Hot Air: Backstabber

Et tu, Spring?

You know what? I’ve never seen Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Julius Caesar (1953), pictured above. That’s Louis Calhern as Julius Caesar, about to catch a blade in the back from Casca, portrayed by Edmund O’Brien. Mark Antony, Brutus, and Cassius were played, respectively, by Marlon Brando, James Mason, and John Gielgud. Wow! And, as an added bonus, Alan Napier played Cicero. If you’re of a certain age, you might remember him as Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred, in the 1960s Batman TV series.

Mankiewicz was the screenwriter for such gems as All About Eve, The Barefoot Contessa, Guys and Dolls, The Quiet American, and Cleopatra, all of which he also directed.  His older brother was Herman Mankiewicz who, together with Orson Welles, created Citizen Kane. And then, on top of that, Herman’s kid was Frank Mankiewicz, Bobby Kennedy’s press sec’y during the senator’s abbreviated run for president in 1968. It was Frank who broke the news of Bobby’s death to the world the day after the candidate was gunned down.

Sheesh, those Mankiewiczes could rival the Renoirs — Pierre Auguste, the Impressionist painter, his kids, Jean, the movie director, and Pierre, the actor, and Pierre’s kid, Claude, the director — for an all-star Sunday afternoon family dinner table, no?

Tom, We Have Some Bad News….

Hey, with it looking as though Tom Crean’ll be getting in line at the unemployment office within the next, say, fifteen minutes, some Chi-town sports radio opinionators are calling for him to be grabbed right out of that line and installed as the new University of Illinois basketball boss.

The Soon-to-be Former Coach

The reasoning? The Illini haven’t hired a big-name hoops coach in decades and now’s the time to do it in order to make the program relevant again, and Crean’s a top-flight recruiter, something the Champaign gang has been lacking for far too long.

Unseasonable? Unreasonable!

Awright! Enough of this 19ºF business, okay? If I see any more of this I’ll have something to say about it, believe you me.

The Ides Of March

Remember brass-heavy jazz-rock? The tops in that sub-genre were Chicago (originally Chicago Transit Authority until the actual Chicago Transit Authority threatened legal action) and Blood, Sweat and Tears, whom Abbie Hoffman swore to his dying day were CIA agents. Anyway, here’s the IofM’s big hit; it made the Billboard Top 40 chart in the spring of 1970.


One thought on “Hot Air: Backstabber

  1. cogmission says:

    Very nice! Learned something to-boot!

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