Hey, look! March movies, part 2:

44. (1273.) Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)
I really enjoy Robert Mitchum movies, which is a good thing here as he's one of only two principal actors in the cast. Pretty good.

45. (1274.) The Marriage-Go-Round (1961)
This is as risque as sex comedies got in the early 60s. I sure like the idea of Julie Newmar throwing herself sexually at an intelligent man, but the one-note concept wears thin long before the movie finally gives out.

46. (1275.) Hercules (2014)
Everyone knows that Hercules was more myth than man. What this movie presupposes is... maybe he wasn't? Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson doesn't look very Greek to me in this big, dumb action film. I admit that I watched it mostly on fast forward.

47. (1276.) Five Star Final (1931)
Edward G. Robinson plays a tabloid newspaper editor who hounds an accused murderess, driving her and her new husband to suicide and ruining the life of their daughter. Very cynical. I loved it.

48. (1277.) The Blue Lagoon (1980)
Yes, the story is crap, a transparent excuse to justify prurient admiration of the beautiful bodies of a young girl and boy, but at least the cinematography is generally well crafted. Pornography can be art. This movie isn't ("Hey, look! Those turtles are fucking, just like us!"), I'm just pointing out that it's possible.

49. (1278.) Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)
Director Robert Aldrich saw that his Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? made a lot of money so he decided to make it again, this time adding a dash of Gaslight. Not a success.

However, the intended re-pairing of enemies Bette Davis and Joan Crawford (who was recast after the drama got to be too much) did result in one very intentional bit of Coca-Cola product placement, so the story goes. Because Crawford had married into an executive position at Pepsi, Davis had Coca-Cola machines on set. In addition, she had a Coke truck drive across a shot to obscure a scene intended for Crawford.

Drink Coke! (Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte)
Drink up, bitch!

More to come.

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I've migrated to another server. This is at least the fourth host for Wriphe.com. I doubt it will be the last.

It's funny, when you stop to think about it, how the Internet has changed since I launched this site in 2003. It wasn't exactly new then. By the early 21st century, it had already outgrown its dial-up modem origins. The web 2.0 bubble had come and gone, and interactive Macromedia Flash websites were the rage. Amazon.com only sold books. Facebook didn't exist. My how things have changed.


Anwyay. I've poked around the new host a bit, and everything seems put together correctly. I've even made a few small improvements to the back end! As always, if you find anything out of sorts, please let me know. Assuming the contact and comment forms still work.

Thanks for sticking around.

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Don't let her fool you; Audrey hates baths too

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Walking through Oak Hill Cemetery last week with Mom and the girls, we passed the burial plot for J.W.A. and Zippora Rowland. As you can see, only one of them was buried there.

You'll note that there is no death date for Zippora, though the engraver presumed it would happen sometime in the 20th century. That marker visible on the bottom right isn't for her, it's J.W.A.'s. Why is his body on Zippora's side of the bed? That's just the tip of the iceberg of what I don't know about Zippora. Who was she, and why isn't she buried along with her name? Of course this made me curious, so I did a little Googling.

It seems J.W.A. Rowland lived most of his life not in Newnan but in Bowdon in neighboring Carroll County. I don't know what he did for a living, but the Carroll Free Press of the late 19th century reports that he was the initial vice president of the Carroll County Chorus Choir Association. (That meeting appears to have been in the Shiloh UMC building which still stands halfway between Carrollton and Bowdon.) Still in Bowdon in 1892, he was witness on a U.S. Patent application for Ocran D. Bunt's plow fender (patent #467853). "James W.A. Rowland" appears as a 72 year old man living in Newnan, GA by the time of the 1920 census. Nearer his death, he was a co-plaintiff in a 1921 lawsuit against the Central of Georgia Railway Company in which he won $250. (They were riding in a buggy "when the mule drawing it ran away and threw them out," causing injuries. It's not clear what role the railroad played, but the court said they were guilty.)

None of those references mention Zippora.

Zippora Rowland does show up in the 1930 census as a 62-year-old woman living in Newnan, GA. "Zippora" was never a popular name, but I don't find any reference to her in the local papers of the era.

So whatever happened to Zippora? Did she remarry? Did she die somewhere else, and no one knew to bring her back to Newnan where her marker was waiting for her? I like to think she's still alive somewhere, enjoying the good life on her sesquicentennial birthday. Here's to you, Zippora!

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What I did on St. Patrick's Day:

Jacksonville Icemen 5, Georgia Gladiators 4.

Minor league ice hockey might not sound an Irish way to pass the time, but they fight like true drunken expatriates. Saint Patrick would be proud.

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No time like the present to get a jump on March movies watched, so let's get started!

39. (1268.) An American in Paris (1951)
Should I have seen this movie before now? Yes. Am I disappointed I waited so long? No. Music, set design, and choreography are great. But Gene Kelly plays his usual, self-centered asshole, and I just don't really like spending time with him.

40. (1269.) The Cisco Kid and the Lady (1939)
Not so long ago, Mom pointed out that the relationship between The Cisco Kid and his sidekick Pancho were the template for Hanna-Barbera's Quick Draw McGraw and his sidekick Baba Looey. That led me to this Caesar Romero western/comedy that was actually quite charming.

41. (1270.) Pixels (2015)
Frankly, it's not as bad as all the reviews make it out to be, but that could be partly because I wasted too much time (and too many quarters) in video arcades in the 1980s and am tolerant of many of the film's indulgences. Don't mistake that previous sentence as an endorsement. The editing is terrible and the movie-watching experience would be better if you walked out before the ridiculously stupid third act started. All I'm saying is it isn't The Worst Movie Everâ„¢ as some critics have portrayed it. (I *still* say that's Armageddon.)

42. (1271.) Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
I loved, loved, loved the first half of this movie. The pace congeals somewhat in the second half, adding Rihanna's character is a huge mistake, and it really should have been called Valerian and Lauraline (Cara Delevingne is actually the best part of the entire movie), but the action-packed sci-fi of the first half is alone worth the whole price of admission.

43. (1272.) Darkest Hour (2017)
Damn, can Gary Oldman act! I had to remind myself it wasn't actually Churchill appearing in this biography. Totally worth a watch.

More to come.

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To be continued...