Long Live the King
RIP talk radio and TV legend Larry King, whose career spanned 63 years. Born in Brooklyn as Lawrence Zeigert, he attended Lafayette High School, which we have in common. There are 65 titles under his name at IMDb in the category of Actor, and four as Producer outside his radio work. He did 7445 episodes of Larry King Live on TV, serving as producer on 1007. Well done, sir.
Last night I caught up to a Western I hadn’t seen courtesy of Movies!, channel 5–2 on ota’s in NYC. The Train Robbers (1973) is standard fare despite a top-notch cast: John Wayne, Ann-Margret, Rod Taylor, Ben Johnson, Christopher George, Larry Gatlin, Ricardo Montalban and Bobby Vinton, one of the singer’s eight acting credits. So much of its 92-minute running time is taken up by travel on horses. I don’t recall having ever seen that much in a movie. It seemed like filler. The flick was written and directed by Burt Kennedy, who has done much better work. Born in Muskegon, Michigan, he was highly decorated in WWII. He began by writing scripts for radio. His first Hollywood credit came as a stuntman in the 1948 version of The Three Musketeers, where he did some fencing. He wrote several scripts for Budd Boetticher, who had a gift for making low budget films look like million dollar epics. I wouldn’t be surprised if the budget for The Train Robbers surpassed that of all the collaborations of Kennedy and Boetticher combined. There are 30 titles under Kennedy’s name in the category of Writer, and 47 under Director, the most notable of which is probably Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), starring James Garner, which Kennedy did not write (William Bowers). He also worked in TV, helming 17 episodes of Simon and Simon, six of Combat!, four of Lawman, and three of How the West Was Won. He passed away at 78 in 2001. Here’s a quote attributed to him: “Wayne was a stickler at work. He was fine if he realized you knew what you were doing. But if you weren’t prepared, or fluffed anything, and fortunately I never did, well, then you could be in trouble. He was tough, but then so am I!” Well done, sir. Thank you. Here’s the cover of his memoir:
There was enough sunshine today to take the bite out of the cold. I stood with my back against the Chase bank and waited for customers to come along. My thanks to Ann, who bought The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw and Writing New York, A Literary Anthology: A Library of America Special Publication; and to Mr. Conspiracy, aka Steve, who purchased A Glossary of Literary Terms by M.H. Abrams and Geoffrey Harpham; and to the woman who selected Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz to replace her worn copy; and to Bill, who chose The Girl by Meridel Le Sueurl; and to the gentleman who swapped about ten books for this:
My Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Vic-Fortezza/e/B002M4NLJE
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