us build a trunk. I lined it with old bed sheets dyed black. It had a hidden escape hatch. We performed the METAMORPHOSIS TRUNK ESCAPE for the PTA. Another time, I had my history teacher tie me up in ropes, from which I escaped, and I also got out of handcuffs in front of the drama class without using fakes. When I brought the trunk home and stored it our garage, my father demanded I throw it out because it looked like a coffin.

Besides his talent as a magician/escape artist, what attracted me to Houdini was his incredibly blatant self-promotion, his genius at showmanship. Through years of working dime museums, carnivals and vaudeville, Houdini refined his skills, learned the business of showbusiness, and forged the legend we remember. He was bigger than Barnum.

Harry Houdini - wiki

A Santa Monica Halloween

A Santa Monica HalloweenA Santa Monica HalloweenA Santa Monica Halloween

Catch Me If You Can (2002) - Jeff Nathanson

July 27, 2001


Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson, Book by Frank Abagnale Jr. and Stan Redding

Synopsis by Brian Aldrich

Some people consider FRANK ABAGNALE JR. to be the world's greatest imposter. He was the only teenager ever to have been placed on the FBI's ten most wanted list. In 1964, fifteen year old Frank lived with his parents, FRANK SR. and PAULA, in an upper class New Jersey suburb and he attended an elite private school. However, when his father's stationary store business fails, the family was forced to move into a dilapidated apartment and go to public school. But Frank Jr. had learned a few tricks from his father who always told him that people only know about you what you tell them.

When Frank went to public school still wearing his private school blazer, he was mistaken for a substitute teacher and wound up teaching the French class for a few weeks until his masquerade was finally discovered. When his parents divorced, Frank, now 16, ran away from home to NYC. He began writing bad checks to support himself. Then, he started masquerading as an airline pilot in order to fly for free wherever he wanted to go. Unable to catch him, the authorities began calling him "the Skywayman". Eventually, he started counterfeiting airline payroll checks and cashing them. He lost his virginity to MARCI, an airline stewardess. He romanced LUCY, a bank teller, and got her to show him how a check encoding machine works. He bought himself one and started manufacturing his own fake checks and cashing them at banks all over the country. FBI agent JOE SHAYE was assigned to investigate Frank, called "John Doe 2172". When Joe tracked Frank down to a motel in Los Angeles, Joe actually caught Frank, but Frank convinced him he was a secret service agent and escaped. Frank started calling Joe at his office to talk. Using his encoding machine on a Vegas bank's blank deposit slips, Frank committed the second largest bank robbery in the history of Las Vegas. With the help of a fellow agent, Joe figures out "John Doe 2172" and the "Skywayman" are the same person. Soon, Joe identified his prey as Frank Abagnale Jr. Frank realized the heat was on and moved to Atlanta where he lived the playboy lifestyle. Faking an impressive resume, Frank began masquerading as a doctor and got a job at a hospital. He began a romance with 17 year old candy striper BRENDA STRONG. When he learned Brenda's father, ROBERT, was a New Orleans' District Attorney, he proposed to her and convinced her they should move back to her home. In New Orleans, Frank convinced Robert that he was also a lawyer before he became a doctor. Amazingly, Frank passed the bar exam and went to work for Robert as an Assistant Prosecutor. He took a brief vacation to NYC where he learned how to counterfeit airline expense checks. From time to time, Frank visited his struggling father and offered him money, but Frank Sr. refused any help.

When Frank realized Joe was getting close to finding him in New Orleans, he told Brenda the truth and asked her to run away with him. However, the FBI got to Brenda and her family before Frank could take her away. Using a dead man's identity, Frank got a passport and flew to Europe. In France he looked up his mother's family and stayed with them. He masqueraded as a professor and began teaching at a local university. He used his relative's printing press to forge perfect airline checks, which he cashed all over the continent. Joe contacted JULIEN, a French police detective, and worked with him to finally catch Frank. After spending two years in a French prison, Joe showed up to extradite him back to the States. After learning his father had committed suicide, Frank escaped from Joe's custody and went to see his mother. Joe caught Frank again. Frank was sentenced to 18 years in prison, but after five years, Joe convinced the FBI to have Frank work for them in their fraud division, using his expertise to help them solve cases. He married, had kids, and was awarded several distinguished service awards from the FBI. Frank and Joe remained close friends to this day.

Summary Criticism: The script is excellently crafted and the characters are sympathetic. Frank's exploits and Joe's struggle to catch him are engaging parallel stories, but Frank's primary motivation needs to be more than a vague fear of poverty and a desire to impress his father.

Catch Me If You Can - imdb wiki

Jeff Nathanson - imdb wiki

Frank Abagnale Jr. - imdb wiki

Stan Redding - imdb

Superman at Halloween 1961

Superman at Halloween 1961

A Hollywood Forever Halloween

Hollywood Forever Cemetery HalloweenHollywood Forever Cemetery HalloweenHollywood Forever Cemetery HalloweenHollywood Forever Cemetery HalloweenHollywood Forever Cemetery Halloween

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Culver City Halloween

Ghost and PumpkinHaunted GroundsCrushed WitchTombstonesPumpkin Patch

Elderly Woman with Brooch - CDV

Elderly Woman with Brooch - CDV

Stranger Than Fiction (2006) - Zach Helm

September 26, 2004


Screenplay by Zach Helm

Synopsis by Brian Aldrich

Obsessive compulsive HAROLD CRICK leads a life focused on the minutiae of his existence. He counts each of his toothbrush strokes as well as his steps and seconds to the bus stop every morning. His reality is all about numbers. No wonder he works as an IRS auditor. According to the NARRATOR, Harold’s WRISTWATCH is going to change his life. One morning, Harold starts hearing the voice of the Narrator as it describes Harold’s life as it is happening. Harold can’t concentrate on his work. He goes to audit bakery owner ANA PASCAL, a strong, attractive young woman with tattoos. Ana only paid 73% of her taxes due as an “anarchist” protest against the government’s military spending, corporate loan outs and campaign discretionary funds. She’s indignant at Harold’s intent to audit her. The Narrator’s erotic comments about Ana serve to stimulate and confuse Harold who excuses himself quickly. Meanwhile, distracted writer KAY hires a new assistant PENNY to help her keep organized. She is having problems trying to devise a manner to kill off the main character in her new book: HAROLD CRICK. Kay is Harold’s Narrator. At work, stressed out Harold is politely advised to take a vacation. On the way home, his watch suddenly stops and he hears the Narrator mention his death. Then, the Narrator goes quiet. Harold can’t get a word out of it.

Harold’s therapist, DR. MITTAG-LEFFLER, gives him a prescription and advises him to talk to someone who knows about Literature. Professor HILBERT becomes intrigued and begins to analyze Harold’s Narrator’s words to try to predict what is going to happen to cause Harold’s death. He requests Harold keep track of the Narrator’s further comments. As the Narrator predicts, Harold runs into Ana on the bus home. They flirt. Kay keeps debating which way to kill off Harold. Hilbert encourages Harold to learn the guitar and date Ana. Treating the audit humorously, Harold and Ana develop a friendly relationship. Concerned Harold might be perpetuating the plotline, Hilbert advises him to do nothing for one day. Harold tries staying home, but a wrecking crew demolishes his apartment building and he is forced to move in with co-worker DAVE. Hilbert advises Harold to live the life he really wants to live. Harold buys and learns to play the guitar. He stops wasting time counting and started living. He dates and has sex with Ana. Harold and Hilbert track down Kay (Karen Eiffel.) Evidently, Harold once audited her and both she and Hilbert are fans of each other’s work. He begs her not to kill him. She lets him read her outline. Hilbert convinces Harold he must die to preserve the beauty of Kay’s novel. Harold prepares to meet his fate. Kay writes a new ending. Harold has a near fatal accident, but a shard of glass from his wristwatch keeps him alive long enough to be saved in the hospital. Kay and Hilbert meet face to face. Harold and Ana live happily ever after. Dave gets to go to Space Camp, his dream, thanks to Harold.

Summary Criticism: At first glance, this script may appear silly and contrived, but there is a sincere attempt here at making a postmodern statement (like “Pleasantville” perhaps.) Well-crafted and compelling.

Stranger Than Fiction - imdb

Zach Helm - imdb

A Woodlawn Halloween

Woodlawn Cemetery Halloween

Woodlawn Cemetery Halloween

Woodlawn Cemetery Halloween

Woodlawn Cemetery Halloween

Woodlawn Cemetery Halloween

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Mother's Cat Marigold, circa 1985

My Mother's Cat Marigold

Marigold was my mother's cat. I say this because they had a special bond together. My mother was a quiet woman and so was Marigold. In their mutual silence they communicated in ways my father and me could not participate.

But I found Marigold, or rather as the cliche goes, she found me. In the fall of 1977, while attending CSUF, I had moved out of the dorms and into my own apartment in Brea. One afternoon I came home from school to grab a jacket for later. I might've left the door open. When I came back out of my bedroom, I saw this kitten standing in the middle of the living room. Maybe the door was cracked open. At the time I thought it was my roommates' girlfriend's cat. They had mentioned the cat was going to be a guest while some work was being done on her apartment. So I left, leaving the cat locked inside.

That night I went to the Wilshire movie house to see Paul Newman's THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN IN THE MOON MARIGOLDS. When I came home, I found two cats in my living room.

We checked around the neighborhood to see if anyone was missing a kitten. We heard nothing. I named her Marigold. My roommate and me were in no position to bear responsibility for a cat. So I brought her to my mother and father's home.

My parents treated her well for the next fifteen years. I think my mother took these pictures of Marigold performing gymnastics on the porch railings. Marigold was a blessing for my parents and an excellent conversation piece. She was a constant companion for my mother in those years my father was in a convalescent home.

My mother called us the day Marigold died. She told us Marigold had been feeling poorly the past few days. The previous evening she had crawled into the bathtub to sleep and my mother heard her crying on and off throughout the night. In the morning, my mother found her dead. She called the pound to have Marigold's corpse picked up. They came right away and took Marigold from the tub. From that point on, my mother refused our offers to get her another cat. After my father and Marigold, she'd had enough of death. She didn't want to experience that pain again.

Until she died, whenever my mother talked about Marigold with us, she would remind me how I brought this little kitten home zipped up inside my jacket with her tiny head sticking out. That was a transcendent moment for my mother. She recognized her new friend. I felt that way when I met my dog Buddy.

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds - imdb

Get Shorty (1995) - Elmore Leonard

April 2, 1990


Novel by Elmore Leonard

Synopsis by Brian Aldrich

ERNESTO "CHILI" PALMER is a hood for the Florida mob. Years ago, he and RAY BONES, a nasty hood, got into an argument and a gunfight. Chili creased Ray's skull with a bullet. Ray survived, but has never forgiven Chili despite the mob's demand that they forgive and forget. Presently, there is a guy named LEO who runs a dry cleaners and owes the mob some gambling debts. He misses his plane which crashes and he is presumed dead. His wife, FAY, collects $300,000. Chili, who is the collector for the mob, is ordered by Bones to collect the gambling debt from Fay's insurance money. Fay tells Chili that Leo didn't die and ran off with the $300,000. Chili tracks Leo to Vegas. Leo takes off for Hollywood. Chili finds him at the Beverly Hills Hotel and takes the $300,000 back. Chili keeps enough to pay off the debt owed and send the remainer back to Fay. Meanwhile, Chili is supposed to collect a gambling debt from HARRY ZIMM, a has-been producer of low budget horror flicks. Chili breaks into Harry's ex-girlfriend's house. She is KAREN, an attractive, but fading scream queen who has remained Harry's friend. Chili and Harry become acquainted. Chili becomes attracted to the movie business and wants to get involved. Harry has another problem that Chili might be able to help him solve. It seems Harry took his investor's money for his new film and wasted it on gambling. Now, the investor, CATLETT, a black murderer and owner of a limo company, wants to know when the film is going into production. Also, Harry has a different script which he is busy trying to get Karen to convince her ex-boyfriend and movie star, MICHAEL WEIR, to become attached to the property. Chili accompanies Harry to a meeting with Catlett and his associate BEAR. Chili and Harry let them know that they have another project which must be put in production first. Catlett is aware of Chili's background and is threatened enough to keep the peace, but he asks to be involved in the new project. Harry and Chili refuse.

Chili gets an introduction to Hollywood and is a capable student. He takes meetings and lunches alongside the best of them as he, Harry, and Karen try to package Harry's script and get a production deal. Meanwhile, Catlett and Bear pick up a drug drop and the DEALER at the airport. The dealer is angry that he can't get his money out of the locker due to the presence of the cops. Catlett gets mad and kills him. Also, Catlett breaks into Harry's office and reads the script. Meanwhile, Chili has tracked down Michael Weir by himself and become acquainted. Chili provokes Michael's interest by sharing with Michael the details of his latest triumph in the collecting trade with Leo. Michael agrees to do the movie. Catlett contacts Harry and tells him about the money in the locker which he wants to invest in the new project, but really Catlett is trying to set up Harry for a bust, so he and Chili can produce the movie themselves. Meanwhile, Bones shows up. Chili is wise to Catlett's move and gets Bones to go pick up the money and get arrested. Chili and Karen become involved sexually. Chili, Karen, Harry and Michael take a meeting with ELAINE, the head of a studio. They are all ready to sign on the dotted line until Michael reveals that he doesn't want to do Harry's script--he wants to do Chili's script about the collector. Elaine still gives them a development deal and Chili is in Hollywood to stay.

Summary Criticism: While the story of an outsider making it in Hollywood is a familiar device, the novel is witty and the characters attractive.

Get Shorty - imdb

Elmore Leonard - imdb

Pete's Cafe and Bar - Pt. II - The Food

Roasted Beet SaladPete's Hellman BurgerPan Roasted Pork ChopFire Grilled Rib-Eye

Pete's Cafe and Bar - Pt. I

Pete's Cafe & Bar
400 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lila's Photo Proofs - Part VII

The Gaslite Bar - A Cozy Cavern - Pt. 3

TVs - Popcorn - BeerCoffee and TimeThe Gaslite Bar

Boogie Nights (1997) - Paul Thomas Anderson

April 3, 1996


Screenplay by Paul Thomas Anderson

Synopsis by Brian Aldrich

In the San Fernando Valley, circa 1977, JACK HORNER, 50’s, is a successful adult movie director. He and his friends/associates AMBER WAVES, an aging porno actress, REED ROTHCHILD,an “actor”, aspiring musician, and weightlifter, BECKY BARNETT, an “actress” with an abusive boyfriend named RONNIE, BUCK SWOPE, a black “cowboy” actor who has a day job selling audio equipment, and ROLLERGIRL, a porn actress and high-school dropout who never takes off her roller skates even during sex., hang out at a disco in the valley run by MAURICE, a Puerto Rican entrepreneur who brags to his brothers back home about his friends in the porno business and continually begs Jack for an “acting” job. Young and sexy EDDIE ADAMS, 17, works at the club as a bus boy and lives at home with his parents in the suburbs. Jack sees his promise as a porn star and offers him a career. After talking it over with SHERYL LYNN, his suburban girlfriend, and getting more abuse from his PARENTS, Eddie moves out from his parents and moves in with Jack to begin his porno acting career.

At one of Jack’s cocaine and sex parties, Eddie meets the COLONEL, the producer and investor in Jack’s films. The Colonel approves of Eddie. When a BIMBO dies of an overdose at the party, it is covered up. Meanwhile, assistant director, LITTLE BILL, is constantly finding his WIFE having sex with some new STUD. He is furious, but helpless. Eddie becomes a successful porno star, calling himself “DICK DIGGLER”. He takes karate classes with Reed and Buck. Jack begins to make a series of films starring Dirk, Reed and sexy JESSIE ST. VINCENT, combining porn with James Bond. The series is a huge success. Dirk buys himself a house in the hills and a new Corvette.

At Jack’s 1980 New Year’s party, Becky meets and falls for JEROME, an auto parts entrepreneur; adult film distributor FLOYD GONDOLLI convinces Jack and the Colonel to switch to video; Amber and Jessie compete for Dirk’s attention; crewmember SCOTTY J. comes on to Dirk who rejects him; and Little Bill kills his wife, her lover, and himself. As the 80’s continue: Amber makes a documentary film about Dirk. At Jack’s party, Dirk is jealous of JOHNNY DOE, Jack’s new protégé. The Colonel is arrested after being caught with an underage girl, dead of an overdose. Becky and Jerome get married and move to Bakersfield. Jack finally offers Maurice a chance to have sex on screen, but Maurice is worried about his penis size. Strung out on cocaine, Dirk begins to act unprofessionally, finally freaking out on the set, screaming at Jack, and being fired from the movie. Now blacklisted out of the porno business, Dirk uses the last of his savings to record an album with Reed and coke friend TODD, but doesn’t have the cash to finish it. Buck decides to get a bank loan and start his own audio business. Jessie encourages him, but the bank officer turns him down. Amber and Rollergirl go back to school. Jealous of her sexual history, Jerome starts to beat Becky. Dirk tries to go to save her, but crashes his Corvette. Becky is helped by senior good Samaritan MR. BROWN and goes to work for his retirement home. Reduced to performing stage sex acts and living in a seedy motel, Dirk, Reed, and Todd get into a fight and are fired. New porno star Johnny Doe dies in a car accident. Amber fights her ex-husband for custody of her son. Jack beats up a COLLEGE KID who insulted Rollergirl. Selling sex to a SURFER, Dirk gets beat up by him and his gay bashing friends. Buck is an innocent bystander to a robbery. He grabs the bag of money for him and pregnant Jessie to open their business. Broke, Dirk, Reed, and Todd sell phony coke to wealthy RAHAD. When Todd tries to rob Rahad’s safe, Rahad shoots and kills Todd. Dirk and Reed narrowly escape. Dirk returns to the suburbs to meet pregnant Sheryl Lynn and her HUSBAND and learn that his parents died as victims in Johnny Doe’s car accident. Desperate and broken, Dirk returns to Jack who cares for him. Amber directs Buck’s commercial. Rollergirl gets her GED. The Colonel goes to prison. Jessie and Buck have a son. Dirk goes back to acting in Jack’s porno movies.

Summary Criticism: While the script is overlong and overwritten, the milieu is original and the characters are sympathetic.

Boogie Nights - imdb

Paul Thomas Anderson - imdb

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Nana's Trailer - Part III

Laundry Room and Drying YardLaundry RoomMen's Room

Gilberts on Pico

Gilberts on PicoPickled CarrotsGuacBurrittoEnchilada and TacoHalloween at Gilberts

What About Bob? (1991) - Tom Schulman

August 6, 1989


Screenplay by Tom Schulman

Synopsis by Brian Aldrich

LEO MARVIN is a famous psychiatrist who has just written a successful best-seller titled "Baby-Steps". He is basking in his fame and preparing for his annual vacation with his family at the lake. An old colleague refers a patient to him. The patient is BOB WILEY, a multi-phobic personality who is almost completely dysfunctional. Bob is afraid of everything. He works at home, selling dental supplies over the phone. He is divorced, but remains friends with his remarried and pregnant ex-wife. His mother, a would-be artist, has no time for him as she is basking in her own fame. Leo sees Bob as his last appointment before his vacation. Leo gives Bob some helpful advice as well as an autographed copy of his book. Bob finds the advice helpful and actually begins to overcome his fears, but he becomes frantic when Leo leaves on vacation.

Leo and his family take off for the lake. His doting wife, FAY, has never made a decision by herself her whole life. His daughter, ANNA, is also suffocated by her father and doesn't feel free to develop relationships with boys. His son, SIGMUND, is obsessed with death, wears black all the time, and doesn't have a great buddy relationship with his father. Meanwhile, Maria Shriver is coming to the lake in a few days with her news crew to shoot an interview with Leo. Leo is obsessed with himself.

Bob does well for a few days, but begins to lose it. He manipulates Leo's exchange operator to connect him with Leo. Leo, angry that Bob has intruded into his privacy, hangs up, referring him to a colleague, but Bob doesn't want to speak to anyone else except his new found savior. Bob shows up on Leo's doorstep. Leo loses all patience with Bob and tells him to get lost, but Bob will not leave him alone. Finally, Leo gives Bob a few moments of time, advising Bob to take a "vacation" from his neuroses.

Bob takes Leo literally and rents a cottage on the lake. Leo is furious and forbids his family from allowing Bob inside the house. But, Bob is a charming pest. Fay, Anna, and Siggy all like Bob and enjoy him. Leo can't stand him. Bob motivates Anna to go out with a local boy, Siggy to think about life instead of death, and Fay to go against Leo's orders for once and invite Bob for dinner. Maria Shriver and her news crew show up and Bob gets invited on the show. He screws everything up. Leo is furious and at the end of his rope. He tries to have Bob committed but Bob charms all the doctors who soon release him. Leo tries to kill Bob, but only succeeds in blowing up his own house. Finally, Leo accepts fate and becomes Bob's friend. He loses his medical license, but becomes a successful dental supplies salesman. Bob goes back to college and becomes a successful Park Avenue psychologist.

Summary Criticism: The script is fun, zany, and ridiculous, but also terribly predictable.

What About Bob? - imdb

Tom Schulman - imdb

Friday, October 26, 2007

O.K. Corral - The MetaNarrative Lives On!

Earp Women - Western Dead Girls - Poe Forward Dead Girls

O.K. Corral - The MetaNarrative Lives On!

Tombstone Cemetery

Metanarratives are altogether unavoidable. This is one of my favorite paradoxes. The legend preaches the Earps were the good guys and the Clantons were the bad guys. The reality is much greyer. They were both bands of opportunists trying to get rich. They had differences. The Earps were northern urban republicans (19th century somewhat progressive Republicans) and the cowboys were mostly southern rural democrats (pre-civil rights conservative Democrats). Doc Holiday was an enigma. In actuality, both groups had been acting in unison to pillage Arizona, but they had a political disagreement, followed by acts of treason against the criminal code. The Earps used their legal "duties" to stop the argument via the gunfight in the empty lot behind the O.K. Corral. But afterward the cowboys killed Morgan Earp and crippled Virgil. The Earps became the defeated and left Tombstone. Metanarratively, the ultimate victory must go to Wyatt Earp, because he used his civil authority as U.S. Marshall to track down most of his brother's assassins and kill them in the line of duty. That's what makes Wyatt Earp a legend. Right or wrong, in the popular imagination, he did something extraordinary and primal to mankind's soul.

The soul of revenge, or of power, or both?

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral - wiki

The Life and Trial of Wyatt Earp - The "O.K. Corral Trial"

Wyatt Earp - Famous Trials

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) - Coen Brothers, Sam Raimi

June 14, 1992


Screenplay by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Sam Raimi

Synopsis by Brian Aldrich

In 1958, NORVILLE BARNES, 20's, has just arrived in New York City fresh out of a Munchie, Indiana business school, looking to make his fortune. After screwing up a bunch of menial jobs, he gets a position in the mail room at Hudsucker Industries. Meanwhile, WARING HUDSUCKER, President of the company, commits suicide, jumping out the window of the company skyscraper. His V.P., SID MUSSBURGER, and the other BOARD MEMBERS come up with a plan to save the company from getting into the hands of others: They decide to promote some company idiot to be the new President, thus causing the stock to drop until it reaches a low price that they can afford to buy and then take over the company. Meanwhile, an important letter has been left from Waring to Sid. Norville is ordered to deliver it. After Sid sees what an idiot Norville appears to be, he promotes Norville to be the new President. Norville is dressed and groomed and placed behind the oak desk. The letter is never delivered.

Down at the local newspaper, Pulitzer-winning journalist AMY ARCHER thinks something is fishy with this bizarre promotion of a nobody at Hudsucker. At a diner, she introduces herself to Norville, acting like a lost lass, fresh off the bus from Munche, giving a false name. Norville takes the bait and gives her a job as his secretary. Behind his back, she publishes a story telling the world that he is an idiot. Meanwhile, Sid's plan is going well. The stock is dropping and everyone Norville meets realizes the company is in big trouble. Meanwhile, after a discussion with the omnipresent and omnipotent janitor MOSES (a god-like narrator of the screenplay), she figures out that Sid is using Norville. Also, she has fallen for Norville.

Eventually, Norville shows Sid his new invention. Sid considers the invention worthless and in an effort to further sink the company, develops and retails the product. The new toy turns out to be the HULA HOOP and becomes a giant success, soaring the company stock sky high. Norville is praised by everyone, includent President Eisenhower. Norville gets arrogant. He and Amy fight. Sid reacts by leaking a press story that Norville stole his idea from BUZZ, the elevator boy. Further, Sid gets a shrink to declare Norville insane. Norville is ruined. He considers suicide, but before he can change his mind, he falls off the skyscraper. Moses stops the company clock and thus, STOPS TIME. Hanging in mid-air, Hudsucker (now an angel) appears and tells Norville to read the letter which turns out to be a will that leaves the entire company to the newest employee--Norville. Hussucker tells Norville to deliver the letter. After time is restarted, Norville survives the rest of the fall and delivers the letter. Sid almost commits suicide. Norville reconciles with Amy and takes over the company. He invents the frisbee.

Hysterical and charming, this screenplay is like HIS GIRL FRIDAY and IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, as if it were starring Harold Lloyd and directed by Billy Wilder.

The Hudsucker Proxy - imdb

Joe and Doralice - 1941

Joe and Doralice, 1941

Rescue at Pico and 34th

Pico and 34thPico and 34th

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Neighborhood Kids - circa 1960s

Neighborhood Kids

Neighborhood Kids On My Childhood Front Lawn, circa 1960s
1415 W. 148th St.
Gardena, California 90247

Bat Masterson 1853-1921 RIP

Western Dead Girls - Poe Forward

Bat Masterson 1853-1921 RIP


On October 25, 1921, 67 year old William Barclay "Bat" Masterson, the former frontier lawman, limped to his desk at the New York Morning Telegraph. He'd had to use a cane since the 1876 gunfight in Sweetwater, Texas when he was shot in the pelvis by a man he had mortally wounded. Allegedly, the fight was about a woman. This morning, Bat sat his aging bones down on his chair and balanced the cane against his desk so it would be readily available, but not slide to the floor. The gunfighter turned sports journalist started to work on his next article. He wrote into his typewriter the following:

"There are those who argue that everything breaks even in this old dump of a world of ours. I suppose these ginks who argue that way hold that because the rich man gets ice in the summer and the poor man gets it in the winter things are breaking even for both. Maybe so, but I'll swear I can't see it that way."

Bat leaned over the machine and reread what he had written. Before he could relax back into his chair, he realized he needed to use the toilet. As he reached for his cane, suddenly all the air seemed to evacuate his lungs. His chest felt like he had received a double shotgun blast at point blank range. He couldn't gain his balance, even with the help of his cane. Then he collapsed.

Bat Masterson died at his desk of a heart attack. He'd beaten the odds. He didn't die trying to take some drunken cowboy's six gun away. He hadn't been scalped by Indians. He wasn't shot by a jealous husband. He died doing what he loved. He died writing.

Bat Masterson - imdb

Dodge City War - imdb

Bat Masterson - Find A Grave

I Wear My Psyche On My Car

A SinickMov MkrI'm the Best and I'm Available

In the Valley of Elah (2007) - Paul Haggis

June 22, 2006


Screenplay by Paul Haggis, Story by Mark Boal & Paul Haggis

Synopsis by Brian Aldrich

Mason City, Iowa. Retired military policeman HANK DEERFIELD and his wife JOAN anxiously await the return of their beloved soldier son MIKE from Iraq. They learn Mike has returned to the States when a CORPORAL VASQUEZ calls to inform them that Mike has gone AWOL. Feeling this is uncharacteristic of their Christian, straight-arrow, pro-military, pro-Iraq son, Hank begins to investigate Mike’s disappearance.

Hank learns from Mike’s friend LARRY, a discharged Iraqi vet, that Mike’s unit had endured intense combat. Hank drives to Ft. Hood military base and talks to Sgt. CARNELLI who suggests Mike is off whoring and drinking, but will return shortly. Hank meets Mike’s Iraq buddies STEVE PENNING, ROBERT LONG, JIM BONNER, and JOSEPH ORTIEZ who offer little information. Hank searches Mike’s quarters and finds a hash pipe and a broken cell phone. A PHONE TECHNICIAN rescues Mike’s address book and photos from the phone as well as some corrupted video files he promises to fix and email to Hank. Hank tries to find Mike’s “girlfriend” JENNIFER LOPEZ, but finds the name ubiquitous. When Hank meets with his old army buddy ARNOLD BICKMAN, Hank’s pride won’t allow him to reveal his dilemma. Hank keeps Joan informed, but their relationship becomes estranged. The first of Mike’s uncorrupted videos arrive, showing Mike and his unit in Iraq. Blocked from getting Mike’s bank information, Hank asks civilian police Detective and single mother EMILY SANDERS to help him, but she can only refer him to the military police. When body parts are found near the military base, the civilian and military police debate jurisdiction, but the military becomes responsible for the investigation. When Hank is informed that Mike’s remains have been found, he demands to see the body and learns from the MEDICAL EXAMINER that the body had been repeatedly stabbed, chopped up, doused with gasoline, and set on fire. Hank informs Joan, but can’t listen to his wife’s crying.

Military investigator LT. KIRKLANDER offers little help, but Hank finds answers while investigating with Sanders. Thanks to Hank’s skill, he proves Mike’s body was moved and the jurisdiction changes to the civilian police. Kirklander continues to impede Sanders’ investigation, but she interviews Mike’s three buddies (Penning, Long, Bonner) who claim to have left Mike in town and returned to the base. Meanwhile, Hank’s investigations and the videos begin to portray Mike’s character in a dark manner quite different from his father’s expectations. Sanders enjoys the fatherly way Hank treats her young son DAVID. Under further questioning, the three buddies confess they were whoring, drinking and fighting the night Mike disappeared. Jennifer Lopez shows up, turning out to be a vet crippled by a bomb in Iraq who believes war had changed Mike severely. Suspecting Mike might have been looking for drugs, Hank learns Ortiez has a drug record and tries to beat the truth out of him. However, Ortiez has an alibi and Hank apologizes. The final videos portray Mike as a cruel bully. After Bonner commits suicide, Sanders breaks the trio’s alibi. Before Sanders can arrest the trio, Kirklander informs her that Penning confessed, implicating Long and Bonner. The military now has jurisdiction over the trials and punishment. Penning says the killing was a reaction to Mike’s constant bullying. While Hank is disappointed about Mike’s behavior, Sanders points out that he loved Hank enough to leave the evidence behind. Hank blames himself. Apparently, Mike called him for help from Iraq, but Hank scolded him for crying and offered no further assistance. Joan tries to comfort him. Hank’s only solace is Mike’s battered battle flag he sent home to his father.

Summary Criticism: An excellently-crafted script, the three-dimensional main characters are skillfully balanced and the compelling mystery is slowly revealed.

In the Valley of Elah - imdb

Paul Haggis - imdb