Saturday, December 30, 2006

Old Newhart Made New

A Review

I seldom watch or rent stand-up comedy, but I made an exception for the recent DVD release of Bob Newhart: Button Down Concert, a special the title comedian did for Showtime about a decade ago. The 'concernt' consistes of Mr. Newhart doing bits from his first two comedy albums, both released in the early-to-mid 1960's. I've heard most of the material before on Newharts 'Button Down Mind' album, but it was nice to see the bits performed just as they where when he toured with them so many years ago. Pluse Bob Newhart is probably my favorite living comedian, in fact I largely modeld my high school comic persona on his delivery, polite, subtle, and vaugley uncomfortabel with the world around him.

Friday, December 29, 2006


A Review

Some friends of mine recently gave me a copy of a film called Underground, which judging by its cover design I expected to be campy, but is actully a quality movie. It has one of those, one brother is a loyal Nazi (Jeffrey Lynn) and one is in the resistance (Philip Dorn) sort of plots, but its very well done and avoids most cliches, espically in that the Nazi brother is a multi-dimensional character who has a nice arc. The DVD comes with some 2004 interviews of the films director, the then 98 year-old (and very aware) Vincent Sherman, conducted by his son and the guy who created 'The Toxic Avenger'. Also included are some rather odd special features including a new sounding trailor for an early Burt Reynolds film, and a circa 1990 enviromental public serivce spot. Thank you The Roan Group.

Saddam Hussein Executed

Click Here

End of the Road

Hitch Part 15 of 15

So with the final of Hitchcocks films we come to the final entry in my series on the 15-disc Hitchcock DVD set. Family Plot is a fairly complicated film structeraly, there are infact two storylines, one more prominate then the other, that come to intersect towards the movies end. The primary storyline follows a sham psychic played by Barbara Harris. This 'psychic', whose name is Blanch, is hired by the eldery Julia Rainbird (Cathleen Nesbitt) to track down her late sisters illegitament son, who was secreted off as a baby to avoid tainting the prominate family with scandel. Blanch relies on her lover George (Bruce Dern), a cabdriver and want-to-be actor, to conduct the leg work in the search for the by now fourty-something heir.

The second storyline concerns the heir, only he dosn't know he came from wealth, in fact he's a thief. Raised as a Shoebridge, but having long gone by the alias of Adamson, this character (played by the great William Devane) and his wife and/or lover Fran (Karen Black) have recently begun to supliment their income by holding important people hostage for diamonds. So when Adamson and Fran discover that some unknown party is trying to trake them down, they just asume it's becasue of their crimanel activites, and try to have them put off or bumped off. The screenplay was adapted by North by Northwest scrib Ernest Lehman, from a book by Victor Canning. After work was done on this film, Hitchcock had work begun on a screenplay for his next project, which was to have been called The Short Night. Unfortunatly work on that project was later called off by Hitchcock on account of his old age, Alfred Hitchcock then passed away in the spring of 1980.

Note: In the corse of the film it is reveled that the burial expanses for Adamsons adoptive parents were payed by something called: 'Christ Church of the Latter-day Saints'. This is but one of the suposedly 'Mormon themes' that crops up in Family Plot, and was explored this last summer in a presentation given at the annual Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City.


A Movie Review

I don't watch to many current comedys, especially those with a youth focus, but I did catch Just Friends at a party last night. The movie stars Ryan Reynolds as a one-time fat geek turned sucessful record company suit, who returns to his New Jersy home town and attempts to court his attractive 'platonic' friend from High School (Amy Smart). Anna Faris plays a dim-witted Brittny Spears-type musican, who acompanys the Ryan Reynolds character on his trip, much to the mans chagrine. As I said before I don't watch many of these films so I did laugh at a number of points, but really there is not much to this flick and I'm not gonna recommend it.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Most Boaring Jesus Movie Ever Made?

A Review

So on Monday I decided to take a break from the tried and true secular Christmas movies I love, to view something a little more directly related to the origan of the holiday (because lets face it, White Christmas is about Vera-Ellan's legs, not Jesus). The Greatest Story Ever Told is director George Stevens over-ernest 1965 epic on the life of Christ. The first half of the film is a mis-mash, which I was able to get through largely by playing 'Spot the has been actors' out of the films all star cast (i.e. "Look its Van Heflin"). I decided I needed to break-up the film, so I didn't watch the second half until today, and its much stronger then the first, but of course the 'Easter saga' is the strongest part dramaticaly of the story of Jesus. Max Von Sydow (the bad guy in Minority Report) is a very scerene Jesus, who pretty much sets the tone for this plodding epic. Straight Biblical adaptations tend to be sluggish and boaring, which is sad, but helps explain how Gibsons 'blood bath' version of Christs Passion, proved to be among the most sucessful as a work of art (which after going back and forth on my opinon of that movie, I've decided The Passion most certanly is).

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bob's Your Uncle

Hitch Part 14 of 15

At an early showing of Frenzy the French director Truffaut told the Hitchcocks that it was 'a young mans film', meaning it was inventive and took a lot of risks. The story about a London serial killer nicknamed "the necktie murderer", is certenly the directors most vulger film, in its raw depictions of sex and violance. That however was what Hitch appears to have to been after, in an effort to both stay relevent, and stretch himself. There are no big names in the film (though britcome fans will notice Clive Swift in a small part), but a fine cast of British stage actors lend the movie its needed sense of authenticity. The comic hang-up of the film is a continuing emphasis on food, particuarly the awfull english dishs served to a Scotland Yard detective by his insightfull wife. While the R rating on Psycho is silly, on this film its not, so beware before viewing.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

President Gerald Ford: 1913-2006

In Memory of a profoundly decent politican.

Happy 92nd Richard Widmark

Monday, December 25, 2006

Baby It's Cold Outside

A Review

Last night I saw the 2002 computer animated flick Ice Age. When this first came out in the theaters I predicted it would flop, and that its main box office compitition, the remake of The Time Machine would do better (as I recall even Undercover Brother did better then The Time Machine). Needles to say I was wrong about Ice Age, I had underestimated the power of childrens loyality to anything that is brightly animated. The movie (which stars the voices of Ray Ramano, John Leguizamo and Denis Leary) is decent if not exceptional, bosting a rather moving ending. It also happens to be a favorite of my three year old nephew.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Bootmaker for the King

A Review

I saw The Good Shepherd today and I must say I was impressed, it was a totally satisfying cinematic experince, something you can't say often. Robert De Niro directed, and has a small part in the film, which chronicals the early years of the CIA through the eyes of a top level administator named Edward Wilson (Matt Damon). Angelina Jolie plays Edwards wife, in the first really sympathetic role I've seen her in. Anyway the movie has an excellent cast, including Alec Baldwin, Michael Gambon, William Hurt, and Timothy Hutton. It's been called The Godfather of spy films, and that title holds both in the look and scope of the film, as well as in its handeling of heavy subject matters involving family and sense of dutey. The flick has one decent twist, a fairly intense scene of torture, and a surprisingly quick scene of murder towards the end, that's a little shocking and leaves a memorable image. There's no question that this will be up for best picture come Oscar time.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A to Z

A Movie Review

Directed by Howard Hawks, Ball of Fire is a Brackett & Wilder variation on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Also known as the Professor & the Burlesque queen, the story concerns a group of eight clousterd professors (lead by Gary Cooper), who unknowingly harbour a gangsters moll (Barbara Stanwyck) while doing research on slang. Strongly example of the Lubitch/Sturges school of comedy, it marks the final film writen by Wilder, which he did not also direct. Suporting parts expertly played by such veterans as Henry Travers, Richard Haydn, & S. Z. "Cuddles" Sakall. Charles Lane has a minor role.

Honeymoon Place

A Review

The Enchanted Cottage is a sentimental RKO film from 1945, that is really a parabel about the beauty lovers see in one another. The storyline concerns a 'magic' cottage, and its effects upon a homely maid (Dorothy McGuire) and a battle scard air corp piolt (Herbert Marshall). Robert Young plays a kindely blind composer. Syrupy but sincer.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Bad Day For Presidents

A Boxed-set Review
Just finished up another excitting season of 24, season 5 to be exact. This is the season when Jack Baurer came out out of an 18-month period of hidding, after faking his deah in season 4. Guest villians this season include Dr. Romano (Paul McCrane) & Robocop (Peter Weller). Also Bill Buchanan is probably the guy you'd most like to have as your boss out of any CTU director thus far, and I must add that Aaron Pierce rocks! Because the 24 presidents stand so large in the story of season 5, I'd like to take a momnet and set the shows timeline striaght in regards to the presidency:
William Jefferson Clinton, is the last president common to both the real world and the world of 24. He was a Democrate from Arkansas and served as our 42nd President from 1993-2001. In the '24: Declassified' books, Clinton is followed in office by a President Harold Barnes, the nations 43rd chief executive was in office from 2001-2005. Barnes is presumable a Republican who beat Al Gore in the 2000 election, and later handeled the events of 9/11. As Barnes has yet to be shown on the series (though he would have been in office at the time of the events of season 1), I have no image to represent him.

David Palmar (1956-2011), a Democratic Senator from Maryland, survived an assasination attempt in 2004, to go on and win that years presidental election with a landslide 60% of the vote. President Palmar (the first black President) served from 2005-2009, incompasing the events of seasons 2 & 3 of the series. He was our 44th President. David Palmar ran for re-election in 2008, but withdrew from the race that fall, following the death of his ex-wife Sherry Palmer. Presumable David Palmar was replaced as the Democratic nomine by then Vice-President Prescott.
John Keeler was a Republican Senator from an unnamed state who won the 2008 Presidental election. Keeler was the nations 45th President and served from 2009 to early 2010, when he was injured beyound the ability to discharge his office, after Airforce One was shot down by terrorits. He was the Commander & Chief for most of season 4. Keelers ultimate fate remains to be established in the 24 canon.
Charles Logan of California was Keelers Vice-President, he served as acting chief executive, and later President after Keelers incapacitation. He was the nations 46th President from early 2010 until the summer of 2011, when he was removed from office following the discovery of his involvment in the assasiantion of former President David Palmar, and other acts of treason. Logan was in charge of the country for the last third of season 4, and all but the last few minutes (arguably) of season 5.
Hal Gardner served as President of the United States between seasons 5 & 6. He was nominated and confirmed the Vice-President of the United States, in accordiance with the 25th amendment, serving under President Charles Logan. After Logan was removed from office Gardner became the 47thPresident, and served from 2011-2013. After Gerald Ford has was only the second President of the U.S. to have never been elected either President or Vice President. I would imagen that Gardner was the Republican nomine in 2012. We do not know what state Gardner was from.
Wayne Palmer, brother of the late ex-President David Palmer, is to be the featured President in season 6. The winner of the 2012 election, Wayne Palmer is a Democrate out of California. The second Palmers time in office began (or begins) January 20th 2013. Wayne Palmer is the 48th President.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Joseph Barbera: 1911-2006

In Memory

Joe Barbera, the last surviving partner of the creative team of Hanna & Barbera, has passed away at the age of 95. After enjoying considerable sucess with their 'Tom and Jerry' cartoons for MGM, the two struck out on their own in the early 50's, essentally inventing the concept of original animated programing for television, with the Crosbyesque 'Huckleberry Hound'. Later creations such as Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Scooby-Doo, insured both men loads of money, and eternal life in the world of childrens entertanment. Joseph Hanna died in 2001 at the age of 91.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Spy Game

Hitch Part 13 of 15

The sprawling cold war espionage drama Topaz is unlike any other Hitchcock film. It is a good movie, but dosen't feel like a Hitchcock film. Infact as Charade is considerd the best Hitchcock film that Hitch never directed, Topaz can be considerd the best (and probably only) non-Hitchcock film, that Hitchcock ever made.

The movie is based on the novel by Leon Uris, which the films advertising strongly implys to be at lest partialy grounded in fact. In 1962 a high profile member of Russian intellegance (Per-Axel Arosenius) and his family defect to the United States. This agent reluctantly gives up information that hints at Soviet missel activity in Cuba. With all Americans suspect on that island nation, a CIA agent (John Forsythe) recrutes a friend of his in French intellegiance (Frederick Stafford), to run a confirmation mission there on behalf of the United States, which of course he dose. All of these events run subtely into the complicating thrid act of the film, in which we finally learn why the pictures called 'Topaz'.

The movie that Topaz reminds me the most of is Spielburgs Munich, in its realistic version of the morally and logesticly complicated world of international spying. The film also boasts some truely stylish sequences of espionage and betrayal. While Hitch's emediate previous feature Torn Curtin, provides some omen for things to come in this film, Topaz is still very much unique in the Hitchcock canon.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bingmass: Because Nobody is More Associated with Christmas then Mr. Bing Crosby, Except Maybe Jesus.


I've decided to do my reviews for Going My Way and The Bells of Saint Mary's together, because the films were made a year apart, directed by Leo McCarry, and stared Bing Crosby as the same character, easy going priest Father 'Chuck' O'Mally. In the first film Father O'Mally is sent in by the Bishope to help a troubled New York Parish, in the second the Bishope (who we never do see) sends O'Malley to a likewise troubled Catholic School. Both films feature crusty but good heart old men (Barry Fitzgerald and Henry Travers respectivly) whom the Father must win over. Both films also introduced hit songs, first 'Swinging On A Star' and secondly 'The Bells of Saint Mary's'. If the two films sound a lot alike, I should point out that they are not clones of each other, but stand up well on there own. Mostley they are just very likable movies, and the studio could probably have gone on making this series almost indefinatly (I'd have like to see Crosby return to the role as an older man, say some time in the 1960's). Ingrid Bergman became so associated with her kind hearted Nun role in St. Mary's, that it took a very public affiar with Italin director Roberto Rossellini to dispell it.

A Bing Crosby Christmas was a 1979 televison special, that combined clips of Bing Crosby's annual Christmas broadcasts which aired from 1962 to 1977, the last telecast a few months after his death. The clips feature then name, now dated, guest stars such as Jackie Gleason and Twiggy, as well Crosby's second family, with whom he also hawked orange juice. Bonus features on the DVD include an old Max Sennet produced Bing Crosby short from the 30's, and a circa 1957 promotional broadcast for the Edsel.

Holiday Inn: Romantic comedy about performing teams and a Connecticut hostelary. Bing Crosby introduces 'White Christmas', and Fred Astair performs a drunken dance. Light on the plot, heavy on the production numbers and Irving Berlin balleds. Blackface sequence and mammy character very un-politicaly correct. Buhl Idaho native Marjorie Reynolds plays the female corner of the love triangel.

Talk Like Jack Bauer Day

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that January 15th is 'Talk Like Jack Bauer Day'. That's right, all day long you should go from hushed tones to 'Regis' yell, and say things like "I'll explain when I get there" on your cell phones. 'Talk Like Jack Bauer Day' is sure to enliven any otherwise dull workplace or home situation. Just imagen, "we've got to get this pork chops finished or terrorist are going to vent sintox gas in half an hour". Ah, I'm looking forward to it. Why? "I'll explain when I get there."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Peter Boyle: 1935-2006

Missile Strike

Defend your moon base.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Great Escape 2

Hitch Part 12 0f 15

Torn Curtin is the first film in the Hitchcock set that I had not previously seen, the same will hold true for all following entries in this series. The plot concerns an American physicist (Paul Newman), who fakes a defection to East Germany, in an effort to steal a nuclear formula from a famous scientist there (Ludwig Donath). Newmans fellow physicist and girlfriend Sarah Sherman (Julie Andrews) gets mixed up in events, thinking at first that Armstrong (that's Newmans character) is really defecting. In short order events in East Germany make it imparitive that the couple try to escape the nation, which they do with the help of a resitance smuggling service called Pie (that's the mathamatical pie, not the kind that comes in cherry).

The procedings are all very excitting, even if this is not the best work Hitch has done. There's nothing wrong with the film, in fact its quite good, it just not (as many of its contemporary critices complianed) North by Northwest or Sabatour. Long standing rumor is that Hitchcock was not happy with either of his leads, both forced upon him by the studio, and that the script had not been completed to his satisfaction by the time shooting began. Never-the-less I still find this movie worth recommending, great cold war stuff treated more realisticly then most spy films of the period. In fact that leads to the truely memorable scene in the film, when Newman and an agent of Pie (Carolyn Conwell) must kill an East German agent who has discoverd the insincerity of Armstrongs suposed defection. Let's just say that the theme of the scene is that 'murder is hard', as the pair must strangle, stabe, bludgen, and gas the communist before they succed in dispatching him. It reminded me of some of the Coen Brothers more bloody moments, which alone should be enough to make the reader curious about the film.

Christmas Songs I hate

I thought that I'd like to provide a forum for venting about the Christmas songs that we all hate this time of year. I personally can not stand 'The Little Drummer Boy', I also despise Ertha Kitt's 'Santa Baby', save for its brief usage in Driving Miss Daisy. Also most versions of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' are repellent. Please add on the Christmas songs that you have grown to hate, in the comments section bellow.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Happy 90th Kirk Douglas

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

May, December

The Billy Wilder Centennial

Love in the Afternoon is a Lubitschian romantic comedy with a number of simularites to Wilders earlyer Sabrinia, most notably in tone and the casting of Audrey Hepburn (who I think is my favorite Belgian). Gary Cooper plays Hepburns love intrest, the American playboy and major Pepsi stock holder Frank Flannagan (Wilders later film One, Two, Three concerns a Coke-A-Cola executive). French actor Maurice Chevalier plays Hepburns detective father, and John McGiver is one of his clients. This film is so straight foward I find I have very little to say about it, except that I found it inferior to Sabrinia, and would rank it towards the bottom of Wilders work, not a bad movie just drawn out and never really hooked me.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"You Freud, Me Jane"

Hitch Part 11 of 15

Marnie,from the novel by Winston Graham, was orignaly to have been the return to film for Grace Kelly, the Princess of Monico, who ultimatly backed out of the production, feeling the lead role not a proper one for someone of her position. So in came Tippi Hedren, in what was to be the final of her two films with Alfred Hitchcock (the two reportedly had a major falling out on the set). In the handeling of its subject matter Marnie was ahead of its time, taking something (I won't revel what in case you are not privey to the end) that in the past might have served as fodder for some Jone Crawford melordrama, and making it seem respectiable, in a non-respectiable kind of why. Though acording to Oscar Levant its pop-psychology is far from accurate. Also featuring Sean Connery, really cool in what is probably his best film, and Diana Baker, really cute in what is probably the only movie I've seen her in.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Short Takes Vol. 6


Sat 12/2

I had The Wind and the Lion (1975) suggested for my viewing some time ago, and have just finally gotten around to seeing the thing. While the movie is apperently bad history, its passable as adventure story material. The plot concerns the kidnapping of American widow Eden Pedecaris (Candice Bergen) and her two children (Simon Harrison, Polly Gottesmann) by the rebel Mulay Achmed Mohammed el-Raisuli the Magnificent in 1904 Morocco, as well as the efforts of the administration of Teddy Roosevelt (Brian Keith) to get them rescued. Keith is so good as Roosevelt that I wish the movie had just been about him, I felt I'd scene everything that the Connery/Bergen relationship had to offer in other movies. However the scenes with the American ambassadors and military in Morocco where mildley entertaining. The best insight in the movie was TR's speech about America being like a Gizzley Bear, "a little blind and reckless at times." John Huston added some value to the film as Secretary of State John Hay.

Sun 12/3

Watched the other film on the Paul Robeson set, though the DVD scrambled for the last seven minutes so I can only surmise how it ended. Big Fella (1937) concerns Robeson, now playing a French doc worker as opposed to the English one he started out as in the other film, who builds a fatherly relationship with a run away English boy, whom he tries to reunite his rich parents (the boys not Robeson's). Elisabeth Welch (1904-2003) again plays Robesons love intrest, and both get to sing some nice songs. This movie was marketed as a family picture.

That night I watched The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines a sequal to the 2004 TNT film The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. Like the first film, this one stars Noah Wyle as a well meaning nerd tasked by a secret socity based out of the New York Public Library, to retreave dangours mythical-type objects, in this case the magical 'book of Solomen'. Wyle's love interest/helper in this installment is played by Gabriell Anwar, who plays the requiset sexy movie archeologist with considerable charm. Bob Newhart, Jane Curtin, and Olympia Dukakis all reprise their roles from the first film, with Robert Foxworth added as Wylie's "Uncle". I liked it and I suspect they'll make one more and complet a trilogy. Director Jonathan Frakes also appears in a small cameo.

In addition I watched 'The First Presidency Christmas Devotional' last night, but I'm not going to review it.

Mon 12/4

Winner of the Oscar for best picture, The Broadway Melody (of 1929) is representative of the musicals of its time, which with a few exceptions (such as King Vidor's Hallelujah or the orignial Show Boat), were fairly static affairs with a stage setting. I know that from my vast film knowldge, but seeing as I've had very limited exposer to other films of this sort, I enjoyed Broadway, though am still a little surprised that it won the best picture against Disreali. The plot is your standard love triangel between a songsmith played by Charles King, and a pair of sisters who are aspiring preformers, both played admirably by Bessie Love and Anita Page (still alive at 96, with her most recent film credit listed as 2004 on IMDB). The film boasts a couple good songs, and some rather obvious word gags (Ziegfields Follies becomes Zanfields Dollies). Included as special features on the DVD are a number of early filmed vaudville acts, including two guys singing a vaguely racist song, and another performer who used very gay body language.

Fri 12/8

Earth vs. The Flying Saucers: I probably should have watched this one closer to Halloween. In the movie Ray Harryhausen animated stop-motion flying saucers attempt to invaid the earth and destroy Washington D.C. (insert own,' before the Dem's/GOP can do it' joke here). However Earth has one of those resourcefull 50's scientists (here played by the vaugley Mitt Romney looking Hugh Marlowe) who is able to foil the saucers plans, by distrupting there magnetic drive systems with big satellite dishs straped to the back of army supply trucks. Better then average for this type of movie, still you see it for the effects not the plot.

Sat 12/9

Meet Me in St. Louis: Rare instance of cultural ground shared and appriaciated by both 'traditional values' conservatives and the gay community. This piece of Americana was directed by Vincente Minnelli and stars his then future wife Judy Garland (who else), in a story about one year in the life of the Smith family of St. Louis Missouri, 1903-1904. Supporting cast includes Mary Astor, Margaret O'Brien, June Lockhart, Leon Ames, Marjorie Main (as a maid who looks and talks like 'Alice' from The Brady Bunch), and interestingly enough, a young Hugh Marlowe. Garlands rendition of 'Have Yourself a Marry Little Christmas' is heartbreaking, but perhaps even better used in the 2005 film The Family Stone.

Sun 12/10

The Trouble with Marnie: Documentary about the making of the 1964 Hitchcock film Marnie. The most intersting story presented therein, is about how the project with through three screenwriters, one leaving over a morally objectionable rape scene.

Some Links

Here are some links to some sites/blogs I've visited recently. It's part of an effort to clean out my always accumulating 'favorites' file, while assuring I can still reach these sites should I ever want to.

Seeing the Elephant is a civil war reenactors site, Jackson might enjoy this.

List of Fictional Presidents, just for fun.

Portrayals of Mormons in Popular Media, bridges the gap between two big areas of my interest.

Evangelicals for Mitt, this also bridges some areas of interest to me. Though I'm not yet commited to who I'll support in 08', or even if that person will be a Republican, I am drawn to the intra-party, inter-faith dynamics of this particular aspect of the comming race.

Josh Schroeder is not so sold on a Mitt run, persuamably for theological reasons. It just drives me crazy that I can't understand what the meat of the problem is for so many people in regards to a Mormon candidate/president. Would it still be the same if he where a Catholic? I've never heard a good argument for opposition based on the religone issue, if its something more that mear prejudice I wish someone could explain it to me. I'm honestly interested in understanding this.

"Here's all you need to know about men and women: Women are carzy, men are stupid."- George Carlin

Friday, December 01, 2006

Dead Celebrity of the Month, December 2006: Spalding Gray

Spalding Gray was born June 5th 1941 in Barrington, Rhode Island. A graduate of Emerson colloge, Gray worked in a number of entertainment/artistic related fields. His film career is composed almost entirely of small roles in motion pictures such as Love in '72, Beaches, and The Paper. Though my favorite of Spauldings film work, is probably his role as the computer executive in the Talking Heads film True Stories.

What Gray is most known for however are his monologues. Cynical, self-effecing, and witty, these post-modern exercises became Spaulding Gray's true trademark. In 1987 director Jonathan Demme relessed a filmed version of Gray's most famous monolouge, Swimming to Cambodia, based on the presenters experinces filming a small role in the award winning 1984 film, The Killing Fields. Other Gray monologues commited to film include Spalding Gray: Terrors of Pleasure (1988) and Gray's Anatomy (1996).

Subject to life long bouts of depression, presuambly inhearted from his mother, who killed herself in 1967, Gray took a particular turn for the worse after a 2001 car accident. In Janauary 2004, after taking in an evenings showing of the Tim Burton film Big Fish, Gray wanderd off and disappeard, his body found in the East River on March 7th 2004, his death was ruled a suicide. Gray's last, unfinished monologue, Life Interrutped, about the car accident, is to be made into a feature film by Steven Soderbergh, it is scheduald for releass in 2007. Gray was twice married and is survived by his two children Forrest and Theo.

This marks the last entry in my 'Dead Celebrity of the Month' series. Further 'Dead Celebrity Proflies' may appear in the future on a less regular basis.