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Posts Tagged ‘Joseph L. Mankiewicz’

Carol For Another Christmas

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Late one snowy Christmas Eve, influential rich guy Daniel Grudge (Sterling Hayden) is visited at his mansion by his nephew, history professor Fred (Ben Gazzara, ROAD HOUSE), who confronts him about having blocked a cultural exchange program at the university. Their philosophical argument turns into yelling. After Grudge chews his nephew out and tells him to leave, Fred smiles and dryly says, “Merry Christmas, by the way.”

This somewhat legendary 1964 TV update of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, his followup to CLEOPATRA and only small screen venture. But the obvious voice here is writer Rod Serling, five years after starting The Twilight Zone, sticking with his favorite trick of using genre as a vehicle for heart-on-sleeve pleas about contemporary social issues.

We learn that Grudge’s son Marley was killed in combat on Christmas Eve. This is the source of Grudge’s dislike of Christmas, but also his isolationism. He sees liberals as people who get American military men killed:

“Every few decades we seem to pay for your indiscriminate affections with the lives of our sons.”

But Fred sees it as trying not to get anybody killed: “Those indiscriminate affections as you put it are simply the acknowledgment that all men have sons. That grief for the unnecessary dead is not exclusive to this country, this town or to the House of Grudge.” (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

All About Eve and Three Faces of Eve

Monday, January 1st, 2001

Here I am trying to better myself, trying to educated myself about the films of Cinema and I see that these two both get five star reviews from a lot of critics and hell they’re playing them back to back on AMC I’m thinking hey, the Eve series must be a pretty good series. And it is.

All about Eve is a very well made story about the New York theater type people – actors, producers, writers, columnists, wannabes. The Eve of the title is this young naive girl who’s a dedicated fan who goes to meet the famous actress Margot Channing. She doesn’t want to impose on her, she’s not some autograph seeker, but she’s seen every performance of this play so Margot’s best friend brings her backstage and before you know it she’s Margot’s assistant. And of course the movie depicts her rise from being this naive nobody to being an acclaimed but self centered actress like Margot. If you’ve seen Showgirls this is the same type of deal except without the swimming pool sex scene, otherwise it remains very faithful though. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.