View from the Cheap Seats

View from the Cheap Seats

The Alamo Under Siege

July 8, 2014 - 12:00 pm   |   by

Anybody know a good screenwriter? Here’s true scenario that would offer a perfect studio pitch.

And it’s a thriller, in a way, with a determined adventurer racing against time to seek justice for a hero from a past generation – one who sacrificed finances, reputation and goodwill to slay a dragon that was, in the long run, perhaps beyond even his reach.

This story is about John Wayne. This story is about Robert Harris. This story is about America and the importance of its cultural maintenance. And, ok, it’s also about personal obsession. Duke Wayne did what he said. No backing out. No cutting corners. No half assed. [Read on here...]


For a long time, I had the honor of serving the people of Oklahoma as their state film commissioner. I took the job only because we hadn’t created yet the position of “Lord High Minister of Culture.” To know the movie business was but a small component of the being the liaison with Hollywood – the job was for the most part about locations, locations, locations and I knew every bright golden haze on every Sooner state meadow and every field of corn as high as an elephant’s eye. [Read on here...]


In Memory of Mickey Rooney

May 1, 2014 - 11:55 am   |   by

Even with all the plaudits and platitudes, not enough was written upon the passing of Mickey Rooney. I don’t know, actually, if there could ever be enough.

Lord Laurence Olivier once called Mickey Rooney “the greatest actor of them all,” and Marlon Brando said he was “the best actor in films.” [Read on here…]


The Sundance Kid Rides into Town

March 14, 2014 - 12:05 pm   |   by

I can probably state as fact that many of you reading this are not familiar at all with the general manager of your local cable company – I guess most are bean counters, flesh pressers and empty suits. Oklahoma City, from whence I hail, has been very fortunate with Cox Communications – their company is very community driven and its management staff very public and outgoing.  [Read on here…]


My Favorite Non-Christmas Christmas Films

December 24, 2013 - 10:00 am   |   by

Most film columnists start writing their Christmas pieces around August, churning out their memories of It’s a Wonderful Life (which is a story in itself – this generation has no idea that the film was considered an oddity and a flop until Jimmy Stewart mentioned it on The Tonight Show and, as it was in the public domain and available for cheap airings, it has since been considered a “classic”) and other routine movies that just happen to tell a Christmas like story.  Movies like Miracle on 34th Street and Christmas in Connecticut still hold up and there are others I’m sure that do as well, but few movies that are singularly about Christmas float my boat.  I’ve seen them a million times and most are creaky.  Here are my favorite Christmas movies, a list my successful and thoughtful brother calls Christmas Movies for People Who Aren’t Enamored with Christmas Movies[Read on here…]


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