Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #42: My DVD Collection

Using Thirteen DVDs in my collection to spell out my name.

This week's Thursday Thirteen theme is all about the alphabet. The authors of the Thursday Thirteen site asked us to choose a letter of the alphabet and write thirteen words that describe us that begin with that letter. Since my blog is pop culture based, I had planned to use the first letter of my first name and pick out some of my favorite things in the world of music, movies, and TV using that letter.

However, on the way home from work Tuesday evening, I came up with another idea. Since my first and last names equal 13 letters, I decided to use that baker's dozen to list some of the DVDs in my collection. If you were to take the first letter from each DVD title below, it would spell my name.

1. Murder My Sweet- This 1944 mystery features former song and dance man Dick Powell in the lead role of private eye Phillip Marlowe. On the trail of a hulking ex-con's girl, Marlowe runs into all sorts of trouble and periodically has to deal with the dreaded bottomless black pool opening up at his feet.

2. All the King's Men- This 1949 Best Picture winner features a dynamic Oscar-winning performance by Broderick Crawford as a politician whose increasing corruptness is in lockstep with his rise to power. The features a top-notch cast, including John Ireland, Joanne Dru, John Derek, and Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Mercedes McCambridge.

3. Lean On Me- One of the best of the "educator who reaches delinquent kids" films, Morgan Freeman is outstanding as New Jersey high school principal Joe Clark.

4. Claudine- This underrated 1974 comedy drama stars James Earl Jones and Diahann Carroll as a garbage man and a single working mother of six trying to make a relationship work despite overwhelming obstacles. This film also has an outstanding soundtrack with Gladys Knight and the Pips performing songs written and produced by Curtis Mayfield.

5. Odd Couple Season One- Arguably, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall were the best sitcom duo in TV history.

6. Legally Blonde- When I bought my first DVD player over 5 years ago, I rented this one weekend when I was recovering from dental surgery. My favorite scene is how Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) reacts when she learns that a prank was played on her and the shindig she is attending is a not a costume party. The copy of "Legally Blonde" that I have was part of a prize package that I won from Sports Radio 1130 WDFN last year.

7. Mo' Better Blues- This 1990 Spike Lee joint (who also appears as the jazz band's manager with a gambling problem) stars Denzel Washington as a trumpet player who can't decide between two women. Wesley Snipes and Samuel L. Jackson also have supporting roles; as a bandmate/rival of Denzel's and a legbreaker for a bookie, respectively.

8. Bound- This sexy mystery stars Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon as a moll and an ex-con who hook up romantically and plot to steal money from the mob. I remember watching this with a lady friend a few years ago and she turned away during a scene involving fingers and wire cutters. I can hardly blame her.

9. Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War On Journalism- This revealing documentary demonstrates the alleged conservative bias employed by the Fox News Channel. Depending on your point of view, you will think that this is a "fair and balanced" portrayal or a complete hatchet job.

10. Naked Gun Gift Set- This set features all 3 of the hilarious films in the "Naked Gun" franchise starring Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, O.J. Simpson, and George Kennedy.

11. Days of Wine and Roses- Oscar nominees Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick star in this 1962 drama about a young couple whose lives are torn apart by alcoholism. Although alcoholism isn't necessarily a laughing matter, this film does feature some bits of humor to offset the seriousness.

12. Out of the Past- This 1947 film noir stars Robert Mitchum as a private eye and Jane Greer as one of the most duplicitous femme fatales you are likely to see.

13. Naked City: New York To L.A.: One of the reasons that I love the DVD format is that it gives new life to old series that never show up in reruns anymore. Originally airing on ABC from 1958-1963, this police drama often featured up-and-coming performers in guest-starring roles. Martin Sheen, Peter Fonda, and Rip Torn are some of the actors who appear in the 4 episodes included on this single-disc set.

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Holly Smith said...

How fun! My favorite on your list is Lean on Me, but I have to admit that the Naked Gun films are definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. I had forgotten that OJ was in those!

Chelle Y. said...

The only one that I have on this list is Legally Blond.

Nicholas said...

Clever idea for a TT. I saw the 2006 remake of All The King's Men a few days ago, with Sean Penn in the Broderick Crawford role (i.e. Huey Long in all but name).

SJ Reidhead said...

At least you are eclectic about what you watch! I approve of that.

The Pink Flamingo

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

That was clever as heck. I really liked it. Have a great TT. :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Awesome take on the prompt, Malcolm! And good movies, too. But we already knew you had good taste.

pjazzypar said...

"All the Kings Men" (aren't ya, aren't ya, aren't ya) and "Lean On Me" (You smoke crack don't ya?) are among my favorites. Of all of Spike Lee's films Mo Better Blues is my least favorite for some reason.

The Gal Herself said...

Love All the King's Men, Days of Wine & Roses and Out of the Past. But Malcolm! These movies are such downers. Glad to see lighter fare like The Odd Couple and Legally Blonde, too. (And yes, you beat me. Fair and square.)

SandyCarlson said...

I must try Claudine!Thanks for these!

Open Grove Claudia said...

Ok, this was brilliant! Well done Malcolm! :) Gosh - and great movies too.

Happy TT!

Janet said...

Claudine...I haven't thought about that movie in years, good one! Loved Mo' Better Blues...have it somewhere! Days of Wine and Roses made my stomach hurt to watch...don't know why.

I did a lyrics meme this might like to try the songs no one has gotten yet:

Journeywoman said...

GReat list. I loved Lean on Me.

Christopher said...

Lean On Me!
Lost Hemisphere's 13th T13: Reality through a very special pair of eyes

Jay said...

I agree about the DVD thing. They're bringing out some of the really great old stuff on DVD that isn't shown anywhere else.

Great list!

Meju said...

What a clever idea,loved the list.

Bethany said...

The only one I have seen is Legally Blonde-- cool idea for a TT!

Dane Bramage said...

Great list especially Claudine. I had forgotten that soundtrack.

This week is my Thursday Thirteen #78. It is unthemed but I think it is still good. 13 things I might get with my incentive check Stop by if you get a chance.

Lori said...

I havent seen the majority of them. Its time to hit the video store. Happy TT.

Malcolm said...

Holly: Have you ever seen "Police Squad"? It was the short-lived TV show that inspired the Naked Gun movies. They only made 6 episodes, all of them hilarious.

Chelle: Have you seen any of the others on the list?

Nicholas: Thank you! I have been meaning to see the remake of "All the King's Men" for comparisons' sake.

SJ and Sandee: Thanks

Susan: I appreciate that. If my name was Mark, this never would have worked, lol.

Pjazzy: I almost included Sadie's "Are you! Are you! Are you!..." line in this post. She was hard as nails wasn't she?

The Gal Herself: One of the reasons I like All the King's Men, Days of Wine & Roses and Out of the Past is because they didn't give us the nice and neat Hollywood ending. I had another "L" picked out (the 1944 classic "Laura"), but decided to go with "Legally Blonde" instead.

Sandy: If you check out "Claudine" and think to do so, feel free to stop back by and let me know what you thought of it.

O.G. Claudia: I have been known to have my Blair Warneresque moments and come up with a "brilliant idea" from time to time.

Janet: I see that you also have eclectic tastes in movies. When "Claudine" finally came to DVD a few years ago, I was lucky enough to get a free copy from my place of employment. James Earl Jones, Diahann Carroll, and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs do the commentary on it.

Thanks for letting me know about the lyrics meme quiz. If another answer comes to me, I will stop back over.

Journeywoman and Christopher: I love the cover art for "Lean On Me" that shows Morgan Freeman getting in the grill of one of the students.

Jay: I get pissed when I think of all the TV shows that are just gathering dust in a vault somewhere. About a month ago, I found another treasure from TV's past: "Man With A Camera: The Complete Series". It was a 1958-1960 crime drama that feat. Charles Bronson as a freelance photographer.

Meju: Thank you!

Bethany: Thanks for stopping by. One of the reasons I decided to put "Legally Blonde" on my T13 is I figured that if someone saw only one movie on the list, that might be the one.

Dane: It's a shame that the soundtrack to "Claudine" is out of print. That's one of the best movie soundtracks of all-time in my opinion.

Lori: It's just so hard to keep up with all the good DVDs that are out there isn't it?

Robin said...

Ahh, The Odd Couple...

I saw Tony Randall at a Broadway theater once many years later wearing red plaid pants. I couldn't help thinking he'd borrowed Oscar's wardrobe.

Anonymous said...

Ooh Days of Wine and Roses... excellent movie! You have quite the collection!

Ivanhoe said...

What a cool idea! I've seen just #2, 6 & 10. Happy TT, Malcolm!

Brenda ND said...

Murder Sweet looks like one I should see. Thanks for sharing.

Nissa said...

I love your eclectic tastes!

I've never seen Claudine, but I may have to check it out, now!

Calliope said...

Well...I've seen the Naked Gun films. We own the Legally Blond film, as my husband adores it.

Have you seen any of the Thin Man movies?


BeckEye said...

I see you like a lot of old movies. My favorite oldie is "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." Well, it's one of my favorite movies, period.

Have you ever seen "Waterloo Bridge" with Vivien Leigh? It's another of my faves...but it's sad, sad, sad.

Xakara said...

As off of a combination as it may sound, I now have to dig up Lean on Me and Bound as I haven't seen them in ages and your list have made them a must view. *grin*

Great choices here Malcolm and a uber nifty idea. :)

Happy TT

~Xakara <----Please use this link

Holly Smith said...

No, I haven't seen those! But I love all that slap stick kind of humor like in the Airplane movies. So, I'm sure I would like it.

Denise Patrick said...

I've seen a couple of them, but I remember Legally Blonde. My favorite scene is the trial when she tricks the guy into revealing he's gay. It would never happen that way, but it was fun nevertheless.

Happy TT!

Alice Audrey said...

Interesting list. I don't even recognize Claudine.

Toni said...

I am ashamed to say that I have only seen Legally Blond from your list. I am so bad about saying I want to see this or that and then never following through.

pussreboots said...

Interesting collection of DVDs. Although I've seen a number of them, I don't own any of them.

Hazel Nut said...

Hi Malcolm - quite the eclectic collection I must say. I remember getting queazy while watching Bound also, and peeking through my fingers. Love to be scared!

roache_12 said...

Happy T13! Great list - I agree on the Naked Gun movies. Classic! :) Thanks for stopping by.

Jenn said...

Great idea for a T 13 ! I remember turning my head during Bound.

Malcolm said...

Robin: Your Tony Randall encounter brought a smile to my face. I just can't picture him in plaid pants.

Random Person: If there was one thing I learned from "Days of Wine and Roses", it's this... never hide booze in a greenhouse.

Ivanhoe: There are some many funny moments from the "Naked Gun" films that it's hard to narrow down. One of my favorites is when Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) is undercover as an umpire at a MLB game.

Brenda: "Murder My Sweet" is one of the all-time great film noirs. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Nissa: Thank you! I've got a song from the soundtrack to "Claudine" playing in my head now.

Calliope: I've seen some of the movies in "The Thin Man" series and have really enjoyed them. William Powell and Myrna Loy worked really well together. TCM did a block of "Thin Man" films recently... I hope they do it again soon.

Beckeye: I have loved old movies ever since I was a kid. :-) I have some fond memories of watching "Bill Kennedy At the Movies" on Ch 50 out of Detroit.

About a month or so ago, TCM showed "Waterloo Bridge" one night. I had it on in the background while I was on my PC. The next time I catch it, I'll make a point to pay closer attention.

Xakara: When I was putting together this list, I realized that I haven't watched some of these in awhile. If I ever do a T13 of favorite TV/movie couples, it will be hard to leave Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon off the list.

Holly: You might be able to NetFlix "Police Squad: The Complete Series" (that's assuming you are a NetFlix member). The show was laugh track-free and didn't need one. If it did use one it would have been continuous because of all the rapid fire jokes, puns, and sight gags.

Denise: I had forgotten about that scene where Elle tricked that guy on the witness stand. That was good!

Alice: Thanks

Toni: I do the same thing. A commercial for an upcoming movie will come on and I will say I want to see it. Of course, I rarely do.

Pussreboots: There are lots that I would like to own on DVD, but little things like food and bills prevent me from doing so.

Hazel: Your comment about peeking through your fingers made me laugh because the guy who lost his in "Bound" wouldn't have that luxury anymore. My sense of humor can be a bit twisted. :-)

Roache: One of these days I am going to have a "Police Squad"/"Naked Gun" trilogy marathon.

Jenn: There are a few scenes in "Bound" that might make one turn their head. I am now curious as to which one(s) made you turn away. :-)

Thanks for visiting!

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