Tag, I'm It or Ach du Liebster!

My friend Karen over at Shadows and Satin has presented me with a Liebster Award, which, I have learned, does not include money, or even bitcoins. And if it is discovered that I have posed for nude photos, I must relinquish my title. Nevertheless, it is an opportunity to answer a few questions that Karen has chosen, and I also get to throw in random stuff about me. So here goes.    

  1. I can’t spell “eleven.”
  2. I’m left handed.
  3. I write for a living, but I never learned how to type.
  4. If you watch the John Waters/Johnny Depp film “Cry Baby,” you’ll see a close-up of a hand that belongs to Jeff Bender, one of my best friends from high school.
  5. My favorite song is “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”
  6. My favorite drink is Angel’s Envy bourbon with a splash of water.
  7. I don’t know how to pronounce “piquant.”
  8. I applied to the USC Film School in 1977.
  9. My two children are named after Dashiell Hammett characters.
  10.  My iPod is filled with old radio shows.
  11.  I have worked for a newspaper, an advertising agency and a bookstore that all went out of business.
  1. What movie do you watch every time it comes on TV?
“Dig That Uranium,” undoubtedly the best Bowery Boys movie ever. Oh, and “The Best Years of Our Lives.”
  1. What’s your favorite movie musical?
“Viva Las Vegas,” mainly because of the scene where Ann-Margret spells out Elvis Presley’s character’s name, which is Lucky, in ketchup on bologna sandwiches because she loves him so much. Oh, and “Singin’ in the Rain.”
  1. What classic movie star would you have most liked to meet?
Leo Gorcey, who played Slip Mahoney in dozens of Bowery Boys movies, including “Dig That Uranium.” Oh, and Cary Grant.
  1. What’s your most treasured movie or TV-related possession?
I have rebuilt the gates of Babylon from “Intolerance” in my backyard. And I have an autographed photo of Morey Amsterdam.
  1. If you could make a living doing whatever you wanted to do, what would that be?
Research and write reference books about obscure TV and movie subjects. Failing that, I would like to be married to circa-1945 Myrna Loy and solve murders.
  1. What’s your favorite movie western?
The same one that was a favorite of Col. Potter (Harry Morgan) on “M*A*S*H” – “My Darling Clementine.”
  1. Have you ever had an encounter with a movie or TV star?
In my former life as a newspaper reporter in the 1980s I met Gregory Peck and Ginger Rogers. Peck was totally disarming and friendly; Rogers was busy with other stuff, but pleasant. And I saw Woody Allen with his jazz group in New York.
  1. If you could program a perfect day of movies on TCM, what would be the seven films on your schedule?
“The Big Sleep,” “Adam’s Rib,” “It Happened One Night,” “Double Indemnity,” “ Sullivan’s Travels,” “The Best Years of Our Lives” and “Dig That Uranium.”
  1. Who are your top five favorite fictional characters?
Holden Caulfield, Philip Marlowe, Atticus Finch, Neil Klugman (of Goodbye, Columbus) and Slip Mahoney.
  1. What movie have you seen more often than any other?
“It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” I just like looking at the locations and the cars. And I'm positive that one of these days I'm actually going to see Dorothy Provine's hair helmet move.
  1. Bette Davis or Joan Crawford?
When it comes to acting chops, it’s Davis in a walk. Although I think Crawford had the more interesting career, even though she turned down “Dig That Uranium.”

Now, as an award recipient, it is incumbent upon me to choose 11 other outstanding film bloggers to Liebster, soooo:

1001 Movies I (Apparently) Must See Before I Die


Faded Video Labels  

Hollywood Revue

Where Danger Lives

The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World 

The Kitty Packard Pictorial

Carole & Co.

Comet Over Hollywood 

Twenty Four Frames

Grand Old Movies

Their job is to provide eleven random facts about themselves, and also answer these questions:

1. Name a movie you saw at an early age that terrified/transformed/inspired you.

2. What is your favorite movie genre, and why?

3. What is the most disturbing film you've ever seen?

4. 1930s or 1970s?

5. Who in your opinion was the most underrated performer in Hollywood between 1930-50?

6. Name a movie you love, or at least like, that everyone else seems to hate.

7. Name a movie you hate, or at least intensely dislike, that everyone else seems to love.

8. What's your favorite filmgoing memory? It can be about the film itself or where you saw it (historic movie palace, drive-in, sitting on Brad Pitt's lap, etc.).

9. What's your favorite Astaire-Rogers movie?

10. Kirk Douglas or Burt Lancaster?

11. What's your favorite prison film?         


  1. I just loved your responses, David -- you are a true wit. And although I have never heard of Dig That Uranium, and am not necessarily a Bowery Boys fan, I now feel compelled to get my hands on a copy as soon as possible.

  2. Congrats on the Liebster! Your list of movies for a perfect movie-watching day sounds fab.