Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

The monsters at Sesame Street and the folks at Vanity Fair present quotes from famous Hollywood movies.

Big Bird
has exactly the emotional range of Ronald Reagan.

March 15, 1941 -
The first of three appearances of Cecil Turtle, Tortoise Beats Hare, premiered on this date.

Cecil is one of the very few characters who was actually able to beat, Bugs Bunny and the only one to do so three times in a row and at the rabbit's own game.

March 15, 1946 -
Columbia Pictures released Charles Vidor's film-noir classic, Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth and Glen Ford on this date.

Rita Hayworth had to wear a corset while shooting "Put the Blame on Mame," as she had given birth to her first daughter, Rebecca Welles, months before filming.

March 15, 1956 -
The landmark science-fiction film, Forbidden Planet (think The Tempest in Outer Space) , premiered on this date.

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry has been quoted as saying that this film was a major inspiration for that series. Perhaps not accidentally, Warren Stevens, who plays "Doc" here, would later be a guest star in 1968's Star Trek: By Any Other Name, where the true shape of the alien Kelvans, like the Krell in this movie, was implied to be extremely non-humanoid but never shown.

March 15, 1972 -
The greatest film ever about pasta sauce making and risk aversion management, The Godfather, premiered in New York City on this date.

Lenny Montana (Luca Brasi) was so nervous about working with Marlon Brando that in the first take of their scene together, he flubbed some lines. Director Francis Ford Coppola liked the genuine nervousness and used it in the final cut. The scenes of Luca practicing his speech were added later.

March 15, 1977 -
Everybody was first welcomed to The Regal Beagle when Three's Company, starring John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, and Suzanne Somers, premiered on this date.

The title of the pilot episode is "A Man About The House". This is in reference to the title of the UK comedy, "Man About The House", that "Three's Company" is based on.

Don't forget to check out Dr. Caligari's Cupboard

Today in History:
March 15, 44 BC
Julius Caesar, already warned to be wary on this the Ides of March by the astrologer Spurinna, was assassinated with pointy knives by a group of Senators, including Brutus and Cassius, at the Pompey theater.

They were angry at him because he had crossed the Rubicon. Later Marc Antony borrowed everyone's ears and told them that Brutus was an honorable man, which upset them so much they had a Civil War.

Sixteen centuries later, more or less, William Shakespeare immortalized the story and eventually Marlon Brando got to play Marc Antony, so everyone was happy in the end.

Caesar is also celebrated because he wrote a famous book called The Garlic Wars, which begins with the famous line, All garlic is divided into three cloves. It also includes the line - veni, vidi, vinci, the exact meaning of which is still a matter of debate but, if my own Latin studies are worth anything, probably involves Druids and hollandaise sauce.

March 15, 1812 -
Luddites attack Frank Vickerman's wool processing factory at Taylor Hill in West Yorkshire, on this date, resulting in general destruction and attempted arson.

The rampaging Luddites were incensed because his machines replaced workers, but Vickerman was primarily targeted because of involvement in an Anti-Luddite committee.

So now you know more about Luddites than you thought you ever would (remember, smash the iWatches.)

Today's episode of Oh, that Wacky Russian Revolution:
At two o'clock in the morning on March 15, 1917 the Tsar sent word to Petrograd that he was awfully sorry about the war and starvation and everything, but that he had some really good ideas about what they could do now, was looking forward to working with them, believed that healthy debate was a symptom of good government, and so on.

The new government (which had recently moved to Moscow) told him to blow it out his ass.

And so at three o'clock in the afternoon, Nicholas abdicated in favor of his son (who had measles).

The new government told him and his son to blow it out their asses.

At 11:15 pm, Nicholas signed a proclamation that both he and his son (who had measles) would abdicate in favor of his brother, the Grand Duke Mikhail.

The next day, the new government told Nicholas, his son (who had measles), and the Grand Duke Mikhail to blow it out their asses. (It seems that they were anally fixated.)

March 15, 1950
New York City suffering through a persistent drought, hired for $100 a day - a very large sum in those times, particularly for a scientist - Dr. Wallace E. Howell, a meteorologist to make rain, on this date.  Dr. Howell, who had participated in early scientific research into cloud seeding, set up shop at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, using a police airplane to sprinkle silver iodide crystals into clouds over the Catskill watershed.

The rains came and the reservoirs began to rise. There was even a mid-April snowstorm, referred to in the papers as ''Howell's snow.'' By 1951, the crisis had passed and Dr. Howell was laid off in February of 1951.

March 15, 1964 -
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, finally legitimized their scandalous affair and were married on this date.

Both were already married –  he was married at the time to former actress Sybil Williams, she to her fourth husband Eddie Fisher, who she had famously ‘stolen’ from Debbie Reynolds.

And so it goes.


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