Sunday, March 05, 2006

Worthy of an Oscar

"I Want to Live" (1958) features an extremely powerful and complex performance by Susan Hayward. You cannot help but weep at her desperate situation. She deserved that Oscar.

Robert Wise directed this amazing film, which has a very cool jazz layer beneath an otherwise nail-biting surface of increasing tension.

Susan plays Barbara Graham, a petty criminal who runs with the wrong crowd and gets framed in a murder, and she is sent to the gas chamber at San Quentin. That sequence alone is wrought with extremes of emotion and clinical coldness.

It's a true story that received sensational coverage in its day by the media. One of those reporters was newspaperman Ed Montgomery of the San Francisco Examiner. Simon Oakland plays Montgomery, who over time became convinced of Barbara's innocence and vainly crusaded for a sentence commutation.

The film even has good performances by actors such as Raymond Bailey (banker Milburn Drysdale from "The Beverly Hillbillies").

What? Are you home today and just surfing the blog world or something? Held your nose and called in sick so you could watch the Oscars?

I heard that the tux Clooney is wearing is one that he bought used at a Sunset Strip Goodwill store 10 years ago. Maybe? In any event, it's sure a better story than saying he bought it at Gucci or some Rodeo Drive men's duds place.

I remember that movie from late-nite TV, but I don't remember it being all that cool. I am probably wrong, as it was more than 30 years since I've seen it.
Dog, I am watching the Oscars right here in the newsroom whilst I produce the Monday edition.

I am a multi-tasker.
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