(1974, Rated R) Lee Marvin (Sheriff Bascomb), Richard Burton (Breck Stancill), Cameron Mitchell (Butt Cutt Cates), O. J. Simpson (Garth), Lola Falana (Loretta Sykes), David Huddleston (Mayor Hardy Riddle), Linda Evans (Nancy Poteet), Luciana Paluzzi (Trixie), David Ladd (Flagg). Music: Stu Gardner and Dale O. Warren. Screenplay: Millard Kaufmann and Samuel Fuller, based on the novel by William Bradford Huie. Director: Terrence Young. 112 minutes.
Tags: History, Drama, Terrible
Notable: A train wreck on and off the set; Italian actress Paluzzi wasn’t a good choice for a Southern girl.
In a small Alabama town, where the mayor is just another good ol’ boy Klansman, a sheriff has to balance presumably small acts of racial violence with keeping the peace in a powder-keg of personal and political tensions. Tempers flare when a black man is accused of raping a white woman, and an angry man resorts to vigilante justice. As outsiders arrive to cover the story of a civil rights rally, the KKK forms a lynching party, hell-bent on killing anyone — white or black — who gets in their way. Continue reading “The Klansman”
As but a pup, I remember using words like gross or even “groady” (which isn’t a word) to describe something disgusting, foul, probably even slimy. These would seem to be the modern American abbreviated forms of something being grotesque which, in this sub-dialect of the English language, has come to mean not merely unnatural, bizarre, or freakish, but more often malformed, ugly, or just plain puke-worthy. Considering the origins of the word, and its use early in the last century in the sense of fantastic (something out of fantasy) or outrageous (something so unusual as to cause wondrous disbelief), it would seem to be a word worth revisiting. Continue reading “The Parade of the Grotesques”
By Mickey Z
Publication Year: 2005
Tags: Political, History
In this small volume, “professional iconoclast” (Newsweek) Mickey Z presents fifty of what he considers to be American revolutions — actions and events that were considered to be dangerous precedents of social protest and rebellions against the status quo. Among these is Thomas Paine’s creation of Common Sense; Eugene Debs campaigning for President from his prison cell; Muhammad Ali refusing to be drafted into the military; and American Indians occupying Alcatraz Island. Presented in brief articles of perhaps a thousand words each, the information here is often glossed over or even go unmentioned in modern history texts. Continue reading “50 American Revolutions You’re Not Supposed to Know”
(PG) David Stratharin (Edward R. Murrow), Patricia Clarkson (Shirley Wershba), George Clooney (Fred Friendly), Jeff Daniels (Sig Mickelson), Robert Downey Jr. (Joe Wershba), Frank Langella (William Paley), Ray Wise (Don Hollenbeck). Music: No general soundtrack (songs performed by Dianne Reeves). Screenplay: George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Director: George Clooney. 93 minutes (black and white).
Tags: Docu-Drama, Government Terrorism, Censorship, History, News
Notable: Shirley and Joe Wershba, who were actually part of Morrow’s news team, were directly consulted at every stage of production, making the story as historically accurate as possible.
The year is 1953. Television is brand new, the world is rebuilding from World War II, and the junior senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy (a.k.a. “Tailgunner Joe”) was convinced that America had been infiltrated by “card-carrying communists” whose mere existence would destroy the country. CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow began his reporting of McCarthy by finding one incident – a young man thrown out of the Air Force because his father may have had some sort of contact with “communists” – and exposing McCarthy’s extremism, building the story piece by piece until McCarthy himself became the subject of a Senate investigation. Continue reading “Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)”