The Spirit of St. Louis

I woke up feeling that I really didn’t want to go to work, but I had to.  I spent a little bit of time in the office making photocopies, but otherwise I stuck with trying to get the next lecture notes written.  I had a discussion with one of the fellows about my idea for a screenplay that was a combination of horror movie monsters and a martial arts action flick.  I got a laugh out of my acting out a scene of a zombie eating some brains.  We discussed TV theme songs and “Northern Exposure,” and I went on my way back home to take a nap and get some work done.  I had the TV on to the 49ers game against the Cardinals for a while.  I watched “The Spirit of St. Louis,” the Billy Wilder film starring James Stewart as Charles Lindbergh.  Stewart seemed old for the part, since this was eleven years after “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  The movie struggles a bit to make this flight interesting.  After all, it’s a long flight, and Lindbergh was by himself and staring out at a lot of water.  Thus, we get flashbacks and quite a bit of Lindbergh talking to himself.  Still, I liked this movie.  It was pretty exciting, and I liked the shots of the plane flying low.  It has a sense of wonder about flying and looking out at the world, and that’s something that’s missing in our age of jets and looking at everything through the Internet.  We see Lindbergh going out and trying to come up with the money for this venture, and then getting this airplane made.  It had to hold a lot of gasoline, and Lindbergh had a periscope to look out.  He used a woman’s mirror to place it in the plane so that he’d be able to see a compass.  Some of the humorous bits weren’t so fantastic, I thought, like the moments of Lindbergh’s wild youth.  When a wheel falls off a plane and nearly hits someone, I didn’t find it hilarious.  Another shot showed Lindbergh as a young boy, sleeping on the railroad tracks.  I thought he was going to get his head sliced open.  I don’t know how he could have stayed awake for so long.  I think I would have fallen asleep and died about 18 hours into the journey.  I liked how Lindbergh was flying so low that he could yell out to someone below, although I wondered if they could hear him over the sound of the engine.  He stuffed his ears with cotton, and so I couldn’t understand why he assumed he could be heard.  One of my favorite moments in the movie was when he waved to someone on the ground in Newfoundland.  He was doing this amazing feat without getting too far away from the people.  Not even Neil Armstrong did that.  According to the movie, there were four moments of near disaster.  There was the takeoff in the mud.  Some ice formed on the wing.  He dozed off, making the plane circle and descend dangerously.  With an hour to go, It looked like he’d run out of gas.  Paris did look beautiful, although it was at night.  I thought of “Irma La Douce” and “The 400 Blows.”  The scene with the landing and the French people greeting him was a great one.  I wonder how difficult the filming of it was.  There were some tricky maneuvers with the planes in the movie, also.  This movie was about feeling good and taking pleasure in the accomplishment of a great American.  The movie was in color, even though I think of the world of 1927 in black and white.  I didn’t like “The Spirit of St. Louis” as much as the Billy Wilder comedies of the time, but I thought it was worth seeing.  I wondered what Frank Capra would have done with this material.  I didn’t think this was one of James Stewart’s best performances, but he was good.  I wondered if he could actually fly those planes.  One of the special features was coverage of the premiere at the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.  People like Clark Gable and Natalie Wood were there.  I caught the second half of “2 Broke Girls,” which was a repeat.  I tried to listen to my John Stewart record, but I discovered that it was an Alice Cooper album with the wrong label.  What a disappointment that was.  I also listened to a Nils Lofgren album.  I finished with my notes and homework examples.  I think many of the students will become incredibly confused.  Well, it’s time for them to get tough.  I don’t know what I’ll do for an encore as far as my screenplay discussions at work go.  The Twilight Zone episode on KOFY was “A Kind of a Stopwatch.”  The story reminded me of the one with Burgess Meredith having the time to read his books.  A bit of carelessness ruins him, as happens in this story.  I don’t know why Potts thought that he had to share his discovery with other people.  It took him a very long time to see the possibilities of what he could do with this stopwatch.  I wonder if we’ll see the girl from last year’s Hyundai commercials this year.  I don’t have any plans for Halloween because no one will see me if I wear a costume.  I don’t need to eat anymore candy, anyway.  I have my Grim Reaper costume in my closet.  Halloween should never be on a Wednesday.  David Letterman was left without an audience because of the hurricane.  They didn’t have the Top 10 graphics because someone was missing.  The Top 10 was about the rejected names for the storm.  Number One was Oprah Windy.  The show was strangely quiet without the audience.  Denzel Washington braved the weather to be on the show and promote his new movie, “Flight.”  Paul played “Bad Moon Rising.”  Denzel wore a raincoat.  He said that Robert Zemeckis was at the top of his game.  I don’t see Denzel as a person who has any skills with piloting an airplane.  James Stewart could do it.  Stewart could have been another Sully Sullenberger.  Some of the people who died on October 30 were Samuel Fuller (1997), Steve Allen (2000), Jam Master Jay (2002), and Robert Goulet (2007).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind segment for October 30, Phil Spector released the first single on his Philles label, The Crystals’ “Oh Yeah, Maybe Baby,” in 1961.  In 1965, The Beatles’ “Yesterday” was the Number One song in the country.  In 1972, Elton John appeared at the Royal Command Variety Performance for Queen Elizabeth II.  In 1974, Sly Stone’s wife filed for divorce.

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