"I Call That Bold Talk For a One-eyed Fat Man."

… "Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!" [Mr. Duvall]

  • Happy birthday to Robert Duvall, 80 years young today. Here's his IMDB page; not all the movies are good, but he's just about always one of the best things in them.

  • Also we'll jump the gun a bit and wish a happy would-have-been-120th birthday to Zora Neale Hurston, born in Notasulga, Alabama on January 7, 1891. John McWhorter notes her essential conservatism:

    Hurston would have understood that sense that black people are, in the end, individuals rather than the sum of an abstract "blackness," as she indicates here: "Suppose a Negro does something really magnificent, and I glory, not in the benefit to mankind, but in the fact that the doer was a Negro. Must I not also go hang my head in shame when a member of my race does something execrable? The white race did not go into a laboratory and invent incandescent light. That was Edison. If you are under the impression that every white man is an Edison, just look around a bit."

    I don't even have to look around a bit to know that every white man is not an Edison.

  • The headline says "INSANELY awesome solar eclipse picture" and that's not a lie. Check it out. (Via Granite Geek.)

  • USS Enterprise Captain Relieved Of Command. Ah, yes. I remember that episode.

    (Sorry. Variants of that minor joke are all over the web, but I couldn't resist.)

Last Modified 2012-09-29 6:33 AM EDT

Wings in the Dark

stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

The second part of our Cary Grant double feature, supplied by Netflix. It's from 1935.

Cary Grant plays inventor/aviator Ken Gordon; he's working on a thread of support from an aviation company to develop an automatic system to allow pilots to land in zero-visibility situations. His co-star is Myrna Loy, playing Sheila Mason, a risk-taking pilot, taking on all kinds of odd flying jobs: skywriting, aerial stunts at fairs, etc. Sheila and Ken are brought together by Sheila's manager, and things are going swimmingly. But then disaster strikes: an explosion blinds Ken.

You can almost write the rest yourself: Ken becomes bitter and withdrawn; Sheila vows to help Ken get back on his feet, regain his confidence, and complete his invention. And there's a thrilling conclusion involving… well, I don't want to give it away.

They don't get away with making movies this corny any more. But that doesn't mean you can't have a good time watching it. Mr. Grant and Ms. Loy are an extremely potent combination of screen glamor, charisma, and talent that still works (at least for me). The flying scenes—from 1935, remember—are impressively done.

Last Modified 2012-09-29 6:23 AM EDT