One, Two, Three

I sat in the plaza and used my computer, and then I watched television for an hour before taking the buses out to Emeryville.  Barnes and Noble was having a sale on Criterion Collection Blu-ray discs, and I decided to buy a copy of “Rashomon.”  I made my way to Jack London Square, where I saw “Baby Driver” again.  A lot of the thrill faded upon a second viewing.  I don’t know why Baby would drive past the diner when the others were in the car.  I went home and browsed through the record stores before I sat down to watch the All-Star Game.  I thought the interviews during the game were intrusive and annoying.  I saw that that Tony Perez threw a pitch to Yonder Alonso before the game, and Alonso got two hits and a stolen base during the game.  Looking at my CD of John Prine at the Bottom Line, I saw that it was recorded on July 11, 1978, so I had to listen to it.  I wanted to know how 39 years could pass so quickly.  I watched “One, Two, Three,” the Billy Wilder film with James Cagney.  I thought it was a funny movie, reminiscent of one of those Jack Lemmon comedies like “Operation Mad Ball,” where there is a frantic struggle to get something done.  Joan Crawford may have had objections about the movie being about a Coca-Cola executive, but everyone should realize that such a movie couldn’t have been made about a Pepsi executive.  The story had some elements that had similarities to “Sabrina” and “Irma la Douce.”  I don’t remember seeing Arlene Francis in any other movie besides this one.  I could see why her marriage was on the decline.  Horst Buchholz, who was one of The Magnificent Seven, plays the character who causes all the trouble for C.R. MacNamara.  Cagney reportedly hating working with him because of his attempts at stealing scenes.  Leon Askin of the Hogan’s Heroes, has a small part.  The female characters aren’t treated too well.  The wife is long-suffering.  The boss daughter is immature and stupid.  The secretary is materialistic, valuing her fringe benefits, such as the polka dot dress.  I could see how Buchholz might be difficult to work with.  I thought the bit with the balloon on the exhaust pipe wouldn’t work because it would blow up too fast.  Cagney was pretty funny.  I thought he did a better job at comedy than he did in “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”  He talked fast and give a lot of orders.  It’s too bad that Cagney would avoid being in movies for twenty years following this one.  Apparently, this movie was a failure at the box office, but I thought it was amusing.  I used to think of it as the definitive Berlin movie until I saw “Wings of Desire.”  Billy Wilder showed some directing skill, and the script was funny.  Joan Crawford was unhappy about this movie because of her financial interest in Pepsi, but I thought she should have been happy at the way that Coke was satirized.  Some of the people who died on July 12 include Alexander Hamilton (1804), Lon Chaney, Jr. (1973), Ted Mack (1976), Minnie Riperton (1979), Joshua Logan (1988), John Chancellor (1996), Benny Carter (2003), and Harvey Pekar (2010).  Today is a birthday for Michelle Rodriguez (39), Cheryl Ladd (66), and Richard Simmons (69), and Christine McVie (74).

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