Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tony Curtis: The Video

Here's the video of Tony Curtis at the theater the other night. I'm not sure they can actually be called videos considering you can't really see anything since it was so dark in the theater and I was using my little point and shoot camera. But the audio is ok and the stories are pretty entertaining. And the way he talks is pretty amusing in itself. There are lots of short videos. Here they are:

Tony and Jack going into the women's bathroom in their womens garb.

Filming Some Like it Hot and Tony's favorite Marilyn Monroe memory.

Story about Natalie Wood during the filming of The Great Race.

Talking about being on the cover of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper album.

Talking about Cary Grant.

Story about loosing his cufflink after appearing at a theater.

Costume stories from Some Like it Hot.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tony Curtis

To continue my string of seeing famous old people at random movie theaters (see this, this, and this), I saw Tony Curtis this weekend. He introduced a showing of Some Like it Hot at the Hollywood Blvd. theater in Downers Grove (Chicago suburb). It's possibly the most hilarious movie ever, and it's not even skanky or obscene in any way (sort of).

I was really looking forward to seeing the movie on the big screen—it's one of those I can watch lots of times—seeing Tony Curtis in person was, frankly, just a bonus. Now, I figured this was going to be a pretty popular event, so we got there about an hour early. It was a bit more crowded than I had anticipated; the theater was basically packed, and the line to meet Tony was out the door. Luckily, I wasn't planning on meeting Tony. He's cool, but I wasn't going wait in line for an hour and pay $20 to get his autograph.

We did, however, want to get a good seat in the theater and we had to do some sneaking around in the lobby to get to the front of the waiting crowd. Luckily, 95% of the people there were 70 years of age or older, so we had no problem taking them down on our way into the theater. It was so packed that they decided to show the movie on two extra screens, but luckily we made it into the main one.

We sat for a few minutes waiting for Tony to show up in the theater. They had a little couch set up at the front for him and a microphone which is definitely more than they've done for anybody else we've seen there. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from Tony Curtis. I know that he was married to Janet Leigh and he's Jamie Lee Curtis's father, but that's about the extent of my Tony Curtis knowledge. So I wasn't sure if he'd be interesting, or really boring, but I figured any stories about Some Like it Hot have to be good.

Tony finally made his way into the theater and the audience loved him. They stood for him as he wobbled down the aisle...he had a knee problem apparently. Not really surprising, seeing as he's about 100 years old. He went and sat down on the couch in the front while the manager of the theater tried to get him to use the microphone. He didn't want to use it, but it was definitely needed. So then he held the mic but kept talking with his hands and moving it away from his face. But it was ok because he was completely hilarious! I thought he might be a little crazy and weird, but he was actually really clever and mostly normal. He had some great, entertaining stories to tell that everyone enjoyed. He got another standing ovation the way out. Adorable!

The best part was, the manager of the theater was trying to ask Tony questions and keep things on track, but Tony would have none of it. He was going to talk about what he wanted to talk about. He wasn't going to be held back by silly questions. It was great.

Overall, the night was a huge success. Tony Curtis is by far the most interesting person we've seen at this theater. I took some video on my point and shoot digital camera and it's really dark so you can't see much, but the audio itself is entertaining. I'll be posting it once I get it uploaded.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I'm more than a little peeved with the AFI. The other night, I was watching their 100 Years...100 Movies countdown on Bravo. I have to admit, I'm a sucker for these stupid countdowns, particularly the 100 Years...100 Songs list. I often end up getting angry at some point during the show, but in the end they're usually ok. This one the other night, however, was truly a disaster.

They redid this 100 Movies list because the original list was from 10 years ago, and it was time for an update. Really, it didn't make much of a difference. All they did was throw Lord of the Rings into the mix and called it updated. They obviously just wanted to figure out how to make more money with as little effort as possible.

Anyway, when I came in on the show, they were already on number 30 or so which was a little disappointing because I know that most of my favorite movies are not going to be in the top 30. But I watched anyway, with the assumption that at the very least, they'd talk about two movies I love that are sure to be in the top 30: The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music. So there I sat, patiently waiting for my movies to be discussed by celebrities I don't care about and film industry people I don't know. Finally we get to The Wizard of Oz at number 10. I was pretty pleased with its placement; top ten is pretty good. But this gets me wondering if the The Sound of Music is even going to show up...I didn't exactly expect it to be in the top ten. I continue watching as movie after movie passes by, and it soon becomes apparent that this film will not be making an appearance.

As the show came to a close, I sat on the couch in shock, not able to fathom how The Sound of Music couldn't even make it into the top 30. I quickly grabbed my computer, flipped it open, and pulled up the AFI website to see exactly where the film landed in this ridiculous list. Much to my dismay, I found that it only made it to number 40. 40?! Seriously?! This is truly an outrage. Do these people even watch these movies before coming up with these lists? Even more disturbing is the fact that in the original list from 10 years ago it was number 55!!

It's even more painful when you look at the list of (mostly lame) movies that beat it out. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was number 38. Typically, I would not have an opinion on this, but I just saw it for the first time not long ago and it was not that great. Also, I don't know anyone else who's actually seen it except for the few people I watched it with. Singin' in the Rain made it to number 5, which was a bit of a shock. Don't get me wrong, I love the movie, but it's not as good as The Sound of Music. Lastly, Raging Bull came in at number 4, which, whatever, I haven't seen it so I don't really have an opinion. The problem is, on the original list, it was number 24. How in the world did it get so much better in 10 years that it jumped 20 spots? That's insanity.

Ok, enough of my complaining. I was relieved to find out that on the AFI blog, people are able to blog about/vote for their favorite movies, and The Sound of Music does much better in this list. In their compiled list of votes, it comes in at number 11 which appeases me a little. At least the general public isn't as moronic as the AFI. Meanwhile, Brokeback Mountain is number 1, which kind of saddens me.

So I've lost all respect for AFI. Not that I really had any respect for them to begin with. They clearly have no concept of what movies are good. This does not, however, mean that I'll stop watching their stupid countdowns. They're just so entertaining!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I'm here to tell the world that when the word "gay" is used in a motion picture made before, say, 1970, it doesn't mean homosexual. It means happy. Jovial. And so on.

While looking it up in the dictionary, I came across this interesting bit of information:

In addition to its original and continuing senses of “merry, lively” and “bright or showy,” gay has had various senses dealing with sexual conduct since the 17th century. A gay woman was a prostitute, a gay man a womanizer, a gay house a brothel.

Fascinating. But anyway, that's not the point. The point is, when we went to see The Sound of Music with thousands of others in Grant Park, the biggest laugh of the night came when the Baroness described something as gay. It wasn't a joke! But it got the biggest laugh.