Tuesday, October 18, 2016

SF Chron: Clinton = Stanwyck, Trump = Mussolini: Films for Petrelis 

Did you see my letter the Sunday entertainment section of the San Francisco Chronicle? Probably not so I'm sharing a pic of the print edition. It appeared in film critic Mick LaSalle's column.

My letter, edited for space reasons, mentioned I had recently again seen Preston Sturges' classic acerbic 1940 comedy about the rise of a crooked politician on Turner Classic Movies. The rest of the letter is below as is LaSalle's witty response:

"Hi Movie Meister Mick: I’m trying my best this crazy election season, with that scoundrel Donald Trump scaring the bejesus out of me, to stay sane and retain my sense of humor. What political flicks should I see before Nov. 8, as I await the end of our long national nightmare? Michael Petrelis, San Francisco"

From LaSalle:

"Hi Movie Meister Michael: You put me in an awkward position, because I’d really rather not reveal my political preferences. So let me advise you in this way. You should use the time before the election to get used to the possibility of either one of these people becoming president. Movies can help in this, by serving as something like previews of historical coming attractions.

"For example, in anticipation of one possible scenario, I’d see a few Barbara Stanwyck movies, such as 'Baby Face' and 'Night Nurse,' or maybe some episodes of her old TV show, “The Big Valley.” Stanwyck had an unflappable gaze, and her tougher-than-any-man quality feels right in this case.

"As for the other possible scenario, I’d seek out Bob Hoskins in the 1985 miniseries 'Mussolini and I,' George C. Scott in the miniseries 'Mussolini: The Untold Story' (1985), Rod Steiger in 'The Last Days of Mussolini' (1974), and, just to liven things up, Giovanna Mezzogiorno in 'Vincere' (2009), a searing portrait of one of Mussolini’s early lovers. It’s best to be prepared."

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