Dark Valentine: THE LOVES OF CARMEN (Columbia 1948)


cracked rear viewer


Love takes many strange forms, none more strange than the obsessive love Don Jose has for the Gypsy temptress Carmen in THE LOVES OF CARMEN, Columbia Pictures’ biggest hit of 1948. The film, based on Prosper Merimee’s 1845 novella and Georges Bizet’s famous opera, reunites GILDA stars Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford with director Charles Vidor, and though it’s in glorious Technicolor and set in 1800’s Spain, it’s got a lot of film noir elements going for it: there’s the protagonist caught in a rapidly moving downward spiral, the amoral femme fatale, crime, murder, and a bleak, downbeat ending. Think I’m stretching a bit? Let’s take a look…

Young nobleman Don Jose arrives in Seville with a dragoon squadron, a corporal with political ambitions and a bright future ahead of him… until he meets Carmen, a gorgeous red-haired Gypsy who is an expert manipulator. Jose is enchanted by this free-spirited…

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The Lesson Of Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown


Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown may not be as acclaimed or well-known as It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or A Charlie Brown Christmas but it’s one of my favorite of the Peanuts holiday specials.  It has a very important lesson to teach us all.

It’s all about faith.

Hardly anyone in Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown has a good Valentine’s Day.  None of them should have been surprised.  All of the Charlie Brown holiday specials are about how days like Halloween, Christmas, and Thanksgiving rarely live up to our expectations.  Why should Valentine’s Day be any different?

Charlie Brown shouldn’t have been surprised when he went home empty-handed.  Sure, he thought he’d get a lot of valentines.  He even brought a briefcase to school with him because he was expecting to get so many.  After Schroeder handed out all of the valentines, Charlie Brown even went to big red box and turned it upside down.  There was nothing for Charlie Brown.  There’s never anything for Charlie Brown.

And Linus shouldn’t have been surprised when his teacher left school before he could give her that big heart-shaped box of candy.  After spending all of those Halloweens in a sincere pumpkin patch and waiting for the Great Pumpkin, Linus should have been used to the disappointment.

And Lucy should know that she’ll never be able to compete with Scroeder’s love of msic, no matter how many times she destroys his piano or tells him that Beethoven was overrated.

In the world of Charlie Brown, only Snoopy gets what he wants but he’s a dog so he doesn’t want much.  All he has to worry about is keeping Woodstock happy, finishing his new book, and shooting down the Red Baron.

But they never give up.  None of them.  No matter how wishy-washy or crabby they may be, all of them keep the faith.  None of them surrender their hope.  That’s the lesson of every Peanuts holiday special but it’s especially the lesson of Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.  Someday, the teacher will accept Linus’s gift.  Someday, Schroeder will learn to appreciate Lucy’s finer qualities.  Someday, Sally will be able to make a Valentine just as impressive as Snoopy’s

And someday, maybe today, Charlie Brown will finally get that Valentine!

Never lose hope.  Never give up.  That’s a good lesson for Valentine’s Day.  That’s a good lesson for any day.

Happy Valentine’s Day From The Shattered Lens!


From the humans and the cat at the Shattered Lens to all of you, happy Valentine’s Day!

Some people, like the flame-haired one, love this day while the others, like almost all of the silly humans on twitters, hate this day.  Of course, if you’re a cat, every day is Valentine’s Day!

Whether you’re celebrating, observing, or denouncing this day, here’s hoping that it’s a good one for you and all of your loved ones!

As they say in the homeland, “Is tú mo ghrá!”

It’s Love, Part 4


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is the day that we all celebrate a wonderful thing called love!

Valentine’s Day is not easy for everyone.

As we all know from Mr. Shakespeare, the course of true love never did run smooth.

Are you feeling hopeless this Valentine’s Day?  Maybe these vintage romantic comic book covers will help!

Don’t worry.  Love always wins.

Happy Valentine’s Day!