Friday, October 31, 2014


Happy Halloween!

In case you still need a costume; this year go as a Sociopath, they look just like you and me (Halloween: it's a large secret East Coast syndicate backed primarily by Big Sugar and Dental Schools.)

I'd have written more but I'm way behind in injecting ricin poison into Almond Joy Bars.

( For all you parents - remember to sort your kids candy later tonight. It is not a crime to save all the good chocolate for yourself. Tell'em you have to sample it for poison.)

October 31, 1912 -
The Musketeers of Pig Alley, directed by D.W. Griffith and starring Elmer Booth, Lillian Gish, Clara T. Bracy and Walter Miller, premiered in the US on this date.  The film is thought to be the first film about organized crime.

This film heavily influenced Martin Scorsese in the making of his own gangster films, Goodfellas and Gangs of New York. It was picked by Scorsese for his 2005 tribute at Beaubourg in Paris, France.

October 31, 1945 -
René Clair's
adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic murder mystery And Then There Were None was released in the US on this date.

This movie, as all existent versions of  Ten Little Indians, is based not on the novel by Agatha Christie but on her very similar play. While the identity of the murderer is the same in both versions, the outcome of who survives the murderer's plot is very different.

October 31, 1949 -
Cecil B. DeMille's
wonderfully campy (although not intentional) version of Samson and Delilah, starring Hedy LaMarr and Victor Mature premiered on this date.

For the scene in which Samson kills the lion, Victor Mature refused to wrestle a tame movie lion. Told by director Cecil B. DeMille that the lion had no teeth, Mature replied, "I don't want to be gummed to death, either." The scene shows a stunt man wrestling the tame lion, intercut with closeups of Mature wrestling a lion skin.

Today in History:
October 31, 1926
Harry Houdini died in room 401 of Grace Hospital in Detroit on this date.

The escape artist was killed by diffuse peritonitis, after having undergone an emergency appendectomy.

Contrary to popular belief, the fatal appendicitis could not have been caused by a punch to the stomach.

October 31, 1950 -
Words to Live By

John Franklin Candy, the great Canadian comedian and actor, was born on this date.

October 31, 1984 -
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was not having a good day. Daughter of Nehru, the first prime minister of the newly independent India and fashion plate of the 60s, Mrs. Gandhi was running late for an interview with Peter Ustinov, who was filming a documentary for Irish television. Two Sikh members of her bodyguard, annoyed with her involvement in the storming of the Golden Temple (The holiest of Sikh sites) took this moment to express their vexation with their boss and assassinated her on the spot.

This sparked Hindu-Sikh clashes across the country. Four days of anti-Sikh rioting followed in India. The government said more than 2,700 people, mostly Sikhs, were killed, while newspapers and human-rights groups put the death toll between 10,000 and 17,000.

Once again, people should be checking the references of their bodyguards more carefully.

October 31, 1993 -
Federico Fellini
, considered as one of the most influential and widely revered film-makers of the 20th century, passed away on this date.

He made some 24 films, including La Strada, La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2 and Amarcord, all hallmarks throughout the 50s and 60s Art House world.

October 31, 1993 -
The young phenom River Phoenix had an unfortunate time at the Viper Room in West Hollywood on this date.

An apocryphal story at the time was that River's last words were supposedly, "No paparazzi, I want anonymity", although the quote has become something of an urban legend. In fact, according to witnesses, River stumbled out of the nightclub and fell hard, face-first, onto the sidewalk (experts believed he likely died at that moment) before spasming violently against the pavement for eight minutes, never having uttered a word.

And so it goes

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