Shenanigans & Movies

Dems are trying to convince the country that the federal government must take over elections because of voter suppression. According to an article by Ken Cuccinelli at “Only two states have both higher voter registration among Black voters than White voters and had higher voter turnout of Black voters than White voters in 2020. Guess which two states? Mississippi and Tennessee. The worst state in America? Massachusetts.” Google searches confirmed my suspicions. The Volunteer State’s two senators are Republican, as are seven of its nine House reps. Same senate breakdown in the Cotton State, and five of seven House reps are members of the GOP. Both of the Bay State’s senators are Democrats, as are all nine of its House reps.

It was Joan Bennett night in prime time on Movies!, channel 5–2 on ota in NYC. The first feature, The Woman on the Beach (1947), is notable because it was helmed by legendary French director Jean Renoir (The Rules of the Game [1939} and The Grand Illusion {1937}). He was voted the 12th-greatest director of all time by Entertainment Weekly magazine, the highest ranked among his countrymen. The film in question is a love triangle about the tempestuous relationship between a blind artist, played by Charles Bickford, and his wife, and a Navy Lieutenant, played by Robert Ryan, who makes the mistake of falling for the woman. Renoir, Frank Davis and J. R. Michael Hogan adapted the novel by Mitchell Wilson. It has more psychological complexity than most American films and probably requires more than one viewing to appreciate. I suspect that back in the day the creators were not allowed to go as far as the book did in terms of character revelation. Also of note, an appearance by Irene Ryan, Granny in 274 episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies. Although I recognize several of the movie titles listed under her name at IMDb, I do not recall her work in them… The second feature, The Man I Married (1940), is surprising in the info it reveals, which had me assume it had been produced post-WWII. It’s the story of a wife who travels to Europe with her German-born husband, who is soon seduced by Nazism. One of the characters mentions Dachau. I didn’t know the concentration camps were common knowledge at that time. At least two other character express skepticism about them. Francis Lederer, born in what is now the Czech Republic, plays the spouse. I do not recall any of his other work. Lloyd Nolan’s character provides the American patriotic propaganda. I’m sure I’ve blogged about Jersey-born Bennett before, so I’ll keep it brief. She came from a long line of actors dating back to the 18th century. There are 97 titles under her name at IMDb, which is misleading given that she did 391 episodes alone of Dark Shadows, for which she earned $333 per. I’d say her most memorable roles were with Edward G. Robinson in The Woman in the Window (1944) and, especially, Scarlet Street (1945). She was also in the Dario Argento’s Italian horror classic Suspiria (1977). Here’s a quote attributed to her: “I don’t think much of most of the films I made, but being a movie star was something I liked very much.” She passed away at 80 in 1990. Here’s a still from Dark Shadows, for which she received an Emmy nomination in ‘68:

Mother Nature turned the clock back a month. It was unusually cool this early afternoon. To my relief, the floating book received only a one-copy donation today, so I was able to whittle the inventory a bit. My thanks to Alice, who bought Mixed Blessings by Danielle Steel, and to Arthur, who purchased Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich and Bad Blood by John Sandford; and to the woman who selected Divergent by Veronica Roth, Called Out of Darkness, a memoir by Anne Rice, and To Catch A King: Charles II’s Great Escape by Earl Charles Spencer; and to Wolf, who took home another satchel of DVD copies; and to the woman who chose a hardcover in Russian; and to Shelley, who opted for Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, which she’d asked for recently.

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I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have ten books in print.