Friday, June 19, 2009


“I've got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?” -Burl Ives as Harvey “Big Daddy” Pollitt in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958; Richard Brooks)


What Big Daddy failed to mention is that I’ve got the gut to live too, but that’s another story…

But it’s because of my daughters, because of what being a dad means to me, that I find the guts to live every day, even when it seems like it’d be easier to just retreat from responsibility under a tree somewhere, or just give up altogether. The specific joys that I get from my lifelong appreciation of the movies are both dwarfed and amplified by the eagerness and the happiness that my daughters bring to the table each and every day and the euphoria that I can often tap into by just watching them go about their business. And of course, whenever we go to the movies together is special, no matter whether I’m introducing them to a classic or heading off to the newest kid-friendly Hollywood fare. We’re headed to the Skyline Drive-in in Barstow tomorrow night to take in Up and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, two we’ve already seen but two we’ve never seen under the desert sky of this quaint little drive-in. And next weekend Michael Torgan is bringing a Michael Powell double bill to the New Beverly, and being a veteran of Black Narcissus already my oldest is very excited for A Matter of Life and Death and, yes, The Red Shoes. (More on that newly restored version of The Red Shoes in a post or two. Thanks, Robert!) The jury is still out, however, on whether or not I have the intestinal fortitude to endure Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer’s new 3-D action movie about secret agent guinea pigs entitled G-Force. There are limits it seems, even to Dad’s joy at the prospect of sitting in the dark with his little monkeys for a movie.

Happy Father’s Day to everyone who either is a dad or has one!



It ain’t a shot of Big Daddy, but this publicity photo from The Spiral Road (1962; Robert Mulligan) is just too juicy to not pass along. What big daddy wouldn’t enjoy a Father’s Day that included a chance to spruce up and primp in a nice, hot bath? (You can keep the stogie, though, thanks.)

(Photo courtesy of Leo Fuchs.)



God bless the Internet for keeping one (that is, me) humble. The fun goes from posts #143-147 and counting. Oh, well! Thanks for the thought anyway, Rowland!


See y’all next week!



blaaagh said...

Happy Father's Day to you, Dennis--you're a wonderful dad to those cute little moppets. Hope you enjoy your day! And no mendacity!

Bob Turnbull said...

"I'm not listening to anybody wearing a Dodgers hat."

Well, he's got a point you know...B-)

I'm always baffled by people who take negative reviews of things they like as personal attacks and then feel they need to dismiss the person who wrote it.

I was looking forward to The Hangover, but your review and Fox's are certainly giving me pause...

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Bob: Haha! It took me a second to figure out he was referring to the hat! I thought he was referring to the size of my head, at which point I had to concede him the observation!

Yeah, that's the thing: I learned when I was writing reviews for the local newspaper in Ashland, OR back in the '80s not to get too twisted up about this kind of thing. My editor used to get letters every week because I wasn't cranky enough about something, or I was too cranky about something else. The owner of the local movie theater even dressed me down in front of my boss one time-- after which, incredibly, we became good friends. (Is there a subdivision of the Stockholm Syndrome for small-town movie critics held hostage by a limited number of screens and a bad decade for films?) I can only be amused when someone like this guy on Match Cut goes off about how my review was another attack on white males using the fact that the movie is making money as evidence that it's bad. That just proves that he didn't really bother to read the review-- he's just, as you say, Bob, taking it personally and lashing out. As my pal Bill R. phrased it last week on a completely different subject... Whatever, lady!

Blaaagh: No mendacity?! Why, there is nothing so powerful as the smell mendacity... or something like that! Thanks for the wishes, Big Boy. We're off to Barstow as soon as I finish typing this-- I'll give you a buzz from the road! Happy Father's Day to you too! What is Sophie getting for you? :)

le0pard13 said...

Happy Father's Day, Dennis. Still going to OUaTitW on Monday @ Beverly Cinema? If so, have a great time (especially with that newly restored print). Hope to join you next time.
somewhere over Colorado @ 35,000 ft.

Chris Stangl said...

Who the hell are "Spinal" and "number8" and why should I care about what they think? They are probably not even dads!

Anonymous said...

Happy Father's Day to one of the best dads I know. I remember seeing The Spiral Road a long time ago, probably on TV. I don't remember the shot of Burl, looking like what would happen if you put the stop-action animated Frosty the Snowman in a tub and let him thaw out. That means that the TV censors were merciful and spared the viewers this frightful sight which you have found for us.

So... thanks, Dad!

Virgil Hilts

blaaagh said...

Have--er, fun?--in Barstow. Why are you going there? By the way, I think it's very funny that you have a big ol' condom ad on your blog, on Father's Day!

Hope it's a wonderful day for you, my friend. I don't know what Sophie's planning to give me, but I'll settle for her and all the other animals not puking up grass in the house!

Greg said...

I've had some rough stuff said about me on quite a few forums at this point. Confrontation isn't everyone's style but for me, it's what I do with forum blather. The first was a couple of years ago. I obsessively followed it day in and day out. A review I had done had caused an uproar and all manner of horrible things were being said about me. My wife said, "Ignore it," but I couldn't. I joined the forum, announced myself and wrote a lengthy reply to every criticism launched at me.

Silence. Dead silence.

One person finally chimed in and thanked me for coming. And that was that. No one mentioned me again.

I've done that a few times since and the result has so far been the same each time.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Virgil: You know that means the most to me coming from you. I hope you guys had a great Father's Day with Harmonica and Claudia Cardinale.

Blaaagh: Barstow is the site of the Skyline Drive-in, turned out to be a wonderful place to be and should be a part of your very next visit to SoCal. Detailed report with pics coming up.

Greg: Well, this time the subject was drooped for a while until someone noticed that I had signed in as a member of the discussion group. Then the fun began again at post #184 all the way to #195. Against my instincts, I decided to leave a comment, though I was very hesitant because in the early days of my adventures on the Internet back in the mid '90s I allowed myself to get caught up in some flame wars on a Salon chat site and it was not pleasant. But this time, despite the admittance of "Spinal" that wise-assery is a preferred go-to mode on this chat site, the response was respectful and did not lead to an extended bunch of nonsense. I commented one last time and then that was, I expect, it.

I don't usually make it a habit to jump into these things because, as you say, it can get ugly. But somehow it didn't this time, I'm happy to report.

They're still making fun of the Dodgers, though. This was counterbalanced, however, by a sure sign of the apocalypse: After the Dodgers took tow of three from the Angels this weekend, even ESPN's Joe Morgan had to give the Dodgers some respect: "People are starting to sit up and take notice of the Dodgers now-- they're not just good because they're in the National League West." Good ol' Joe has finally started to figure out what others in his position noticed about a month ago. I have a feeling the NLCS is going to turn out a shade differently this year from last September's version!