Butterfield 8

I watched a segment about Jon Cryer on the CBS Sunday Morning program. My parents phoned me to talk about my trip. I went out to Trader Joe’s and bought some strawberries. I took the bus back out to the Grand Lake Theater, where I saw “Home” for the second time during the weekend. I decided that I didn’t want to see “Get Hard.” The theater was empty for the early showing. I took the bus back over to the library, where I borrowed a couple of DVDs. I went home to watch “Butterfield 8.” I hadn’t seen Elizabeth Taylor in a movie in quite a while. This mainstream movie from 1960 couldn’t show her nude in her opening scene, but it did show off her figure. Was it supposed to be shocking for its time? Elizabeth Taylor’s character, Gloria, takes a fur coat out of the closet and leaves. Taylor supposedly did not want to be in this movie at all, and her performance seems like it’s nothing special. In fact, one of the key speeches she has about learning evil at 13 and loving it was laughable. You can compare this character who is a prostitute with Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.” You’ll see how things have changed, not just with the way movies have portrayed prostitutes. Gloria made it sound shocking and tragic that she could actually accept money, and what that made her. She was a prostitute who worried about her reputation like she was still a 16-year-old girl in high school. She gets to have scenes with Eddie Fisher, who did television but not many movies. What was he trying to do, reform her? I’m not too sure that any of these characters had any grasp of reality. Laurence Harvey has a marriage that he’s ready to toss aside to pursue Gloria. I liked Laurence Harvey in “The Manchurian Candidate,” but this film just swallowed up everyone in it and left them with nothing. Nothing much of consequence happens until the end. Taylor is the spectacle here. Dina Merrill is Harvey’s wife. A mink coat is part of the plot, and it leads to the conflict in the marriage. Gloria must be very self-absorbed if she could totally forget to return it. The original story was inspired by a real-life incident from 1931. I thought that Gloria had a good car, a Sunbeam Alpine. The last sequence with the car chase involving Harvey and Gloria went on for a long time. It wasn’t exciting, as the car chase in “Bullitt” was. I found it hard to believe that Gloria would stare behind her and miss the signs in front of her. It seems that we never see any real behavior anywhere in this picture. Gloria is supposed to be the biggest slut of all time, but it really looks like she hangs out a lot with two men, Harvey and Fisher. The characters were reluctant to even use the word tramp to describe Gloria. One of the things we didn’t see in this movie was a montage. Visually, the movie doesn’t have much outside of the stars. I didn’t see the purpose of making this movie, outside of making money. It plays off the Elizabeth Taylor persona, but she doesn’t put out her greatest effort for the role. The movie was a hit, however, showing that then as now the power of celebrity in attracting ticket buyers. Taylor had an eye-grabbing entrance scene and a dramatic exit scene. You’ve got to give the customers something for their buck. I thought back on the Taylor movies I’ve liked, such as “National Velvet” and “Father of the Bride.” Movies like “Butterfield 8” and “Cleopatra” are of the type I didn’t like very much at all. I’d like to take another look at “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” I thought that Elizabeth Taylor would be around forever, but her health failed. She did live for almost another thirty years after Richard Burton’s death. What I remember of “The Taming of the Shrew” was that it was pretty good. I listened to the Robert Hilburn Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN. He played songs by Patti Smith and Elliott Smith. I liked “Because the Night,” and I liked “Baby Britain.” I watched the Columbo episode “A Deadly State of Mind” with George Hamilton and Lesley Warren. The suspect used hypnosis to do an evil deed. A blind man was a key to the case. I wasn’t too sure that Columbo’s case would have held up in court. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode was a two-part story, but it was in color. Mission: Impossible was a story about gold. He received his mission from a telephone booth. I questioned whether anyone tried to use the phone before Phelps got there. I wondered why they showed the scene where Phelps chooses his team because he always choose the same people. I saw Ed Sullivan on The Jack Benny Program. During the night, I heard on the radio the replay of a 60 Minutes segment on cancer treatment. The thought of a possible breakthrough wasn’t comforting coming after my brother’s death. The morning news gave us a lot of reports from Santa Clara, telling us how WrestleMania went. It amazed me that 77,000 people paid money to see it. Elizabeth Wenger said that Hulk Hogan was the only wrestler that she knew about, which was good for her because she’s not wasting her time thinking about such nonsense. If it really was Tom Brady who dove off the cliff, he is a complete fool despite the Super Bowl rings that he has won. Some of the people who died on March 30 include James Cagney (1986), Fred Korematsu (2005), Michael Dibdin (2007), and Jaime Escalante (2010). Today is a birthday for Norah Jones (36), Tracy Chapman (51), MC Hammer (53), Paul Reiser (58), Eric Clapton (70), Warren Beatty (78), John Astin (85), and Peter Marshall (89). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for March 30, The Beatles had a photo session with Michael Cooper for the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover in 1967. In 1974, John Denver had his first Number One hit, “Sunshine on My Shoulders.” In 1987, “Platoon” won the Best Picture Oscar.

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