the wizard of oz

the year: 1939

the genre: musical

the cast: Judy Garland (Dorothy); Frank Morgan (The Wizard of Oz + others); Ray Bolger (The Scarecrow / Hunk); Bert Lahr (The Cowardly Lion / Zeke); Jack Haley (The Tin Man / Hickory); Billie Burke (Glinda); Margaret Hamilton (WWotW / Miss Gultch)

the plot: Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.

Just kidding, I laughed when I read that and thought I'd share. :)

You know the plot: Dorothy Gale is swept away by a tornado to a magical land and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home.

don't miss: the horse of a different color. (They used Jell-o to do it.)

watch for: Toto being scared by the steam shooting from the Tin Man's cap - the dog runs out of the shot.

count: how many characters Frank Morgan played - and extra bonus points if you can name them all.

listen for: "Oh please, Professor, why can't we go with you and see all the Crowned Heads of Europe?" "Do you know any? Oh, you mean the... thing. Yes."

did you know: Margaret Hamilton said that whenever she saw the scene where Frank Morgan as the Wizard is giving Dorothy's friends gifts from his "black bag" (a diploma for the Scarecrow, a ticking heart for the Tin Man, and a medal for the Cowardly Lion), she got teary eyed, because "Frank Morgan was just like that in real life - very generous".

also listen for: "Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn't mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years, I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now... well, being a Christian woman, I can't say it!"

did you also know: Nikko, the name of the head winged monkey, is the name of the Japanese town which houses the shrine featuring the famous Hear No Evil/See No Evil/Speak No Evil monkeys.

did you also also know: (because you all love Snow White so much) in the song "If I Only Had A Heart", the girl who says, "Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" is Adriana Caselotti, the voice of Snow White in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


the rocketeer

the year: 1991

the genre: action / adventure

the cast: Bill Campbell (Cliff); Jennifer Connelly (Jenny); Alan Arkin (Peevy); Timothy Dalton (Neville Sinclaire); Paul Sorvino (Eddie Valentine); Terry O'Quinn (Howard Hughes)

the plot: Set in 1930's Hollywood, complete with gangsters, Nazi spies, and the growth of the Age of Aviation, young pilot Cliff Secord stumbles on a top secret rocket-pack. With the help of his mechanic/mentor, Peevee, he attempts to save his girl and stop the Nazis as The Rocketeer.

don't miss: when Eddie Valentine decides which side he's fighting for.

watch for: a shout out to the Spruce Goose.

listen for: "How do I look?" "Like a hood ornament. "

did you know: Johnny Depp was nearly cast as Cliff Secord.

extra bonus points: if you know who the character Neville Sinclaire was loosely modeled after.


guess who?

Her middle name was Agnes.

She loved Christmas so much, she kept her tree up year-round.

Her final film role was in Airplane!

She said “I can hold a note as long as the Chase National Bank.”

Of Mary Martin, she said, “She's okay, if you like talent.”

She was known for her powerful, belting mezzo-soprano voice, enunciation and pitch.


that thing you do!

the year: 1996

the genre: comedy

the cast: Tom Everett Scott (Guy "Skitch" "Shades" Patterson); Liv Tyler (Faye Dolan); Johnathon Schaech (Jimmy Mattingly); Steve Zahn (Lenny Haise); Ethan Embry (T.B. Player); Tom Hanks (Mr. White); Charlize Theron (Tina); Rita Wilson (Marguerite); Chris Isaak (Uncle Bob)

the plot: Jazz aficionado Guy Patterson, unhappily toiling in the family appliance store, is recruited into the band the Oneders (later renamed the Wonders) after regular drummer Chad breaks his arm. After Guy injects a four/four rock beat into lead singer Jimmy's ballad, the song's undeniable pop power flings the Wonders into a brief whirlwind of success, telling the tale of many American bands who attempted to grab the brass ring of rock and roll in the wake of the British Invasion.

count: how many suit colors the "guys look great in".

don't miss: Capn' Geech and the Shrimpshack Shooters.

watch for: the nod to Apollo 13 - when the Oneders are playing at Boss Vic Koss' show in Pittsburgh one of the other band names on the theater marquee is "Marilyn Lovell & The Geminis".

did you know: Tom Hanks wrote and directed the film.

listen for: "Hey, that's o-NEH-ders!"

extra bonus points: if you can name two other band names under consideration, according to Jimmy's notebook.

also listen for: "I play a lot of cards. Obviously." and "Oh, I'm not here with these fellas. I've got a pig in competition over at the livestock pavilion, and I am going to win that blue ribbon!" I love Lenny.