Category Archives: Sunset Boulevard

Life imitates art. Film relating to life.

The Greatest, Most Relevant Speech Ever

charliechaplinEvery so often we are reminded of our roots – back on the old Hollywood lot. The Federal Observer has posted this video in the past, yet it seems even more relevant today. There are great lessons in movies – not all – but the true classics – and this is one of them. Thanks to the good folks over at Zero Hedge for reminding us. See you at the movies… (Ed.)

Every now and then, it is good to refresh knowledge of what is truly important in life. So it’s time to post “The Greatest Speech Ever” by Charlie Chaplin. Charlie Chaplin was known as the greatest silent actor ever. The most powerful excerpts from his speech, still very relevant today, in my opinion, are below:

“And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.” Continue reading

Hedy Lamarr: Inventor of more than the 1st theatrical-film orgasm

Hedy Lamarr in "Boom Town" by Laszlo Willinger (MGM, 1940)Hedy Lamarr, Old Hollywood sex symbol, had a brain. It’s a fact that may be nearly as overlooked as the inventor’s wartime creation: landmark technology that was a precursor to Bluetooth.

It’s not surprising that she’s known best for her sultry persona, given her film role that made everyone sit up and take notice. In 1933’s “Ecstasy,” a Czech film, she raised eyebrows and drew condemnation around the globe when she appeared nude in one part of the film and simulated an orgasm in another.

Lamarr is seen going skinny-dipping and, still without a stitch on, chasing a runaway horse. The orgasm scene comes later, and, yes, she does smoke a cigarette afterward. “Ecstasy” is considered the first theatrically released movie to feature an actress simulating an orgasm on screen. Continue reading


American StoryA television movie like An American Story couldn’t get greenlit today. In fact, it’s still surprising the Hallmark Hall of Fame and CBS joint production actually got broadcast back in 1992.

Yet this fictionalization of the Battle of Athens, the last and best modern example of American citizens forcefully asserting their Second Amendment rights, was actually shown only 21 years ago. The telepicture earned two Primetime Emmy nominations, one for music and another for cinematography.

This well made TV movie, starring Brad Johnson and directed by John Gray, depicted the last time in modern American history when a large group of decent, ordinary citizens were involved in an armed confrontation with criminally corrupt representatives of their own government. Continue reading

Americans Will Find The New Les Misérables Film Hard To Stomach

I saw the new Les Misérables film this week. It was rather like being hit by a truck, which then kept reversing and ploughing resolutely forward again.

Generally, I prefer my musical politics a tad more Nixon in China. Still, the decision to shoot the numbers largely in single shots means the singers are forced to act, not simply bawl X Factor-style. Brit Eddie Redmayne is revealed to boast not just cheekbones, but a sterling tenor, too, the old hoofer, and Sacha Baron Cohen will be wasted if he is not booked for panto next Christmas.

I’m not sure how it’s going to play in the US, though. For a start, the bromance is subdued for a nation that brought us Top Gun’s bros riding bros’ tails.

Moreover, the various poxes, STDs, boils and not just British but also French teeth are likely to inspire hysteria in the neurotically sanitised US of A. And this before the male leads spend several scenes literally covered in shit. Still, it will serve to confirm everything Yanks feel about contemporary Europe.

Written by Hannah Betts, and published at The Guardian, December 14, 2012. Continue reading

Get out the vote

“Let me tell you about Florida politicians. I make ’em out of whole cloth, see – just like a tailor makes a suit.

Yeah, that’s right – I get their name in the newspaper. I get ’em some publicity and get ’em on the ballot, then after the election, we count the votes… and if they don’t turn out right – we recount ’em – and recount ’em again until they do.”Edward G. Robinson as ‘Johnny Rocco,’ Key Largo, Warner Bros Pictures; 1948

Clint Eastwood Hangs ‘Em High

Paint Your Wagon! Clint Eastwood just dropped another nuke on Obama. In the latest issue of The Carmel Pine Cone (Sept 7-13, 2012) American’s favorite actor said,

“President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

The Pine Cone is the weekly newspaper for Carmel and the Monterey Peninsula. Clint Eastwood was the Mayor of Carmel, California from 1986 to 1988 and didn’t run for a second term. Clint was elected in a landslide with 72% of the vote. President Ronald Reagan called Clint to congratulate him on his victory. Mayor Eastwood accomplished all of his campaign promises while in office and cleaned out a lot of the bureaucracy and red tape that riled him enough to run for office in the first place. You don’t mess with The Enforcer.

Maybe Obama should look up from his teleprompter and take a peek at the High Plains Drifter riding his way. The Pale Rider told the Pine Cone in last Tuesday’s interview,

“Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle.” Continue reading

A Studio With Violence in Its Bones

Warner Brothers and Its Decades of Violent Films

James Cagney, "The Public Enemy" (1931)

LOS ANGELES — Family films are in the DNA at Walt Disney.

Universal Pictures has a weakness for monsters.

And Warner Brothers? Its movies have often displayed a violent streak.

For decades Warner’s films have frequently put the studio in the middle of a perpetual and unresolved debate over violence in the cinema and in real life. That debate has been revived after the deadly shootings last Friday in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater at an opening night showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” from Warner.

While the box-office success of “Dark Knight” seems assured — the opening weekend produced $160 million in North American sales — Warner executives have decided to delay the planned Sept. 7 release of another film, “Gangster Squad,” according to a person who was briefed on the studio’s plans on Tuesday and spoke anonymously because the change has not been officially announced. The film is a hard-edged cinematic portrayal of the police war on mobsters in mid-20th-century Los Angeles. Continue reading

Takers and Makers

Now that President Obama is out of the closet and stands revealed as a petulant and resentful socialist, who values the collective over the individual and sees the productive class as vampires feeding on the weak and the downtrodden, let’s give equal time to Ayn Rand, via her architect, Howard Roark, in The Fountainhead.

First, the president:

“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Yeah, right. Only someone who’s never accomplished a thing in his life except get elected to various offices could say something like that. His statement bespeaks anger, pettiness, jealousy, destructiveness and rage — in short, everything we’ve come to expect from the Parasitical Left.

Contrast Obama’s “Kinsley gaffe” (defined as when a politician inadvertently blurts out the truth) with Roark’s famous defense speech from the 1949 movie starring Mr. All-America himself, Gary Cooper. You don’t have to be a Randian to cheer sentiments like these:

“The creator stands on his own judgment. The parasite follows the opinions of others. The creator thinks; the parasite copies. The creator produces; the parasite loots. The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite’s concern is the conquest of men… The parasite seeks power. He wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery.

Look at history. Everything we have, every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind. Every horror and destruction came from attempts to force men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots… It is an ancient conflict. It has another name: the individual against the collective.”

So there it is, Election 2012 in a nutshell: the individual vs. the collective.

We know which side the president is on. Which side are you on?

Written by Michael Walsh and published on the PJ Media, July 19, 2012.

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Perspective: Millennials seem to have little use for old movies

“Instant gratification is the name of the game today. No foreplay – no after play. Let’s just get it on ‘for the moment!'” Jeffrey Bennett, Editor

For young people, the focus seems to be on what can be talked about now — new movies serve an immediate social function. Old films are being forgotten.

A lot of folks have wondered whether it is too soon, just 10 years after the release of the original film and five years after the third installment, to relaunch Spider-Man. When questioned, a producer of the new picture snapped that anyone who asked that is “too old.” He may have been dismissively arrogant, especially to geriatrics over 30, but he may also have been right. Continue reading

Florida: A Ponzi schemer’s paradise

It’s 1929 all over again and “Mr. Hammer” is at the auction bloc over at Cocoanut Manor in the Jewish neighborhood. “Why a Duck?” Because it quacks! (Ed.)

When Buddy Persaud promised his investors the moon and the stars, he wasn’t kidding.

Persaud, an Orlando-based financial broker, believed the markets were affected by lunar cycles and gravitational pull.

When — surprise, surprise — the heavens failed him, Persaud paid out their promised high rates of return (up to 18 percent) by simply recruiting new investors and using their funds to pay off the old ones, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges.

Put simply, he ran a Ponzi scheme — the non-sustainable pyramid fraud that invariably ends in ruin.

In the dirty world of Florida Ponzi schemers, Persaud is a small-timer. His enterprise, which totaled $1 million, was a comparable pittance. Continue reading

Jury rejects claims that Costner, partner duped Baldwin, friend out of lucrative BP contract

NEW ORLEANS — A federal jury late Thursday rejected claims that Kevin Costner and his business partner duped fellow actor Stephen Baldwin and a friend out of millions of dollars from a BP contract for using oil cleanup devices in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

The panel deliberated for less than two hours before delivering the verdict in the lawsuit brought by Baldwin and his friend, Spyridon Contogouris. Their lawyer had asked the eight-member jury to award the plaintiffs more than $17 million in damages.

The jury gave them nothing. Continue reading

The Wisdom of Will Hunting

C’mon man, this is 2011 and you’re STILL tricked by “liberal vs. conservative” American politics?

Let me guess, do you LOVE Coke but HATE Pepsi?

Do you LOVE Burger King but HATE McDonalds?

That’s what we’re talking about here, politicians are puppets, it’s a controlled duopoly.

Republicans vs. Democrats is as? real as WWF professional wrestling……..they pretend to hate each other, than they go wine & dine & golf together afterwards…

Big Business & Big War run the USA…

Continue reading

“They? Who the hell is ‘They’?”

The Wild Bunch, Warner Bros., 1969

Pike Bishop: “They set it up.”

Lyle Gorch: “They”? Who in the hell is “they?”

Sykes: [laughs hysterically] “They”? Why, ‘they’ is the plain and fancy ‘they’, that’s who “they” is! Caught you, didn’t they? Tied a tin can to your tail. Led you in and waltzed you out again. Oh my, what a bunch! Big tough ones, huh? Here you are with a handful of holes, a thumb up your ass, and a big grin to pass the time of day with. They? Who the hell is “they?”

….in other words, make sure you get their names while its happening to you, so when the time comes, you don’t have to keep hunting for them the rest of your life…

Patricia Neal, an Oscar Winner Who Endured Tragedy, Dies at 84

”I can’t see from one eye, I’ve been paralyzed. I’ve fallen down and broken a hip. Stubbornness gets you through the bad times. You don’t give in.”

Patricia Neal, the molasses-voiced actress who won an Academy Award and a Tony but whose life alternated surreally between triumph and tragedy, died at her home in Edgartown, Mass., on Sunday. She was 84 and lived in Manhattan and Martha’s Vineyard. Continue reading

Wolfe: Thinking Free

“He’s just institutionalized…The man’s been in here fifty years, Heywood, fifty years. This is all he knows. In here, he’s an important man, he’s an educated man. Outside he’s nothin’ – just a used-up con with arthritis in both hands. Probably couldn’t get a library card if he tried…these walls are funny. First you hate ’em, then you get used to ’em. Enough time passes, it gets so you depend on ’em. That’s ‘institutionalized’…They send you here for life and that’s exactly what they take, the part that counts anyway.” ~ Andy Dufresne

In the great movie The Shawshank Redemption, Brooks Hatlen, the prison librarian (James Whitmore), is the totally institutionalized man. He’s carved out his safe little niche. He no longer knows how to survive outside the walls and he realizes he’s unfit for the real world. Continue reading

WACO: Soon to be a major motion picture

No telling yet how this will turn out;…perhaps it will tell the truth, or maybe it will continue the government cover-up of what really happened. But while the involvement of libertarian rabid gun-rights actor Kurt Russell and James McNulty (the producer of the acclaimed documentary Waco: Rules of Engagement) would seem to bode well for the telling of the facts, there are reasons to beware as well. Continue reading