Saturday, 2 October 2010

A Legend Passes...

I was saddened by news of the passing of Tony Curtis, screen legend of my youth.

Born Bernard Schwartz and raised in the Bronx, New York, Curtis began his acting career after leaving the US Navy after World War II, starring in minor roles until breaking into the mainstream with a part in Winchester '73, headlined by James Stewart.

Other roles followed, in pictures such as The Black Shield of Falworth, before he made his name with roles alongside Burt Lancaster in 'The Sweet Smell of Success' and 'Trapeze', and with Kirk Douglas in 'Spartacus' and 'The Vikings'.

For me, however, it was his appearances in comedies such as 'Operation Petticoat' (opposite Cary Grant), as the conniving yet good-hearted Lt. Holden, and as Joe/Josephine/Shell Oil, Jr., in Billy Wilder's 'Some Like It Hot' that I'll remember him for.

However, his role as Leslie Gallant III, aka 'The Great Leslie' in Blake Edwards' 'The Great Race' opposite Jack Lemmon (his co-star in 'Some Like It Hot') as Professor Fate, cemented that movie as one of my all-time favourites.

Here's a classic scene, also featuring the lovely Natalie Wood, the not-so-lovely Keenan Wynn, and the positively dastardly Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk:



It's six-and-a-half minutes long, but worth it...

 Tony Curtis (1925-2010)

Friday, 1 October 2010

...

This is the flag of my country:


It's a flag of which I'm very proud, and I get to see it flying over my workplace seven days a week.

What you may not be aware of is the fact that here I'm displaying it upside-down, in the manner indicating distress.

A clever design on the part of our Founding Fathers then, ensuring that we keep our nation's problems to ourselves and say nothing, lest the neighbours gossip.

"What's that, Mrs. O'Leary? Father Murphy did what to young Jimmy? I think he's been telling stories, hasn't he, sure and begorrah the priests would never do a thing like that now would they? Beat some sense into the lad - for his own good, of course - and send him to confession..."

"What's that, Mr. O'Brien? Corruption in government, you say? Sure and didn't you elect them? And you wouldn't vote for crooks, now would ye? Go 'way now, begob, and don't be causing trouble, or I'm sure the Revenue would love to give you an aul' audit..."

"The house I built is falling down around your ears, Mrs. O'Sullivan? Sue me..."

"Banks taking liberties with the economy, you say, Mr. Delaney? Keep your mouth shut and keep paying or we'll take your house."

I think the neighbours have all seen our dirty linen by now, haven't they?

We are a financially bankrupt nation, run by the morally and ethically bankrupt - and I fear things will only get worse.

Some hero, huh?