Writing recently about the movie “Diner” being considered the most influential movie of the past thirty years, I was struck by how influential movies are in our lives. I read once that before the advent of movies, people kissed with their eyes OPEN! When the kissing scene was on the screen the actors had their eyes open and the audience, in the silent-movie theater, were tittering. When the actors began CLOSING their eyes, the audiences did not laugh.
I had never read a Stephen King book before I saw “The Shawshank Redemption”; I haven’t read one since! I read James Dickey’s book “Deliverance” ONLY after seeing the movie. I read Harold Robbins roman a clef “A Stone For Danny Fisher” after learning that Elvis’ movie “King Creole” was based on that book; about the only thing similar in the movie was the name Danny Fisher!
On our first date, Gerald said that he liked the music from “Also Sprach Zarathustra”. I said, “I detest that anti-Semite Wagner!” He countered with, “How about Ligeti?” How could I not fall in love with someone who knew “Lux Aeterna”? He admitted he was under the spell of “2001: A Space Odyssey”!
Since I was a teenager, I’ve used the phrase, “Of all the unmitigated gall!”. I’m going to confess now that I stole it from Joan Crawford as she said it in “Mildred Pierce”! Last year, during a Facebook thread squabble, a man used “Of all the unmitigated gall” in a response, and I chastised him for not attributing it to the writers of “Mildred Pierce”! He admitted that was where he’d heard it!
At Rockwell, I had a love/hate relationship with the Union Committeeman, John, who was also a movie lover and prided himself as a “psychologist”. He knew when I was “acting” as if I were furious and he would say which actress I was emulating for my “performance”. One time, he and a worker, Marilynn, were in my office as I was dispensing disciplinary action and when Marilynn began crying, I stood up and said, “I’ll give you the opportunity to compose yourself, Marilynn; I’ll just step outside.” John followed me to my secretary’s desk and I said, “Go back in there and tell her that the waterworks don’t work on me!” He said, “Is that Barbara Stanwyck or Rosalind Russell?” My secretary, Myra began laughing. I said, “No, that was more like my mother!”
My office was next to my Labor Representative Dave. Another time, John and Leo, the Zone Committeeman, were in my office and we were having a heated conversation and I hit the wall with my hand, knocking down a picture from the wall. Dave heard the commotion and rushed over and as the door was open, he walked in and asked if everything was OK. John said, “She’s just doing her BEST Joan Crawford!” John DID know me well. John said, “When she’s really mad, she crosses her arms and speaks in a very low voice; that’s the only time I take her seriously!”