Monday, March 29, 2010

Man O War

Today is the 93rd anniversary of the birth(foaling) of the greatest race horse of the 20th century, Man O War. He is considered by many experts and fans as the greatest thoroughbred ever and lost only one time and that was too aptly named Upset in the Sanford Memorial Stakes in 1919.

Here is nice little video with footage of the great horse.

Here is photo from the funeral of Man O War. The funeral was carried live nationwide on radio from Faraway Farms.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In Memoriam

Does it make me weird when this is one of my favorite parts of the Academy Awards show each year?

Robert Culp R.I.P

Actor Robert Culp died yesterday at the age of 79. Most well known for his role in the groundbreaking tv show "I Spy" in which he co-starred with Bill Cosby.
His NYTimes Obit.

Here is his appearance on the syndicated version of "What's My Line?"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

70th Academy Awards

Today in 1998 the 70th annual Academy Awards were handed out at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The host for the record setting night was Billy Crystal. These awards hold the record for Oscar telecast ratings of 57.25 million viewers and a large reason for this was that the #1 movie in the US at the time, Titanic, was also nominated 14 times including Best Picture. This tied All About Eve for the most nominations and before the evening was over Titanic had won 11 awards and tied Ben- Hur for the most Oscar wins. This record would be tied again in 2004 by The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King.
A list of the awards and the winners for Titanic:
Best Picture;
Best Director (James Cameron);
Best Cinematography (Russell Carpenter);
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Peter Lamont [art director]
Michael Ford [set decorator]);
Best Costume Design (Deborah Lynn Scott); Best Sound (Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, Gary Summers, Mark Ulano);
Best Film Editing (Conrad Buff IV, James Cameron, Richard A. Harris);
Best Effects/Sound Effects Editing (Tom Bellfort, Christopher Boyes);
Best Effects/Visual Effects (Robert Legato, Mark A. Lasoff, Thomas L. Fisher, Michael Kanfer);
Best Music/Original Dramatic Score (James Horner);
Best Music/Song (James Horner (music) and Will Jennings (lyrics) for My Heart Will Go On, performed by CĂ©line Dion).

Also winning that night were Jack Nicholson (Best Actor) and Helen Hunt (Best Actress) for
As Good as it Gets.

Here is complete rundown of the major winners from the 70th Oscar Awards:

New Additions to the Collection

Here are 2 new editions for the library of #1 NY Times Bestsellers that I have been collecting.

Game Change was #1 on the Hardcover Non Fiction list from Jan 21st until March 12th of 2010.
This books gives the inside story on the 2008 Presidential election from all sides from various people who are inside each campaign.

Undercover by John Roy Carlson was the first by Non Fiction bestseller after the NY Times list started in 1942. It spent 28 weeks at #1, from September 1943 to the last week of March 1943.
This is Carlson's report on alleged Communist and Nazi subversive activity in America. It was a favorite of Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. (thanks John Bear)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

20th Academy Awards

Today in 1948 the Academy Awards were handed out for the best in film for 1947. The Best Picture of the Year went to Gentleman's Agreement, which also garnered Elia Kazan the Best Director Oscar. Celeste Holm won Best Supporting Actress, Loretta Young Best Actress. Ronald Coleman won Best Actor and Edmund Gwenn Best Supporting Actor.

Best Original Song went to Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah from Song of the South.

New Non Fiction Bestseller

Reaching the #1 spot on the NYTimes Bestseller list for a second time is E! Network's Chelsea Handler. This time she takes Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang to the top.

Also new to the Bestseller list this week:
at #2 Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight by Karl Rove

Debuting at #3 Change Your Brain, Change Your Body by Daniel Amen.
and jumping on the list at #6, the former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura and American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies that the Government Tells Us

Friday, March 19, 2010

Today in Oscar History

March 19th 1953 was the night for the Academy Awards show celebrating 1952 in movies.
Held at the RKO Pantages Theater in Los Angeles and the NBC Intenational Theater in New York City. These were the first Academy Awards to be televised. NBC paid $100,000 for the television and radio rights and the emcee was Conrad Nagle with Bob Hope hosting from Hollywood and Frederic March in New York City.
The Best picture was an upset as Cecil B Demille's "The Greatest Show on Earth" took home the Oscar over the heavy favorite "High Noon".
Best Director went to John Ford for "The Quiet Man", Best Actor for Gary Cooper in High Noon and Best Actress to Shirley Booth for "Come Back, Little Sheba".

Thursday, March 18, 2010



from a good blogger friend a small tribute to Fess Parker who died today at age 85.

Monday, March 15, 2010

1945 Academy Awards

Today in 1945 the Academy Awards ceremony was held at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California for the best in film for 1944.
The big winner was the musical/comedy "Going My Way" starring one of the biggest stars of radio and movies Bing Crosby. This was the first Oscar ceremony to be broadcast nationally in its entirety on the ABC Radio Network and the hosts were John Cromwell and Bob Hope.
"Going My Way" walked out with 7 awards, Best Picture, Best Director for Leo McCary, Best Actor Bing Crosby, Best Supporting Actor Barry Fitzgerald, Best Original Song for Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra and Best Screenplay and Best Original Story. This was the first and last time an actor was nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for the same role, Barry Fitzgerald was nominated for both and won for the supporting actor award.
The other big awards went to Ingrid Bergman for Best Actress and Ethel Barrymore for Best Supporting Actress.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jack Benny & Fred Allen

1937 - Fred Allen and Jack Benny met on radio in one of the biggest publicity gags ever. It was called, “The Battle of the Century.” The two comedians locked horns in the ballroom of the Hotel Pierre, exchanging torrid insults that were heard by the second largest audience in the history of radio. The ‘feud’, incidentally, lasted for the next 12 years!
Here is a segment from Fred Allen's show in 1937 with special guest Jack Benny. 2 of the funniest men to ever grace the stage trading insults and laughing all the way to bank and becoming American legends in the process.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Trailer Park (Oscar Edition)

The Trailer Park goes back to today in 1947 and the Oscar ceremony for 1946. The movie that swept most of the major awards that year was William Wyler's "The Best Years Our Our Lives". It won Best Picture, Best Actor (Fredric March), Supporting Actor (Harold Russell), Best Director (Wyler), Best Screenplay and Film Editing.
The picture also won the BAFTA Award and the Golden Globe for Best Picture.

In Case You Missed It

An amazing discovery in the animal kingdom this week.

An all black Penguin!

#1 on the NY Times Bestseller List

A new feature here on the Completeist. Each time there is a new book to go to #1 on the NY Times Hardback Fiction and/or Non Fiction list I will post it here. I will also give updates from the NY Times Book Section and look at past #1 fiction/non fiction bestsellers.
I have been collecting as many of the former #1 bestsellers as I can find so this is a passion of mine (well books and reading overall) and I will have a posting later on a bestselling author of a top non fiction book from the 40s that was later forced to resign from public office due to his personal life choice.

Here are the new #1 bestsellers this week. Both are debut in top spot this week.

Jodi Picoult is back on the top of the fiction list with "House Rules" .
She hits #1 almost a year to the day her last novel "Handle With Care" topped the bestseller list.

The former Massachusetts Governor tops the Non Fiction list for the first time with "No Apologies : The Case for American Greatness"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In Case You Missed It, Serial Killer edition

This just strange and in a way fascinating, a convicted serial killer is awaiting sentencing was once Bachelor No. 1 on the classic game show " The Dating Game"

Read the story from the NY Daily News.

In Case You Missed It

Here is the opening of the 2010 Oscar ceremonies with host Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscar Thoughts

Ok here are my thoughts on the 82nd annual Academy Awards show last night March 7th.
First of all it wasn't exactly exciting, no big surprises or controversy, just some ill placed dancing segement and no Farrah Fawcett in the "In Memoriam" segment. The Academy claims they didnt have enough time to keep her in but if they had cut the crappy dancing and the really useless "homage to horror" they would have time to spare. As such Tom Hanks had to blurt out the winner for Best Picture without rereading the nominees. And another thing I was glad to see that someone finally decided to do away with the PC "and the Oscar goes too" and back to the oldie "and the winner is" because that's what they are, winners and the others lost, however you want to spin it that's just the bottom line.
Now Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were good, not great but with the material they were given they did a good job moving things along and getting some good laughs here and there.
As for the winners I was a little surprised by "The Hurt Locker" winning since I was expecting "Avatar" to take home the big prize. I was glad to see Sandra Bullock win for her great job in "The Blind Side".
If they were giving an award for the most times the word "F**K" was used then "District 9" would have been the runaway winner. Decent movie but could have done with a little less "F'ing".
Now could someone please tell me what the heck Sean Penn was talking about before he handed out the Best Actress award? Was he talking about forgetting to mention his wife last year? or was he just drunk?
Congratulations to all the winners and this was a good year for movies and the ratings of the show proved that "Avatar" and "The Blind Side" could bring out people to watch the awards and I think expanding the number of nominees to add more mainstream/popular movies was a great idea, now let's see if it works next year.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

1946 Academy Awards

Today in 1946 they handed out the Oscars for the best in motion pictures for 1945. Billy Wilder's "The Lost Weekend" took home the most trophies with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Ray Milland and Best Screenplay.
"The Lost Weekend" beat some formidable competition with "Anchors Aweigh", "The Bells of St. Mary's", "Mildred Pierce" and "Spellbound".


Saturday, March 6, 2010

2005 Academy Awards

March 5th 2006 The Academy Awards (the Oscars) for 2005 were handed out at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.
The favorite for Best Picture was "Brokeback Mountain" with 8 nominations, but was upset by "Crash" starring Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Dashon Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe.
Ang Lee took home the Oscar for Best Director for "Brokeback Mountain".
Also nominated in 2005 for Best Picture were "Capote", "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "Munich".

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Classic Cartoon

Here is a great Warner Brothers cartoon from 1959 ,"The Mouse that Jack Built", that is a parody of the legendary Jack Benny Show with all the mice being the cast from that show. The voices were provided by the cast themselves, Jack, Mary, Don wilson, Rochester and of course Mel Blanc as the Maxwell. You get to see some of the running gags from radio and tv like the Vault, which was for Jack's money but here its for his cheese, and its immortal guard Ed.
Jack and his violin, how cheap is Jack? and of course the famous take that Jack gives the audience.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Today in Oscar History

Today in 1944 the Academy Awards for 1943 were handed out at the 16th Annual ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The great Jack Benny hosted the evenings ceremonies and saw Casablanca take home the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director for Michael Curtiz.



New Motorsports Hall of Fame inductees

Today the Motorsports Hall of Fame in Detroit MI announced 7 inductees for its Class of 2010.

See the full rundown at their website

Inductees this year include 1992 Winston Cup Champion Alan Kulwicki who gave us the "Polish victory lap" while driving the "Underbird" to the last owner/driver championship in Nascar.
Ken Squier, the voice of Nascar and the man that coined the phrase "The Great American Race" for the Daytona 500 and Rich Vogler, sprint car champion from Indiana.

Here is a full list of all of the Hall of Fame members