Paul: Your command of the fight game makes me doubly depressed to have to report on a column in today's Washington Post praising to the skies one Muhammad Ali, on the occasion of a shrine named after him in his home town. It's not to late to lose your Thanksgiving leftovers after you read what former president Bill Clinton said about Mr. Ali:
The Spectacle Blog
Dave: But that is one of the few objectionable parts of an otherwise great movie. It is paralleled in several others O'Hara starred in with Wayne. "The Quiet Man" wasn't at all about reviving Wayne's manhood. The point was that it takes more of a man to restrain himself in the face of trivial provocations than it does to fight and perhaps kill over things that don't matter. And when the Duke throws her around (or, in other movies, e.g. McClintock, in which he not only spanks her but instructs his prospective son in law on how to spank his daughter with a small metal shovel) he's indulging in an act that defines unmanliness: violence toward women. He'd have been much better to have booted her out the door and gone looking for a less bothersome match. I still maintain ol' Maureen was more trouble than she was worth.
But we started this whole mess around Babs Streisand. Talk about a woman who's more trouble than she's worth...
Fellas, I may be out of my league, and please forgive my hit-and-run (I won't be checking back regularly this weekend), but Maureen O'Hara was stellar in The Quiet Man. In fact, everything about the movie was top-notch. Okay, so Miss O'Hara seemed a bit shrill. She had to play the prideful, traditional woman who could tame John Wayne's Yankee sensibilities but also rejuvenate his manhood. Confused about the distinction between all violence and just violence, Wayne's character thought he could retreat into pacifism and the warm atmosphere of tradition without its burdens. This was unstable mix for that man in that environment, and Miss O'Hara played a wonderful earthly redeemer: demanding the respect of her strong man, part of which was his defense of her.
Jed, surely you take solace in the scene in which Wayne's character drags O'Hara's over the fields to confront her brother?
Though I am stirred by the ongoing Wlady/Jed exchange (keep it going, please), I respectfully submit that you both are missing the boat in terms of viewing material this weekend. ESPN Classic is running and re-running Ringside: Top Ten Heavyweights, an evaluation of the greatest heavyweight champions in history, featuring the inimitable Bert Randolph Sugar. Don't ask me what happened to my afternoon plans. And I've seen almost all of this stuff many times.
Incidentally, Sugar's top three are: Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Jack Dempsey. Much as it pains me, I'd have to invert those first two. I think Ali would have beaten them all in his prime. But for my own pleasure (and perhaps the good of the country), it would have been nice to see Dempsey tangle with him in a phone booth.
Wlady: You know I will do almost anything you ask, but you ask too much. If we required detainees at Gitmo to sit through "The Parent Trap" we'd clearly be violating the McCain Amendment. If penance I must do, please make it reasonable. Maybe a screening of "Funeral in Berlin" - a real snoozer - or even "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" but not, I beg you, "The Parent Trap." As to Maureen - even in those days, the McClintock era - she was a lot more trouble than she was worth. Candice -- even in Murphy Brown -- was pretty and pretty amusing, despite what Dan Quayle said. And what, pray, is wrong with Valerie Bertinelli? Both she and Candice are vastly better actresses than Jamie Curtis, who inherited all her father's talent. I will always maintain that "The Black Shield of Falworth" ("yonda is my fadda's castle") is the worst movie ever.
Jed: First time I saw Miss O'Hara was in The Parent Trap, in which she played a Boston sophisticate who suddenly discovers the pleasures of hacienda life in Monterey, California. Brian Keith wins her back, or rather she devises a way to get him back, along with both of their twin girls (Hayley Mills) and a perfect American marriage family, and life. See the movie today and tell me she wasn't worth it.
Incidentally, don't think I didn't have my priorities straight yesterday -- didn't watch the Streisand movie until well after the Cowboys-Broncos game was over. After a bruising showdown like that, who needed more football? One can watch the highlights on ESPN only so many times.
Murphy Brown? Candice has to be the worst actress this side of Valerie Bertinelli.
Wlady: HBO? Ok, my apologies for accusing you of spending extra bucks on Barbra. Watching her on HBO is permissible, like drinking French wine someone else has purchased (my scruples go only so far.) But my other objections stand: why, when ESPN is now broadcasting in high-def, can you take time for Babs? Please tell me you won't do that again tonight. If you can't make that promise, let me know and I'll make an emergency delivery of "The Enforcer" or "Sudden Impact." As necessary, Harry Callahan and I stand ready to make your day. Or evening.
As to Mizz O'Hara, I lost all patience with her after "The Quiet Man." I remember "The Wind and the Lion", when Sean Connery (who ever cast a Scot as an Arab brigand?) repeatedly told Mrs. Pedicaris (the historically-inaccurate character played by Candice Bergen) that she was a "lot of trouble." Candice was worth it and Maureen wasn't.
Jed: When I predicted a rise in blood pressures, I didn't expect yours to be among them. But it may be calming to learn that I didn't shell out big bucks to see Streisand on the screen. The movie I mentioned was on HBO. Further, it didn't do to well at the box office -- precisely because Streisand's performance, along with Dustin Hoffman's as her husband, was savaged by the usually adoring liberal critics. Evidently they like their Streisand humorless and cold. My reaction, on the other hand, was thoroughly conservative: tolerant, appreciative of humanity, undogmatic.
By the way, I didn't know John Wayne was in those flicks with Maureen O'Hara. She sure was prettier than he was.
Wlady: I know you're very much a concerned and sensitive guy. But to pay one Yankee dollar (and I assume, based on empirical evidence of my own trips to see movies, that you paid quite a few) to see Barbra? C'mon pal. That's an anti-conservative act on several levels.
First, to pay for a ticket to a Streisand (or Fonda, or Baldwin, or so many others') movie is the ideological equivalent of donating, Turner-like, to the UN. Even one dollar in her pocket is too much. You gotta draw the line somewhere, pal.
Second, you're a busy guy. Among the deluge of offerings from the entertainment world, how can you possibly put Barbra in line -- even for ten minutes -- before NFL and college football? I'd agree that De Niro's presence is almost always worth the price of admission, but remember: Maureen O'Hara was enough to ruin several otherwise great flicks with the Duke.
Thanks to a cold snap and high winds, a whole new crop of leaves has descended onto my habitat. Rather than fighting the traffic at the malls, I'll be harvesting via trusty rake. No blowers allowed. This is supposed to be a quiet time of year.
Glad to see some traffic on this blog. Want to see its blood pressure rise? Here goes: I saw Barbra Streisand last night. She was wonderful. The movie was awful (Meet the Fockers), but cheesy and over the top enough to merit viewing. What stood out was that the Streisand persona was nothing like the uptight, humorless Democratic Stalinoid she's become.
Who'd have thunk it -- Streisandism with a human face!