John and Bob were very close with the great Don Rickles so they came by to pay tribute to him and share some of the very funny and touching moments they had together. (h/t Sheila O’Malley)
Some of my favorite Don Rickles appearances. Late Show with David Letterman, Martin Scorsese AFI, Frank Sinatra on the Tonight Show, Bob Hope Honors.
Frank Sinatra – born December 12, 1915 – and Antonio Carlos Jobim, 1967
Classic Hippie Exploitation Movies on Blu Ray and DVD
J. Hoberman writes: American International Pictures, the studio that pioneered the low-budget drive-in fare of the 1950s, specialized in two genres: horror films and youth pictures. Often, the two modes were conflated. In 1957, AIP unleashed “I Was a Teenage Werewolf”; in 1966, the studio brought forth “The Wild Angels.”
“We want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the Man…and we want to get loaded!”
Out on Blu-ray and DVD in a fine digital transfer, “The Wild Angels” may not have been the first movie in which a character exclaimed “Out of sight, man!” but, released three summers before “Easy Rider,” and introducing much of the same iconography, this “brutal little picture,” as the New York Times critic Bosley Crowther characterized it, made the hippie youth film possible — and also transformed Henry Fonda’s 26-year-old son, Peter, into Hollywood’s personification of the generation gap.
“’The Wild Angels’ was hugely profitable and received with appropriate alarm, particularly after being selected to open the 1966 Venice Film Festival.”
Exuberantly directed by AIP’s mainstay, Roger Corman, and propelled by a twangy surf-music score (credited to California’s future lieutenant governor, Mike Curb of the singing group the Mike Curb Congregation), “The Wild Angels” traffics in speed, drugs and nihilism. Mr. Fonda stars as the diffident leader of a biker gang, a character he has said he named Heavenly Blues after an allegedly psychedelic strain of morning-glory seeds. Swastikas abound, beginning with the logo for the movie’s title in the opening credits, which transforms a capital T into a version of the crooked cross.
Heavenly Blues’ love interest is played by Nancy Sinatra. Her hair frosted and teased and her part underwritten, she is required to adore Mr. Fonda, although this devotion seems tinged with disdain. Ms. Sinatra had a No. 1 single earlier that year with “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ ” — a proto-punk anthem far tougher than her co-star’s petulant posturing. (Would that the Scopitone film made to promote the song were included as an extra with the disc!) Michael J. Pollard, a year away from his career peak as a sidekick in “Bonnie and Clyde,” plays the gang’s resident beatnik, but the movie belongs to Bruce Dern.
“’The Wild Angels’ traffics in speed, drugs and nihilism. Mr. Fonda stars as the diffident leader of a biker gang, a character he has said he named Heavenly Blues after an allegedly psychedelic strain of morning-glory seeds.”
Cast opposite his wife at the time, Diane Ladd, as the wild man the gang calls the Loser, Mr. Dern has a fabulous death scene. His last request is a hit of weed, and his funeral — over which, having been liberated from its coffin, his corpse presides — provides the movie’s most outrageous scene. “We want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the Man,” Heavenly Blues proclaims, “and we want to get loaded!” thus signaling his fellow Angels to trash the church, beat up the preacher and stage an orgy in which the Loser’s grieving widow is raped behind the altar.
“The Wild Angels” was hugely profitable and received with appropriate alarm, particularly after being selected to open the 1966 Venice Film Festival. This disgrace “caused a few diplomats to mop their brows,” Crowther wrote, calling the event “an embarrassment.” Read the rest of this entry »
As often happens, I found this song on my way to look for something else. I was captivated by the scenic video, taken from a boat, apparently unrelated, but what a tasteful way to represent the feeling of listening to Astrud Gilberto‘s voice. I’m familiar with instrumental versions of this song, have rarely heard it with vocals, so I paused to take in the lyrics. I wasn’t aware that Astrid Gilberto recorded this 1949 classic song. She gives it her own signature sound. I swear, I could listen to Astrud Gilberto read the phone book, and think it’s musical, and romantic.
From Wikipedia, here’s some background on the song itself.
The music was composed by Victor Young and the lyric was written by Ned Washington. The song was introduced by the singer Martha Mears in the 1949 film of the same name. The song failed to escape critics’ general laceration of the film. Time wrote in its review that “nothing offsets the blight of such tear-splashed excesses as the bloop-bleep-bloop of a sentimental ballad on the sound track.” Nevertheless, the song was nominated for an Oscar, losing out to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser.
The song was also a popular success, with two recordings of the song listed among the top 30 on the Billboard charts in 1950. Gordon Jenkins‘s recording of “My Foolish Heart”, Sandy Evans, vocal, reached the top ten on the charts. However, Billy Eckstine‘s version became a million seller, spending 19 weeks on the charts and peaking at number six. Read the rest of this entry »
Frank Sinatra Jr. Ronan Farrow, the young celebrity who premiered on MSNBC earlier this year with much fanfare, confused the NAACP with the NCAA today in a segment following President Obama’s speech on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act…
“. . . And also Ben Jealous, former head of the NCAA . . . tell me, gentlemen . . . NAACP, I apologize.”
On MSNBC, no less, interviewed by Frank Sinatra Jr.
Joe Coscarelli reports: The ideal viewer for Ronan Farrow Daily, the brand-new show from the highly accomplished 26-year-old son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen (or Frank Sinatra?), is younger than its host and maybe stoned or at least hung-over on a dorm-room couch. That’s both because it’s on weekdays at 1 p.m., when most adults are busy, and by design: Today’s debut was aimed squarely at millennials in topic — weed, Lena Dunham, student debt — and form, with segments built around Twitter and holding a sign while taking a selfie. Here are the highs and lows, because we’re allowed to watch TV in the middle of the afternoon.
Amount of Time Farrow Spent Introducing Himself: 45 seconds
“Hello and welcome to Ronan Farrow Daily!” said the very handsome and charismatic new host. “I’m Ronan Farrow — I’ll be here daily.”
Variety‘s Brian Steinberg writes: Ronan Farrow took to MSNBC Monday to demonstrate his access to big-name guests, his facility with complex topics of global import and, subtly, to toss cold water on the idea that his family affairs might become part of his program’s daily conversation.
Anyone tuning in to “Ronan Farrow Daily” hoping its nicely pedigreed host would address his or his sister Dylan’s relationship with their estranged father Woody Allen was likely disappointed. But those who expected the network’s usual dose of progressive finger-wagging may have walked away surprised: The host of MSNBC’s new 1 p.m. program steered the show away from anything salacious or argumentative in favor of something more reasoned and intelligent.
Over the course of an hour, Farrow demonstrated a detached, bemused stance toward the stories he presented. He didn’t appear to be a cheerleader for a particular cause …And he tipped his hand several times to social media, asking his viewers to use Twitter to express their opinions about a story on the show or to send a picture describing their problems with college debt….
Mary Chastain reports: Director Woody Allen said his only biological son may very well be the son of Frank Sinatra. If it is true Allen claims ex-love Mia Farrow lied under oath just to receive child support.
I pause here for a quick word on the Ronan situation. Is he my son or, as Mia suggests, Frank Sinatra’s? Granted, he looks a lot like Frank with the blue eyes and facial features, but if so what does this say? That all during the custody hearing Mia lied under oath and falsely represented Ronan as our son? Even if he is not Frank’s, the possibility she raises that he could be, indicates she was secretly intimate with him during our years. Not to mention all the money I paid for child support. Was I supporting Frank’s son? Again, I want to call attention to the integrity and honesty of a person who conducts her life like that.
He addressed the issue in The New York Times op-ed he published to dispel claims by his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow that he sexually abused her when she was seven-years-old. He uses the Ronan situation as evidence he did not abuse Dylan because Farrow cannot be trusted. He mentioned the Yale New Haven Hospital case, which said Farrow coached Dylan and brainwashed her into believing Allen molested her.
How could America not love a song called “Click With Dick”?
Emma Green writes: The pep was palpable. As scenes from the 1960 presidential campaign flashed by during a screening of JFK hosted in partnership with The Atlantic, the addictive, saccharine soundtrack was mesmerizing. Political jingles cheerfully urged listeners to vote for Kennedy, then Johnson, then Nixon—men, each song manically assured, who could lead America. It felt like a rogue a cappella group had taken the auditorium hostage.
For some reason, today’s campaign songs don’t quite capture this quality—Springsteen and Kid Rock lack that special perkiness. To revive a little of our republic’s former campaigning joy, The Atlantic has dutifully assembled a sample of the political earworms unleashed on the unwitting American public in 1960.
That year’s master of the campaign song was, of course, John F. Kennedy. His famous friendship with Frank Sinatra helped him secure “High Hopes,” a 1959 hit that was tweaked a little to fit Kennedy’s campaign.