Category Archives: Film / Tv / Theater Review

Ten Iconic Hollywood Film Scenes (I)

As part of a new “summer” challenge (even though the Solstice doesn’t arrive until June 20th), I will post one image and/or film sequence per day for the next ten days, of ten iconic Hollywood film scenes. There are plenty more than that, but these ten are among my all-time favorites. And, no, I’m not going to tag anyone… but folks are free to add their own to the mix. I’m not wavering though. My ten have been picked and their fate is sealed! 🙂

First up, the scene that gave birth to what I would call a “Red Sea Moment” in reference to an epic-scale special effect—the parting of the waters in Cecil B. DeMille‘s classic 1956 rendering of “The Ten Commandments“:

“The Mandalorian” Finally!

So, I’m coming late to “The Mandalorian“, and just finished the finale of Season 1. The final scenes of Chapter 8 gave me a chuckle though. The Armorer states that until that Baby Yoda-like foundling “is of age or reunited with its own kind”, the Mandalorian is “as its father.” She adds: “By Creed, it is in your care.” Standing right there is the character Greef Karga, played by Carl Weathers, who—duh—was Apollo CREED in the “Rocky” franchise. LOL

Better still, I was totally surprised when Moff Gideon showed up. It was Gus Fring! I’ve been waiting for “Better Call Saul” to come back, but there he was! Well, it was actually the actor Giancarlo Esposito. This is the Way** … forward to Season 2! I have spoken!

🙂

** Given all the interconnections noted above, I was tempted to say “This is the Dialectical Way”… but held back my instincts! 😉

Song of the Day #1864

Song of the Day: I Could Fall in Love, words and music by Keith Thomas, was a promotional single off of Selena‘s fifth and final studio album, released posthumously, “Dreaming of You,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 Album chart. Tragically shot and killed at the young age of 23, the Grammy-winning singer was dubbed the “Queen of Tejano Music.” This song is played over the final credits to the very last episode of the recent two-season Netflix series on the singer’s life, giving it a special poignancy. In episode 7 of the second season, her brother, “AB” Quintanilla, sees that his sister is having difficulty putting some things together as her career is blazing forward. He tells her: “Sel, you’re very organic. Everything in you is connected to everything else. That’s who you are. Not just pieces. It’s a whole life. All at once. You’ll figure it out.” A little dialectical insight in a Netflix series! Who knew? In any event, since I finished streaming this wonderful series, I decided to highlight this as today’s Song of the Day. Check it out here [YouTube link].

Song of the Day #1863

Song of the Day: Come on-a My House features the words and music of Ross Bagdasarian (yes, “David Seville” of “Chipmunks” fame) and William Saroyan. Based on a traditional Armenian folk song, it was performed in the off-Broadway production of “The Son” (1950) but became a huge #1 hit for Rosemary Clooney the following year [YouTube link]. Check out some other renditions by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Prima (with a few Italian delicacies thrown in), Kay Starr, and Julie London [YouTube links]. Today is Moderna Second Dose + 14 Days, which means that if you too have the proper paperwork, you can “Come on-a My House” and—as the song says—I can give you candy and figs and grapes and cakes and everything, even a Marriage Ring! Well, I’m not that easy. 😉

Be Kind …

This being the Greek Orthodox Holy Week, I can think of fewer messages more important than not giving into the very things you dislike in others. It reminds me of some great dialogue from “Ben-Hur” (1959). His family destroyed, his childhood friend (Messala), who betrayed him, is now dead, and Judah Ben-Hur is turning toward the dark side. Esther, who loves him, tells him:

“It was Judah Ben-Hur I loved. What has become of him? You seem to be now the very thing you set out to destroy, giving evil for evil! Hatred is turning you to stone. It is as though you had become Messala! … I’ve lost you, Judah.”

The “miracle” at the end of the film has less to do with leprosy being cured and more to do with Judah laying down the sword, upon which his own soul was being impaled.

Song of the Day #1862

Song of the Day: Tribute to Film Composers [YouTube link], arranged and conducted by John Williams, is a celebration of some of the greatest scores—and their composers—to have ever graced the silver screen. It includes wonderful cues from such composers as Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Miklos Rozsa, James Horner, Henry Mancini, Ernest Gold, John Barry, Maurice Jarre, Malcolm Arnold, Jerry Goldsmith, Bill Conti, Elmer Bernstein, Randy Newman, Ennio Morricone (that “Cinema Paradiso” theme from yesterday), Nino Rota, and the maestro himself. The performance of this kaleidoscopic medley was a highlight of the 74th Academy Awards back in March 2002. Tonight, a new film score will take its place among those awarded over the last 93 years of Oscar.

(In the title YouTube link, Harrison Ford tells us back then that Williams had only 45 Oscar nominations, and 5 Oscars to his credit; he now has 52 Oscar nominations, second only to Walt Disney’s 59 lifetime nominations!)

Inherit the Wind … Still Riveting


This scene from the 1960 film, “Inherit the Wind” (which is on the local NY PBS station tonight), is one of the most riveting cinematic statements of the power of the individual human mind in the debate between science and religion. Based on the Scopes “Monkey” Trial, it features two giants of the silver screen: Spencer Tracy and Frederic March. Breathtaking…

Martin, Johnny, and Bette

This 1988 Martin Short appearance on Johnny Carson is full of hilarious impersonations… and Bette Davis is not amused! LOL

Song of the Day #1861

Song of the Day: Cinema Paradiso (“Love Theme”) [YouTube link] was composed by Ennio Morricone for the 1988 Italian film that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 62nd Academy Awards. This is Academy Awards Weekend, which comes later than the typical February showing (that coincides with my Film Music February Tribute). So I’m featuring two additional film-related “Songs of the Day” to celebrate the art of the score. Listen especially to this lush, romantic theme as rendered by the great classical violinist Itzhak Perlman [YouTube link].