Thursday, May 19, 2016

Betcha want to see it now

May 19, 1934 -
The very truly perverse horror film from Universal, The Black Cat, premiered in NYC on this date.

This film was made just before the Hays code went into effect. It is chockablock filled with Satanism, black mass orgies, necrophilia, pedophilia, sadistic revenge, murder and incest. Oh, I forgot to mention Bela Lugosi slices off Boris Karloff's face.

May 19, 1951 -
 For shame, Doc! Huntin' rabbits with an elephant gun.

The first in the series of the transvestite Bugs Bunny, the ever clueless Daffy Duck and bestiality minded Elmer Fudd's "Hunting Trilogy", Rabbit Fire was released on this date.

May 19, 1958 -
The iconic B movie classic, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, broke out on this date.

The movie was shot in eight days for $89,000, which was $10,000 under budget.

May 19, 1994 -
After eight series, the final episode of LA Law aired on NBC-TV on this date.

The series ended their last day of shooting their final episode the morning of May 10, 1994. Actor Corbin Bernsen called into the Howard Stern Show about a half hour before they wrapped for the last time.

May 19, 1999 -
The much-anticipated movie prequel, Star Wars: Episode One -- The Phantom Menace opened on this date.

When fully dressed and in make-up, Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley resembled each other so much, that even Knightley's mother Sharman Macdonald, who visited the set, had trouble identifying her own daughter.

May 19, 2005 -
Mr. Lucas needed more money to electronically remake the previous five Star Wars movies, so he released Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith on this date.

George Lucas deliberately made the Darth Vader suit top-heavy (for instance adding weight on the helmet) to make Hayden Christensen not appear "too accustomed" to it in the movie.

Canoeing in the outer banks of the interweb last night, taking a break from all of the Star Wars trivia of the day, I came upon this - a fantastic mashup by Fabrice Mathieu of Hitchcock and Lucas in Darth by Darthwest -

I thought that was pretty cool.

Today in History:
May 19, 1536
In the first public execution of an English queen, Anne Boleyn was beheaded on this date. In her speech, Boleyn has nothing but good things to say about her husband, Henry VIII: "I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord."

Except of course for this whole beheading thing.

May 19, 1890 -
Nguyen Tat Thanh
was born in central Vietnam on this date. After World War I he devotes his life to the Communist cause, adopting a series of pseudonyms along the way. Finally he settles on "The Enlightener," that being the English translation of Ho Chi Minh.

As a birthday present, the US decides to bomb Hanoi in 1967 on this date. (There is the tiniest cognitive dissonance in the fact that we are supporting Viet Nam in their argument with China over islands in the South China Seas.)

May 19, 1897 -
Oscar Wilde was finally released from jail, literally a broken man. Wilde had been jailed when he lost his libel case against the Marquis of Queensberry and was charged with "gross indecency" (homosexuality.) His health deteriorated while in jail; he had become emotionally exhausted and was flat broke.

When he was released, he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Jail. A recurrent ear infection, caused by a fall in jail, became serious several years later, meningitis set in, and Oscar Wilde died on November 30, 1900.

May 19, 1935 -
Thomas Edward Lawrence died after an motorcycle accident on this date. Lawrence was a British officer who rose to prominence during the Arabian campaigns of the First World War. Clad in the magnificent white silk robes of an Arab prince ... he hoped to pass unnoticed through London.

Alas he was mistaken.

He can also be seen in The Lion in Winter, Becket, What New, Pussycat and My Favorite Year.

May 19, 1945 -
Peter Townshend, Rock Singer/guitarist/vocalist/composer, was born on this date .

After he was rated as the 50th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone, Mr. Townshend fell into a deep depression and was reduced to appearing with another old time rocker, Roger Daltrey at benefit concerts.

How sad.

May 19, 1951
To me, punk is about being an individual and going against the grain and standing up and saying 'This is who I am'.

Joey Ramone, (Jeffrey Ross Hyman) punk rocker, songwriter and countercultural icon was born on this date.

May 19, 1952 (or 1948 - it's not for us to question a woman about her real age) -
I believe in individuality, that everybody is special, and it's up to them to find that quality and let it live.

Grace Jones, singer, model, and actress was born on this date.

May 19, 1962
Democrats staged a fund-raiser in New York's Madison Square Garden that was billed as a birthday salute to President John F. Kennedy on this date.

JFK thanked Marilyn, saying, “I can now retire from politics after having had ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.” It takes a certain kind of balls, and a major addition to pain killers, to have your mistress, Marilyn Monroe, performed a sultry rendition of Happy Birthday to You in front of your wife and the nation.

May 19, 1994 -
Even though people may be well known, they hold in their hearts the emotions of a simple person for the moments that are the most important of those we know on earth: birth, marriage and death.

It what can only be considered one of life's most bitter ironies, former first lady Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer in New York City on this date.

And so it goes

Before you go - Checking out one of my favorite websites, Nag on the Lake, I saw a great promotion for PG tips tea -

And I had to ask myself, why can't we ever have anything nice?

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