The Bible: In the Beginning…

I watched CBS Sunday Morning, but I couldn’t enjoy the segment on U2 because my parents phoned me to talk about money concerns, although it wasn’t about lacking money. I checked the Best Buy ad and thought about paying a visit. I took the buses out to Jack London Square. I listened to the A’s game against Tampa Bay. After the first pitch of the game, the A’s were ahead, 1-0. I was hesitant to buy the same food at the farmers’ market, so I brought along a sandwich. I bought a ticket to see “Mad Max: Fury Road” again. I got a coupon for a free soda, so I had something to drink to go with my ham and Swiss. Watching the movie a second time made it appreciate its strengths a little more, although I still didn’t quite like Tom Hardy. Looking at the advertisements for coming attractions, I thought I might skip “San Andreas.” I took the bus back and stopped by the record store, where I bought a vinyl copy of the Beatles album “Let It Be.” I listened to the Robert Hilburn Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN. The featured artists of the week were Lou Reed and Jimmy Reed. I was amazed that “Walk on the Wild Side” was ever played on the radio. I watched the John Huston movie “The Bible.” I rather liked the first half, was included the stories about Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Noah. I thought it took a bit too long to get through Genesis. I thought it was a shame that the film didn’t show Adam and Eve nude. Cain was Richard Harris. I know about Cain and Abel from the Bruce Springsteen song “Streets of Fire,” along with the movie “East of Eden.” My favorite part of the movie was John Huston as Noah. He didn’t play the role seriously. Supposedly, Huston originally wanted Charlie Chaplin to be Noah. Thankfully, Huston didn’t show the masses of people trying to get on the ark once the rain started. I had to think that the ark stunk like hell after forty days and forty nights. The hippos and elephants looked like they were too heavy for this ark. It looked dangerous for anyone in the cast to be anywhere near these animals. How much would the animals eat during the long days? I thought the special effects looked pretty impressive for 1966. The movie had an intermission. I’m sure that the original audiences needed the break. I liked the part with Nimrod and the Tower of Babel. It looked like something important was going on. Huston got quite a group of extras to scatter at the end. I think I first came to know about this story from the Elton John song “Tower of Babel.” Finally came the story of Abraham and Sarah. George C. Scott and Ava Gardner had the respective roles. There were a couple of moments when Scott reminded me of his character in “Dr. Strangelove.” I’m going to assume that this picture didn’t win any Oscars for makeup, because Abraham’s aging appearance was totally unconvincing. Ava Gardner apparently hated speaking the Biblical dialogue. She seemed to have better days in the movies, although she said that she enjoyed working on this picture. Her giving birth to Isaac really seemed like a miracle. Peter O’Toole showed up to bring an angelic presence, and it seemed that he was still portraying Lawrence of Arabia. George C. Scott didn’t seem like he belonged in a Biblical story. I thought he was even more out of place than Willem Dafoe was in “The Last Temptation of Christ.” Now that I think about it, Harvey Keitel was also in that movie. I found the last hour of “The Bible” not too compelling. I could imagine going out to see it in a movie theatre in 1966 and feeling very tired at the end of the night, after an intermission and more than three hours. The movie didn’t have the conviction of “Fat City” or “The Dead.” I don’t know what John Huston was doing during the entire decade of the 1960s. This feels like one of his attempts like “Casino Royale” or “Annie.” However, I’ll still think of John Huston as one of my favorite film directors. “The Bible: In the Beginning…” was supposed to be the first in a series of films, but the sequels were never made. I imagine that each one would have been an exhausting effort. 20th Century Fox supposedly lost money on the movie, and as they say, that is the bottom line. I watched the Columbo episode “Try and Catch Me” with Ruth Gordon. It seemed too convenient that the title of the novel was “The Night I Was Murdered.” I thought about how much I missed Ruth Gordon. I knew her only from that period from “Rosemary’s Baby” to the end of her life.” Of course, there was “Harold and Maude.” I heard about the death of Anne Meara. I will remember her from Blue Nun commercials and “Fame.” I also heard about the death of John Nash. He and his wife were riding in a taxi when it crashed, and they were ejected from the vehicle. They were both in their 80s. They weren’t wearing seat belts. I hate to think that people remember Nash as the subject of the movie “A Beautiful Mind.” I watched a report on Nash from Elaine Quijano on CBS This Morning. I saw a bit of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” with guest star Jill Ireland. I would come to know her as Charles Bronson’s wife. On this Memorial Day, I’m going out to a baseball game, and I need to get some rest afterwards. I still have my grades to finish and submit before my summer starts. Some of the people who died on May 25 include Gustav Holst (1934), Robert Capa (1954), Ismail Merchant (2005), and Charles Nelson Reilly (2007). Today is a birthday for Paul Weller (57), Frank Oz (71), and Ian McKellen (76). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 25, the Simon and Garfunkel album “Bookends” was Number One on the charts in 1968. In 1979, “Alien” was released. In 1990, Vic Tayback of “Alice” died at age 60.

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