Outside my window, the sky is dark, dramatic, and glowering.
“Maybe there will finally be some rain today,” says my husband.
“That would be really nice,” I answer, but then I turn to the forecast.
It says that we can expect a day of dramatic, dark clouds … but no rain. None. Nor any rain for the next week. Maybe next weekend. I know from experience that meteorologists have no idea what the weather will be doing a week from now. They just put that stuff there to keep us from losing hope.
I’m trying not to lose hope … but we sure do need rain. Clouds? They’re a tease. They make us think something is going to happen to relieve the drought.
This is probably the opposite of “chick flicks.” You know what I mean, the romantic comedies starring Sandra Bullock or Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, or Zac Efron. You may have to see those as a consequence of the long tradition of “date nights,” but these are some of the films every guy should see.
There could be hundreds of good films for this list. The heroes are strong, the action is intense, the dialogue is smart and every guy in the theater would like to be the leading man of the story. They speak not only good versus evil, or right versus wrong, but they also include noble intentions… most of the time anyway.
Since I had to stick with movies I have seen, the list will probably date me to a time when I went to the movie theater more often. A few of these I have only seen at home, but on a much larger television than when I was young. Whether you are a Citizen Kane or a Raging Bull, it will be a Bad Day At Black Rock if you do not see all of these. I normally do a top ten but I could not fit The Great Escape on the list and M.A.S.H. them down to 10. It may not yet be High Noon, but it is time for the list.
20. The Magnificent Seven. Outstanding remake of the Japanese classic The Seven Samurai, but set in the old West
19. Dirty Harry. “I know what you’re thinking.” This movie contains some of the greatest film quotes of all time.
18. On The Waterfront. Marlon Brando could have been a contender. In fact, he won an Oscar.
17. Patton. George C. Scott will scare the heck out of you as the American General and war hero.
16. Von Ryan’s Express. Mesmerizing performance by Frank Sinatra trying to lead his troops to safety.
15. Rocky. Admit it, you love it. It is a triumph of the spirit. The sequels … not so much.
14. Run Silent, Run Deep. Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable face intrigue and insurrection on a submarine.
13. The Bridge on the River Kwai. Alec Guinness as the noble British officer forced to build a bridge with his fellow prisoners. And the Oscar goes to…
12. The French Connection. New York, France, drugs, car chases, cops and the perfect cast. An Academy award winner.
11. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. The ultimate “Spaghetti Western.”
10. Dr. No. Bond, James Bond If it is not exactly what Ian Fleming had in mind for his spy hero, it is nonetheless a great start to the ongoing series of action adventure movies. If it were not for Sean Connery, would this series have gone very far?
09. The Maltese Falcon. Humphrey Bogart plays the detective who hunts down those responsible for the death of his partner. It’s an odd speech he gives to Mary Astor at the end, but the final scene remains a classic.
08. North by Northwest. Cary Grant is forced to find the killer of an official at the United Nations. The cross-country thriller is one of the finest works of director Alfred Hitchcock.
07. Cool Hand Luke. Paul Newman is a hero of another kind in the 1967 prison movie which earned an academy award for George Kennedy.
06. Glory. I loved Matthew Broderick in a number of lightweight movies, but here he rises to the dramatic occasion as the young officer who leads a troop of black soldiers into battle during the Civil War. Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman also head the stellar cast.
05. 12 Angry Men. One room, 12 men, one case, all dialogue. Henry Fonda leads the powerful cast as the hold-out jury member who is not convinced of one boy’s guilt. The confined setting adds to the unfolding tension.
04. Jaws. This movie made a lot of people afraid to go in the water. Three unlikely people (Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss) go shark hunting in this 1975 thriller, directed by Steven Spielberg.
03. In The Heat Of The Night. Sydney Poitier commands the screen as the Philadelphia detective in the wrong place in the South. Rod Steiger is the ultimate racist southern sheriff. The movie should make you squirm just a bit (or a lot) no matter what side of the color line you are on. This is way beyond the sanitized television series and an important movie in 1967.
02. The Godfather. While some will not agree, I find this the best of the trilogy. Marlon Brando is the Godfather, the Italian don, head of the crime family. The 1972 film is a movie you can not refuse.
01. Casablanca. If you did not know this was coming, you have not been following me for very long. It may be Casablanca, but we’ll always have Paris. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henried, Claude Reins, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and a supporting cast that look like they belong in the French Moroccan city.
Find trailers for the top 10 hereon my You Tube channel.
Democrats keep thinking — erroneously — that you can counter Trump with truth. By presenting accurate information. By countering his wild, unsupported claims with facts. Surely if we show up his lies and deceptions, his followers will realize he is a blowhard demagogue with no actual accomplishments or ideas?
Problem is, people don’t follow Trump because they believe what he says. They neither know nor care whether or not he is telling the truth.
Trump supporters do not care about facts, truth, right, or wrong.
They don’t care if he’s making it up or talking out of his ass. They do not even care whether or not he has any intention of keeping his promises. Nor do they care when he changes what he says whenever it’s politically expedient. They don’t care if he has no platform or proposed plans. And quite probably is completely amoral or immoral … and possibly, a traitor.
Trump followers need someone to affirm their fears and hates. They crave validation. Trump says what they want to hear. He authenticates their fears and validates their sense of betrayed entitlement. He tells them it’s okay to hate, to be a racist. He tells them they should be afraid of becoming marginal people in this changing world.
When Trump said “I love stupid people” it may have been one of the rare times he was telling the truth.
And then Donald J. Trump tells them that only he can fix things. Onlyhe. He is the man, the only person who can make the world right.
We call such people dictators. Donald Trump does not want to be President. He wants to be king.
And because ‘his people’ do not care if he can or will fix anything, having someone powerful agree with them and tell them they are right is enough. They will vote for him because he validates and affirms them. He makes them feel good. Empowered.
This is how Hitler took over Germany. This is the demagogue’s playbook.
He could win. All he needs is for you and you and you to keep saying there’s no difference between Hillary Clinton, a woman who has spent her entire life in public service, and Donald Trump, a man who has spent his entire life ripping off other people to enrich himself.
Donald Trump won’t make America great again. America is great. What he will do is tear this country to pieces, set neighbor against neighbor, race against race. He will eliminate centuries of diplomacy and relations with other countries and make us the laughing-stock outcast nation of the world.
Oh, and we’re going to hand him the nuclear codes. That’s a swell idea.
Walking along the water front — any waterfront — is one of our favorite vacation and travel activities. So much of traveling takes one from one great body of water to another. Here are some favorites from across the years …
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