Wherever you may be as you read this blog, I hope your spirits are good. We'll
need every bit of inner resolve to meet the challenges ahead politically, socially, and as sports fans banned from attending any crowded events in near future.
Shortly before 1130AM Eastern Standard Time on Saturday November 8th, horn-honking jubilation broke out in NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago and other blue enclaves, mainly urban, around the country.
I was seated at my desk where I am typing right now. Don't have a window facing the street which accounts for the lovely quiet isolation of this apartment.
I received a call from my significant other dear Maria with the good news.
I found out later that just a few blocks from me - above Lenny's Bagel shop
on the northwest corner of 98th Street and Broadway - musical comedy star Brian Stokes-Mitchell raised his window and started to serenade the crowd
with "America the Beautiful" and maybe two other numbers.
Of course, we must endure Trump's Presidency until January 20th. His better-than-expected electoral showing has emboldened his refusal to concede. So as broadcaster Bob Murphy advised in late innings of a tight Mets game, "Fasten your seat belts."
Speaking of the Mets, new owner Steve Cohen "won" his press conference on Tuesday the 11th with a pledge to make the team he always has rooted for, "iconic". That means constant contention and a World Series title within 3 to 5 years or else he'll be very "disappointed."
To his credit Cohen has already pledged to hire back at full salary Mets employees who were furloughed or cut back during the early stages of the pandemic.
New president Sandy Anderson, back for a second tour as a top executive in Queens, added to the good will by saying it was "highly likely" that rookie manager Luis Rojas will return as skipper in 2021.
I think it was Alderson who promised a new "collaborative culture" for the Mets.
With no game results until next April - at the earliest given the accelerating pandemic - I call this the silly season of words and promises that always sound nice but can they be believed?
I cross fingers that Cohen will not be like most owners who enter baseball with humility saying they will leave it to experts who know the business. Six months later though they know everything. See under Steinbrenner, George.
I just hope there is a semblance of a regular season on all levels. Too
early to tell with the second wave of the virus sweeping into NYC and almost every state of the union.
I continue to find solace in the old black and white movies on TCM - Turner Classic Movies. Saw one I never heard of last week - "The Sport Parade" (1932)
embarrassingly once known as "Free, White, and Twenty-One."
Rising star producer David Selznick received a major credit for this film. It is a
curiosity not a great work but has some merit.
Underrated Joel McCrea plays a star Dartmouth football end who instead of going into journalism with his quarterback (William Gargan) turns to pro football. He
flops at it and does turn to journalism for a while.
Then he is coaxed by his blustery agent (Walter Catlett) into becoming a pro wrestler. Of course since this is Hollywood, there is a love triangle involved, Marian Marsh being the wooed young woman.
An amusing feature of the film are three short sports announcing segments delivered by the always wry and hilarious Robert Benchley.
I couldn't find many upcoming sports-themed films on TCM except that "Woman of the Year" (1942) returns on Sun afternoon Nov 22 at 1:45p EST.
An opening scene with sportswriter Spencer Tracy in the press box sets the stage nicely for the conflict between Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, playing an internationally-famous journalist, a role patterned after Dorothy Thompson.
"Woman of the Year" was the first Tracy-Hepburn film. It also features in a small role Minor Watson as Hepburn's father. Eight years later Watson did a creditable job as Branch Rickey in "The Jackie Robinson Story".
Other films of great value include (all times EST):
Sat Nov 14 2p "In A Lonely Place" (1950) perhaps best film about a writer if a very flawed one starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, Nicholas Ray dir.
Later on Nov 14 at 8p "Ball of Fire" (1942) Gary Cooper as staid linguist falls for
Barbara Stanwyck with Dana Andrews as her other guy.
Midnight - repeated Sun at 10A - Noir Alley presents "Fear" (1946) a 54-minute take on "Crime and Punishment" - 1946 considered by many best year ever for movies in USA.
M Nov 16 8p "Diary of Anne Frank" (1959) - part of Shelley Winters Mondays in Nov.
11:15p "Odds Against Tomorrow" (1959) best jazz-themed film, set in NYC.
Tu Nov 17 back-to-back-to-back in afternoon three 40s classics
1p "Maltese Falcon" 1941, 3p "The Big Sleep", 5p "Treasure of Sierra Madre"
Home runs and championships are not the only things that can be back-to-back!
Wed Nov 18 8p "Body and Soul" 1947 - one of the great boxing movies with
John Garfield and the gorgeous talented Lilli Palmer
Th Nov 19 two American films about racial issues from the late 1940s that I've never seen:
8p "Lost Boundaries"
10p "Home of the Brave"
F Nov 20 8p Elia Kazan's circus movie "Man On A Tightrope" (1953) with Gloria Grahame and Terry Moore (the actress not the Cardinals outfielder)
Sa Nov 21 8p "2001" this week's Essential
Midnight/repeated at 10A Sun - "Kiss Me Deadly" 1955 - Robert Aldrich directs this Mickey Spillane story with Albert Dekker/Juano Hernandez (so unforgivably forgotten)/Paul Stewart
Later on Nov 22p
1:45p "Woman of the Year"
8p Woody Allen's "Bananas" followed by 945p Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup" 1933
More than ever, Take it easy but take it!"