Thursday, December 29, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition- Amnesiacs


Wandering Through The Shelves made me put my thinking cap on but I think I came up with 3 that work so here we go...


I saw this show before I watched Secret Agent Man starring Patrick McGowan as a debonair spy who never kissed the girl( he actually had this in his contract because he only felt he could kiss his wife, which is kind of nice). This series starts where he quits his job and wants to leave but is gassed and wakes up in the village. He is only known as #6 as he tries to figure out who he is, why he is in this village and why he is prevented from leaving. When he tries, via the water, this big white bubble comes along and envelops him. You are treated to a cat and mouse game as the higher ups try to gain info from him. It's an excellent series that has received cult status and rightly so.


So, this is just one episode in the original series but Star Trek liked this type of format which was used in The Next Generation and even in the movies. This is one episode that seems a bit out of the norm because it seems to be more about Kirk's life with the Native Americans on a distant planet than about alien planets. Kirk, Spock & McCoy  beam down on a planet that is in the direct path of a huge asteroid and will be destroyed unless the 3 can do something to stop it. They find this strange obelisk and before you can say, Kirk's a jerk,  Kirk lands into the obelisk and gets his brain fried enough to forget who he was. Spock & McCoy have to get back to the ship leaving Kirk behind. When these pretty Indian maidens come to the obelisk to pay respect, out comes Kirk. Believing he is a God, they bring him to their tribe and he seems to prove it when he saves a drowned kid. Kirk and the prettiest maiden fall in love, marry and she becomes pregnant. It goes on from there. I found this episode not the most popular but I have always liked it for the gentle manner of this one episode.

3. QUANTUM LEAP- 1989-1993

I am watching the remake and, although not as good as this original, I don't hate it like so many do. The original stars Scott Bakula as the brainiac Sam who decides to go it alone into his machine and gets pulled into other people's lives without knowing where he is, who he is and why he is there. On top of it all, his brain has become jumbled and ge can't recall who he truly is. Al, played wonderfully by Dean Stockwell, is the only one who connects with him from his present and tries to help him figure out what Sam is supposed to do to help the person he has inhabited. Everyone sees the person but we see Scott Bacula even when he plays a woman. The only time we see the person he inhabits is when he looks in the mirror. I loved watching this show for the different plot lines, some dramatic and others quite comedic. We also get a chance to see how talented Bacula is as a singer when he did a version of Man of La Mancha. It's quite a great show and worth checking out.

What shows can you think of with amnesiacs?

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Happy New Year....Soon


Well, this is what hubby will be doing when the ball drops on Saturday. I will stay up because I always want to stay up and see the stupid ball drop before I get to bed and sleep in the new year. I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas as I have. Hubby spoiled me and I am so grateful and he is grateful for what I gave him and that makes me happy. Now, on with the music....


This is a somewhat quiet song maybe even melancholy, but it sounds so pretty especially with Judy singing it. This song was written by Gordon Jenkins back in 1949.


This  song comes from their last album, “Super Trouper,”  sung by Agnetha Fältskog (the blond one). I got a kick that this was originally titled, “ Daddy Don’t Get Drunk on Christmas Day.” Which cracks me up. Oh, and guess what? Agnetha’s mom’s name is....Birgit.


We all know this song, which was written by  Scotsman, Robert Burns, back in 1788 and was set to tune back in 1799. I honestly didn’t think it was that old...the melody not the poem. Guy Lombardo, Born in London, Ontario-Canada, made this tune famous with his Royal Canadian orchestra and we hear his version every year after the ball comes down in Times Square. My dad loved watching his New Year’s Eve special on the CBC every year until Guy died in 1977.

Wishing you a very great and healthy New Year ahead!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks-Winter Sports


I’m late again because Ive been busy with Christmas shopping etc... some of you already have everything done...😛⛄️. Ok, just having fun with ya....I promise I won’t stick my tongue out at you and am glad you are all ready for Christmas. Wandering Through The Shelves' themes for this year are almost done and am looking forward to the new year of themes, but we still have 2 more to go and this is a fun one. I, alas, have yet to see any Sonja Henie films...she was huge back in the day and a gold medal winner in figure skating. One day, I will see her films even though they will be corny but, I know, I will enjoy them. Now...on with the show...


You know I had to find a way to get this film into one of these themes and I did! Yes, it might be a stretch but, it’s a key plot point that carries resonance throughout the film.  We see a young George Bailey sledding with his pals and his kid brother Harry, on shovels, when Harry breaks through the ice. George jumps in to save Harry but George catches a bad cold and loses the hearing in his one ear. The film continues from there and, if you have not seen it or don't know the plot, you have been hiding under a rock...shame on you! This is my favourite film which I watch every year. Just thinking that sledding can be as simple as what is shown in this film to  what we see in the Olympics. Yes, i still have to see that film about the Jamaican sled racing team starring John Candy. 


I saw this film when it first came out so I am a bit foggy with the details, but it stars Russell Crowe in a sweet dramedy ( I know! Russell in a sweet film??) about a team of guys that play hockey on an open rink. Hank Azaria, now a writer (or something like that) who comes back to his home town, only to find a chilly reception (pardon the pun). He writes up a story that a professional Hockey team will compete with the amateurs. before you can say, Holy Freeze, Batman, The Hockey team goes up to the town and play hockey. No one is happy about this event but, somehow, people find more than they bargain for. I find this movie a hidden gem and one that i enjoyed watching and would love to see again.


This film was (co)written, directed and stars Paul Gross (He was the Mountie in the hit Canadian TV show "Due South") as a man who comes home and ends up compiling his old teammates in the winter sport of, you guessed it, curling. To say they are rusty is putting it mildly so Paul decides to enlist his estranged dad's help in getting the team into tip top shape. The dad is played by the legendary Leslie Nielsen who often co-starred with Paul Gross on his TV Show, "Due South." One of the opposing teams is played by the legendary Canadian rock groups, The Tragically Hip, to great comedic effect. I have to admit that, when I was a kid, I would watch curling. I never played it but I enjoyed watching it....I was one strange kid. This is a very fun and sweet movie that I can watch over and over again but part of that is due to my crush on Paul Gross....and Leslie Nielsen. 

Which films can you think of that includes winter sports?

Now, we are to be hit with a huge winter storm, just like a storm that hit Christmastown all those years ago with Santa almost cancelling Christmas. If it wasn't for Rudolph's shiny nose, we would not have had any presents....:) I am certain many of you will be in a similar shape since this is one huge ass of a storm. I wish all of you a safe and wonderful Christmas. Please know I read every comment you leave even though I fell flat on my brains in replying to your great comments. 

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

More Christmas Songs Please


Normally, I do my "Guess which song won the Oscar"  theme this week but, it's Christmas and I wanted to showcase 3 songs I love that comes from other parts of the world, not just English or German (since I showcased German last week with Mad Ivan). I grew up hearing these songs and I thank my mom for showcasing more than just what was in our backyard and with no singing that sounds like cats are in heat. 


This Capella group is from Ottawa and I think they did this traditional French song justice. It's actually from 1720 written by Bernard de La Monnoye. I always loved this song and heard a newer version on the classical radio station I listen to but forgot the singer's name. I have to find that version.


I am writing this way too late....Anyhoo, I tried to find the original version I heard from the "Great Songs of Christmas", from 1963, but I couldn't find it so I hope this version does well. I can't hear it when I download it onto my blog. This is a beautiful Spanish song that comes from the 1800s, written by Jose Ramon Gomis and later, lyrics by Juan Francisco Munoz y Pabon and was published in 1904.


I recall watching this special Christmas concert with these 2 great operatic divas and wondered why Kathleen Battle(the gal in the red dress)  seemed to want to outdo Frederika. I found out that Kathleen Battle is notoriously difficult and was actually fired from the Metropolitan Opera House for her horrible behaviour to, well, everyone. Actually, everyone applauded when she was told to leave! That being said, you can't say she can't sing and this was an excellent Christmas concert. This is a traditional Italian Christmas carol written in 1917 by Pietro Yon.

If you care to listen to one of my favourite albums, here is "The Great Songs of Christmas", from 1963 with Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet in 2 of the carols. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks-Movies with a Flower in the Titl


I believe the wonderful Brittani chose this unique theme and there are quite a few out there that fit this. Head over to Wandering through the Shelves and let's see what else has been chosen. Here are my 3...


This stars Alan, "I'm not short" Ladd as the main character who is coming home with his 2 war buddies, one suffering from battle fatigue( WW2 name for PTSD),  after being overseas in the Pacific. Al decides to see his wife who, you guessed it, has been unfaithful and drinks like a stinky skunk. Her dalliance is with the owner of a nightclub called, you guessed it, The Blue Dahlia. This noir film gets even darker when slutty wife ends up dead and hubby is the main suspect. He meets up with a Dame, Veronica, "don't get your silken hair caught in that vice" Lake who is true blue. There is more to this story and the Ladd and Lake team was popular. Raymond Chandler wrote the script, put Paramount in a vice when they wanted the ending changed by being able to drink plus work from home. Chandler hated Veronica Lake whom he called Moronica Lake dissing her every chance he got.  It's a good movie with a perfect Noir looking theme. Yes, this is where the poor gal  Elizabeth Short, who got sliced in half...literally, got her name with a slight change...the Black Dahlia, a still unsolved murder. 


Yes, I have talked about this film more than once but I just love this film. It's by the magical team of Michael Powell and Eric Pressburger. This stars Deborah Kerr as a nun sent to this remote Tibetan area to run a nunnery in what used to be a palace for a former king complete with enticing colours and diagrams on the walls. With a debauched man( rugged good looks, baritone voice and devil may care attitude...I would have climbed him like a tree) bringing them things they need or just causing shit, the nuns seem to be swaying to the senses and erotic undertones with one nun going all out with red lipstick, giving up her order for lust. I love this film. Sensual, beautifully photographed, you almost think you can smell all the spices.


Jack Lemmon stars as an up and coming public relations exec who goes to all the parties and shindigs having drinks and enjoying the perks. He marries the young secretary( Lee Remick) and initiates her to booze. Before you know it, they are in deep in as alcoholics where he loses his job. Even trying to kick the booze at her dad's place doesn't work. He finally finds AA but who knows if it will last. It's well acted and raw with Jack Lemmon in an early dramatic performance that truly showcases his acting metal. It's a great portrait of alcoholism. 

What films can you think of with a flower in its title?

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Christmas Songs...‘Tis the Season


I do love the Christmas music I grew up with which included German music that just seems to exude peace, love, beauty especially when the church bells ring. Often the bells ring before and after Silent Night is performed. I don’t like the many songs out there where the singers sound like screeching cats butchering iconic carols nor do I like the music that is called Christmas music because they throw in the word Christmas in it. I don’t mind Dean Martin, Perry Como etc... but I always go back to the great classically nuanced carols or music that has that vibe like the Harry Simeone chorale. I also just the Bonanza Christmas album that has a whole story with musical interludes all sung by Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and one song by Pernell Roberts. It’s not Christmas until that album is played.

One of my favourites is a Christmas album sung by Ivan Rebroff. He was a German singer with a freakish 8 Octave range who could sing from low  F to high F...2 octaves over C. He fancied himself more Russian than German even though he was German, but he may have had Russian lineage. He loved to dress up like a Cossack and was a true workaholic working 7 days a week for a 2 years...not just months...crazy nut. He was born in 1931 and, sadly, died in 2008 while only in his 70s. He could play the violin and piano/organ, became a citizen of Greece and lived on one of the islands and was known for his robust personality and 6' 5" build. I played one of his songs, last year, here...a favourite song of mine but I am going more traditional with the German music so here we go.


This famous carol was composed by Frank Gruber in 1818 after the Napoleonic wars, in Oberndorf, Austria with lyrics by Joseph Mohr who was a school master and organist. Due to flooding the organ was damaged so this is why it was first heard with the guitar.


This is a famous song, again, Austrian in origin composed near Salzburg. It actually is a German folk tune but Georg Gotsch created the lyrics back in 1865.


This comes from a Latin hymn called O Sanctissima, which you may have heard Bing sing in the film, “The Bells Of St. Mary's" with Ingrid Bergman. Johannes Daniel Falk set this to a German text after he lost 4 of his children to Typhoid fever. He founded a rescue house for abandoned children in Weimar area and dedicated this song to the children. 


Hope you listened and enjoyed.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks: Retro Chic


I found this theme a tough one. Ro find a modern type of film that looks retro was not easy so I will be very interested to see what everyone else chooses. Head on over to Wandering through the Shelves to find out. Here are my 3...


I really love this movie because, even though it was filmed in modern times( yes, I know it's 49 yrs old but it's still modern to me), it has that 1940s/ early 50s feel. Philip Marlowe is a PI who drives a 1940s car and smokes like a chimney where everyone else no longer smokes and they drive the latest cars. His friend asks him to drive him to Mexico and he does since he has nothing better to do. When he returns, his friend's wife is murdered and he is arrested but is let go soon after. He then finds out his friend committed suicide and Marlowe doesn't believe the crap he is fed. Elliott Gould is great as Marlowe, a more slovenly, debauched Marlowe than Bogie but fun to watch. It's quite stylistic with some subtle nuances that give this film a retro feel. Robert Altmann was great in directing this film and watch for baseball great, Jim Bouton, as the friend. 


I love the whole look of this Fantasy film that is quite unique in the story and excellent cinematography. A young teen always watches this old 50s Ozzie & Harriet type show and wishes he could be in that show...literally due to Don Knotts giving him a magical remote, he can use but he didn't plan on his wild sister to join him. Everyone is black and white, happy and cheerful but soon things begin to change and colour comes into play to make life more than just...cheerful.

3. DOWN WITH LOVE- 2003 not my favourite as I am not a big Zellweger fan plus I feel like the actor's know what they are all feels forced and I feel somewhat manipulated. It is supposed to be a homage to the great 50s sex/non-sex comedies of Doris Day and Rock Hudson with some Douglas Sirk feel to it with the look of it. Zellweger plays a successful woman who doesn't need a man, enter Ewan McGregor as a devil may care playboy who gets under the skin of Zellweger. The best is David Hyde Pierce in the Tony Randall role( who makes an appearance) as the friend of Ewan. Meh, maybe I should tryvthis again but I have to see Zellweger.

Can you think of any film that fits this theme?

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Christmas Month of Songs or Carols or Teds or Alices


My big Gazoo, aka Harley, happily sleeping..maybe sugar plums are dancing in his head but, I bet, they are shaped like steaks. I can’t believe the Christmas season is upon us and I truly sucked this year in card making. I am making that epic fail scrapbook for my brother for almost a year and still dimly hope I can get it done by Christmas. I think I’m seeing those blasted sugar plums...I’m just choosing songs I grew up with or love from a recent  album. Here are my first 3...


This was the first Christmas album my parents bought together in late 1959 and it’s one of my favourites. This musical piece was written by Leroy Anderson during a heatwave when he was dreaming of cool temps, back in 1949. There are many, many versions of this song but I find this tempo one of the best because, often, it is done too slowly, in my humble opinion.


This is one of my favourite Christmas songs and this version comes from Simeone’s Christmas hit album “Little Drummer Boy.” I do love this album but there are 2 songs that are just off the wall whack a doodle. The songs are fine but the versions, from this album, makes me think they all took a snort of coke before going nuts. Thankfully, this is not one of them but I may save those 2 for another time. I had no idea that this song comes from a Ukrainian folk chant called “Shchedryk” that was enhanced by Ukrainian Mykola Leontovych with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky.


This comes from their hit Christmas album “The Christmas Collection” with this song just so powerfully sung by all 4 men but especially the baritone Carlos MarĂ­n who, sadly, died last December from Covid. This is a French song based on a French poem by Placide Cappeau in 1843 with Adolph Adam setting it to music in 1847.

Hope you enjoyed this Christmas musical interlude.

Which is the earliest Christmas album you own?

Oh, what the hell..

Anybody craving sugar?

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Actor of the Month



BORN: December 29, 1908

DIED: December 30, 1996

AGED: 88 yrs

DIED FROM: Natural Causes after going into a coma

MARRIED:3 Times-Lola Lane, Ginger Rogers and Diana Hall

CHILDREN:1 son with Diana Hall (1968)

AFFAIRS: A few from what I read, the most famous being with his co-star, Jane Wyman

REAL NAME: Lewis Ayres

OSCAR NOMS: Once for Johnny Belinda (1948)

TALENT: Was in a Jazz Band and could play the banjo and guitar

KNOWN FOR: Being a conscientious objector during WW2; Playing Dr. Kildare

He is actually one of my favourite actors not that he was a stupendous one but one I always felt a sincerity that came across when he acted. I think that was due to his own sense of doing what he felt was the right thing to do no matter the consequences. His first acting gig was in a silent film called "The Kiss" starring Greta Garbo but the role that made him famous was as the young German in "All Quiet On The Western Front." This role is the main reason he decided not to fight in the 2nd World War and the public, the studio and many of his friends shunned him not knowing that he signed up as a medic making sure he would be able to serve in the Pacific. He was one of 16 medics who arrived, under heavy gun fire, to set up evacuation hospitals during the invasion of Leyte. By the end of the war he was awarded 3 Bronze stars plus he donated all the money he made, while serving, to the Red Cross. 

Aside from his 2 brief marriages in the 1930s to the actresses mentioned above, he had a few fun times with others including an affair with Jane Wyman while making Johnny Belinda and she, still married to Ronald Reagan. You can tell, just by watching the film, how much chemistry they had. I had a big crush on him after I saw this movie and, yeah, I was like 15. He actually won a Golden Globe for his documentary titled "Altars of The World" but he is most famous for playing Dr. Kildare in 9 movies and was ready to play the character again on TV, but he wanted a ban on all smoking commercials feeling that smoking was harmful (Boy, was he ahead of his time). Not wanting to lose this revenue, he was dropped and they brought in young Richard Chamberlain to play Kildare (Chamberlain became the hot ticket after this). Lew Ayres guest-starred in many TV shows during the last 2 decades of his life like "The Love Boat", Fantasy Island", "6 Million Dollar Man" and "Little House on the Prairie."



2. STATE FAIR-1933

3. HOLIDAY-1938

4. YOUNG DR. KILDARE-1938 (the first of 9)


6. ICE FOLLIES OF 1939-1939





Friday, December 2, 2022

What Did I Watch In November


Harley and me...he is our big Gazoo. It’s been a busy month seeing the Pink Floyd Tribute Band and Robert Cray, my dear friend visiting from Vancouver, going to the Christmas party and staying over night plus it's been crazy busy at work but I still watched a few movies and tv shows. Here they are...



Carey Mulligan works in a sweat shop in the early part of the 20th century and witnesses, first hand, how atrocious women are being treated. We follow her on her quest to be treated equally but at great personal sacrifice. It's well acted and I liked it better than I thought I would because of the negative criticism it received. 


Stellar film about the true story of a boxer and his brother, once an up and coming boxer, now full tilt in addiction to drugs and alcohol. This is more than just a boxing film but about a family dealing with addiction and a wackadoodle mother. Christian Bale nailed it as the drug addled brother going so far as to losing tons of weight for this role. I watched the extras (  I always do) and it shows the real brothers...boy, Bale nailed the character.


I found this gem at Sunrise Records and snapped it up! This is a TV film I watched when I was 11 and totally freaked out with the 3rd story about a young woman who buys the ugliest African doll you could ever get a hold of which carries the curse that if the belt falls off, the doll comes to life and will try to kill you. Well, guess what happens? I totally freaked out when I watched this as an 11 yr old. The other 2 episodes concerns a teacher who becomes prey by one of her students...or is she? The 3rd concerns 2 sisters, one naughty and one nice and the one really wants the other to die. All 3 stories star Karen Black. These 3 stories are great!

4. TED 2- 2015

What can I say? It's dumb and rude but I laughed. It stars Mark Wahlberg as the best friend to Ted, his cute teddy bear he wished to life in the first movie and this follows how Ted marries his tramp girlfriend and they want to have children....God help the kids! It's mindless, full of crudeness but I found it funny. It's not as good as the first movie, but it's still funny. It comes from the brilliant mind of Seth McFarlane who really is so talented. I want him to make a musical.


OK, guilty as charged...I like watching this dumb ass flick and its sequels. You have a gang of mercenaries headed by Sly Stallone who seems to put more marbles in his mouth every times he talks. His right hand man is Jason Statham with his band of misfits, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Jet Li etc.. as they go to help a woman  in some Central American corrupt country, try to usurp her dad who is now a puppet to bad, bad man played by Eric Roberts (Julia's bro). You throw in Arnie, Bruce Willis and this kick ass gun that blows people, just the bad people, apart and you sit back and enjoy the ride. Oh, and crazy f#&€ Mickey Roarke shows up for the ride.

6. SPY- 2015

This is a very funny spoof of sexy spies starring Melissa McCarthy as the his girl Friday to debonair spy, Jude Law. When Law is killed by big haired meanie, Rose Byrne, McCarthy is sent in to get some Intel but gets right into the hair of the meanie. I thought it was so funny and loved that Jason Statham plays on his roles but, in this movie, he is one intense,but complete, idiot. Too funny.


1. CHEERS-1982-1993

This is such a classic sitcom about a former big league ball player, an alcoholic, who owns a bar and we get to meet the patrons who  basically, live there from Norm who can drink beer like a mosquito sucks blood, to Cliff the post man who thinks he knows everything and drives everyone nuts. When Diane comes to the bar and is hired by Sam because he felt sorry for her, you see sparks fly. This show was the lowest rated show in 1982 but the great head of NBC, Brandon Tartikoff, believed in the show. When Sam & Diane express their feelings for each other at the end of season 1, it became the highest rated show. This show brought in Frazier Crane!


This is about a nice family with 3 young kids, who have his crazy ass parents and brother live across the street. It's a brilliant, funny show with parents you would never ever want to have. 

3. HOPE FOR WILDLIFE-2009-2020

This is a Canadian reality rescue animal show showing how this great lady, name Hope Swinimer, started this rescue in 1997. This rehabilitation place,  for all forms of wildlife, helps get these animals back into the wild. Sometimes, the animals are too injured but, overall, you see how dedicated she is, and her team, to help as many critters as she can. Her place is on the coast in Nova Scotia and you go through all triumphs and losses that she endures with grace, including her cancer scare and the loss of her husband who died at sea. 


This is a new series based on the brilliant books by Anne Rice. The show has changed quite a bit from the original novel but still seemed to create something of interest. Somehow, the people who created this series found an actor who looks and talks like Anthony Bourdain which is freaky. He interviews Louis and you are taken back to 1910 New Orleans when Louis is still human and the apple of his mom snd sister's eye. Louis meets Lestat, an annoying yet charming asshole who is a vampire and makes Louis one. It's quite intriguing and well done but you have to keep an open mind since there are quite a few differences from the books. 

So...what did you watch?

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks-Combat Sports


This is an interesting challenge this week because I am so far removed from this..namely, sports and combat. Actually, I watch a lot more combat movies and documentaries than I would ever watch sports. That being said, I realized I have seen quite a few films that meet this theme. Wandering Through The Shelves chose another great theme this week so let’s get on with the show.


I really love this movie and first saw it when I was a kid and found it hilarious. This is the best version although Adam Sandler’s film is not bad, just not as good as this original that stars Burt Reynolds as a disgraced football quarterback who winds up in a Southern prison run by a corrupt warden, played by Eddie Albert. The warden decides to pit the guards up against the prisoners and puts Reynolds in charge of developing a team. He does and uses many unique ways to give it to the guards which just made me howl. I love some of the character actors in this film like Richard Kiel (Jaws from the Bond films) which makes this film more gritty but without losing the fun. There are some sad moments in the film but that's what makes it even better and how can one not love those cheerleaders.

2. SLAPSHOT-1977

This is about hockey when bashing each others' face in and not wearing any helmets was the way it was. It stars Paul Newman ( who, I had read, said this was his favourite film) as an over the hill player who loves to drink and play. He rolls his eyes when these 3 young dumbf%$×s are brought on board to play until he sees how they play which is using elbows, fists, body crushes win the game. It's hilarious and, you don't see blood spurting all over like some Godfather movie, but just fights etc all with a twinkle in their eye. I love Strother Martin as the manager of this team and how can one not love Paul Newman in 70s garb. My brother still needs to do a write up on my blog about this movie.


Seriously, you can't get more combat sports than this. We all know how the Romans just loved watching gladiators slay each other for sport or be pitted against animals. I bet you any money that it would still make big business today. In this excellent movie, Russell Crowe is a general who leads the Roman army to victory against the Barbarians with Richard Harris, the King, calling him the son he wished he had. Evil Joquin Phoenix hears his daddy say this  offs his dad and has Crowe arrested and be put to death. He underestimates Crowe who survives and tries to make it home before the Roman's only to be too late. His wife and son dead, he is knocked out and brought to Oliver Reed ( his final role, who died before his scenes were completed) to be a slave who must become a gladiator and combat others in irder to stay alive. Crowe becomes valued and famous before coming to Rome and the coliseum. There he reunites with Joaquin and now who will truly win. This won several Oscars including best actor for Crowe. I love most of the movie except for the saccharine ending which makes me roll my eyes a bit but, overall, it's a great movie and one of my hubby's favourites. 

Which combat sports movies would you pick?

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Weekly Song Fest-It’s Beginning to Look a Little Windy


Today it’s supposed to be a very windy day so I hope I don’t lose any roof shingles but, I have to admit, I love wind....not when someone breaks wind, mind you, especially my dog Harley...Peeeeeeuuuuu. Last week, Denise mentioned The Wayward Wind Sung by Gogi Grant and I totally forgot about that beautiful song so I decided to go for the windy theme.


As I said before, I really love this song. I find it dreamlike and ethereal for some reason. This song was written by Stanley Lebowsky with lyrics by Herb Newman. I had forgotten about this song until Denise mentioned it last week. So, thanks Denise the way, what did you make for Thanksgiving? 



This comes from the Lerner & Loewe musical, “Paint Your Wagon”  which I first heard when I watched the movie version starring Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood...yes...these 2 in a musical.  This was my favourite song from this musical sung by Harve Presnell in the film version.  Apparently, it became very popular with the soldiers during the Korean War. I never knew that. 


Yeah, so this is about death but, hey, I still find it a beautiful song that was written by Kerry Livgren from Kansas. 

So what windy songs come into you head?

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks:TV Edition-Foreign Language Shows


So, I got...nuttin'! This week is nadda for me but I will check out what Wandering Through The Shelves will have as well as the others. Since it's American Thanksgiving, I thought I would pick some memorable TV episodes about this holiday starting with the best...


To say I died laughing is an understatement. I was laughing so hard my sides hurt. To this day, saying, " They're dropping like pieces of wet cement." Makes most people from my time laugh. Apparently  this is based on a true story...only in America.


The gang are welcomed over at Carla's house where they must wait for the bird to be cooked. A food fight ensues in which the 3 Stooges would be proud. 


There are more than just one episode about this holiday but when Rachel screws up the trifle dessert, it made me laugh so much.


Debra finds out, from Ray, that her parents are splitting just when she is ready to deal with the turkey. OMG...I laughed and laughed. 


Family...Vicki Lawrence plays the mom to Eunice, played by Carol Burnett. Harvey Korman plays Eunice's husband. Dick Van Dyke was in the sketch and the great Tim Conway, who could keep in character and always make Korman laugh. Well, this time, he kept going making everyone laugh but for Mama..Mama brings it all home putting everyone on the floor. Again  I just was laughing, and laughing. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Here is a pic of my hubby and I, all Cinderellad out, for the work Christmas party  and another of my sweet Harley.

He has a muzzle on vecauae he pucks up anything he can to eat it from plastic bags to rotted barnacles.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Oscar Song Year-1959


What will you choose  as the winner, the nominee and neither but maybe should have been a winner. It's that time again to figure out what is what for the Oscars and I choose 1959 so let's see if you can guess who won, who was nominated and who came up empty handed. 


This is a song written by Dimitri Tiomkin with lyrics by Ned Washington that came from the film, "The Young Land" with young Patrick Wayne and Yvonne Craig. Sounds like a movie I'd like to see. Don't you love the name Gogi.


This song is from the film, "A Hole In The Head" where Frankie sings to a little kid to make the kid feel better. It's written by James Van Heusen  and lyrics by Sammy Cahn. I have to see this flick  one day, too.


I have seen this film which is a very funny movie especially by the great Thelma Ritter who plays Day's housekeeper. This was a big hit for day, written by Buddy Pepper and Inez James. 

So, which song won the Oscar, which was nominated and which got nadda.  This sounds familiar so  if I chose this year already, forgive me... I'm beyond exhausted.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks-Book Adaptations


Wandering Through The Shelves has chosen this before and with good’s a great theme. I have been quite busy with my friend, from Vancouver, visiting, going to a Blues concert this eve and Friday, Christmas Office Party in Toronto. It’s also nuts at work so this is nice to write here....


This film is from the famous book by John Steinbeck that takes place during the Great Depression with 2 itinerant workers, one who is large, gentle but mentally disabled and the other, his best friend, who watches out for him. They are working on a farm for a sadistic owner with a horny wife wanting to save up enough money for their own farm but things never go as planned. This film is so well done and Lon Chaney Jnr, who played the big guy, Lenny, got rave reviews and rightly so. Burgess Meredith plays his protector and it is a good retelling of this book. I find it quite funny that my mom chose this book as the first book to learn English. This book is full of slang so...not the best book to learn the English language.


This is a fun film starring Bogie and Bacall when they came clean about their relationship and were going to marry. Raymond Chandler wrote the book but he couldn't even figure out the plot. Basically, Bogie is hired by a millionaire to find out what is going on with his one daughter. She is an alcoholic nympho who gets involved with the wrong type of people. You find out she is bring blackmailed for photos taken of her. Along for the ride is a dead body found with her and Bogie tries to figure everything out. Bacall plays the older sister who is involved in this whole mess up and messes up Bogie as well. I just watched the original 1944 version that made more sense...somewhat but it doesn't have that famous horse riding conversation  which is so great. This version also has BVall in a horrible hat with netting which makes her look like she just visited some bees. I will be rewatching the more famous '46 version soon.


This is my favourite version of this famous book by Charles Dickens with John Howard Davies as the Young boy who ends up in an orphanage and dares to ask for more gruel. He ends up on the streets and is taken in by this gang of pickpockets led by Fagin  played so well by Alec Guiness. You wish this young boy will find out where he actually comes from and can escape the clutches of the denizens of the underworld in London.  A great picture. 

Which 3 can you come up with?

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

November 11th Has Passed By But...Lest We Forget


I'm not meaning to be a Debbie Downer (sorry to all the wonderful Debbies out there and...where did that quote come from??) but I have to mention some great songs about the 2 world wars. I actually had a great weekend...not working until Wednesday and off Friday for my work's Christmas party which should be fun. My friend V.J. came to visit me Friday night and left today, Tuesday so I have lost so much and need to catch up. Anyways, I gave a little thought to my mom and dad who both experienced the war but my mom as a German kid and teen and my dad as a Canadian soldier. I thought of my 2 uncles, my mom's brothers whom I never met-one was 19 and the other a little over 1 yr old. Uncle Kurt died on June 30, 1945, along with 178 other German soldiers, all of their "wounds" as told to the families by the Russians. The only soldiers left in the hospital were Russians and my Uncle's body was bull-dozed into a pit. The Nazis did horrific things as well as some Germans....but not all. We better never forget all the atrocities or they will be repeated..just look at what is happening now in the Ukraine. not hate All Russians as they should not be white-washed like the German people have been. Anyways, here are my 3 choices for this week.


This is a very moving song originally written and performed by John McCutcheon (you can listen to his version here...I hope) in 1984. He wrote based on the very famous truce between the Brits and Germans on Christmas Eve in 1914. The Allies could hear the German soldiers sing Silent Night and they started to sing too. The German soldiers gestured to meet in No Man's land and they did! They shared Christmas songs and gave each other gifts of food or whatever they had handy and even played Football, called Soccer for us folks. McCutcheon met some of the German men who came to his concert and heard this song. John McDermott, A great Canadian/Scottish tenor often comes to my little city and my ex and I brought my mom and my in-laws to hear him sing. He speaks very highly of all soldiers from all wars and sings many songs that people from war can relate to. My mom and my in-laws met John and i have a picture of my mom with John McDermott. I have to find it.


The great Vera Lynn died, in 2020, at the age of 103 with her wits still with her. She just did a collaboration with Katherine Jenkins (you can here it here..again, I hope) on this song giving the torch to Ms. Jenkins who must have been just tickled pink. This song was written by Walter Kent in 1941 when the British were fighting the war and won the air overhead made famous as The Battle of Britain (1940). This win, that the British soldiers thought they would never win, helped change the course of the war (one of many, thankfully).  


I heard about Chris DeBurgh when I was a teen and bought his very famous record. "Spanish Train" and this song was on this record and it made me cry. I started to read up about Passchendaele and found that this battle put Canada on the map as a great nation. When, in 1917, the British, Australians and New Zealanders could not take the ridge, we were sent in and, despite heavy rain, mud and less troops with heavy casualties (almost 16,000 Canadians died), The Canadians took the ridge but...for what? This Irish folk singer really knew how to write about this battle. 

Can you think of any songs that make you think..."Lest We Forget?"

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks: Women Revenge Films


Revenge! There are actually quite a few movies about this theme, hell, Charles Bronson created a whole series of movies about this.  I decided on comedies because there is just too much sniping out there. I will find it interesting what Wandering Through The Shelves will choose on her theme are my 3...

1. 9 TO 5- 1980

I have to re-watch this movie because it is very funny. I remember thinking Jane Fonda would be the hard ass gal, but she played the exact opposite. She, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton all play employees to this lousy bastard of a boss who thinks women should bring him coffee and let him touch their ass plus more, you know, Trump. ( sorry, couldn't help myself). They finally have enough and decide to teach him a lesson with hilarious results. I love the daydreams/dreams they have and how Dolly hog-tied him... she was very funny. It's so worth watching.


This film also has 3 women who were college friends with another woman but all went their separate ways. When the one commits suicide, the 3 reunite and realize they all are dealing with jerks for husbands. They decide to start this club and wish to create some "pain" on their ex's. I love what they say about the new young wife of one of the ex's because it's played by Sarah Jessica Parker. I know, I'm mean. Oh and Goldie Hawn plays an aging movie star who gets botoxed with huge fish lips....sort of  what she looks like now.


One day, I wasn't feeling well and came across this flick. I saw it starred Cameron Diaz which meant it might stink, but I was pleasantly surprised and laughed out loud. Leslie Munn is very funny in this and Kate Upton is surprisingly not bad. Diaz plays a lawyer happily involved with a good looking man who seems too good to be true and is. When Munn visits Diaz, Diaz is horrified to learn he is married to Munn who plays this goofy wife who did all she could for her husband. She pleads with Diaz to get back at her ex and they finally decide to work together and travel to the Bahamas(I think) to see what he is up to. They find out he has a 3rd gal in Kate Upton and bring her into the fold. I watched this when my best friend was divorcing her narcissistic husband and saw so many similarities because I know her ex has money stashed away on that same island. This movie is about friendships just like the other 2 and some scenes just made me laugh out loud. I loved the scene when his wife decides to give him a very upset stomach or was that the stiff nipples? Kudos to the very good looking actor(Nikolaj Koster-Waldau) to play this character.

What 3 movies can you come up with?

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Pink Floyd


Last week I gave an early Christmas gift to my hubby which was an outing to see the Pink Floyd Tribute Band and they were amazing! My hubby loved it and, as a tribute band, he gave them a 5 out of 5 and he saw THE Pink Floyd back in 1975. I found the band a bit too loud for the venue and the sound kick back would verify that but, I bet, they are used to playing to bigger venues. I just took some Kleenex and placed it in my ears. What was funny was, during intermission, I handed out some tissue to people near me who also placed them in their ears. Most people were, ahem, older and I could hear people talk about their sciatic nerve acting up and the loudness...made me laugh since these people were the teens and early 20s crowd who smoked up, drank and watched this excellent band. One of my favourite songs, “The lunatic inside my head” lyric, I already talked about in an earlier post but I chose 3 that I thought this band did justice. Let me add the 3 women, who were the back up singers, just slayed it especially the gal on the right hand side who just nailed the singing of that lady in the original song.


I remember when this came out and thought it was really “Neato” ...I was a dork but, yeah, I used that word often back then. This song was written by Roger Waters which is, somewhat, autobiographical. I thought the animation from this song was brilliant and loved the kids who sang on this great song.

2.  MONEY-1973

Since I was a Credit Counsellor, am now a BIA Insolvency Counsellor and people are dealing with mega costs in groceries and gas, I thought this song quite apt. I also thought it had a brilliant opening which was written by Roger Waters from the great Dark Side of the Moon Album. I don’t think the lyrics or any other part of this song is dated.


I found out this song, with the great Clare Torry as the female vocalist, was never given any credit until many years later. She took Pink Floyd to court to get the recognition she deserved plus a part of the money. Originally, she went into the studio and, I think, on the 2nd take, she sang  her piece as if her voice were an instrument...which it is. She is now given credit along with Richard Wright, for the composition of this song from The Dark Side of the Moon album. The lady who did this piece last Thursday just nailed it. 

We so enjoyed our evening out. 

Friday, November 4, 2022

What I Watched in October


I gave my hubby an early Christmas gift. We saw a great tribute band to Pink Floyd. It was excellent except it was too loud in the venue we were in. I stuffed kleenex in my ears which helped. Other people also said the same thing so I think it was not my age. Anyway, it was a fun night for sure.

I didn't watch anything new in TV for the most part and fewer movies. I have been too tired often so just watched the same old.



This film stars Tom Wilkinson as a workaholic married to a nice gal who happened to have an affair with the neighbour who is a bit of an ass. There is also an accident involving an older man who was hit by a car while on his bicycle. I remember it was good but it quickly left my head. First film directed by Julian Fellowes.


This is quite an excellent film starring Gary Cooper as Billy Mitchell who decided to not follow orders because he knew better. He was right, but he still was court- martialed. It's based on a true story which seems to be more accurate than many other films. I wanted to know more once I watched this movie and will watch a documentaryon YouTube about this man.


A Roman Polanski film that is a horror comedy and it is quite funny,  but also eerie and has some good scary moments. Polanski stars as an assistant to a buffoonish professor who believes vampires exist and they travel to Romania to find them. When the bathing girl is snatched by the count, the old buffoon and his side kick travel to the castle to kill the vampire. This is a funny movie but still has a chilling touch. When the other vampires awake, I did not expect this and it was well done. It costars Sharon Tate whom Polanski married but she was tragically  killed by the Manson family when 8 1/2 months pregnant. 


An excellent war film when the U. .S military were searching for weapons of mass destruction only to realize there is no such thing. This really gives one a good idea what the soldiers were dealing with and how sad the whole war was, since the Bush people were after the oil. It's not that simplistic but it was about the oil.



We only have the 3rd installment of this 3 part miniseries starring one of my Favourites, Bill Nighy. He plays Warriker, an MI5 agent, who finds out more to the story and it involves him going on the run with his love and finding out the truth to prove his innocence. Well done and acted.

2. FOYLE'S WAR-2002-2015

This is a 13 year series taking place during and after the war. It involves a detective who solves cases that are connected to the MI5 and sometimes, they are not. We only got the last season when our precious video store closed. They only had this last DVD. Now we must get the rest of the series. The actor who plays Foyle, Michael Kitchen  is excellent in his subtle manner who always speaks the truth  His right hand mam is a woman who never listens and must deal with her own homelife. Excellent series.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks- Movies Where the Actors Did Not Like Each Other


I chose this theme, which was nice of Wandering Through The Shelves to use as a theme, because you wonder how these actors can love each other on the screen but despise each other in real life. Some actors, like Joan Crawford, had few people who liked her...with good reason. Let’s just say I would never have wanted to know Ms. Crawford but that doesn’t mean she was evil since she always paid for a hospital bed in Texas( I believe) for people who could not afford it. No one knew about this until after she passed away.  Olivia De Havilland and her sister Joan Fontaine really hated each other and didn’t talk to each other for over 40 years with Fontaine dying without any forgiveness on either part. We are well aware of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis’s famous feud since the Mini series was made about this recently but there are many other famous feuds between actors and when it comes down to it, it’s all about ego., for the most part. So, without further adieu, here are my 3...


This film stars Ray Milland and Marlene Dietrich as 2 people who find each other and fall in love. It’s a spy story where Milland is trying to retrieve information about poisonous gas but is found out by the dreaded Nazis. Enter a gypsy woman, yup, play by Dietrich, who hides him and sneaks him out but not before falling in love. Off camera, Milland was not enamoured by the fact that he would fall for an old broad like Dietrich even though he was only 6 years younger. Dietrich, heard about his way of thinking so in a scene with fish, she looked at him sucked out the eyeballs from some fish and then stuck her finger down her throat and threw them back up. Milland did a heave ho himself upon seeing her do this leaving Dietrich quite happy. She made it difficult for Milland throughout filming especially the kissing scenes. The film is not bad, not great but an ok flick, but I always laugh when I see Dietrich made up to look like a Gypsy.


This is one crazy ass movie where the men seem to be in the womens’ roles and the female are the men. It’s quite a wild western with Joan Crawford owning a saloon who runs a tight ship and loves more than one man including Johnny Guitar played by wooden Sterling Hayden. Her rival and filled with jealousy is Mercedes McCambridge who wishes this chick would just upchuck and die. The antics off camera have become quite infamous with sides being taken between Crawford and McCambridge. Actually, after one scene Mercedes did created a round of applause by all the crew, Crawford became very jealous and would do her best to unnerve the Gal. Crawford was famous for knitting everywhere she went, so she would click her needles louder to disrupt the actress and, it seems, got her blackballed. According to McCambridge, she could not find work for quite a while and believes it was due to Crawford’s strength behind the camera and knowing all the big wigs. 


This is the last movie starring the comedic team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. It’s a fun little comedy with Martin as a gambler who tries to swindle the naive Lewis out of the car he just won. Lewis won’t think of letting go of his car because he wants to go to Hollywood, with his Great Dane dog, to meet Anita Ekberg. The 3 of them( remember there is the dog) hit the road with Martin meeting a nice lass and realizing he likes this goofy guy. It's a nice comedy and typical formula for this duo but, by this time, this duo couldn't stand each other and never spoke to each other when not filming. They were close st one point but, by this point, they couldn't stand each other. One part was how Lewis was taking more and more control over their films plus getting more attention from their fans and the powers that be. When Frank Sinatra tried to get them to bury the hatchet when he brought Dean Martin onto Jerry Lewis’s telethon, the iciness was still apparent. Only when Dean Martin lost his son did Lewis call and they made, somewhat, amends. Lewis said he never watched this movie because it was just too painful.

Which actors can you think of that fit this bill?

Wednesday, November 2, 2022



Did I get your attention?? I just went to a Happy Birthday celebration of a dear friend of mine who turned the big 60 and he is a Scorpio....the Sex It made me think about sex in songs of which there are a ton and I'd love to know which songs you think about. I ended up thinking of Studio 54, the famous club of the 1970s where the staff had to, literally, hose down the sofas from all the sex on them from the night before. Big celebrity names went there and Disco was the rage. So, here we go....


This is a song from 1972, written by Randy Newman, who wanted to create a song  that just seemed outlandish. It was made famous by Joe Cocker, (what an apt last name) but I went with Tom Jones who recorded this version for the film, “ The Full Monty”. I thought it was a good version since so many women threw their underwear at him when Tom Tom sang.


I remember this song back in the day and thought it funny and now, I I still find it funny but a good song to dance to. It was written by the lead singer, Errol Brown and  bassist, Tony  Wilson and became a great song to strip to not that I ever did. This was also in the very funny movie, “ The Full Monty.”


This was written by Italian, Georgio Moroder and created a big sensation because it sounds like Donna is having a very good time with herself. I decided on the shortened version but the 17 minute version became very famous. 

I could have gone in so many different directions but the 70s Disco Era called to me.

Which songs do you think of when you think of Sex?

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

November-Star of the Month


NAME: Gene Tierney (named after a favourite Uncle)

BORN: November 19, 1920

DIED: November 6, 1991

AGE: 70 years old

DIED FROM: Emphysema

MARRIED: Twice-Oleg Cassini & William Lee

CHILDREN: 2 Children

AFFAIRS: Tyrone Power, Howard Hughes, Kirk Douglas (His manly part should have fallen off from all the work out he gave it), JFK (Ditto), Prince Aly Khan

OSCAR NOMINATIONS: Leave Her To Heaven (should have won)

TALENT: Great Femme Fatale

KNOWN FOR: The best overbite that most men would love to kiss; high cheek bones, brilliant green eyes; her sheer beauty. 

This is one of the great beauties and one of the most tragic ladies that graced the silver screen. A definite beauty that could easily have played Scarlet O'Hara if she was famous back in 1939, but she was not yet, "discovered". She went to school in Switzerland and learned to speak fluent French before coming back to the States. She married the famous costume/fashion designer, Oleg Cassini and was longing to have children. She was overjoyed to become pregnant in 1943 and was healthy until she contracted Rubella shortly after volunteering at the Hollywood Canteen (Started by Bette Davis where the US Servicemen were served food and could dance with famous movie stars). The German measles didn't harm Gene but it was devastating to her unborn daughter, Daria, born severely mentally disabled. Years later, Gene met one of her fans who told her that she was in the service but was sick with the German measles. When she was told that Gene Tierney would be at the Hollywood Canteen, she left her quarantine and snuck out to meet her favourite star. Can you imagine meeting the person who gave you the measles that destroyed your child? Thankfully, Howard Hughes always made sure that Daria was given the best treatment in the best care places for children. 

Gene had a few love affairs with JFK being one of them. Thinking he would marry her, she found out cruelly when he told her he could sleep with her but she was not marriage material if he wanted to run for office and, shortly after, married Jackie..nice guy... great president but an a-hole to women. Anyhoo, She also had an affair with prince Aly Khan but his family decided she was not marriage material and the affair ended. Rita Hayworth thought she dodged a bullet since Rita was married to the man. 

Unfortunately, Gene suffered from severe bi-polar disorder and depression resulting in many numerous shock treatments which she wrote about in her autobiography and became an advocate against this type of treatment. She once, Christmas Day 1957, had to be coaxed off of a ledge, 14 stories up, by the police which was a tense 20 minutes. Thankfully, she found some peace with her 2nd husband (who was married to Hedy Lamarr previously) and could enjoy her life out of the limelight. 

She started up smoking thinking she sounded "an angry Minnie Mouse" when she first heard her voice on the big screen. The smoking lowered her voice but gave her the emphysema that led to her death. She was luminous and a much better actress than given credit for at the time. She was one of a kind.


Tobacco Road-1941

Belle Starr- 1941

Heaven Can Wait -1943

Laura -1944 (most known for)

Leave Her To Heaven - 1945

Dragonwyck - 1946

The Razor's Edge - 1946

The Ghost & Mrs. Muir - 1947

Night and the City - 1950

The Left Hand of God -1955