Classic Beauties: Mistresses (5)

Let’s start with England’s James II:

Arabella Churchill


Dorothy Sedley

…then on to France’s Napoleon Bonaparte:

Maria Walewska

…and his nephew, Napoleon III:

Harriet Howard

Rachel Félix

Virginie Castiglione

Back across the Channel, we have England’s William IV:

Dorothea Jordan

And finally, across the Atlantic, the mistress of yet another William:

Monica Lewinsky


At the DM, Brian Viner lists his 100 Greatest Movies ever made.  Rather than come up with my own, let me go down his selection and simply list those with which I agree, and those I don’t (just follow along his article for the synopses).  If I think he’s missed one, I’ll put it at the end.  YMMV.

The Godfather.  No argument, although I think I and II  should be treated as a single movie, because they actually are.
The Wizard of Oz.  Agree.
Psycho.  Agree.
Jaws.  Agree.
Some Like It HotDisagree, but only mildly.  Top 200, maybe.
Casablanca.  Agree.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.  Agree.
Lawrence Of Arabia.  Agree.
The Graduate.  Agree.
Citizen Kane.  I have a problem with this one because I don’t like it.  But as a groundbreaking movie for its time, I guess it’s worth inclusion.
Bonnie and Clyde.  Agree.
Apocalypse NowStrongly disagree.  It’s a weak movie — and to prove my point, the unforgettable scene with Robert Duvall is the best part of the movie even though it’s completely irrelevant to the plot.
Singin’ In The RainDisagree.  Another candidate for top 200, but An American In Paris would have been a better choice.
The Apartment.  Agree.
Shoah.  Is it important?  Yes.  Is it a great movie?  No.  Few documentaries are.
Modern Times.  Agree.
Brief Encounter.  Agree.
Double Indemnity.  Agree.
The Banshees Of InisherinDisagree.  I’ve tried to watch this movie on three separate occasions, and have still never managed it all the way through.
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.  Agree.  (Although as animated Disney movies go, I prefer The Lady And The Tramp.)
The Sound Of MusicMehMy Fair Lady  was better.
Kind Hearts And CoronetsDisagree, but only mildly.  Top 200, maybe.
The Silence Of The Lambs.  Agree.
The Maltese FalconDisagree.  Flimsy plot, bad acting.  Double Indemnity was far better, as was Farewell My Lovely (both versions).
The French Connection.  Agree.
Alien.  Agree, because it transcends science fiction (which I’m not a fan of).  I agree with the inclusion of
Star Wars for the same reason.
Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.  Agree.
Annie Hall.  Sorta-agree.  I don’t think Woody Allen is a good director, although his Midnight In Paris  was superb — less introspective, less gauche, much better than Annie Hall, but still not in the top 100.
Raging Bull.  Agree.  Easily the greatest biopic ever made.
Pulp Fiction.  Agree.  The only one of Tarantino’s movies I’ve ever watched more than once.
It’s A Wonderful Life.  Agree.
The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp.  Never seen it.  Maybe I should.
The General.  Agree.
The Bridge On The River Kwai.  Agree.
There Will Be Blood.  Agree.
Taxi Driver.  Agree.
The Deer Hunter.  Agree.
2001: A Space OdysseyDisagree.  Boring, pretentious and long-winded.
Seven Samurai.  Agree, and I also like The Magnificent Seven.
VertigoDisagree.  It’s Hitchcock, but it’s not what I’d consider a great movie.
All About Eve.  Agree.
Top HatDisagree.   I love me some Fred ‘n Ginger as much or more than anyone else, but they’re not Great Movies.
Bicycle Thieves.  Agree.
On The Waterfront.  Agree.
Nashville.  Agree.
Rome, Open CityNever saw it.
Duck Soup. Agree, but prefer Monkey Business.
The Searchers.  Agree.
The Conversation.  Agree.
Dr. Strangelove.  Agree.
BoyhoodHaven’t seen it.
Schindler’s List.  Agree.
The Producers.  Sorta-agree, although I can’t stand Mel Brooks.
No Country For Old Men.  Agree.
Monty Python’s Life Of Brian.  Agree.
Tokyo StoryNever saw it.
The Elephant Man.  Agree.
Deliverance.  Agree.
Apollo 11.  See my rap on Shoah, above.
What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?  Agree.
Spartacus.  Agree.  Grudgingly.
Toy Story.  Agree.
The Lives Of Others.  Agree.
The Good, the Bad and the UglyDisagree.  Fun movie, but definitely not “great”.
West Side StoryDisagree.  High-class camp.
The Third Man.  Agree.
Shakespeare In Love.  Agree.
His Girl Friday.  Agree.
Henry V.  Agree.
The ShiningDisagree.  Run-of-the-mill horror flick.  Ask yourself:  if it had been any actor other than Jack, would this movie make any list?
Chinatown.  Agree.
Zulu.  Agree.
Sunset Boulevard.  Agree.
City Lights.  Agree.
Gone With The Wind.  Agree.
The Best Years Of Our Lives.  Agree.
Ben Hur.  Maybe, but better than Spartacus, anyway.
Get OutHaven’t seen it, doubt that I will because I’ve already seen Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?
Night Of The Hunter.  Agree.
Rear Window.  Agree.  In truth, only Hitchcock’s Psycho and Rear Window  belong on this list.
Star Wars.  Agree.  But only the very first (third?) one.
Parasite.  Agree.
All The President’s MenDisagree.  As history, it sucks.  As a thriller, it’s boring.
High Noon.  Agree.
The ExorcistDisagree.  Compelling, frightening, but not great.  (Ditto The Omen, for the same reason.)
Shane.  Agree.
Chariots of Fire.  Agree.
It Happened One Night.  Agree.
12 Angry Men.  Agree.
When We Were KingsNever saw it.
The Vanishing.  Agree.
The Sting.  Agree.
To Kill A Mockingbird.  Agree.
This Is Spinal TapDisagree.  Loved the movie, but “great” it ain’t.
In The Heat Of The Night.  Agree.
GoldfingerDisagree.  None of the Bond movies is “great”.  Fun, yes… but not great.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark.  Agree.  But none of the sequels (see:  Star Wars).
Thelma And Louise.  Agree.
Oliver!  Disagree!  despite outstanding performances from Ron Moody and Oliver Reed.

Notable omissions:

The Lady Eve.  Preston Sturges, Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.  Brilliant comedy.
The Postman Always Rings Twice.  Inexplicable omission.  The original with John Garfield or the Jack Nicholson remake would make my list.
Scenes From A Marriage.  Ingmar Bergman, ’nuff said.
Rocky.  No-hoper nearly makes it.  An American story.
Full Metal Jacket.  Another American story.
Badlands.  And a third, only this one about real people, sorta.
The Lion In Winter.  Quite easily one of the best historical dramas ever filmed.  If not this, then
A Man For All Seasons.  I’m not sure that anyone could argue against this one being on a top 20 list, let alone a top 100.  Inexplicable omission.
Notorious.  Possibly the best Hitchcock movie, and could replace either Psycho or Rear Window in the above list.
The Long Riders.  Inexplicable omission.  It and the next one could tie for “best Western ever made”, with all due respect to The Searchers.
Unforgiven.  Best Clint Eastwood movie ever made.  And let’s not forget
In Bruges.  I’d put this on the list way ahead of The Banshees Of Inisherin.  Same principal actors, even.
Pandora’s Box.  Did someone forget the early German movies?  I didn’t.
Fargo.  The Coen Brothers at their wicked best.
The Matrix.  One of the better concepts in any sci-fi / dystopia movie.  As was
Blade Runner.  Omitted?  I’m not even a fan of the genre, but it was a brilliant movie.
A Clockwork Orange.  The best Kubrick movie.
Brazil.  Leaving out this movie and the previous three makes me think that Viner either doesn’t like or doesn’t understand the dystopia genre.
Being There.  Are you kidding me?  One of the greatest satirical movies ever, not to mention Peter Sellers being brilliant.
Rescuers Down Under.  Best animated cartoon movie ever made.
Zeffirelli’s Romeo And Juliet.  Beats out West Side Story, by ten lengths.
From Here To Eternity.  Better than any three other war movies combined, excluding
Aces High.  One of the grittiest war movies ever.  And speaking of which, there’s also
All Quiet On The Western Front — the first b&w version.
Grapes of Wrath.  I guess Okies don’t play well in Britishland.
Bound For Glory.  Even though Guthrie was a Commie rat.  It’s Hal Ashby, FFS.  Also
The Last Picture Show for the same reason.
Nosferatu.  Horror horror horror.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.  Brilliant sci-fi.  As is
The 400 Blows.  François Truffaut’s debut movie.  Good grief.
Fahrenheit 451.  Eerily prophetic, but not as bad as the present day.  Also notable as having been directed by Truffaut in English, when he could barely speak a word of it — and by the way, Viner seems to have forgotten or ignored all French directors, not one of whose works made his list.  So much for being a movie critic.

So I’ve disagreed with fifteen or so of Viner’s century, and suggested three dozen or so alternatives.

Finally, my total ringer:  September Affair.  And not just for its theme song.

Feel free to add your own, or to disagree with any of the above.

News Roundup those halcyon days before the Safety Nazis took over.

Let’s kick off with some Crime News: which we play “guess the race of the bad guy”.

...nothing to do with all the rampant theft and looting, of course, it’s just pure racism in action.  Bonus:  guess in whose electoral district this is happening?

...good grief, why didn’t we think of that before? I bet his law prof is so proud of him.

...can somebody ‘splain to me why we shouldn’t inflict some cruel and unusual punishment on his murderous ass… oh yeah, that Constitution thing.  Damn.

And in the Great Cultural Assimilation Project:

...I’d show some sympathy, but it’s NYFC.

...on the bright side, they might have done this to a Texan.

...sheesh, where do they think they are:  Minneapolis?

...”racists” being just about every Irishman not in government.

In Medical News:

And also:

...and when you’ve lost Stephen Fry, you’ve pretty much lost the war.

And now, some Supernatural Sex News:

...just kidding:  they really are fucking crazy [sic].  Pity the poor ghosts.  And speaking of the insane:

...I’m just amazed that people are crazy enough to give money to FJB at all.  On the other hand, it’s his last chance to have some cash lying around when his ass leaves the White House.

In this Friday’s (link-free) 


And in Sorta-ShowBiz News:

...frankly, I’ve seen curvier ironing-boards.  But hey, judge for yourself:

…”stunning”?  STUNNING?

Now here’s stunning:

...take it away, chica:

And on that truly stunning note, we end the news roundup.

Good News / Bad News

Good news for us wot loves those internal combustion engines in our cars, bad news for EVs and their watermelon supporters:

Rivian Lays Off 10% Of Workforce As Lucid Production Underwhelms

EV startup stocks Rivian (RIVN) and Lucid (LCID) sank Thursday after both companies reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue late Wednesday, and announced they are not ramping up production in 2024.

Rivian reported Wednesday a loss of $1.36 per share in Q4 with sales doubling to $1.31 billion. Wall Street expected a loss of $1.35 and revenue totaling $1.28 billion. Looking to 2024, Rivian said it expects production of 57,000 vehicles, remaining flat compared with 2023.

The company also announced that it predicts vehicle deliveries in Q1 2024 to be about 10%-15% lower than in Q4 2023 and that it is laying off 10% of its salaried workers.

Along with Rivian, Lucid reported Wednesday a Q4 loss of 29 cents per share with revenue falling 39% to $157 million. Analysts predicted a loss of 30 cents and sales hitting $180 million. Lucid produced 8,428 vehicles in 2023 and delivered 6,001.

For 2024, the company forecasts producing 9,000 vehicles, well below Wall Street’s expectations of more than 14,000.

Yeah, nobody wants to buy them now (even at subsidy-lowered prices), and still fewer will buy them when said subsidies disappear and the costs of these boutique vehicles assume a trajectory opposite to Rivian/Lucid’s share prices.

And the children will laugh and play, in the playgrounds to which they were driven in their mommies’ gasoline-powered SUVs:

And the oil rigs will pump again, their oil being carried along the completed XL pipeline, filling up cars will no longer require a letter of credit from the banks, natural gas will flow into people’s houses in greater amounts and at lowered prices, windmills and solar panel farms will rust away and fall over, and nuclear power generators will become a feature of every town in the land.

And the watermelon socialists who supported the whole Global Warming Climate Cooling Change© pack of lies will dangle limply from lamp poles in many streets, those that did escape the Air Pinochet helicopter flights, said choppers fueled with the cheaper avgas and therefore able to fly many missions…

Hey, a man can dream, can’t he?  So mote it be.

Interesting Purchase

Well now, lookee here:

Today, Walmart and VIZIO announced they have entered into an agreement for Walmart to acquire VIZIO for $11.50 per share in cash, equating to a fully diluted equity value of approximately $2.3 billion.

Why would Walmart buy a TV manufacturer?  As RedState’s Brad Slager notes (with my emphasis):

Walmart currently stands as the largest retailer for Vizio products, but this buyout has less to do with the retail side of things. The store chain is eyeing its expansion opportunity through Vizio’s smart TV platform. The intention is for Walmart to step up and become more of a direct competitor with Roku, Amazon, and YouTube in the direct-marketing arena, intending to leverage Vizio’s OS through its built-in television apps.

Hey, the more the merrier (paraphrasing Milton Friedman, talking about free-market capitalism).

Just as long as Walmart doesn’t pee in the soup and prevent Vizio owners from choosing between the various vendors like Roku et al. by locking them out of Vizio sets.  That would be a Bad Thing.

I can’t see why they’d do that,because this would just mean that consumers just wouldn’t buy Vizio TVs — I certainly wouldn’t under those circumstances — but as we often see, giant corporations are as prone to fucking up as any other business.