Lust for Life

Holiday blues. On this very date, 127 years ago Vincent van Gogh removed ear from head then gave it to a prostitute to guard it carefully.

The best way to honor such psychotic zeal would be thru Kirk Douglas and the slow moving Lust for Life. A loser at the box office, the movie is universally considered the best example of “tortured artist”

Anthony Quinn won his second Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as his buddy and irritant Paul Gauguin while Kirk was beat out by King Yul, mostly because Quinn hogs all good lines in the movie. 

“Dignity? I’m talking about women, man, women. I like ’em fat and vicious and not too smart. Nothing spiritual, either. If I had to say ‘I love you’, it’d break my teeth. I don’t want to be loved.”

Another Amazon Prime Video $2.99er!


We’ve been hearing a lot lady chatter that a good break from burden of Star Wars excess is this Sisters movie.

One of Brian DePalma’s early rip off films (this time, Hitchcock) stars a 25 year old, pre-manic Margot Kidder playing a separated siamese twin, accused of murder. There isn’t a movie made from 1973 to 1983 that doesn’t feature Charles Durning, so he’s cast as the private investigator on the case. Of course.

Sisters one falls into the Body Double/Dressed to Kill/Blow Out category of DePalma films and for those who wonder how Kidder ever got the role of Lois Lane and Kathy Lutz, this is the part that gained her the needed notoriety.

Stop the fussing about about over merchandising, cross marketing and nerd blog spoiler forewarnings. The lady chatter is real, Sisters!

Clockwork Orange

As we’re all clamoring on Fandango for the perfect 3D IMAX reserved reclining stadium seating today, it was 44 years ago on this very date Kubrick premiered his X-Rated dystopia crime film, A Clockwork Orange in NYC.

Instead of John Williams, Stormtroopers and Kylo Ren there was Beethoven, Droogs and Alex DeLarge.

In the scene below, Alex is having a beverage with F Fitzgerald’s manservant Julian, played by David Prowse, while George Lucas got an idea.


Ingrid Pitt

The The Queen of Scream was born Ingoushka Petrov in Warsaw to a Russian father and a Jewish mother. She survived Stutthof, escaped to East Berlin and eventually made her way up the Berliner Ensemble theater group.

Her first role was an uncredited part in Doctor Zhivago, but chiller nerds know her as the First Lady of Brit Horror for her Hammer films, The Vampire Lovers, Countess Dracula and The House That Dripped Blood. From there, she went on to do some Doctor Who and the underrated Wicker Man.

Her writing credits include her autobiography, Doctor Who scripts, a handful of ghost stories as well as regular columns for spooky magazines.

She died on November 23rd, 2010. Two days after her 73rd birthday.

Happy Birthday Ingrid Pitt!


Mary Collins, you poached John Derek from Linda Evans while still in high school, then dropped out. This turned out to be a terrific career choice. Within four years you got a make-over, a catchy new name, and launched international stardom.

By the end of the 70s the boys dethroned their Farrah posters with your sepia toned fleshed colored one-piece door hanger and the ladies said, “Why not beads?” to their hairdressers. Your movies were hated by critics but there wasn’t a house in the subdivision without a VHS tape of 10 or Tarzan on the shelf.

Bo Derek is 59 today. Happy Birthday.

Ed Asner

Imagine if two time Emmy winner Sam Malone sold the bar in the Cheers finale, spun off the following year in a serious hour-long drama as a restaurateur then won two more Emmys without the help of anybody from the former cast? That’s what Lou Grant does.

Despite his anti-US policies in Central America causing his top rated show to be cancelled by CBS, there really isn’t anybody else you want anchoring the tug-o-war for CBS in Battle Of The Network Stars than Ed Asner.

Happy 86th Birthday!

Sherwood Schwartz

You owe your entire childhood to this man. Who you are today was shaped by the guy who gave you Dawn Wells, Eve Plumb, Florence Henderson, Tina Louise, but not so much Harper Valley PTA.

“When you say the name Gilligan, you know who that is. If a show is good, if it’s written well, you should be able to erase the names of the characters saying the lines and still be able to know who said it. If you can’t do that, the show will fail.”

Despite all that, his greatest accomplishment was being married to the same lady for nearly 70 years. Today he would be 99 years old. Happy Birthday Sherwood Schwartz.

Jean Seberg

After her impressive French New Wave series of films, the FBI went after her hard for supporting the Black Panthers. This eventually caused her premature birth and subsequent death of her baby two days later.

Beyond the libelous stories published in Newsweek and the LA Times, she was continually under surveillance and according to her second husband the reason why she killed herself in 1979.

Good luck to anybody out there who can pull off the Jean Seberg look. Happy 77th Birthday!

Kurt Vonnegut Jr

Booted out of Cornell University, joined the Army, mother committed suicide. He was captured by Germans in WWII, taken to Dresden, avoided Allied bombing, liberated by Patton, awarded the Purple Heart, had three children, adopted four more, published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. We wish Kurt Vonnegut Jr a happy 93rd birthday.

Vivien Leigh

Happy 102nd Birthday Viv.

“Throughout her possession by that uncannily evil monster, manic depression, with its deadly ever-tightening spirals, she retained her own individual canniness – an ability to disguise her true mental condition from almost all except me, for whom she could hardly be expected to take the trouble.” —Larry Olivier.