Saturday Odds & Sods: A Hard Day’s Night

My second jab side effects were worse than the first but only lasted for 3 days then vanished. It was weird to walk like a drunk when  stone cold sober, which is why I spent most of my time on the couch.

When did the furniture people start calling a couch a sofa? I can go either way, but sofa potato isn’t as evocative as couch potato. I wonder which one the man who couldn’t spell potatoes, J Danforth Quayle, uses. Ah, the small mysteries of life.

I’m still watching bits and bobs of the Chauvin trial. My dislike for defense lawyer, Eric Nelson grows daily. If I were devising a drinking game for the trial every time he says “right” “correct” “agree” you take a shot. A surefire way to get shit faced drunk, right?

Despite the album cover featured image, it’s Saturday, not Wednesday. I didn’t mean to confuse anyone; that was a lie, I take great joy in sowing confusion across the land instead of either sleeping like a log or working like a dog.

This week’s theme song was written by Lennon and McCartney in 1964 for the movie of the same title. It has always been one of my favorite Beatles tunes. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

We have four versions of A Hard Day’s Night for your listening pleasure: the Fab Four, Perez Prado, the Smithereens, and Miss Peggy Lee.

Peggy Lee? Yes, Norma Engstrom herself. Paul McCartney was a big fan and gave her a song to record after seeing her perform in London in 1974.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Since that’s my favorite Beatley quote, here’s the song it comes from; in German too.

Ja, ja, ja.

Let’s jump to the break. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Before starting our second act in earnest, another early Beatles classic:

The baseball season just began so a story about the futile love of a New York Mets fan for his team is in order. I hate the Yankees so, I have a sneaking fondness for the Mets myself.

The Best Losers In America: Devon Gordon loves his Mets. He thinks they’re the perfect losers even though they’ve won two World Series. The first one was a fluke against the mighty ’69 Orioles and the second one was a great team that imploded from drug abuse and overall craziness. Check out the details at The Atlantic.

There’s only one song that can close out this segment.

Beatles For Sale is an album that’s unfairly dogged in my opinion. I have no reply for the critics except for this:

The Secret Fury: I originally planned to watch and review the six-part HBO documentary, Q: Into The Storm.  I made it through one episode and decided life’s too short to invite those fucking people into my living room. The film is well-made but has the vice of many current docu-series: it’s too fucking long. I’d rather read about the Q-creeps, so I abandoned that plan.

My fury about the Q-creeps is no secret, let’s move on to a brief review of one of the weirdest old movies I’ve seen in many moons.

The Secret Fury is a 1950 movie that combines bigamy, murder, insanity, and redemption. It makes some jarring leaps but is so well made and acted that it pulled me in.

What’s not to love about a movie starring Claudette Colbert and Robert Ryan? Not a damn thing. As a Ryan fan, I was tickled to see him play a nice guy who’s the hero of the piece; a role that’s more like who he was IRL than the many villains he played.

I give The Secret Fury 3 stars, an Adrastos Grade of B, and a rousing Ebertian thumbs up. The courtroom scenes are preposterous, otherwise it would rate higher. It’s WQ is high. That’s Weirdness Quotient.

The last word of the segment is no secret and has nothing to do with Q:

Let’s attend school and hear a book report from a student who stopped throwing spitballs and did some reading instead.

The Book Report: 

I’m a fan of Rick Perlstein’s series about the birth and growth of the American New Right. This was not my favorite in the series. Perhaps it’s because I was a young adult when the action took place. I didn’t need to be reminded of what a bummer the Carter administration was. I lived through the 1980 election and its disastrous outcome.

I’m less sympathetic to Carter than Perlstein is. He was the one who opened the door to Evangelical involvement in national politics. Many of them supported him in 1976, then adandoned him in 1980. So it goes.

Perlstein’s books always have good covers, my favorite is from the book before this one:

That picture perfectly captures Reagan’s personal appeal to the voters. It was all about his personality, not his policies. Many people had a hard time fathoming that such a nice and charming man could have such mean-spirited polices. Oh well, what the hell.

I give Reaganland 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B+.

The last word of our second act goes to The Ramones. There’s an irony to this selection as several of the Ramones subsequently became right-wingers. The song still rocks.

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: It takes a great actor to play a great director. Side-by-side are Anthony Hopkins and Alfred Hitchcock. Of course, Alma Reville was not as beautiful as Helen Mirren, but who the hell is?

I posted my first favorite Hitchcock movies list five years ago. I find myself in disagreement with some of the rankings, but the films are the same. They’re all 4 star classics. The 2016 rankings are to the right.

My Top Ten Favorite Alfred Hitchcock Films Rebooted:

  1.  Notorious #1
  2.  Vertigo  #3
  3.  Rear Window #2
  4.  Shadow Of A Doubt #10
  5.  Psycho #4
  6.  Strangers On a Train #8
  7. North By Northwest  #9
  8. Frenzy  #5
  9. Foreign Correspondent  #7
  10. The Birds  #6

What was I thinking when I ranked Shadow Of A Doubt 10th? It’s Dr. A’s favorite Hitchcock flick.

The Movie List: An online friend ‘s musings about the career of Faye Dunaway inspired this week’s list:

As Michael points out she was a major star until her OTT performance as Joan Crawford put her in Hollywood’s doghouse. That’s always bugged me: she was just as hammy in Network and was rewarded with a Best Actress award. Oh, the bitter mysteries of life.

My Top Ten Favorite Faye Dunaway Movies

  1.   Chinatown
  2.   Bonnie and Clyde
  3.   Network
  4.   Three Days Of The Condor
  5.   The Four Musketeers: Milady’s Revenge
  6.   Little Big Man
  7.  The Thomas Crown Affair
  8.  The Three Musketeers
  9.  The Disappearance Of Aimee
  10.  Mommie Dearest

I obviously loved Richard Lester’s Musketeer movies. He also directed A Hard Day’s Night. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Saturday GIF Horse: See the Fab Four run. Run Beatles run. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I’ve already used Band On The Run as an Odds & Sods theme song so I’ll runaway from using that song. How about some Del Shannon instead?

TCM Clip Of The Week: My main man, Noir Alley host Eddie Mueller, takes some questions in this clip. Answer, Eddie, answer.

It’s time for a new feature. Soundies were the original music videos. They were short films made between 1940 and 1947. What’s not to love about jazzy black and white features?

The Saturday Soundie: Ladies and gentleman, Fats Waller.

There *was* some unfortunate minstrelsy in that clip, but I prefer to focus on Fats Waller who was clearly misbehaving notwithstanding the song title. I know a scamp when I see one.

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some music.

Saturday Classic: I’m a fanatical Smithereens fan as well as a Beatlemaniac as are the Reens themselves. The two passions collide in this 2007 tribute to Meet The Beatles.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to The Beatles. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: A Hard Day’s Night

  1. Couch, sofa, divan.

    Is it geographically distributed, like soda, pop, coke?
    Or like groundhog, woodchuck, whistlepig?

  2. I’m old, I know, but The Beatles are still the best. What John and Paul wrote still amazes me.

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