Gunslinging Dentist?

Doc Holliday, gunslinger, deputy marshal, gambler and forever connected, through his friendship with Wyatt Earp, to the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Before I go on…if you are looking for historical accuracy, you won’t find it here. Just a look at Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993). So, where was I?

Oh yes. So…having watched him in Tombstone played by Val Kilmer, you probably know that he was suffering from tuberculosis. You’ll also know that he was an avid gambler (which I believe was a respectable profession back in the day). Doc Holliday, born John Henry Holliday, continues gambling and drinking despite his illness.

oie_yqU5SVcKigzSWhat never fails to amaze me (and, I really admire him for it), is that, no matter how ill he is, he is there for his friend Wyatt. As for Val Kilmer, to me he is the star in this movie portraying the sickly, and later dying, Doc so convincingly. What a fabulous character both externally and internally. A man, who claims he wasn’t as ill as he looked so he could face Johnny Ringo rather than have Wyatt take the risk. Or, who got out there to ride posse and did what needed doing despite feeling dreadful. “I’m in my prime” he proudly announces when Johnny Ringo questions if he has also retired from the law despite his obvious suffering.


“I’m in my prime”

What I appreciate is that he doesn’t rely on the excuse that he is sick and therefore has no need to put himself out there…quite the contrary, I think he knows his days are numbered and therefore makes sure he puts himself out there. What does he have to lose, after all? I think his last scene emphasises this in that he asks Wyatt to leave before he dies – the Doc Holliday doesn’t want to be seen as vulnerable.

But, can you imagine him treating your pearly whites? Didn’t think so. Yes, he was also a dentist, having been admitted to the degree at the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. He even worked in a dental practice before heading to a warmer climate because of his tuberculosis. While Tombstone doesn’t mention this directly, there is reference to the fact that he is an educated man in the wonderful bar-scene “duel” with him and Johnny Ringo (Michael Biehn, also fantastic in this role) showing off their Latin and gun-spinning talents.


Quite an interesting character this Doc Holliday. Isn’t he? And perfect for this Medicine in the Movies Blogathon as he is both a patient and doctor.

As for Tombstone, if you haven’t watched this one, it’s high time you do. A wonderful movie narrated by Robert Mitchum and starring a host of well known actors including Kurt Russell, Sam Elliot, Bill Paxton, Powers Booth and many, many more.






The Search for Screwball…

So, it is only thanks to this wonderful world of blogging (more specifically, a certain blogger) that I’ve come to understand the term “Screwball Comedy”. Ok, so, maybe not understand, but rather encounter the term. For me, romantic comedies were just romantic comedies. Yes, I’ve seen many of those which are classified as screwball but didn’t think much of the definition. Only when this Addicted to Screwball Blogathon came up, did I decide to look a bit deeper into this sub-genre…a search for screwball.

What is a screwball comedy and which one of the “modern” or “new-ish” movies I enjoy can be placed into this genre? Let’s have a look:

Obviously, it is a comedy (and strictly speaking, I think, comes from the 1930s and 40s) but the emphasis is funny/farce/slapstick which results in a bit of a goofy courtship, so, sorry but no prince charming approach. And, definitely some agony and pain involved but not the emotional, romantic type, no, the less theatrical more physical not-to-be-taken-too-seriously type. I’ve also read that often, the poor guy in the relationship has not an inkling that he is even in this warped courtship. The leading lady, wacky and offbeat, drives the relationship and often encounters a rival for affection for the poor bloke in question. There tend to be exaggerated situations coming from bantering battles between the “leads”. Oh dear, screwball life really is oddball, isn’t it?

Now that I think I know what Screwball Comedy is, time to find some movies that might fit the bill. Being a techie, out comes Excel and a list of the recent-ish movies I’ve seen that are “comedy” or “romantic comedy” is made. Zero in on wacky leading ladies, followed by a battle of the genders/comic courtship. Finally, gut-feel to discard what doesn’t feel right. Here are a few that I came up with…apologies if I’m way off the mark but I tried:

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Addicted to Love

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

I’m with Lucy

New in Town

Watching the Detectives

One Fine Day

One Fine Day (1996 film) poster.jpg

Once again, apologies if I’m totally off the mark or left any out. Not such an easy thing to classify, I’ve discovered.

Gehring, Wes D, “Romantic vs. Screwball Comedy: Charting the Difference”, 16 Oct 2002, Scarecrow Press



The Lost Boys (1987) – Decades Blogathon

We’re onto Day 3 of the Decades Blogathon – ‘7’ edition – hosted by myself and Tom from the brilliant blog Thomas J. The blogathon focuses on movies that were released in the seventh year of the decade. Tom and I are running a different entry each day (we’ll also reblog the other’s post) and […]

via Decades Blogathon – The Lost Boys (1987) — three rows back

Or read it here: (more…)

My Five (Classic) Stars…

“The Five Stars Blogathon invites bloggers to list their five favorite movie stars and explain why you love them. It’s that simple. (And, they need to be from the silents to the 70s).”

So, here goes….(apologies if some of these actors still made a few movies after the 70s  but I’m taking the liberty of including them, as to me, they were stars during the classic times and thats I how I got to “know” them). In no particular order:

John Wayne

My childhood hero. Need I say more as to why I love him? Well, “love” may be a bit strong, but more, “admire”. He was the first movie star on my radar. While friends at school didn’t know who he was (they were all into Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt), that didn’t stop me thinking that nobody, but nobody, can leap onto a horse quite like John Wayne. The Duke was (and still is) special to me.

Jane Powell

Not so much Jane Powell, but “Milly” (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers). Oh did I dream of her. Her dresses, her mascara, her will to stand up for herself amongst those 7 brothers. In a way, I still dream a little of that greyish-blue dress she wears while singing “Wonderful, Wonderful Day”. *Sigh* She’s one of the reasons I fell in love with the magic of film.

Gregory Peck

Swoon… 😉

There’s something about Gregory Peck that takes up a whole lot of screen space. Probably, it comes down to the role I was introduced to him by: Duel in the Sun. He’s the bad boy (like you have never seen a bad boy) yet in a deranged way, he’s likeable (well, his likeability comes and goes) but boy oh boy is he something. He pulls this role off perfectly. And then there’s him as “Stretch” in Yellow Sky. One of my favourite movies. But, it comes down to the fact that I simply enjoy watching the younger Gregory Peck. Be it The Big Country or Roman Holiday or any one of his other roles.

Yul Brynner


Yul Brynner is fantastic in his portrayal of such a variety of characters. Most notably, the contradictory roles of Chris (The Magnificent Seven) where he has such high morals to the Gunslinger (Westworld) where he totally creeped me out. And then again the King of Siam. For me, he’ll forever be the cowboy clad in black saving a village, a role that nobody else can pull off like he did. Smooth, sexy and simply swoon-worthy.

Paul Newman

Paul Newman (always the young one in my mind as those are the movies I’ve seen). Another childhood hero. For me, he’s Andrew Craig, Luke, Butch Cassidy, Henry Gondorff and all those classic roles. With his striking blue eyes and his screen presence , he’s always a pleasure to watch.






Tissues and Tears with a Walk to Remember

What list of tearjerker movies would be complete without a Nicholas Sparks adaptation? OK, OK…give me a chance here…I know not everyone likes the multitude of books-turned-movies….however, I must admit there are some that aren’t bad. But, there is only one that I really find good, very good…and one that has me watching through tears every single time. A Walk to Remember (2002).

The story seems very cliché…bad boy falls in love with good girl…but so what? It’s the emotional experience that counts. The fact that you end up caring so much for these two characters that  you cry! And, for the readers amongst you, the book achieves the same…I remember reading from beginning to end one night and going to bed in the early hours of the morning with bloodshot eyes from crying. I barely managed to see the last few chapters so teary-eyed was I. Three guesses as to what I looked like the next morning…


The story is very simple yet sweet. Due to some silly teenage initiation/prank gone wrong, Landon Carter (Shane West), the school’s bad boy and cool dude is forced to join the drama club, give extra lessons and other community services rather than get expelled from the school. Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), the school’s good girl who doesn’t care that she gets teased, is voluntarily and happily part of these extra-curricular activities. Through these circumstances, Landon is forced to set aside his pride (or arrogance) and interact with Jamie. Gradually, his preconceived ideas and perceptions of her start changing and he becomes a more likeable guy by being around a positive influence. Of course our two characters are jinxed when she says “You have to promise you won’t fall in love with me” when Landon asks her for help. His arrogant reply is “That’s not a problem”…but need I go further with this? Of course they will! And how lovely their love is. It is so tender and sweet. Genuine. Heart-breaking. Beautiful. True. I get all emotional just thinking of some of the beautiful scenes and dialogue they share. My favourite being one where he is there to “catch” her as his former cool friends play a nasty joke on her.

These two people are perfect for each other. Each one having a profound and everlasting effect on the other, present and future.

So, if you want a good cry…put your judgement of Nicholas Sparks adaptions away and give this one a go.


My Dream Home

Favourite Film home? Really? I have none. Well, so I thought and passed over The Favourite Film and TV Homes Blogathon. Then, out of the blue it came to me…my absolute favourite home. How could I forgotten about it? I’ve often thought about it and the happy family that calls it home.

This is it:


You’ll have lots of space and room to move:

A perfect kitchen:


Even running water:


Evening music floating through the air:


The bedroom is well stocked with books which you can read under the stars when you open the skylight:



Family bonding. Be it in the living area or the lounge:

When you want to keep those neighbours out? Just pull up the stairs:


And there’s enough to do for entertainment:



Everything you could possibly wish for. The home of The Swiss Family Robinson.


Update: I promise I didn’t copy any other participants’ format. I only read all the others after I’d finished this one. Great minds I guess…

Walking north while looking south…

NutsInMay4Yep…roughly* the threat made by Captain (Walter Long) to anyone who ever mentions the word “ghost” again. Couple this with Laurel and Hardy and I’m sure you can only imagine how this will fare for them.

Captain, wanting to sail with the tide, is looking for some men to work on board his notorious ship. As to be expected, no takers at the port’s bar.

Over to our esteemed duo busy fishing during their day off from…wait for it…their fish cleaning job (don’t ask, ok?). Captain offers them a “real” job but sailing’s not for them as the ocean is “infuriated”, no, “infatuated” with sharks. They’re willing to help shanghai some men for a Dollar a piece though. Oh the tactic they use! Brilliant…until they swap places and well, hmmm, wheeeew…they wake up on the same pile of klonked-on-the-head-with-a-frying-pan men as their victims. On the ship…naturally.

Promised that nothing will happen to them while on board, they make sure they don’t leave, port after port. One of the sailors, having sneaked off to get “a little teensy weensy” drink (read “get even more drunk”), returns to the shared bunk room after having fallen into a tub of whitewash.

See where this is going?

Without spoiling the fun, let’s just say that Laurel and Hardy get into a real fine mess (yet again) with their ghost. But then, were you expecting anything else? Now I’ll let you know the Captain‘s line at * so you can let your mind wander: “If anybody ever mentions ghost to me again, I’ll take his head and I’ll twist it around, so that when he’s walking north he’ll be looking south.”.

The Live Ghost (1934) is one of my favourite Laurel and Hardy shorts. Probably because it holds special sentimental value – I fondly remember watching it, together with They Go Boom! and Men ‘O War on Super 8 film when I was young. What a fabulous experience. Although, I do really enjoy watching the pair deal with both the shanghai process and later the on-board situation. I’m grinning right now.

If you haven’t seen it, here you go:

For some more of Laurel and Hardy head on over to MovieMovieBlogBlog’s Nuts in May Blogathon.