[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

A deeply weird 1946 movie with Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth. Netflix's AI thought I would like it slightly better than I did.

Ne'er-do-well smalltime gambler Johnny (Mr. Ford) is about to be mugged and probably killed in an Buenos Aires back alley, when he's saved by tungsten tycoon/casino owner Ballin Mundson (played by George Macready). I don't think a reason was given for Mundson to be on the scene; even less explicable is what happens next: he invites Johnny to his casino, and after some gay repartee, hires him to do some vaguely-described duties.

The relationship between Mundson and Johnny is tense, and it doesn't get any better when Mundson returns from a brief trip with a new wife: Gilda, played by Ms. Hayworth. Gilda and Johnny are hostile toward each other from the get-go, and, as it turns out, there's a very good reason for that… But that's enough plot description.

Let it be said that there's enough dysfunction in the triangular relationship between Johnny, Gilda, and Mundson to send a marriage therapist into a different line of work. Mundson's tungsten machinations turn out to be a source of dangerous intrigue as well. Rita Hayworth sings and dances. Everybody smokes and drinks way too much.

Oh, and the ending is … well, it's damned odd, given all the ominous foreshadowing.

URLs du Jour


  • At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson marks the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Peace Accords by offering his solution for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict: The Bob Newhart Peace Plan.

    There’s a Bob Newhart sketch you probably know: A woman walks into a therapist’s office and says that her life is being spoiled because she spends all of her time obsessing over the fearful possibility that she will be buried alive in a box. His advice:

    Stop it!”

    I recommend clicking through to YouTube if you haven't seen it. Anyway, on to KDW's point, and he does have one:

    A peace plan isn’t peace. Peace negotiations aren’t peace. Nobel Peace Prizes aren’t peace, either, though they were handed out after Oslo.

    Peace is peace.

    And war is war: There were 169 Palestinian suicide attacks between 1993 and 2016, targeting shopping malls, bus depots, the streets of downtown Jerusalem. In 2014 alone, there were 4,500 rocket and mortar attacks on Israelis. The Palestinians still proudly celebrate their stunning military victory over a pregnant woman, seven children, and five other civilians eating pizza at the Battle of Sbarro. There is constant violence on the Gaza border, and balloons and kites now are used to deliver incendiary devices into Israeli cities. There are practically no diplomatic relationships between the Israeli government and the Palestinian government, partly because the Palestinians have two competing governments run by two competing terrorist organizations: Fatah in the West bank and Hamas in Gaza. The United States government has announced that it will cease funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and an Israeli newspaper reported that the Trump administration, through Jared Kushner and his representative Jason Greenblatt, had offered the Palestinians $5 billion to come to the negotiating table again — a claim Greenblatt denies. President Trump has suggested that he’ll rely on financial leverage to motivated the Palestinians, telling reporters: “I’d say, ‘You’ll get money, but we’re not paying you until we make a deal. If we don’t make a deal, we’re not paying.’”

    Another deal. One cannot fault the administration for trying. What else is there to do?

    If only Secretary of State Bob Newhart were here to offer the Palestinians some sound advice: "Stop it.

    As a longtime Newhart fan, I can only second this motion.

  • At the Federalist, David Harsanyi's article may have the most blindingly obvious headline ever: Democrats Have Made Sure That Brett Kavanaugh Will Never Get A Fair Hearing.

    Without the emergence of new evidence, we will never know if Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against Brett Kavanaugh is true or not. And there’s nothing Kavanaugh can do or say that will clear his name. If you’re a man, a single uncorroborated account that dates back to 1982 is all your political critics need to accuse you of attempted rape.

    There is also no possible outcome in which Democrats will concede Kavanaugh’s innocence, or even concede that we can’t really know what transpired on that night 36 years ago. Republicans can accede to as many hearings as Democrats demand, and it won’t alter any of the liberal rhetoric or perceptions of partisans. Republicans could put Kavanaugh’s classmates under oath and have them deny that anything inappropriate or criminal occurred that night, and it will not matter. It will not matter if 65 women come forward and attest to Kavanaugh’s sterling character — in fact, for Democrats, it’s merely confirmation that the judge is covering something up. It doesn’t make any difference that, as far as we now know, there’s no pattern of bad behavior from Kavanaugh into adulthood (unlike say, Roy Moore or Bill Clinton).

    Will things get worse, civilized-discourse-wise? I think so. What's to stop it?

  • The Minuteman, Tom Maguire, is (as always) Fair and Balanced: The Kavanaugh Train Wreck.

    Kavanaugh is in line for a lifetime appointment. Given the stature of the position and the seriousness of the charge, if the case against him weighed in at, e.g., 40% probability, that might be reasonable grounds to move him aside.

    ON the other hand, it is deeply troubling to think we will reward Sen. Feinstein for this cheap political stunt, which showed contempt for the confirmation process, her Senate colleagues, and the public. The cost of rewarding terrible behavior ought to be factored into the final assessment. Again, as an example, if there is only a 40% chance that Kavanugh is guilty as charged AND we are rewarding deplorable behavior, maybe we should put him on the court in an attempt to preserve respect for the process. Maybe. Politically challenging, obviously.

    Put it another way - if Sen. Feinstein and Prof. Blasey had come forward in July we would have a bit more confidence that taking them seriously would not undermine our current system. But now? What's next? Will future hearings be six months of shadow boxing with the final punches only thrown after the hearing's end? How is that helpful to an already badly broken system?

    Eesh. A commenter makes an interesting point:

    It seems to me that every picture I have seen of Kavanaugh since this smear broke is a picture intentionally chosen to show him confused, tongue-tied, worried, rattled and befuddled---to show him as a grimacing, unhappy man who should not be believed and does not deserve the benefit of the doubt of being believed.

    I note that the NYT has a "helpful" article from—guess who?—Anita Hill: How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right. Subhed: "The Senate Judiciary Committee has a chance to do better by the country than it did nearly three decades ago."

    Pass. Hard pass.

  • The Free Beacon notes the latest important research being funded by Joe and Jane Taxpayer: Feds Spend $1,009,762 Training ‘Social Justice’ Math Teachers.

    The National Science Foundation is spending over $1 million to train two-dozen "social justice" math teachers in Philadelphia.

    The Drexel University project will promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) high school curriculums that are "steeped in the context of social justice."

    I am not holding my breath to hear whether STEM teachers "steeped in the context of social justice" will do a better job than unsteeped teachers. I somehow doubt whether that hypothesis will be rigorously tested.

  • If you Twitter, can I recommend that you follow Titania McGrath? She's consistently delightful. Sample:

    Hypothesis: Iowahawk has a fake account.

Last Modified 2018-12-26 12:28 PM EDT