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May 15, 2008:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, this week is flying by, like a gazelle in toreador pants. This month is now half over, we are entering our third week of The Brain, I am entering the final fixes on the new novel, and time marches on and, conversely, on marches time. It’s that odd sensation when you stand in one place watching speeding traffic go by – you’re there standing perfectly still while the world zooms by you speedily. Was that a metaphor (rohpatem, spelled backwards)? In any case, May is half over and I hope the other half will be excellently excellent for everyone. Speaking of everyone, yesterday was a day that never stopped, not even for a moment. I thought I’d at least have a little time to myself, but the fact is I didn’t, and I didn’t even do any Nudie Musical work, which was my full intention. I got up, had to attend to various and sundried e-mails and telephonic calls, then had to package up some orders (including some big packages), then had to go to the postal office to ship them. Then I had to do some errands that needed doing, and suddenly it was time for my two o’clock meeting with Miss Barbara Deutsch. She’s written a book based on her life coaching techniques and she asked me to help her prepare it for publication, which I’ll happily do. That meeting lasted about an hour, then I toddled off to a nearby restaurant for some luncheon, then I had more errands and then I came home, but had to leave again for my early evening meeting. That meeting lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes, and then I finally came home and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled Man With The Gun, a film about a man with the gun, starring Mr. Robert Mitchum, Miss Jan Sterling, Mr. Emile Meyer, and quite a few other people. What’s fascinating about this film, at least for me, is the number of great character actors in the film, most of whom appear uncredited. Where was the Screen Actors Guild back then – certainly they were not protecting their actors, and frankly, that didn’t change until the late 70s, when it became mandatory to credit every single actor in a film who was on a SAG contract. I know this because I was uncredited in The Apple Dumpling Gang, something that would not have happened today. In fact, today I’d probably have my own card, that’s how far in the OTHER direction things have gone. Some of the terrific actors who appear sans any credit are Angie Dickenson, Maidie Norman, Harry Hickock (pre Music Man), Claude Akins, Burt Mustin, Maudie Prickett, and others. Credited alongside Mr. Mitchum and Miss Sterling were John Lupton, Henry Hull, Leo Gordon, and Ted de Corsia, along with Miss Karen Sharpe, who a decade later would wed director Stanley Kramer. I’d never seen this western before and I must say I quite liked it – an excellent oater, with a fine screenplay by N.B. Stone (who would go on to write Sam Peckinpah’s classic Ride The High Country – Mr. Stone was also cousin to actress Betty Garrett), taut direction by Richard Wilson (his first film in a brief directorial career), and excellent camerawork by Lee Garmes. The black-and-white film also boasts a score by Alex North, which is quite good. There is one music cue that occurs during a fire that was reused in its entirety in Spartacus. The actors are great, and the whole thing runs a brief eighty-three minutes. The transfer is very sharp, with excellent contrast. It is, however, in the wrong aspect ratio – it’s an open matte transfer and it should, of course, be matted to its theatrical ratio of 1:85.

I’ve also been watching volume two of the first season of The Mod Squad, which just came out, and it’s as enjoyable as volume one. I just love Pete and Julie and Linc, and the music by Billy May (theme by Earle Hagen)is just great. And the transfers are pristine, with perfect color, and they look better than the show ever looked on TV.

What am I, Ebert and Roeper all of a sudden? Why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because if we don’t I may start doing more unseemly metaphors and I, for one, cannot stand unseemly metaphors.

The Birds of last night have flown the coop. They have moved on to the next stop of their tour and I, for one, am glad, as we now have blessed silence outside.

Today, I must go to proofer number two’s house to pick up Ye Olde Manuscript with her fixes. I shall then enter the ones that I’m comfortable doing (punctuation and whatnot) and then I’ll run the others by muse Margaret. I’m hoping I can get all that done by the end of this evening, and then I’ll be able to set a time with Mr. Geissman to get this show on the road, book design-wise. So, I think that’s going to take up most of my day. The evening, however, is mine all mine.

Tomorrow, I’ll get back to Nudie Musical and other things that need my attention. Friday evening is, of course, mine all mine. I’ll see The Brain on Saturday night (catching the performance of the Rod standby) – Sunday I’m not sure about.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, pick up a manuscript, I must enter fixes, I must run other things by muse Margaret, I must ship a couple of packages, I must do a couple of errands, and them I must sit on my couch like so much fish. Is that a metaphor? Today’s topic of discussion: What are your all-time favorite Robert Mitchum films? I’ve always loved him in the movies, and he’s never given a bum performance. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I contemplate the metaphors of my mind, along with the windmills.

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