Classic Celebrity Commercials

Hi-yo, Pizza Roll!

DATELINE: Olde TV Bad Habit 

Back in 2013 there was another compilation of “hucksters,” from advertisements and commercials on TV in the mid to late 1950s. It seems a bit unfair to call these old stars “hucksters,” as appearing at the end of their series or show (often in character) to sell a product was just a means of enhancing their income.

This delightful collection is a bit tiresome. Who wants to sit through one hour of commercials, even in fun?

A couple of points are particularly distressing. Most of the commercials were done in black and white, and most of them actually run for a full sixty seconds, which is maddening in our attention deficit age.

In particular, Steve Allen takes a Polaroid photo of Lou Costello and we actually wait while Steve talks for sixty seconds for him to show us the newly developed photo.

Yet, the compilation also features some fun moments and images we’ve never seen:  John Wayne sells Christmas Seals on set, and his director really is Wild Bill Wellman!

We were thrilled to hear the William Tell Overture selling some Jeno pizza rolls—and at the end of the commercial, in color no less, Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels show up in costume as the Lone Ranger and Tonto.

One funny bit features a color King Kong climbing off the Empire State building and driving off down the avenue in his king-size car. He puts his little blonde companion in the passenger seat.

Almost as stunning is to see Marilyn Monroe in full throttle, selling gasoline.

A montage of TV western stars of the era each smokes a different cigarette. We almost want to cry out to stop, please!

Leo G. Carroll as Topper smokes too, as do his ghosts, Anne Jeffreys and Robert Sterling as Marian and George Kirby.

We also see James Arness smoking away with Today Show host Jack Lescoulie! We had not seen him in fifty years.

Quite a collection.

 

 

 

 

Lauren Boebert: Nutcase in Congress

Packing Heat is Not Hot

DATELINE: Not Annie Oakley

Treason by any other name is a crime for more than a few enablers of riotous sedition koo-koo birds. Rep. Boebert claims she only gave tours to her “family,” when all tours were banned. It seems her family is an off-shoot of the Manson Family. Her tours included would-be rioters whom she still shields.

An investigation will likely lead to her expulsion from Congress.

This woman is packing heat. She refuses to give up her concealed pistol, hidden either in her bra strap or pocketbook. We haven’t heard of a search yet as she dodges the metal detectors. Broebart insists that her gun will protect her if deranged Biden supporters storm the Capitol.

Don’t confuse her with another female sharp-shooter who finds her company among Cowboys for Trump. No, this is the GOP grandstander who is accused of giving reconnaissance tours to the potential rioters. Yes, she told them where the key offices can be found.

Next day, sure as shooting, the insurgents went looking for Speaker Pelosi. Her hidden location was not kept secret for long, as Boebert tweeted out to protesting and murderous Trump thugs that she was on the move. 

She spells her name differently every time we type it. Broebart, Brobert, Broebert, Broebart, alias is a good way to get elected on write-in ballots.

You guessed it:  Broebart kept them informed on Pelosi’s whereabouts in case the necktie party turned into a moveable feast.

She doesn’t like being called an accessory to murder. Yeah, it doesn’t sound like voters will go for it as a campaign slogan.

Who is this frosh representative with all the aplomb of a Middle Eastern terrorist?  It’s Lauren Boebart who matches up on any website looking for partners for Benedict Arnold.

Is there a congressional committee on expulsion by firing squad?

 

 

 

Bela Lugosi’s Death Kiss

No Deadly Kiss from Bela Lugosi

Only rarely do we have a chance to see or to review a Poverty Row movie from 1932 that stars Bela Lugosi.  Death Kiss was made on the heels of Dracula. (1931) and provided the cast to reunite and play it for laughs.

Death Kiss starts out like a house afire. Its opening scene is well-produced and puts a movie within a movie. The star is shot to death in pivotal scene while on the sound stage. It seems real enough.

The film released 90 years ago, almost to the day, features colorized, tinted scenes. That alone was intriguing enough to want to watch a bad murder mystery.

Lugosi is a studio manager working under a bad impression of L. B. Mayer in New York Yiddish accent. The studio novelist/writer thinks he is Angela Lansbury, but acts like a supercilious Hercule. He is insufferable, as played by David Manners.

On top of interfering with inept Los Angeles police (how things never change), he is having an affair with the leading lady who is prime suspect as the ex-wife of the victim who is in for an insurance wind-fall.

Adrienne Ames is stunning in the movie star role. Her B-movie career was short and she died young, but she is highly watchable here.

Lugosi telegraphs villainy at every step. Indeed, he seems to be the shadowy killer in at least one scene where he can identified. He is the tallest member of the cast, imperiously straight-backed.

The film progressively deteriorates, but does end with a surprise or two. As far as the color tints are concerned, it was a weird experiment to say the least. It is minor and pointless.

Indian Creek Island v. Carson Beach in Southie

Exclusive Means Expensive

DATELINE:  Never New England

It’s not exactly Boston’s resort, Southie’s Carson Beach, and it has a politically incorrect name, but it is home to the richest, most exclusive snobs in America. No one has proposed dropping the offensive “Indian” name.

Just call it Billionaires A-Go-Go!

Indian Creek Island now has infamy. Tom Brady and his almost billionaire wife have purchased property there, will tear down the present house, and build something suitable to their royal status.

Apparently the property and lousy house on the grounds belonged to the late Don Shula, Miami Dolphins coach, which is why Tom couldn’t live there without striking down an undefeated seasonal mansion.

Some of the other hoity-toity neighbors on the exclusive and police-guarded island include Julio Inglesias, and Beyonce was just beyond ownership till she sold out.

Inglesias just sold a plot of land to Ivanka Trump for about $30million. There, she and hubby Jared Kushner plan to build their love-nest as she contemplates running for senator from Florida.

This will also mark a mismatch of sorts with her old rejected beau, Brady. It seems 15 years ago President for Life Trump tried to arrange a marriage between Tom and Ivanka, but they went in other directions. Brady has maintained his political friendship with the disgraced coup d’etat president.

Now, all will be reunited in filthy lucre and with private docks for their yachts. The manses circle a large golf course and country club with an exclusive membership of 30 or so residents.

Tom Brady, who hated New England where he could not golf for most of the year, will have a course behind his bungalow of 25 rooms. No hoodies allowed.

We are not sure if the area has sniper nests to prevent unwanted visitors, or just gun turrets along the fancy road that encircles this billionaire bunker.

With neighbors like Rick Pitino as a sports buddy for Tom, and with Elle McPherson as a model buddy for Giselle, you have home, sweet home.

 

 

 

Grifting with Tom Brady

Grifter and Deflater

 DATELINE:  He Needs the $$$

How much does it pay to be a friend of Donald Trump?

For Tom Brady it has provided him with a government grant of one million dollars for his “small business.” This revelation was just released by the Small Business Administration, as the Trump crooks are heading for the exits.

Yes, believe it or don’t, Tom Brady actually applied for a loan to help his company TB12, with its copper infused pajamas, various vitamins and nutritional aids, and body coaches, for financial hardship. He couldn’t meet his payroll because his nearly billion dollar personal fund is tied up in personal assets, like abandoning New England and finding a warm weather cubbyhole.

Over 50% of small businesses were turned down for this PPP program. How is it that a man who has made hundreds of millions as an athlete and for product endorsement was entitled to a loan, while others went hungry?

Not to mention, because it is unfair, but Tom’s wife is worth a cool half-billion, yes, billiondollars.

Gisele Bundchen who hated Boston and New England made a fortune as a model, and advised her husband to move to Tampa—to jettison the Patriots. Florida is a tax-free state, and he preferred that to paying in Massachusetts.

Of course, Tom admits he listens to her business advice, not because she wears the pants in the family, but because he is such a push-over.

Tom Brady has proven he is an untrustworthy grifter. In case you are unaware, grifters are also known as chiselers, defrauders, gougers, scammers, swindlers, and flim-flam men. Next to this definition is a picture of Tom.

 

While many super-rich businesses have returned or refused the PPP (paycheck protection loans), Tom did not. He’s not alone. Sharks like low-life agent Scott Boras also took the money and ran.

You have to be a big MAGA supporter and a personal slug to win this kind of graft from grifters.

 Pictured: Grifter

Second Monolith Bites Dust

Criminal Intent

DATELINE:  Monkeys Win.

After a heist of art critics of the Utah monolith, there has now been a second brazen attack in Romania. The bad copy of the first monolith has now disappeared into the night.

Apparent vandals who moonlight as art critics came to the national park with a wheelbarrow and a brazen attitude, telling people to take their pictures now because the monolith would soon be gone.

Reports are now circulating that these were Trump supporters who believe they can make a monolith disappear at will—and they plan to make the recent U.S. presidential election disappear too.

The culprits include a man who has boasted of his crime against crime, setting himself up as a vigilante to remove “trash” from pristine desert areas. It turns out this cretin was banned from the national parks for his own abusive behavior.

Self-styled art critics, trash collectors, and Trump conspiracy theorists, now have combined to steal whatever is not nailed down. Ballots are next.

Whether the same crew flew into Transylvania, or whether it was a local group of crypto-Nazis we have not yet determined.

 

In any respect, the people above the law are now making the law the rest of society. So it usually is before a Hitler take-over.

 

From dust to dust, so goes the short lifecycle of a monolith.

 

 

 

 

 

Hunting Hitler the Final Chapters

Oswald Keeper & Nazi Agent

DATELINE: Fourth Reich & Other Conspiracies

After giving up on the Bob Baer series several years ago, it’s suddenly back on History for the “Final Chapter.”

And it takes a big bomb to restart a big bomb. According to Bob Baer’s new research, the Nazis planned to send a bomb on a V-3 rocket to Manhattan as early as 1945.

The show now theorizes Hitler was building an atom bomb to drop on Manhattan to win the war.

 Yikes.  Okay, you have caught your audience with their pants down and their defenses even further down. Bob Baer has gone low budget: he shows clips from three to five years ago of his excellent researchers. But, now, he sits alone in his home office, on tele-conference with an occasional writer.

He really needs no one else when he has a dump of documents from the CIA that he can go through by himself. He lets us know there were 46 rogue U-boats that were shuffling around the world for months after the war was over.

 He seems oblivious that his theory (based on reports from the CIA trash bag_ that Hitler would drop an A-bomb on Manhattan conflicts with the full Madison Square Garden of Nazi American sympathizers. He needs his enablers.

Reports now surface of 20,000 Nazi accounts at Swiss banks (revealed in 2020!) and that the Nazis may have exploded a primitive nuclear bomb in early 1945 under test conditions.

He also begins to lay the groundwork that a Fourth Reich was started in the United States and South America, starting with a nuclear physicist from Germany who hoodwinked J. Edgar Hoover.

If Bob Baer has a breakthrough here, it is that he is able to tie together his Hitler series and his Oswald series. It seems that one Fourth Reich agent in America was George de Mohrenshildt who was Oswald’s caretaker. Yes, it would seem the Fourth Reich hoped the Kennedy assassination would open the door for the U.S. to become Nazi.

 Since today we have a bunch of crypto-Nazis parading under the MAGA caps, the Fourth Reich seems well ready to take over. Baer’s new series may be leading us in that direction.

 

 

Borat’s Subsequent Moviejob

 No Monkey on Back?

 DATELINE: Borat’s Bell Ringing

Sacha Baron Cohen has been called “a creep” by the POTUS because of his merciless political satire on the entire McDonald Trump administration. Oi Vey, to say the least.

In a turn of the screw, Cohen’s Borat refers to the fast-food President as McDonalds Trump. There is one zinger after another in this horrifying movie. Borat requires a sense of humor of the 21stcentury: Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward fans need not apply.

Borat comes, as his followers know, from a backward nation under Putin’s thumb. There is an Arab streak in him inexplicably. Since his first movie fifteen years ago, he has been a political prisoner in his homeland, released only with another dangerous US mission. He is to deliver a pornographic monkey to Mikhael Pence, as a peace/piece offering.

When this fails, Borat plans to give Pence, Trump, or any of the Epstein followers his young teenage daughter. Yikes.

No one is spared the spot-on nasty barbs. If you like your political cruelty nothing short of Chaplin’s Great Dictator, you may have some kind of reincarnation in Barron Cohen (who shares a name with Trump’s son, about all they have in common).

The world will long note the zingers that never miss.

If you suffer from a syndrome known as “bad taste,” this is your movie. Borat lampoons all American life ruthlessly, and goes through a list of men to offer his daughter (all McDonald Trump aides are in jail or under arrest). This leaves him with Rudi Giuliani—and that leaves us with the biggest political shocker of many years of political humor.

We cannot think of a more worthy political target.

What exactly is faked in this movie?  You likely have to watch it for yourself to make a hard decision on the corrupt nature of Trump’s associates.

This is a whack job movie, and defies good taste, political boundaries, and critical assessment.

N.E. Patriots Meet a Slump, a Speed Bump, and a Pothole

Lady Luck!

DATELINE:  Going Down!

Mother of Mercy, can this be the end of the Patriot juggernaut of two decades? The road to glory seems to have run out of pavement.

After a glorious 20-year run, spending most of the time in first place in the hearts of Patriots Nation, the home town team seems to have hit a bump in the road. At least there are no sinkholes ahead. They are sinking in one now.

Yes, the Patriots are no longer in sole possession of the top spot to the playoffs. They are in their first slump of of the 21stcentury. When your first slump comes with the dog days of a pandemic, you are about to find cause to worry that rivals the Black Death in sports.

The last time a Patriots team came into a prolonged slump, they went into the poop chute faster than you can say Shaeffer Stadium.

We are more inclined to worry this time. There is no way they can equal the sinking of the titanic teams of the 1970s, which stands as a benchmark of hubris. We saw the past, and the future looks much the same.

This time their QBs have gone soft. We have not exactly seen a team with endless TD power, but their ability to make timely scores has lost more games than expected.

Now the dinner bell, like the guns over Flanders Field, have gone silent. Scarce heard below are the dead Pats of previous seasons hoping the present underdogs have caught the torch and will hold it high.

Short days ago the Patriots won, Brady looked younger than youth, and Bill Belichick looked like a genius, but now the Pats are starting to look like the embalmed teams of the yesteryear, or like the Jets.

Cheer up, fans! This may be only an aberration on the road to the Super Bowl. . A team with character knows their fate is in the hands of Bill Belichick and Cam Newton.

Move over, Black Death. The Pats need more room.

New Book from Ossurworld

DATELINE: Comedy Tonight! 

When you do movie review blogs for ten years, you soon have quite a backlog of films. Some remain popular year after year. We have never been able to predict which reviews will be favorites of the reading public. 

However, many blogs are read several times during the first week they appear—and thence go into one of those black holes in the center of the galaxy.

We –my tapeworm and I—have decided to gather together some of the lesser read blog reviews under a general heading. We figure out of a pile of thousands, we can find about 100 that are interesting.

So, we began compiling movies according to genre (like suspense, Sherlock Holmes, UFOs,  and the like). 

We were surprised there were a good many comedies. We generally don’t watch those films, or don’t review them. You may not realie that I only print out the films that are largely interesting, well-done, unusual, or seem metaphoric of the era.

When we gathered together Comedy Tonight, it had some of our favorites, and some we had forgotten.  Actually our book on Westerns is selling briskly.  All the reviews are based on some college courses taught years ago in another life as a professor of film studies.

Among the marvelous comedy movies, we found Elaine May’s A New Leaf with Walter Matthau as a fortune hunter going after a millionaire botanist. We recalled The Loved One that featured Liberace and Rod Steiger as funeral directors in a California mortuary. We had forgotten about Follow That Camel  with Phil Silvers playing his alter ego, Sgt. Bilko out in the desert as a foreign legionnaire—or marvelous Peter O’Toole playing a version of Errol Flynn in My Favorite Year.

Oh, yeah, there are a few stinkeroos that we advise you to avoid.

Our reviews always seemed to be in some kind of humor rivalry with the actual film under review. Yet, we think if you want a collection of recommendations, this little volume might do the trick. It’s available, of course, in both e-book and print versions on Amazon.

We prefer the one for smart-readers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celtics Choke Again.

DATELINE: Once More With Feeling

Boston Celtics used to be a subject we could write about with amusement. Not now.

Since the Great Bubble Experiment of the NBA where home court is a myth, you have the Celtics not playing home games on their notorious parquet floor. It used to give them a superstitious advantage.

Nowadays, home court is somewhere in Florida where alligators await being made in a sow’s ear. The Boston Celtics have fisticuffs in the locker room, and their vaunted stars (Kemba, Smart, Brown) are proving to be lesser lights.

Long live the Celtics. The team is dead for this year. There is one word you never hear in the Boston media: choke.

 We hear the strangulation gasps for air. We hear the air leaving the bubble.

The Celtics have epitomized the concept of choking under the pressures in big games during a series against the Miami Heat.

There is no other way to describe a team that is fighting amongst itself more than against the opposing team.

You have the great Kemba Walker not exactly performing well. Maybe there is a reason why he never played in playoffs all these years. Now in the playoffs, he is choking. He does not know how to play big games, with no experience.

Marcus Smart is dumb, and his insanity now is the noose choking the team. Jaylen Brown is playing chopsticks on his piano most of the game.

Jayson Tatum, Bird in waiting, is now proving that he knows not what a dagger to the heart means.

Bird did.

So, we have a team in disarray, in stress, playing poorly when they need to be their best. Something’s gotta give, folks.

Wait till next year may mean more than the Curse of Kyrie Irving.

Nobody gives squat about the Celtics anymore.

 

 

 

 

Kennedy Dynasty Undone

DATELINE: Last of the Kennedys in Mass.

As a long-suffering liberal Republican in Massachusetts, it is with shock that we have observed the end of the Kennedy dynasty. When a Kennedy cannot win a senate seat in this state, then the entire political family is on the endangered list.

Oh, we trace our ties to the Kennedys back to when my father was asked in 1945 to join the Kennedy congressional campaign. Young JFK wanted all the young military officers of his district to come on board. My father met him at the local church hall and told him he never stood a chance of winning.

So much for one family predicting the fate of another.

 

When I was a kid, my father took me to a parade near Bunker Hill when Senator JFK was riding in an open car. My father called to him as he went past: Kennedy recognized him, pointed a finger and laughed. I was quite impressed as a kid that JFK knew my father and snickered at him.

Now I am pointing finger at the grandson of RFK, the red-headed twinster, Joe III, who appears to have chewed more than he bit off.

Joe Kennedy may be out of politics after today. Or perhaps, like Abe Lincoln, a defeat for Congress will make him more attractive as a presidential candidate.

The pundits claimed young Joe was too eager and made a mistake in challenging Ed Markey, an absentee powerbroker in the old -ashioned pol sense.

We had hoped to make up for a family omission by voting for Joe in the general election (as we are not part of the Democratic primary voting list.

Now that apology to the Kennedy family from my progenitors will be put on hold, perhaps for another time, but my vote may not be there in the next campaign.

Yep, it’s the end of another era.

 

 

Franchise Detectives: Blanc and Poirot

 

DATELINE: TV or Not TV

As if one fiasco performance was not enough in Murder on the Orient Express,Kenneth Branagh has pasted on his giant fake mustache for a second Poirot adventure based on Agatha Christie.

Yes, he is sailing down and down: Death on the Nile. will render another horrible remake of the murder mystery. Put aside the diminutive expert work of David Suchet a few years ago, Branagh is a behemoth in the role (too big for his tiny mincing steps).

Why would Branagh chose to do a franchise murder mystery series on the bigger screen after doing every Shakespearean play that fit his mood on film?

Likely it is the same reason that Daniel Craig has given up James Bond’s franchise to play a cornpone detective named Benoit Blanc from New Orleans. As one character noted, it was CSI by ways of KFC. Knives Out  will be followed by Knives In and Out.

Craig’s character is not even clever, except as the writer lets him solve the crime. Bombast seems to highlight these new detectives who’d never cut it on TV weekly in the old heyday of McCloud and  Rockford.

All-star supporting casts seem to be a draw for these films now: you find faces (some old TV stars) that yearn to be back in the public favor, and you have a cast of suspects that is often highly amusing. Their biggest crime is wanting a comeback role.

So, we will have more of these franchise detectives. The roles are not exactly Prince Hamlet, but great roles often have been reprised by different actors. For almost a century Basil Rathbone was considered the be-all, end-all Sherlock until Jeremy Brett gave him a run.

Now we have new actors (well, very old actors) in new versions of old wine. We toast their hubris.

Author, Author: Go Away Again!

DATELINE: Unwanted Gifts Redux

 Latest Affront to Re-Gifting.

A friend kindly scoffed at me for a bad habit.

He claimed how I had a tendency to give away gifts to people who did not necessarily want them. He was referring to my bad habit to bestow a copy of one of my books to people who have been nice to me.

I usually inscribe them with thanks for some generic kindness. It is, I am told, not appreciated because I have given people something that they cannot repay or reciprocate. After finding my personally autographed books for sale on eBay (with warm wishes to someone who sold the book to a used bookstore), I have re-dedicated myself to not giving away books.

Well, okay. I realize that not everyone can write a book and return a copy to me in standoff fashion. However, I thought that providing a free, gratis copy of a personal creation would qualify as an act of generosity, not as a slap with my velvet glove.

However, my friend argues that it is not that at all: it is a brazen show of ego.

Well, you can knock me over with a dust-jacket. I would never have thought that giving a personal gift would be construed as an act of selfishness. In fact, I always thought the creative process was something to be shared.

Alas, if you share it with those who have no appreciation, no interest, or no good manners, the writer of a book may well deserve to have the gift accepted without thanks or acknowledgement.

I often note that I give away my book as a token of my gratitude and not as homework assignment. I will not quiz the recipient on the book’s message or contents. If I did, we know the result would be a failing grade. We’ve seen enough of that in the nation’s body politic.

As a resolution, I have now promised my old friend that I will be more circumspect in sharing my books. Never give a page away that is not requested, or at least has some kind of interest expressed by another. It means I will save money on copies and postage.

It is an age when reading is a chore, not a pleasure, and the disrespected writer is a prophet without honor in any country.

Dr. William Russo is too prolific for his own good, and he has written too many movie history books and biographies. He will continue to write, but not to send out complimentary copies.

Trump on Child Molester Again!

DATELINE: Defending the Indefensible? 

 Birdbrains of a Feather?

When Trump believes your crime is fake, you are golden.

Some people are dumb as rocks and never learn a thing about their bad behavior. Donald Trump is a twilight zone case in point. He has doubled-down on his defense of Ghislaine Maxwell, crony and accomplice of Jeffrey Epstein.

Trump has pulled out all the stops this time, giving her the shield of his own regular defenses against crimes and misdemeanors:  it’s a hoax of the fake news media.

Talking to an Axios reporter one-on-one, Trump went beyond his usual good wishes for criminals in jail—and questioned the charges (convicted in Epstein’s case takes away the ‘alleged’ term).

Trump has always been vocabulary-challenged and never sees the subtle difference between conviction and accusation. It’s all part of the same smear to him.

When the reporter raised sex trafficking among the charges, Trump was quick to pull the trigger: “Well, first of all,” Trump said, “I don’t know that.” The reporter tried to speak:“She has. She’s been arrested for that.”

Trump “implied that his well-wishes for Maxwell are due to the suspicion surrounding Epstein’s death, and the fact that she now finds herself in a similar situation.”

Trump then went beyond the pale: he questioned the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, wondering who might be responsible for his murder. Well, Mr. President, fool that you are, YOU SIR are in charge of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It happened on YOUR watch during YOUR ADMINISTRATION.

Then came more horrific verbiage by the Commander in Chief of Idiots:  “Her friend, or boyfriend, was either killed or committed suicide in jail. She’s now in jail,” Trump said. “Yeah, I wish her well. I’d wish you well. I’d wish a lot of people well. Good luck. Let them prove somebody was guilty.”

If you support statuatory rape, then Trump is your man. He went on to the shock of sex crime victims everywhere:  “…such a big deal,” Trump continued. “But all it is, is her boyfriend died. He died in jail. Was he killed? Was it suicide? I do. I wish her well.”

He has a hard time saying the name, “Epstein.”

Here is your moral, silent majority: your president on sex crime, apparently nothing to punish. After all, Trump’s AG, William Barr, is son of one of Jeffrey Epstein’s friends and enablers, and one of Trump’s former cabinet members let Epstein serve a dormitory sentence for rape (let out during the daytime).

Yes, folks, vote for child molesting under the Trump umbrella. He likely will pardon Ghislaine if she isn’t murdered by one of his minions.