Oak Island 7:18: End is Near (sort of)

DATELINE: Last Drill of the Year

 Laird Nivens & Marty Lagina.

It almost sounds like Bible verse. We are up to and surpassing season 7 and episode 18, where there is now a connection between the swamp and the Money Pit. Was there any doubt? You never known on Curse of Oak Island.

Now, is there any proof?

Dr. Ian Spooner brought another colleague to the swamp, where they agreed that the mercury present is odd and not natural. They are of the mind that the swamp was used as a blue clay mine. Three hundred years ago some workers, pre-Mayflower, were seeking blue clay, which has a density and even religious significance in some societies.

The largest drills so far are arriving from ROC excavators to do a final month of burrowing into the Money Pit. No expense is being spared, but will they also endanger themselves? We wouldn’t be surprised as the obsession seems to be growing as fast as the budget for the series.

You know common sense has gone when Rick Lagina takes a sip of brackish water to determine if it is salty in the swamp.

The other new evidence is at the ruins of the home of Samuel Ball, the former slave who became the richest man in Nova Scotia in the early 1800s. Speculation that he found treasure has centered on him for decades, and now ground penetrating radar finds walls and chambers under his former home. But permits are needed for excavation: which means next year.

Dan Henskee and Dave Blankenship push the honorary button to dig into the Money Pit with new heavy-duty equipment. How much can be retrieved before the season ends is the question. After all, you can see the heavier coats on the searchers. We are coming to the end of another year of endless clues and constant teasings.

 

 

 

Rupert, aka Xmas Wish

DATELINE: Two Orders of Ham.

durante

One of the most forgotten of low-budget Christmas movies is a strange concoction from 1950. It has been titled Rupert the Great, and when colorized in recent years in India, was re-christened, A Christmas Wish.

Whatever you call it, this is a bizarre film billed as “heart-warming,” but it is an odd duck about an odder squirrel.

Yes, Great Rupert is a Puppetoon squirrel in show biz (made from stop-action). He dances in kilts and is highly intelligent. The film comes from the mind and production of the great George Pal. Alas, Rupert is a mere second banana in a second-rate movie directed by Irving Pichel.

The star is non-stop action. It is the inimitable Jimmy Durante who pulls out all the stops.

Perhaps kids in 1950 were more easily entertained.

However, this does not prevent us from watching in utter fascination. Jimmy Durante pretends to be Danny Amendola, not the former Patriots player, but some kind of vaudeville comic. Don’t be fooled: it’s Jimmy Durante playing himself.

If you ever wondered why Durante never starred in more movies, this one reveals the amazing truth. He steals every scene, wipes out other performances, blows away any semblance of plot, and dominates every moment of the film.

Not even an animated squirrel can stand up to Jimmy. He is a happening, an event, a force of nature.

Terry Moore was supposed to star with top-billing, her major film role after Mighty Joe Young, another animated creature by George Pal’s protégé Ray Harryhausen. Miss Moore was too cute to worry about animals. Durante was another matter.

The film was re-tailored to allow Durante to do his usual patter and sing “Jingle Bells,” in one scene at the piano.

Even Rupert the Great never dared to show his rodent face when Durante was about. This is a weak Christmas film, but a work of stunning film history. Thus, we have rendered this year’s Xmas movie review moot.