Tag Archives: Dudley Moore

I’ll alert the media

I passed this delivery truck in my neighborhood yesterday afternoon.  The service is new to me, but the name is a classic.

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Can it really be over 30 years now — 1981 in fact — since Dudley Moore burst onto the scene in the comedy classic Arthur, with Sir John Gielgud at his side as his loyal, oh-so-proper manservant Hobson?
arthur hobson

Even he might approve of the logo’s jaunty cap and just-so tie.

The driver of the delivery van was very young.  I couldn’t help but wonder — does he even understand the reference for the company name?

Perhaps he is more familiar with the cringeworthy 2011 movie version of Arthur where Helen Mirren portrayed  Hobson in a bit of gender-bending casting.  If so, he is probably confused by the logo. (Helen didn’t wear a hat.)

And thinks the movie was awful.

Young people.

 

 

 

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Birds part deux

Four hundred years ago — okay, more like 12 — I attended a writing conference at Craigsville Beach on Cape Cod.

One of our assignments was to come up with a new scenario for a movie using only the items found in our hotel room as inspiration.

Now, my hotel was rather rustic (translation: cheap).  The wallpaper had tiny geese flying in vee’s across a yellow, late evening sky.  It was ugly, but I used it.

My idea:   What if two birdwatchers — one a noted expert, the other a novice — accidentally kill a rare bird that they are admiring?  Horrified, they try to cover up the accident in a variety of ways, all of which go terribly awry.

Hilarity ensues.

I pictured Dudley Moore as the lead. (It was 12 years ago.)  I thought it was a pretty funny idea, but maybe too niche-y for Hollywood.

I mean, who would do a movie about birdwatching?

Fast-forward to 2011.  Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are starring in the new movie The Big Year.  Take a look at the trailer:

What you can’t really tell from this clip is that these three men are avid birdwatchers…competing at a prestigious birdwatching event!

See?  Someone actually made a film about birdwatching, and even they think it’s too niche-y to use in the marketing.

I was so ahead of my time.

Movies matter

Do movies change lives?

Mark Cousins of The Telegraph spent six years traveling the world compiling a history of film.  That process convinced him that movies do indeed make a difference.  (They did in his life.  Six years — geez.)

Here’s his list of the Top 10 movies that changed the world.

Me?  I don’t need to travel the globe to know movies make an impact.  I can’t imagine life without them, so my list is a bit more personal.  (Okay, it’s completely personal.)

Top 10 Movies that Changed My World

The Godfather (1972): Due to my youth, I didn’t see the movie when it was released.  But thanks to an overly enthusiastic film professor in college, I spent six weeks of my life watching it. And analyzing it.  As a result, I hate it and all things mafia.

The Way We Were (1973): This was my introduction to Robert Redford and movie romance.  I have been faithful to both ever since.  I’ve watched that film literally hundreds of times.  The opening strains of its Oscar-winning song start the waterworks every time.

Foul Play (1978): This Chevy Chase-Goldie Hawn comedy was Chevy’s first movie post-SNL and introduced Dudley Moore to American audiences.  It was also the first time I remember laughing with my mother in a movie theatre.  Cherished memory.

Airplane! (1980): I was sick when I left the theatre — facial muscles and ribs sore from laughing so incredibly hard.  I think I knew even then that I was witnessing the birth of a whole new genre of comedy.  “Ain’t that a pisser.”

Ordinary People (1980): I went to see this film because Robert Redford directed it — I told you I was faithful — and was stunned by the subject matter, the performances, the mood, the music.  Who knew Mary Tyler Moore could be so cold?  I have watched it again and again.

Amadeus (1984): My love affair with costume drama began with this amazing film.  I knew very little about Mozart before I saw it; it inspired me to learn more.  If it’s on television, my day is decided (and it takes about a day to watch — it’s that long).  Mesmerizing.

Broadcast News (1987): I was working at a television station and dating a news reporter when this movie was released, so it hit very close to home. Loved hearing a Southern accent on a leading lady, too. (Holly Hunter should have won the Oscar, btw.)

When Harry Met Sally (1989): I think this movie appears on most women’s Top 10 lists.  We all have those friendships with men that either have or could or should spark something ‘more.’  This was the fantasy with the perfect actors cast to make it come true.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994): A movie ‘bromance’ with Morgan Freeman in the mix to make it heartfelt and meaningful.  Everything about this movie is perfect — the setting, the script, the casting.  Another marathon, it takes up a whole day when it comes on TV, but it’s worth it.

The American President (1995): It was Aaron Sorkin’s warmup to The West Wing, and what a wonderful one it was.  Michael Douglas and Annette Bening make every word ring true, and Martin Sheen learned a few tricks — as Chief of Staff — that came in handy for his future role as President Jed Bartlet (also a Sorkin production).

In the more than 15 years since, lots of other great movies have had an impact on my life.  But these 10 laid the foundation for the films, filmmakers and stars to come.

I’ll be thinking of them today as I head to — where else? — the theatre.