Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Dumbest Ever Recorded

Global Waming?  OMG!  What the hell is going on with the very, very large brain?

Howard Schultz: Worse Than I Thought

In my Monday post about Howard Schultz, I said "He's essentially a Democrat."  After watching him on the morning shows, I think I was wrong about that.  This morning, Schultz spoiled my breakfast by telling me that he doesn't believe in what the Democratic party stands for, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are socialists, that "government-run health care" will bankrupt us, that we must therefore protect the private health care industry at all costs, and that the simple solution to every single problem is . . . tax cuts.  Silly me.  I always thought The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42.*  But Howard says it's tax cuts.  Hmm.

The absolute last thing we need is another selfish, greedy, clueless plutocrat in the White House.  Surely, Trump has taught us that much.  Schultz is a much higher grade of human being, yet still similar to Trump in that he's an egotistical rich guy who thinks his wealth makes him smarter than everyone else, a business tycoon who assumes running his company is just like running the national government.

Uh, wrong and wrong.

I received this email this morning from The Old Philosopher.  Thanks, DW.  We see it the same way.

Bloomberg and Schultz v. Harris and Warren
Bloomberg and Schultz are now on my probationary shit list for their criticism of Harris' Medicare-For-All, and Warren's "people with $50 million" tax.

Bloomberg and Schultz have shown that they do not understand the excesses of government-backed capitalism and the failure of the private health care system.

Bloomberg thinks Medicare-For-All will bankrupt the country while healthcare costs are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the most expensive healthcare system in the world.

And then I noticed this very perceptive article in The Onion.com:

Howard Schultz Considering Independent Presidential Run After Finding No Initial Support Among Any Voter Groups
SEATTLE -- Expressing concerns that the Democratic and Republican parties no longer represented people like him, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz revealed Monday that he was considering an independent presidential run after finding no initial support among any American voter groups.  "The complete lack of support for my candidacy among narrow interest groups like liberals, conservatives, and moderates tells me that America is hungry for an independent voice," said Schultz, after preliminary polling found little to no support for his presidential bid among Democrats, African-Americans, evangelicals, working-class whites, suburbanites, Republicans, millennials, Hispanics, men, or women.  "Our political system has been overrun by people with opinions and ideas.  This countryshould not be beholden to someone who constantly fights for American values.  Our nation clearly wants an independent voice who does not speak for any of them.  I know that I can win by rising above partisan squabbles by bringing together a large coalition of nobody whatsoever."  At press time, the announcement that Schultz was considering a presidential bid had received a highly positive reaction from Howard Schultz.

*From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Is it really tax cuts?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Comment and Reply to Post About Howard Schultz Independent Run

In yesterday's post, "I Love Your Coffee, But Let's Leave It At That," I urged Howard Schultz to stay out of the 2020 campaign because 3rd party/independents never win, they just prevent others from winning, and because Schultz has no governmental experience and offers nothing in particular.

I promptly heard from an anonymous Schultz fan:

Be realistic! He'd be great! Let's get our lefties buddies lined-up towards the center & beat Drump!
Be real Buster a far left view won't beat Drump!
(Got the hair up on your neck, huh?!)

I am realistic.  An independent presidential candidate is what's unrealistic.  If Howard Schultz is really so "great," why can't he run as a Democrat and just blow away his competition?  Because he knows he can't.  He's not that attractive and he'd never break through the clutter of twenty other candidates.  The far easier path for him is to buy his way onto the ballot as an independent and cannibalize some Democratic votes -- not enough to win, but perhaps enough to help Trump win again with, say, 40% of the popular vote.

A centrist independent is no guarantee of anything, certainly not a guarantee of beating Trump.  That's unrealistic.  In today's political arena, a centrist will seem squishy and noncommittal compared to the Bombastic Bozo.  A centrist will seem like Hank Kimball:  "It's a beautiful morning, Mr. Douglas!  Well, not a beautiful morning, I guess, but not the worst either.  I've seen worse and it's better than those." 

What is the "far left view" that bothers you?  My desire for an improved American health care system?  There's nothing far left about that, and I have plenty of company that share in that wish with me.  Obamacare took big steps in the right direction, but Trump has done everything he can to unwind those advances and take us backwards, far away from the rest of the developed world.

So, yeah, when I hear Schultz's brusque dismissal of universal health care -- "We can't afford it" -- it does indeed get the hair up on my neck, at least what's left of my hair.  Since you're anonymous, I don't know who you are and you may not know that I'm a Stage 4 cancer patient.  I can tell you that our good ol' market-driven, capitalist American way of dealing with such diseases is a disaster -- we pay far more than any other developed nation in the world, and Schultz seems to think that's all we can afford.  I say bullshit.  The rest of the world is able to afford health care for all at far lower prices.  Pursuit of the same for us is not leftist radicalism, it's mainstream common sense.  It's a priority for me and a whole lot of other Americans.

I'm not a single-issue person, but the single most important thing we've got to do now is get rid of Trump by winning in 2020.  Compared to Trump, Howard Schultz is a far superior human being and he'd be a better president.  Almost anyone would be.  But trying to gain the White House as a 3rd party/independent is a losing strategy.  Schultz won't win, and he may keep a great Democratic candidate from winning too.

Mr. Anonymous, if you really want to "beat Drump," send Schultz as a Democrat or not at all.     


Monday, January 28, 2019

I Love Your Coffee, But Let's Leave It At That

Howard Schultz, billionaire founder of Starbucks, says he may run for president as an independent.  Don't do it, Howard, don't do it.

  • Independents can't win a presidential election, but they can act as a spoiler (e.g. Ralph Nader).
  • Schultz is essentially a Democrat.  If he enters the contest as an independent, all he'll do is siphon off some votes for the Democratic nominee, improving the re-election prospects of the Dictator-Tot.  No one wants that.  If he really wants to run, Schultz should run as a Democrat.
  • Schultz's remarks on health care coverage are dispiriting and misleading.  He said Democrats want "free health care for all, which country can't afford."  No responsible Democrat has ever suggested that universal, single-payer, Medicare-for-all coverage would be free.  The funding model would be tax increases and cutting drug/administrative costs in exchange for lower insurance premiums.
  • We do not want or need another another wealthy businessman with no prior governmental experience as our president.  We've tried Trump and he's an abject failure, an incompetent clown.  Granted, Schultz is genuinely successful in business where Trump is serially bankrupt.  But the business leader background doesn't equate to effective political leadership. 
Starbucks coffee is great -- a far greater contribution to American society than anything that Trump has ever done or will do.  If he leaves it at that, his legacy will be secure.  But if Schultz tries to run for president as an independent, his reputation may suffer . . . Venti!

Don't do it, Howard.

Buster's Greatest "Old" Movies My Son Has Never Seen

This one's a little different and a lot long, but here goes anyway.

The other day Buster Jr. and I were talking about nothing much and he mentioned that he and his girlfriend were compiling a watch list of "old movies."  I commended his desire for more knowledge of film history and asked which movies they had on the list.  He had two -- "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Easy Rider."  I said those were good ones, but I could suggest many more than two which were just as good and often much older, and I rattled off a couple.

Later, I jotted down a few more, and you know how it goes with lists of the "best" this or that -- you start with one or two, and before you know it, you've got a hundred.  And it's a totally subjective exercise.

What follows is my list for my son.  I'm sure I forgot many, many good choices.  Feel free to leave your choices and comments.  Your picks are as good as mine.

The Greatest "Old" Movies My Son Has Never Seen (in no particular order): 

Casablanca, 1942, B&W.  Drama.  Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Raines.  European refugees trying to escape Nazism flow through Rick's Cafe Amercain in Casablanca, Morocco.  Directed by Michael Curtiz.

Citizen Kane, 1941, B&W.  Drama.  Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Ruth Warrick.  The life and times of a wealthy and powerful newspaper magnate, and the search for the meaning of his inscrutable last word.  Directed by Orson Welles.

Dr. Strangelove, 1964, B&W.  Comedy/satire.  Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden.  A crazy Air Force general sets a nuclear holocaust in motion.  Directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Fail Safe, 1964, B&W.  Drama/suspense.  Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman.  U.S. safety systems fail, and an order to attack the USSR with nuclear weapons is mistakenly issued.  The president and the military scramble to call back the bombers.  Directed by Sidney Lumet.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 1948, B&W.  Drama.  Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt.  Three American vagabond prospectors head off into the Mexican mountains in search of gold.  Greed and paranoia take over.  Directed by John Huston.

Being There, 1979, color.  Comedy/satire.  Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Warden.  A feeble-minded, inarticulate, illiterate gardener finds himself homeless, but improbably winds up on a path to political power and possibly the presidency.  Directed by Hal Ashby.

Double Indemnity, 1944, B&W.  Crime drama/Film noir.  Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson.  An insurance salesman falls in love with a woman who wants to kill her husband for the insurance money.  The salesman's boss suspects fraud.  Directed by Billy Wilder.

Murder, My Sweet, 1944, B&W.  Crime drama/Film noir.  Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley.  A detective hired to find an ex-con's old girlfriend becomes ensnared in a web of lies, bribery and murder.  Directed by Edward Dmytrk.

Paths of Glory, 1957, B&W.  Anti-war drama.  Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Meeker.  French generals in WW I order their troops on an impossible mission, then accuse them of cowardice for being unable to carry out the order.  To make an example, they decide to execute a few of the soldiers.  Directed by Stanley Kubrick.

12 Angry Men, 1957, B&W.  Courtroom drama.  Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam.  A jury deliberates in a death penalty murder case, struggling to reach a unanimous verdict.  Directed by Sidney Lumet.

On the Waterfront, 1954, B&W.  Drama.  Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger, Lee J. Cobb, Eve Marie Saint, Karl Malden.  An ex-boxer is a dockworker who must decide between loyalty to his powerful local mob boss and his love for a woman whose brother was murdered by the mob boss.  Directed by Elia Kazan.

A Clockwork Orange, 1971, color.  Satire.  Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee.  In a dystopian future, a sociopathic gang leader is jailed for murder.  In prison, he's subjected to behavior modification which teaches him to abstain from all violence and crime.  Directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Moonstruck, 1987, color.  Romantic comedy.  Cher, Nicholas Cage, Vincent Gardenia, Danny Aiello, Olympia Dukakis.  An Italian-American widow agrees to marry a man, then falls for his younger brother.  Meanwhile, her father is having an affair and her mother is fending off the advances of another man.  Directed by Norman Jewison.

Bridge on the River Kwai, 1957, color.  War drama.  Alec Guiness, William Holden, Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Hawkins.  British POW's in a WW II Japanese prison camp are ordered by the camp commander to build a railroad bridge for the Japanese, while a team of British commandos has orders to destroy it.  Directed by David Lean.

Taxi Driver, 1976, color.  Drama/thriller.  Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, Cybil Shepherd, Albert Brooks.  A psychotic New York cabbie who is obsessed with cleaning up the filthy city falls for a presidential campaign worker, plots to assassinate her candidate, rescues a 12-year-old hooker from her pimp, and is hailed as a hero.  Directed by Martin Scorsese.

Elmer Gantry, 1960, color.  Drama.  Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Shirley Jones.  A hard-drinking con man pretends to be a preacher and joins forces with a female evangelist in a series of money-making prayer meetings.  A vengeful prostitute publishes scandalous photos of the con man in her whore house, which causes the public to turn against the con man and the evangelist.  Directed by Richard Brooks.

Gandhi, 1982, color.  Biographical drama.  Ben Kingsley, Martin Sheen, Candace Bergen, John Gielgud.  The life story of Mohandas Gandhi, the Mahatma, who led the movement for Indian independence from the British empire by emphasizing non-violent protest and resistance.  Directed by Richard Attenborough.

Key Largo, 1948, B&W.  Drama/Film noir.  Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson, Lionel Barrymore.  A WW II vet visits a Key Largo hotel operated by a late war buddy's father.  The hotel has been commandeered by a group gangsters as they await a meeting with a Miami counterfeiter.  Directed by John Huston.

White Heat, 1949, B&W.  Crime/ Film noir.  James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien.  A psychopathic momma's boy gang leader breaks out of prison, plans a robbery, but doesn't know his gang has been infiltrated by an undercover cop.  Directed by Raoul Walsh.

Birdman of Alcatraz, 1962, B&W.  Drama.  Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Edmond O'Brien.  Fact-based story of a man sentenced to life in prison who passes the time raising birds and eventually becomes an eminent ornithologist, all while behind bars.  Directed by John Frankenheimer.

Young Frankenstein, 1974, B&W.  Comedy/parody.  Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman.  Great-grandson of Dr. Frankenstein inherits his relative's Transylvania castle and decides to replicate his great-grandfather's old experiments in reanimation.  Directed by Mel Brooks.

It Happened One Night, 1934, B&W.  Romantic comedy.  Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert.  A spoiled heiress running away from her famous family is assisted in her efforts by a newspaper reporter, who offers his help in exchange for an exclusive on her story.  Directed by Frank Capra.

Silence of the Lambs, 1991, color.  Psycho/horror thriller.  Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn.  A young FBI agent interviews an imprisoned cannabalistic serial killer in hopes he can help her track down another serial killer.  Directed by Jonathan Demme.

The Godfather, and The Godfather, Part II, 1972 and 1974, color.  Crime/mob drama.  Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Robert De Niro.  Multi-generational saga of the violent rise of an Italian-American Mafia family.  Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Apocalypse Now, 1979, color.  War drama.  Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper.  During the Viet Nam war, an Army captain is sent on a dangerous assignment to travel upriver to find and assassinate a once-respected Colonel who has gone stark raving mad and has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.  Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

The Deer Hunter, 1978, color.  War drama.  Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep.  A compelling look at the many ways the Viet Nam war disrupts the lives of a group of friends from a small Pennsylvania town.  Directed by Michael Cimino.

Bonnie and Clyde, 1967, color.  Biographical crime drama.Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman.  Fact-based story of the life and violent times of the infamous 1930's bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.  Directed by Arthur Penn.

The Letter, 1940, B&W.  Drama/mystery.  Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson.  The wife of a Malay rubber plantation manager shoots and kills a family friend, whom she claims tried to molest her.  She's arrested.  Her husband and her lawyer believe her and are sure she'll be acquited.  But she had written a letter to the dead man which disproves her story, and the dead man's widow is in possession of the letter.  Directed by William Wyler.

The Petrified Forest, 1936, B&W.  Drama.  Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart.  A murderous gangster on the run from the police takes over a remote roadside diner in the Arizona desert, and he holds the customers and the staff as his hostages.  Directed by Archie Mayo.

The Night of the Hunter, 1955, B&W.  Fact-based drama/noir thriller.  Robert Mitchum, Lillian Gish, Shelley Winters.  A fanatic preacher and serial killer briefly shares a jail cell with bank robber who tells the preacher that he gave the stolen money to his two young children and told them to hide it.  The preacher is released and goes about trying to locate the children and the money.  Directed by Charles Laughton.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1939, B&W.  Drama.  Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, Cedric Hardwicke.  In 15th century Paris, gypsies are banned from entering the city.  A gypsy girl, chased by royal guards, seeks sanctuary at the Cathedral Of Notre Dame.  The church's hunchback bell ringer falls in love with her.  So does the king's Chief Justice, and when the gypsy girl rejects his advances, the Chief Justice has her framed for murder and sentenced to death.  But the hunchback comes to her rescue.  Directed by William Dieterle.

Heaven Can Wait, 1978, color.  Romantic comedy/fantasy.  Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, James Mason, Jack Warden, Buck Henry.  Joe Pendleton, QB for the Los Angeles Rams, is killed in a bicycle accident.  But his guardian angel plucks him out of his body a moment too early.  It was not actually the QB's time to die, which he learns as he arrives in the afterlife.  Since his body has already been cremated, the guardian angel and his boss, Mr. Jordan, arrange for Joe to inhabit the bodies of others.  Directed by Warren Beatty and Buck Henry.

Deliverance, 1972, color.  Drama/adventure.  Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox.  Four city dwellers take a male-bonding canoe trip down a backwoods Georgia river.  Their adventure soon turns into a grim struggle for survival.  Directed by John Boorman.

The Graduate, 1967, color.  Comedy/drama.  Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross.  A college graduate has just moved back into his parents house when he is unexpectedly seduced by the wife of his father's business partner.  As the seduction turns into a nightly rendezvous in a hotel room, the young man falls in love with the woman's daughter.  Directed by Mike Nichols.

The Public Enemy, 1931, B&W.  Gangster crime drama.  James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Joan Blondell.  In prohibition-era Chicago, two petty criminals rise up to become major bootleggers and vicious killers.  Directed by William Wellman.

Little Caesar, 1931, B&W.  Gangster crime drama.  Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell.  Small-town hoodlums move to Chicago.  One eventually mounts a violent takeover of all the North Side crime rackets, while the other leaves crime behind and becomes a dancer.  Directed by Mervyn LeRoy.

GoodFellas, 1990, color.  Fact-based gangster crime drama.  Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco.  A young man is impressed by the organized crime lifestyle and joins a New York City mob family.  His life becomes a blur of robberies, gun-running, drug sales, drug addiction and hit men.  Realizing he may be the next one to be hit, he turns state's evidence against the mob family and he and his wife enter a witness protection program.  Directed by Martin Scorsese.

The Heiress, 1949, B&W.  Drama.  Olivia DeHavilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson.  A socially awkward old maid still lives with her wealthy widowed father.  Her status as the sole heiress to her father's fortune makes her attractive to a handsome young opportunist.  He professes his love and asks to marry her.  Her father believes the young man is a liar and changes his will to disinherit his daughter if she weds him.  Directed by William Wyler.

A Place In The Sun, 1951, B&W.  Drama/romance.  Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters.  A poor young man takes a job in his uncle's factory.  While there, he dates a female co-worker and gets her pregnant.  Meanwhile, he meets and falls in love with a beautiful young socialite and wants to be with her.  When the pregnant girl demands a wedding, they meet and take rowboat out on a remote lake.  The boat capsizes and the girl drowns.  The young man faces suspicion of murder.  Directed by George Stevens.

The Searchers, 1956, color.  Western drama.  John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Ward Bond, Vera Miles.  Comanches burn a Texas family's homestead and kill the adults, while abducting two young sisters.  A search team is organized to find the girls.  They find one, raped and murdered.  They continue to search for the other.  After five years, they find her living in N. Mexico as a Comanche chief's wife.  She wishes to stay where she is.  Directed by John Ford.

Three Days of the Condor, 1975, color.  Drama/political thriller.  Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max Von Sydow.  A quiet CIA analyst returns to his workplace to find all his co-workers murdered.  He flees the building and contacts his CIA supervisors.  He soon concludes they were behind the attack and can't be trusted.  Directed by Sydney Pollack.

Sunset Boulevard, 1950, B&W.  Drama.  Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich Von Stroheim.  An aging silent film queen living as a hermit in her mansion refuses to believe that her career is over.  She hires a young screenwriter in the delusional hope he can help her make a comeback.  The writer moves in with the old actress, but the relationship becomes dangerous.  Directed by Billy Wilder.

Stalag 17, 1953, B&W.  War drama.  William Holden, Otto Preminger, Peter Graves, Don Taylor.  In a German POW camp, escape attempts are quickly discovered and the prisoners are killed.  The survivors in the barracks suspect one of their own has been informing the Nazis.  Directed by Billy Wilder.

The Apartment, 1960, B&W.  Romantic comedy/drama.  Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray.  A young insurance executive attempts to climb the corporate ladder by allowing senior executives to use his apartment for extra-marital affairs.  Directed by Billy Wilder.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1975, color.  Comedy/drama.  Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Will Sampson.  A rebellious convict is transferred from a prison farm to a mental institution, and soon comes into conflict with the inflexible and abusive nurse who runs the psych ward.  Directed by Milos Forman.

Broadcast News, 1987, color.  Satire/drama.  William Hurt, Holly Hunter, Albert Brooks.  A TV news producer is attracted to a good-looking but shallow anchorman until she discovers the anchorman had doctored a video-taped interview, a breach of journalistic ethics.  Directed by James L. Brooks.

Network, 1976, color.  Satire/drama.  Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall.  An ambitious TV producer develops ever-more outrageous program ideas for the network's stodgy news division, in an effort to boost ratings at any cost.  Directed by Sidney Lumet.

The African Queen, 1951, color.  Drama/romance.  Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley.  In WW I Africa, a spinster's missionary brother is killed by German soldiers.  A riverboat pilot offers to transport her to safety.  The spinster convinces him to take his boat down river and try to sink a German gunboat patrolling a large lake.  Directed by John Huston.

To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962, B&W.  Social drama.  Gregory Peck, Brock Peters, Robert Duvall, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford.  A widowed lawyer in the deep South must defend a black man unjustly accused of murder while raising and protecting his two young children.  Directed by Robert Mulligan.

Inherit the Wind, 1960, B&W.  Courtroom/social drama.  Spencer Tracy, Frederic March, Gene Kelly, Dick York.  Based on the true story of the Scopes Monkey Trial, a Tennessee schoolteacher is arrested and tried for violating a state law against teaching evolution.  Directed by Stanley Kramer.

Seven Days in May, 1964, B&W.  Political drama.  Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Frederic March, Ava Gardner.  When the liberal U.S. president intends to sign a nuclear disarmament treaty with the USSR, the right-wing general who is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff plots a military coup.  Directed by John Frankenheimer.

Lawrence of Arabia, 1962, color.  Historical drama/biography.  Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Alec Guiness, Anthony Quinn.  During WW I, a British lieutentant is sent to Arabia as a diplomatic liaison between the Arabs and the British in their fight against the Turkish army.  Directed by David Lean.

Rear Window, 1954, color.  Suspense.  Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter.  A wheelchair-bound photographer passes time by watching his neighbors through his apartment window and sees what he believes might be a murder.  Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

North by Northwest, 1959, color.  Suspense.  Cary Grant, Eve Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau, Leo G. Carroll.  An advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a foreign spy, falsely accused of murder, and chased across the country by the police and the spy's henchmen.  Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, 1932, B&W.  Fact-based crime drama.  Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell.  A man is wrongfully convicted of robbery and sentenced to ten years on a chain gang in the deep south.  He escapes to Chicago and becomes a successful businessman, only to be discovered and blackmailed by his landlady.  Directed by Mervyn LeRoy.

The Manchurian Candidate, 1962, B&W.  Political suspense.  Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh.  American soldiers in the Korean War are captured and brainwashed by the communists.  One has been unwittingly programmed to be a political assassin.  Directed by John Frankenheimer.

A Face in the Crowd, 1957, B&W.  Drama.  Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau, Lee Remick.  A radio producer discovers a charismatic, folksy drifter in the drunk tank of an Arkansas jail.  She puts him on the radio and he soon becomes wildly popular.  He gains influence and rises to national stardom with his own TV show, where he makes political endorsements.  But his egomania, arrogance, womanizing and drinking are revealed and his career as a public figure is jeopardized.  Directed by Elai Kazan.

Fort Apache, 1948, B&W.  Western.  John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple.  An ignorant and authoritarian colonel arrives in Arizona to take command of Fort Apache.  He clashes with soldiers at the fort and foolishly insists on engaging the local Indians in battle for hs own glory.  Directed by John Ford.

Dances With Wolves, 1990, color.  Western.  Kevin Costner, Graham Greene, Mary McDonnell.  A wounded Union army lieutenant requests a transfer to an abandoned fort on the western frontier, where he slowly befriends a local tribe of Lakota Sioux.  He later leaves the fort to join the Lakota, living as one of them.  On a brief return to the fort, he is captured by Union soldiers and charged with desertion.  Directed by Kevin Costner.

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, 1969, color.  Western.  Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross.  Fact-based story of the outlaw train robbers known as the Hole In The Wall Gang.  The Union Pacific railroad hires a posse led by a relentless detective to track them down.  They leave the U.S. and travel to Bolivia in an unsuccesful attempt to shake their pursuers.  Directed by George Roy Hill.

Little Big Man, 1970, color.  Western/comedy.  Dustin Hoffman, Chief Dan George, Faye Dunaway, Richard Mulligan.  The oral history of the 121-year-old oldest man in the world, who tells the epic tale of having survived a Pawnee massacre, being rescued and raised by a Cheyenne tribe, working as a snake oil salesman and a general store operator, being a gun-slinger, a friend of Wild Bill Hickock, a muleskinner for Gen. George Custer, the sole white survivor of the Battle of Little Bighorn, a fur trapper, and a hermit.  Directed by Arthur Penn.

Schindler's List, 1993, B&W (plus one red coat).  Historical drama.  Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes.  True story of German businessman Oskar Schindler who saved over a thousand Polish Jews from the Auschwitz concentration camp by employing them in his Krakow factory.  Directed by Steven Spielberg.

A Few Good Men, 1992, color. Courtroom drama.  Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon.  A Navy lawyer defends two Marines accused of murdering another Marine at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba.  The defense lawyers believe the accused pair were carrying out an order from their commander.  Directed by Rob Reiner.

On The Beach, 1959, B&W.  Post-apocalypse drama.  Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Anthony Perkins, Fred Astaire.  Nuclear fall-out after World War III has left most of the world lifeless and uninhabitable.  Australia is unaffected so far, but prevailing winds are slowly pushing deadly clouds of radiation toward the continent.  As the Aussies await their inevitable fate, a U.S. submarine searches the globe for any uncontaminated area.  Directed by Stanley Kramer.

The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946, B&W.  Drama.  Dana Andrews, Frederic March, Myrna Loy, Virginia Mayo, Teresa Wright.  Three WW II vets returning home face challenges with life, love and employment as they try to re-adjust to civilian life.  Directed by William Wyler.

Annie Hall, 1977, color.  Romantic comedy/drama.  Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts.  A comedian tells the story of how he met and fell in love with a small-time nightclub singer, and how their relationship faced a series of ups and downs.  Directed by Woody Allen.

In The Heat Of The Night, 1967, color.  Crime drama.  Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant.  A black police detective from Philadelphia, PA is wrongly arrested by a racist local sheriff while travelling through Mississippi.  He promptly proves his innocence, then joins together with the sheriff to discover the real killer.  Directed by Norman Jewison.

Do The Right Thing, 1989, color.  Drama.  Spike Lee, Danny Aiello, John Turturro, Rosie Perez, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Samuel L. Jackson.  An Italian-owned pizza shop in a black Brooklyn neighborhood becomes the focal point for rising racial tensions, violence and police brutality.  Directed by Spike Lee.

The China Syndrome, 1979, color.  Drama.  Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, Wilford Brimley.  A TV reporter and her camera man are inadvertant witnesses to an industrial accident at a nuclear power plant.  The plant supervisor suspects that cost-cutting measures have led to dangerous, deadly safety violations.  He tries to bring the unsafe conditions to public awareness, but is opposed by the plant's ownership.  Directed by James Bridges.

Silkwood, 1983, color.  Drama/thriller.  Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher.  True story of Karen Silkwood, an employee at an Oklahoma factory which makes plutonium fuel rods for nuclear reactors.  After she and her co-workers become contaminated by radiation, she discovers safety violations which the plant has covered up.  She agrees to provide documentation of the cover-up to a NY Times reporter.  Directed by Mike Nichols.

Meet John Doe, 1941, B&W.  Drama.  Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan.  A newspaper columnist writes and publishes a made-up letter from a fictional unemployed man, "John Doe," who promises to commit suicide on Xmas Eve to protest the evils of society.  She writes more and more letters with the John Doe byline, and hires an ex-ballplayer to pose as John Doe.  He gives radio speeches she has written for him, and his popular philosophy spreads across the land.  He is eventually exposed as a fake, realizes how he's been manipulated and decides to follow through on the original letter by jumping off of City Hall on Xmas Eve.  Directed by Frank Capra.

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, 1936, B&W.  Drama/comedy.  Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, Lionel Stander.  In the Great Depression, an eccentric country man inherits a $20 million fortune from his uncle, which makes him a celebrity and a target for opportunists.  His uncle's attorney has designs on the money and moves the man to New York City, where a newspaper reporter writes about the man's country ways and odd behavior.  After the man decides to use his fortune for a good cause, the attorney tries to stop him by having him declared mentally incompetent.  Directed by Frank Capra.

The Grapes of Wrath, 1940, B&W.  Social drama.  Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine.  A destitute Oklahoma Dust Bowl family loses the family farm in the Depression.  They pack up all their belongings and join the caravan of so many others migrating to California in hopes of a better life.  Along the way, they face hardship, violence, and exploitation in migrant camps.  Directed by John Ford.

They Were Expendable, 1945, B&W.  War drama.  Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Ward Bond.  A WW II Navy PT boat squadron is stationed in the Philippines to help defend against a probable Japanese invasion.  When the Japanese finally do mount an attack on the islands, the PT's perform well but the American forces are greatly outnumbered, and the loss of the Philippines is inevitable.  Gen. MacArthur evacuates, the PT boats are destroyed, and the last U.S. transport plane has lifted off.  The remaining soldiers are left behind to join with Filipino guerillas to continue the fight.  Directed by John Ford.

Mister Roberts, 1955, color.  Drama/comedy.  Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, James Cagney, William Powell.  In the last months of WW II, a lieutenant on an old Navy cargo ship is beloved by his crew but repeatedly requests a transfer to a battleship in the combat zone.  The cargo ship's petty and vindictive commander never grants his transfer requests, and constantly mistreats the crew with unnecessarily strict adherence to procedures and humiliating punishments for minor infractions.  The crew show their support for their lieutenant by acts of resistance against their tyrannical commander.  Directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy.

Strangers On A Train, 1951, B&W.  Suspense.  Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman.  A tennis player wants a divorce so he can marry another woman.  He chats about it with a total stranger he meets on a train.The stranger discusses his plan for the perfect murder -- a reciprocal agreement of mutual murders with no apparent connection or motive for either.  Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

My Favorite Year, 1982, color.  Comedy.  Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Joseph Bologna.  In 1954, a young writer for a live broadcast TV variety show is thrilled when his boyhood movie star idol is booked to appear on the show.  The young man is assigned to keep tabs on the old movie actor and discovers his hero is a raging drunk with stage fright.  Directed by Richard Benjamin.

Bringing Up Baby, 1938, B&W.  Screwball comedy.  Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charlie Ruggles.  An absent-minded paleontologist meets a scatter-brained heiress and becomes ensnared in chaotic misadventures involving a pet leopard, a dinosaur bone, cross-dressing, and romance.  Directed by Howard Hawks.

The Philadelphia Story, 1940, B&W.  Romantic comedy.  Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Ruth Hussey.  As a divorced Main Line socialite is on the brink of marrying a stolid businessman, her ex-husband reappears with a pair of tabloid magazine reporters assigned to cover her wedding.  One of the reporters falls in love with her, her ex-husband still loves her, her fiance remains a humorless prude, and it's her wedding day.  Directed by George Cukor.

You Can't Take It With You, 1938, B&W.  Screwball comedy.  Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, Jimmy Stewart, Edward Arnold.  For business reasons, a greedy banker wants to buy a certain house but the owner won't sell.  The banker's son is in love with the property owner's granddaughter.  Her grandpa's house is filled with an eccentric extended family.  They make quite an unfavorable impression when the banker comes to call.  Directed by Frank Capra.

Ball of Fire, 1941, B&W.  Screwball comedy.  Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Dana Andrews.  A straitlaced professor studying modern slang and jargon meets a nightclub singer with just such a vocabulary.  She has a mob boss boyfriend, and the police want to talk to her.  To avoid the cops, she moves into the professor's house, which he shares with several other professors, and soon they all love her.  Directed by Howard Hawks.

My Favorite Wife, 1940, B&W.  Comedy.  Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Randolph Scott.  After his wife disappears at sea and is presumed dead, a man waits seven years before remarrying.  But his wife was actually shipwrecked and alone with another man on a tropical island.  Finally rescued, she returns home but her husband is away on his honeymoon.  She tracks him down and he's unsure of what to do.  The man is charged with bigamy and they all wind up in court.  Directed by Garson Kanin.

What's Up, Doc? 1972, color.  An homage to the screwball comedies of the 1930's-1940's.  Barbara Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, Austin Pendleton.  The accidental mix-up of four identical plaid travel bags containing rocks, jewels, top-secret government documents, and a young woman's clothes leads to mayhem and silliness.  Directed by Peter Bogdanovich.

My Fair Lady, 1964, color.  Musical.  Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Wifred Hyde-White, Stanley Holloway, Theodore Bikel.  An arrogant phonetics professor takes in a Cockney flower girl and promises to turn her into someone who can pass for a refined and worldly member of high society.  Directed by George Cukor.

The Music Man, 1962, color.  Musical.  Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Ron Howard, Buddy Hackett.  A travelling con man arrives in a small Iowa town and pretends to be a band instructor.  He convinces the local hicks to start a boys marching band, and he collects their money, promising to purchase instruments and uniforms.  But his plan is to skip town with the money.  Directed by Morton DaCosta.

The Wizard of Oz, 1939, B&W and color.  Musical.  Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Margaret Hamilton.  A Kansas farm girl and her dog are swept away in a tornado and wind up in the otherworldly Land of Oz.  In her quest to return home to Kansas, she encounters munchkins, a witch, a scarecrow, a tin man, a lion, and a wizard.  Directed by Victor Fleming.

The Endless Summer, 1966, color.  Documentary.  Two surfers embark on an around-the-world surfing adventure in search of the perfect wave.  Directed and narrated by Bruce Brown.

When We Were Kings, 1996, color.  Documentary.  Film exploring the events leading up to the "Rumble in the Jungle," the 1974 heavyweight championship boxing match in Kinsasha, Zaire between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, including much of the fight itself.  Directed by Leon Gast.  Soundtrack features live performances in Kinsasha by B.B. King, James Brown, the Spinners and others.

Battleship Potemkin, 1925, B&W.  Silent.  Based on true events prior to the Russian revolution.  Russian sailors mutiny against their sadistic officers.  Their on-board revolt spills over into the streets of the port city of Odessa, as a precursor of things to come.  Directed by Sergei Eisenstein.

 And in the "P.S., before I forget" area, try any of these titles:
Gone With the Wind, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, King Kong, Mutiny on the Bounty, Asphalt Jungle, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Out of the Past, Duck Soup, Ace In The Hole, Born Yesterday, Rebecca, The Kid, Dr. Zhivago, Alfie, Cabaret, Field of Dreams, Notorious, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Caine Mutiny, Harvey, Lost Horizon, Foreign Correspondent, The Barefoot Contessa,Rain, Night Must Fall, Judgment at Nuremburg, The Great Escape, Mildred Pierce, Random Harvest, The Red Badge of Courage, Ben Hur, Captains Courageous, Cool Hand Luke, Lolita, Out of Africa, Glory, All That Jazz, Raising Arizona, The Sting, Crossfire, The Forbidden Planet, Bad Day at Black Rock, Papillon, The Search, Mr. Buddwing.

Geez Louise, that's more than enough!  Your assignment is to watch all of these movies and report back to me in ten years.  😀