In late June of last year I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.
I want to mention two things before we proceed beyond the break to a discussion of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 suspense film Rear Window. First of all, I should let you know that discussion will necessarily include some spoilers for the movie, so if you haven’t seen it I would recommend that you go rectify that situation (it’s available for rent through iTunes) and then come back to read the rest of this article. It’s an immensely engaging and electrifying movie that any film buff should have under his or her belt.
Secondly, I have to say that the version of the poster for Rear Window included in the puzzle which is the inspiration for this entire series is pretty far from my favorite.
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On a day with few really big names, our headliners are two people who had fairly high profiles during the 1980s.
Lawrence Tureaud, much better known as Mr. T, is turning 65 today. A former soldier, he had worked as a bouncer and a bodyguard, and was noticed by Sylvester Stallone while taking part in a “toughest bouncer” contest; Stallone recruited him to appear in Rocky III, where he played Rocky’s rival, Clubber Lang. Mr. T then starred in the film D. C. Cab, and later in the eighties was one of the leads on the Canadian-produced series T. and T. During the decade he also had a short career in professional wrestling. But he was best known for another television role, as a former Special Forces sergeant with a distinctive hairstyle, a fear of flying, and a really bad attitude.