This Week In Literature And Arts

“No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.” Happy birthday to Pulitzer-winning film critic Roger Ebert, born June 18, 1942. I’ve always enjoyed Roger’s reviews.

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Happy birthday to the craggy-faced Richard Boone, born June 18, 1917 in L.A. With that voice way down there he often played cowboys and soldiers (tough guys). Boone served in the navy during World War II, attending drama school in NYC on the G.I. bill. Remarkably, he is a descendant of Daniel Boone.

Always liked Boone. As an older guy he’s especially effective in the later John Wayne vehicles, Big Jake and The Shootist. He brings gravitas to otherwise disposable roles.

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Happy 100th birthday to film critic extraordinaire and The New Yorker stalwart Pauline Kael, born June 19, 1919 on a Petaluma, CA, chicken farm to Polish-immigrant parents. Remarkably, she got her start as a critic when the editor of City Lights magazine overheard Kael discussing a film with friends in a San Francisco coffee shop and invited her to write a review—straight out of Hollywood.

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“Tomorrow’s the Fourth of July, and we will be open for business. It’s going to be one of the best summers we ever had. Now if you fellas are concerned about the beaches you do whatever you have to to make them safe, but those beaches will be open for this weekend!”

June 20, 1975: JAWS, Steven Spielberg’s (via Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb) allegory of profits over people, debuts. Great white became great green as star Robert Shaw’s prediction that JAWS would be the highest-grossing film in history comes true. People like a good scare.

And props to actor Murray Hamilton for being so wonderfully sleazy as Mayor Vaughn. The film’s fourth great performance (and real villain).

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Happy birthday to Hollywood swashbuckler Errol Flynn, born June 20, 1909 in Hobart, Australia. The only Robin Hood.

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Birthday greetings to Martin Landau, born June 20, 1928 in Brooklyn. A career of playing slimy turds in myriad films and then an Oscar for his humorous and heartfelt performance as has-been horror icon Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. Before finding success in theater, Martin was an editorial cartoonist for the New York Daily News and even drew a comic strip!

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Big 75th birthday greetings to the great Ray Davies, born in North London’s Fortis Green section, June 21, 1944. Have a great one, Ray! “Hoping all the verses rhyme and the very best of choruses, too…”

Saw the Kinks at their first Madison Square Garden show in 1981 and they were fabulous. 

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June 22, 2008: George Carlin dies of heart failure at 71. He’d had a long history of coronary problems, undergoing several surgeries to repair damage and open clogged arteries. The world could use him now.

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Happy birthday to geek god Bruce Campbell, born June 22, 1958 in Royal Oak, Michigan. Here’s Bruce signing outside in the courtyard of Manhattan’s Javits Center at the 2015 New York Comic Con. You came through the security check and Bruce was right there with his Ash vs the Evil Dead trailer. This guy knows how to thrill fans!

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June 22, 1969: Judy Garland dies of a barbiturate overdose at 47 (YIKES!). Gone 50 years.

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A Shakespeare Sunday salute to birthday boy Paul McCartney, born June 18, 1942 in Liverpool England’s Walton area. Love to you, Pauly! Live forever!

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Michael Rogers

(mermsr@optimum.net) is a Jesse H. Neal Gold Award-winning freelance writer, editor, reviewer, and photographer. He is also former Media Editor and audiobook reviewer at Library Journal.

Source : http://www.noshelfrequired.com/this-week-in-literature-and-arts-105/

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