Ah, the movies. The lights. The glamour. The action! Where else can a person escape to see the stars for the price of a good shave at the corner barber store? Hollywood town! Where a young ingenue can hitch her dreams to a rising star and sit on the director's couch and rise to the top of the Silver Screen.
As you know, I am a respected and feared critic here at the Butternut Gazette, where once a month, space permitting, I wield my poison pen and decide the fates of the movies.
I am one of the harshest critics in the business because I have reviewed over 11 movies in the past 20 years, and in all my years I have only given a good review to one of those movies and that movie was Beetlejuice. It is critics like myself that directors fear because my review can send them to the poor house if I don't think their movie is so good! But gone are the days when a man could enjoy a fine cigar and fish dinner while taking in a picture show.
Last week my editor, who is a young man named Steve and who lives two blocks away from us, just past Kent Avenue and up near the water tower, called me and told me I could see the movie called The Doctor and the Island and the Monsters.
I asked my wife, Toots, if she wanted to go see that movie and she said no because it looked like it had the sex and I said fine. And I saw a commercial for that movie on the television machine and it didn't look too good because there were people in it running around in the jungle with makeup on their faces like ladies except they weren't ladies, they were men of action! And one of the men was in a duel with a monster and that looked to be a spooky sight.
But my editor, Steve, told me to see it because otherwise I couldn't review a movie this month. And then he said it was the only movie left to review because he had given all the other reviews to a young "hot-shot." I told Steve (my editor) that I should talk to the young "hot-shot" because I could teach him a thing or two about the movie business! But Steve said that would not be necessary.
I went to see the movie alone without Toots but that was okay because she said she had to finish on the toilet. Down at the bijou in my town they do not have ushers to help you to your seat. My God, you'd think they wanted you to trip and break your neck!
In my day a man could take his best girl to the movies and buy her a cotton candy treat and after the movie they could sit under a tree and the fella would try and look at the girl's ankle because that was scandalous in my day! But now on the television programs you see the breasts.
Well, let me just say that That Monster Doctor's Island was not a very good movie. It starred the young "up-and-coming" actor Valentino Kilmers, who is a fine young man, but I did not approve of his broad shoulders in this movie. But he is an actor to watch for! It also starred another man. And it also starred a lady, and she seemed to be a swell dame. And it also starred the actor of actors, Mr. Marlon Branderson. Mr. Branderson is a star from the great old guard of Hollywood motion picture making in the studio days. He was in a movie once called The Fresh Man, about a man who wanted a lizard because he was a man of means and a criminal.
And he was also in a couple of other movies, among them A Stagecoach of Desire, in which he sang a famous song about the Wells Fargo wagon while yelling his sweetheart's name very loudly and very late at night and the girl came down and sang on the stagecoach with him. Except that maybe I am thinking of another movie, and Toots and I walked out of that movie anyway because he was standing around in his undergarments and he had no decency. None at all!
But they don't make pictures like that anymore because it was a musical picture and all music today sounds like banging on a can.
I had to leave halfway through The Island Monster Doctor Movie because the seat had a spring in it and the spring kept poking me where the sun doesn't shine! And when I say that I think you know what I mean, but I cannot be more specific because that kind of talk is for the Service.
I was in the Navy during the Great War, but I fell off a boat because Shorty hit me in the head with a mop. But you do not know Shorty because that was not his real name and I do not remember his real name and it was an accident that he hit me with the mop.
And Shorty is dead now anyway because life is a flighty bird. Next month I will review another movie.
Well, until next time, I will see you on the Silver Screen!
Mr. Danielson's column is reprinted with permission from the Butternut Gazette in Butternut, OH. It has been edited for the sake of clarity.