I can’t imagine that I am the first person to be heavily influenced by movies, TV and pop music. I can still recall the Asian cooking show that was on before the TV premiere of what was to become my favorite film of all time. It was on a Sunday night in February 1968. Normally I wouldn’t be allowed to stay up late on a school night but February vacation was beginning the next day so my parents made an exception, plus (unbeknownst to me) it was one of dad’s favorite films as well.
That night began my lifelong love affair with the lead actor, who (again unbeknownst to me) had already been dead for a few years, having succumbed to the riggers of life in Hollywood by taking too many sleeping pills and drinking too much booze in the same sitting. Very sad, I recall being ashamed when I found out that my hero didn’t ride off into the last sunset on the final reel of his final film, going so far as to write stories about how he “really” died. Later on in life (13?) I did some research and discovered that the real “greatness” of the film was due more to the Director than the lead actor. This knowledge did not and has not diminished my man crush on the deceased movie star one bit. Even though I haven’t seen the film in years (100-150 times seemed like enough) I still fondly remember that first time, a time when dad was still sober and mom finally ran out of stewed tomatoes.