Finally, you may rest in peace

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Abigail Folger (1943-1969)

Wojciech Frykowski (1936-1969)

Gary Hinman (1934-1969)

Leno (1925-1969) and Rosemary (1930-1969) LaBianca

Steven Parent (1951-1969)

Jay Sebring (1933-1969)

Donald “Shorty” Shea (1933-1969)

Sharon Tate (1943-1969)

Paul Richard Polanski (unborn)

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Special Veteran’s Day Edition: THE STORY OF G.I. JOE (United Artists 1945)

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William Wellman’s THE STORY OF G.I. JOE tells the tale of boots-on-the-ground combat soldiers through the eyes of war correspondent Ernie Pyle, Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated columnist for Scripps-Howard newspapers. The film was one of the most realistic depictions of the brutality of war up to that time, and made a star out of a young actor by the name of Robert Mitchum . In fact, this was the one and only time Mitchum ever received an Oscar nomination – a shocking fact given the caliber of his future screen work.

Burgess Meredith  plays Pyle, who embeds with the 18th Infantry’s ‘C’ Company in order to give his stateside readers the grim realities of war from the soldier’s point of view. The men accept him, affectionately calling him ‘Pop’, as he shares their hardships, heartbreaks, and victories. Meredith’s voice over narrations are taken directly from Pyle’s columns, detailing the cold nights, dusty…

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Pulp Fiction #1: Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer

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“The roar of the .45 shook the room. Charlotte struggled back a step. Her eyes were a symphony of incredulity, an unbelieving witness to truth. Slowly, she looked down at the ugly swelling in her belly where the bullet went in.

“How c-could you”, she gasped.

I only had a moment before talking to a corpse. I got it in.

“It was easy”, I said. “

– from I, THE JURY by Mickey Spillane, first published in 1947 by EP Dutton

Mickey Spillane’s PI Mike Hammer made his debut in I, THE JURY, and set the shocked literary world on its collective ear with its sex-and-violence laden story. Critics savaged Spillane, but the book buying public ate it up, turning I, THE JURY into a best seller and launching Hammer as a pop culture icon. Hammer’s roots were deeply set in the bloody pulps and another 20th century phenomenon… the four-color comics!

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RIP, Fats Domino

This is from a 1956 episode of the Ed Sullivan Show:

Rock and roll legend Fats Domino passed away yesterday in Harvey, Louisiana.  He was 89 years old.  Beginning his career in 1947, Fats Domino performed for 60 years straight before retiring in 2007.  He leaves behind 5 gold records, 37 Top 40 singles, and 35 records in the Billboard Top 40.

Once, when a reporter called Elvis “the king,” Elvis pointed at Fats Domino and said, “No, the real king of rock and roll is right over there.”

RIP, Fats Domino.

Thank you for the music.


4 Shots From 4 Films: Happy Birthday Bela Lugosi!

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps we usually post, 4Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking. Today is the 135th anniversary of the birth of one of horror’s most iconic stars, the great Bela Lugosi! In his honor, here’s a special Halloween tribute to everyone’s favorite Hungarian actor!

White Zombie (1932; D: Victor Halperin)

Mark of the Vampire (1935; D: Tod Browning)

The Devil Bat (1940; D: Jean Yarborough)

Zombies On Broadway (1945; D: Gordon Douglas)

Follow That Dream: RIP Tom Petty

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In an era of throbbing disco beats, ponderous prog rock, and angry loud punk,   Tom Petty’s rootsy, guitar-jangling sound was like a breath of fresh air blowing through the late 70’s radio airwaves. Petty was a Southern boy, but didn’t fit the ‘Southern Rock’ mode of the Allman Brothers or Marshall Tucker. Instead, he and his band The Heartbreakers were influenced by the stylings of The Beatles and The Byrds, crafting tight-knit pop tunes for the ages.

The Florida-born Petty was an artsy type of kid, an outsider in a world of machismo. He met his idol Elvis Presley when The King was making the 1961 film FOLLOW THAT DREAM on location, and three years later, when The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan, Tom knew what he wanted to do with his life. By age 17, he’d dropped out of high school, and three years later started Mudcrutch, a…

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R.I.P., Tom Petty

Words fail me right now.

Rest in peace, Tom Petty.

Thank you for the music.

Update, 4:39 pm — Now, CBS, which was the first outlet to report that Tom Petty had died, have backtracked their report.  He’s on life support but apparently, he’s still hanging on.  

4:44 pm — The LAPD has apologized for “inadvertently providing false information.”

12:25 am — Sadly, Tom Petty’s passing has now been confirmed.