Hope and Glory

I spent so much time preparing for my classes that I was rather discouraged that I didn’t get that much done. After my early class, I went out to get a hamburger and reviewed a lot of lecture notes to prepare my students for an exam. I spoke with one of the security guards about The Big Bang Theory and the changes going on with the program. After finishing up with the lecture and watching a bit of Match Game, I watched the DVD of “Hope and Glory.” I saw this movie back in 1987 and thought it was excellent. I still like it today. It felt like the beginning with the toy figures was a small scene out of “Excalibur.” The sight of a motorcycle brought to mind “Amarcord,” as did a scene of people watching a movie in a theatre. Americans have arrived in London, and some of them are getting involved with the local girls. The boys in the neighborhood are rummaging around the bombed out buildings. Billy Rohan is the seven-year-old trying to deal with life during wartime. There are other moments that reminded me of Fellini, like the German paratrooper who dropped down on Billy’s neighborhood, and the balloon that floating overhead like a peacock. There’s a vivid sense of childhood in the movie. Billy’s stupid friends torment him and dare him to do things. They have a code of cursing and destroying things that shows that they’re going nowhere ever in their lives. I kept thinking about what idiots young boys are. Billy’s older sister falls in love with a Canadian soldier. She is a contradictory girl who seems like she will be a terrible wife. What happened to that ring that she threw away? One of the funniest bits was about fishing. A lot of explosions occur in the movie. Some of the interesting details about life were the clothes exchange and the can of jam. Billy’s mother was willing to endanger her life for ration books. In school, Billy’s teacher still went over multiplication tables in the bomb shelter with the kids wearing gas masks. I wondered how the production people got the kids to put on the gas masks naturally. Billy’s sister had a couple of scenes that made me think of Pascal Thomas and “Confidences pour confidences.” “Hope and Glory” did make me think of “Yanks.” I can’t imagine the sequel being nearly as good as this first movie. The life during historical events is what is interesting. I don’t feel much like seeing the British version of “The Best Years of Our Lives.” The ending is a kid’s dream. I wonder how John Boorman dealt with all the kids on the screen. I kept thinking about how rich this movie was in emotion, and it felt like it came out of real life, and not some contrived Hollywood formula like “Hotel Transylvania 2.” How many films being made these days have that personal touch, with something meaningful to say? I saw other movies in 1987 that I liked, such as “Moonstruck” and “The Dead.” I remember Sarah Miles for “Ryan’s Daughter” and “The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea.” I enjoyed watching her in “Hope and Glory.” She is 73 years old now. Sammi Davis was in “Mona Lisa,” which I do not remember, and “The Rainbow,” which I never saw. She is 51 years old. Sebastian Rice-Edwards is now 39 years old. John Boorman went from “Hope and Glory” in 1987 to “Where the Heart Is” in 1990. Boorman worked on the screenplay with his daughter, which might have been a mistake. Roger Ebert gave the movie a negative review, with the main complaint being that it seemed to be a story that would work in London but was the wrong fit for New York. I’m not too sure I’d want to rush out to see a movie with Crispin Glover and Uma Thurman in it. I’m always interested in how film directors follow up on one of their artistic successes. Many times it seems that their creativity has been used up, and it takes a while to rebound. It was seeing “Excalibur” last week that made me want to watch “Hope and Glory” again. I’m glad that I did see this movie again. I would place it beside “Deliverance” as one of my favorite John Boorman films. I heard the news about the Chicago Cubs and thought of “Back to the Future Part II,” in which the Cubs won the World Series in 2015. I couldn’t get to sleep, and I saw a bit of Kirsten Dunst and Jeff Daniels on the James Corden show. I still think that Corden really struggles to be funny. He did talk about one of the big news items of the day, that Playboy magazine was going to stop including nude photos. My prediction is that this decision will result in lower sales than ever. The magazine doesn’t hold anyone’s attention anymore. I thought back on the documentary about National Lampoon magazine that I saw last week. I was almost out of food in the refrigerator. The temperature outside my door was cooler than the previous two days, and I was waiting for a refreshing autumn day. I am slow in getting out of bed these mornings. I thought of the movies I could see this weekend. Do I really want to see “Bridge of Spies,” and would I be willing to see it just because it’s a Steven Spielberg film? I’m leaning towards no to both those questions. I have been avoiding “Pan” because it sounds so unappealing. Should I go out to see “99 Homes”? It seems that the movie I’m really waiting for is “The Peanuts Movie.” I don’t have any football games on the home schedule for a while. I don’t think I want to see the Cubs win the World Series. It would be painful to see the Blue Jays win because of Josh Donaldson. It would also make me think of happier days back in 1992 and 1993. Some of the people who died on October 14 include Errol Flynn (1959), Bing Crosby (1977), Keenan Wynn (1986), Leonard Bernstein (1990), Freddy Fender (2006), and Sigrid Valdis (2007). Today is a birthday for Natalie Maines (41), Steve Coogan (50), and Roger Moore (88). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for October 14, Bing Crosby died in Spain at age 74 of a heart attack after he had finished a round of golf. In 1982, “It Takes Two,” starring Richard Crenna, Patty Duke Astin, and Helen Hunt, premiered on ABC. In 1983, Sam Peckinpah’s final film, “The Osterman Weekend,” was released.

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