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2 posts from March 2012

27 March 2012

Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan ... really?

Peace251This definitely goes in the I Never Thought I'd See This file:

Jane Fonda, according to a story posted on the Hollywood Reporter website and other sources, is reportedly going to portray Nancy Reagan in an upcoming film titled "The Butler."

To be directed by Lee Daniels, "The Butler" is "a biopic of Eugene Allen, a butler who served in the White House from 1952 to 1986," states the Hollywood Reporter post.

That's not the part that surprised (amazed or befuddled is more like it) me the most. It dawned on me -- and it's clearly stated in the online post -- that Jane Fonda will be playing the First Lady of the United States. That's the phrase that got to me.

Let me put it another way. I can clearly state that Nancy Reagan never made an obscene gesture directly at me. Fonda, on the other hand (slight pun intended), not so much.

It was more than a while back. The early 1970s, to be semi-exact. I was working as a news reporter/cameraman/weekend anchorman at KTVT-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth. I was assigned to cover a speech by Fonda to students at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Let's just say Ms. Fonda, a k a "Hanoi Jane," who had recently returned from North Vietnam (where she posed for pictures on top of a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun), didn't take kindly to some intrusive TV reporter shining a light in her face for the evening news.

So Jane Fonda shot yours truly the bird.

The crowd, in full-blown protest frenzy by that time, roared its approval.

Yeah! Jane Fonda was sticking it to The Man.

Except it wasn't The Man.

It was just me, a guy who appreciated Fonda's recent daring Academy Award-winning performance in "Klute" (1971) and a guy who was -- and is -- a great admirer of Fonda's legendary late actor father, Henry.

Four decades have passed since what I have always secretly thought of as the "Fickle Finger of Fonda" incident on that stage in Arlington.

Take it from The Man, though, Jane Fonda just ain't gonna work as the First Lady.

At least not from this aisle seat.

Mister Speaker!

The blending of movies and memories in presentations of lighthearted lecture and film clips is turning out to be quite the winning combination. So if your group, club or retirement facility is looking for some energetic, enlightening entertainment, check out the list of Movie Memories presentations to the left of this column and book your event now.

In the mood for some stand-up comedy? We've got that too. Call 972-599-2150.

Thank you, thank you, thank you

And, just a quick "thank you" to those of you signed up for our Movie Memories day trip to Waxahachie on April 21. At some point, Mitzi Werther, who heads up the trip-sponsor Emeritus Plus 50 program over at Richland College, got to do a variation of a line from "Jaws" and say, "We're gonna need a bigger bus."

Mitzi secured one, so we're all set. In fact, if you're interested in the trip, there may be a few seats still available on the larger bus. Click this link for details.

(Jane Fonda photo courtesy: www.jimbio.com)

06 March 2012

'Casablanca' beckons on the big screen


Rick: And remember, this gun is pointed right at your heart.
Captain Renault: That is my *least* vulnerable spot.

I was four years away from even being born when what has become my favorite movie of all time was released in 1943.

CAnu325The only time I had the privilege of seeing "Casablanca" on the big screen was on a retro double-feature with Woody Allen's "Play It Again, Sam" in the late 1970s.

That's why I'm so happy to pass along the news that the folks at Turner Classic Movies are sponsoring a one-night-only event March 21 that'll feature a screening of "Casablanca" to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its release. (OK, math geeks. I know 2012 minus 1943 actually equals 69 years. But the film debuted at a few theaters late in '42 before its general release in early 1943.)

The point is that this is a chance to see Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman fall in love all over again as Rick and Ilsa in the timeless classic that might just make you fall in love with the movies all over again.

The 7 p.m. screening on Wednesday, March 21 (with matinees at some theaters) will be accompanied by a behind-the-scenes presentation by TCM movie host Robert Osborne. Click here for a link to the event. Just insert your zip code and a list of participating theaters will pop up.

My wife Suellen and I will see you there; probably at the Cinemark West Plano at 7 p.m. So if you attend that screening, please seek us out, say hello and share your Milk Duds.

And one more thing. My love for "Casablanca" had a lot to do with getting Movie Memories off the ground in the first place. So if your group, facility or club would like an up-close-and-personal look behind the screens of "Casablanca," give me a call at 972-599-2150 to book your own "'Casablanca' -- Hollywood's Classic Happy Accident" presentation.

A trip to cinematic bountiful Waxahachie

Field221All aboard the Movie Memories bus! It's time to sign up for what will undoubtedly be a fun-filled movie-themed day trip.

On April 21, I'm hosting a Richland College Emeritus Plus 50-sponsored bus trip to historic Waxahachie (just a short 45-minute ride from Dallas) to visit the sites where some memorable Oscar-winning films were shot. Films like "Places in the Heart," "Tender Mercies" and "The Trip to Bountiful," just to name a few.

You don't even have to be a Richland College student to enjoy this excursion to beautiful Waxahachie. Here's how it works.

We'll screen "Places in the Heart" starring Sally ("You like me ... ") Field on the evening of April 20 at Richland. The next morning we'll board the bus for Waxahachie, where actor, film buff and former Waxahachie Texas Theater proprietor Tim Eaton will guide us on a driving tour, then a short walking tour of key Waxahachie movie sites, including where Bonnie and Clyde allegedly left shotgun blast marks in the ceiling of the local bank during an actual robbery.

Seats are limited on the bus, so I urge you make your reservations soon. Or, even better, right now. Click this link for details.

(Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart photo from "Casablanca" courtesy: Warner Bros./Sally Field photo from "Places in the Heart" courtesy: TriStar Pictures)

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