In just a few more hours, the 2019 MLB regular season will begin when the Mariners’s Ichiro Suzuki tosses out the first pitch of the season. The Mariners and the A’s will be playing a pair of games in Japan, at the Tokyo Dome. In America, it will be around four in the morning when that first pitch is thrown so I’ll probably miss it.
Even if I might not be able to watch the opening pitch, I can still watch my favorite baseball movie, Eight Men Out. Eight Men Out is about the 1919 World Series and how eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of conspiring with gamblers to throw the championship. While everyone agrees that most of the players were guilty, Eight Men Out suggests that both Shoeless Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver were wrongly accused and, unlike the other players, should not have been banned from playing in the major leagues.
The final scene of Eight Men Out takes place several years after the scandal. A group of baseball fans think that they’ve spotted Shoeless Joe playing for a semi-professional team. While they debate whether or not that’s really Shoeless Joe, Jackson’s old teammate, Buck Weaver, tells them that there will never be another player as great as Joe Jackson. John Cusack plays Weaver while D.B. Sweeney plays Jackson.
Since the Oscars are going to be awarded on Sunday night, now seems like a good time to remember the 1966 film, The Oscar. My friends and I have a running joke. Whenever I invite anyone to watch a bad movie with me, I never actually say, “Let’s watch this terrible movie.” Instead, I always say, “This is a cult classic.” Let’s just say that The Oscar is a classic among cult classics.
Directed by Russell Rouse, The Oscar tells the story of Frankie Fane (Stephen Boyd) and his friend, Hymie Kelly (Tony Bennett ….. yes, the singer). Frankie uses everyone in the world to become a film star and abandons them all once he becomes famous. Frankie is determined to cement his stardom by winning an Oscar and he’s totally willing to go to all sorts of unethical lengths to win that golden statuette. He even hires a private investigator (Ernest Borgnine, naturally) to leak private information about Frankie and his friends, in the mistaken belief that it will cause the Academy to sympathize with him.
However, Hollywood is not a place for heels! Or, at least, that’s the case in this film. In the scenes below, Frankie first gets told off by his old friend Hymie and then he gets the ultimate comeuppance at the Oscar ceremony itself. Apparently, Frankie failed to consider that he wasn’t the only Frank nominated that year!
In the 1968 film, Targets, Boris Karloff gave one of his final performances. It was also one of his best.
Karloff played an aging horror actor named Byron Orlok, a role that was based on Karloff himself. Though once a huge star, Orlok’s style of horror has gone out of fashion. As he explains it, the real world has gotten so scary that his horror films are now tame by comparison. In this scene, Orlok proves that he can still give a compelling performance when he recites a short story about death and fate.
Reportedly, Karloff did this scene in one take and received a standing ovation after director Peter Bogdanovich called cut.