Tag Archives: Peter Sellers

Lon Squared

Movie Night!

What, oh what could be more painful than watching Lon Chaney Jr. attempt to play a role in a movie? Undoubtedly, it’s watching him play two roles in the same movie, as painfully demonstrated in the 1935 oddity; A Scream in the Night.

Ol’ Junior’s not the only problem;

  • The film is dingy.
  • It features the slowest-moving police inspector on the planet. You could be charitable and say he’s “inexorable” but no, he’s glacier-like. I can relate: t’s my personal default pace, but as entertainment?
  • It features a parakeet who gives better line readings than any human actor in the flick. A parakeet.
  • It features Mr. Chaney playing a scene with himself – badly on both sides. At least, when he played the Larry Talbot/Wolfman combo (over and over), one of his characters simply slobbered, slaughtered, and neglected personal hygiene.

Peter Sellers did this better; Dr. Strangelove (1964). George Zucco did it better; Dead Men Walk (1943). Hell, Hayley Mills did it better; The Parent Trap (1961).

Curious and dreadful.

I of course loved it.

End-of-the-Earth Day

I think the most un-heralded holiday is Earth Day and I hope you had a jolly one…or a merry one…or at least a hopeful one.

It can be a grim celebration. If you need proof of that, check out Turner Classic Movies’ (TCM) schedule for the day after Earth day a couple of years ago. I’m thinkin’ it must have been End-of-the-Earth Day. It was one mad scientist after another.

It featured devil bats (floppy puppets), giant shrews (big dogs with fake plastic teeth), human flies, perilous body fluids, disappearing corpses, human panthers, living heads on the wrong bodies, and of course man-made men who tap dance (“Oh, sweet mystery of life…”).

Whatta buffet of planet-threatening buffoonery.

I loved it.

And I love TCM.

A few days ago, an affable representative from Metronet called on us to explain their new venture aimed at competing with Spectrum for our cable and internet service.

Janie will make that decision for us. She’s a smart modern gal who watches a wide selection of TV and visits a large number of useful websites and services, all of which make our lives infinitely better. That’s what she said.

I’m a well-oiled geezer who toddles from TCM to CNN to MLB. It’s about the same number of channels I watched when I was ten and three channels were all we had. I’m told we grow and progress, but sometimes the evidence…

As Janie absorbed the pros and cons (and prose and cons – see what I did there?) of the pleasant and earnest sales rep, I perused the list of channels offered by Metronet. It was the usual 5,436 channels (50 of which were binge-broadcasting “Law and Order”).

I skipped through the 400-page document until I had assured myself that TCM, CNN, and my beloved Reds were represented.

My work here is done.

Wait!

If we switch to Metronet, will I still be able to see the Spectrum “monster” commercials? I would truly miss that sandstorm-loving mummy and his murderous puppet friend.

That might be a deal-breaker for me.

And that friends, is why we let Janie make those decisions.

Happy End-of-the-Earth Day!