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Looking Back at the Highlights of 2019 and Ahead to 2020

If only I could secure a flux capacitor for my Prius I’d travel back in time and relive some great movie moments like seeing Jaws at the theater for the first time all over again or go back even further to the golden era of Hollywood and see the opening night of Casablanca, maybe The Godfather or even further back to the silent era for a Keaton, Valentino or Swanson debut. Maybe attend the first ever Oscar awards ceremony at The Hollywood Roosevelt on May 16th, 1929.

Since that’s not about to happen anytime soon how about I recall some highlights of what has come and gone in 2019.

Total number of movies watched this calendar year? How about a healthy 355. Started the year with a revisit to Rio Bravo and ended it onboard the Orca.

Trips to the movie theater? A whopping 6 includes seeing the two most anticipated movies in my house this year on the big screen, The Irishman and Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.

Trips to second hand shops and memorabilia trade shows looking for movie posters and other treasures? Lost count by the time April came around. I also made a pair of trips to Mars, PA to the Monster Bash. A twice yearly festival for classic monster fans that I’d highly recommend.

My most visited movie post of the year award once again goes to What the Peeper Saw. The 1972 Britt Ekland flick leaves me scratching my head about what newbies expect to find here at Mike’s Take. Especially when the spotlights I did on Joan Collins and The Girl Slaves of Morgana Le Fay weren’t far behind.

A few spotlighted selections that I feel deserve a second recommendation among so many include …

The Lightship …. You’ll Like My Mother …. Lawman …. Too Many Crooks …. The Quiet Man …. Riot In Cell Block 11 …. Farewell Friend …. Mister 880 …. Edge of Eternity …. Murder He Says .

Most enjoyable revisit of the year? Gotta be Time After Time.

Best slice of ham I witnessed this year has to be Jack Palance’s performance in Hawk the Slayer.

Admitted John Wayne disciple that I am it was nice to see a rare Duke title for the first time this year, The Sea Spoilers.

One of my personal highlights this year was meeting Victoria Riskin and exchanging some emails with her about the new book she’s penned on her parents, Fay Wray and Robert Riskin followed by 10 questions she was kind enough to answer for me.

As stated above, I closed out the year with another viewing of Jaws. A film I never get enough of and have featured here on two separate occasions. One focused on my first viewing as a child and another one that I felt I just needed to share.

Now on to 2020 as I begin my 6th year on line and some personal goals where movies are concerned ….

Buy more original one sheets. But you knew that.

Having recently purchased a massive two volume set of coffee table sized books from Stephen Thrower on the career of exploitation filmmaker, Jess Franco, I see a number of low budget titles in my viewing future. Yes Franco directed everything from a pair of Chris Lee – Fu Manchu flicks to lurid titles including Vampyros Lesbos, Hot Nights of Linda and She Killed In Ecstasy. Maybe I can squeeze one in per month and call it the year of Franco.

Another goal I’m determined to accomplish in 2020 is to watch the epic TV miniseries The Winds of War for the first time and yes it’s because I call myself a huge fan of Robert Mitchum. No I won’t be watching it in one sitting at a running time of 14 hrs and 39 minutes. Secondly I’ll do my best to watch the follow-up miniseries War and Remembrance which clocks in at 25 hours according to the DVD set I recently scored.

I’m embarrassed to state just how many movies reside on the shelves here that I’ve yet to open and with companies like Kino, Indicator, Arrow, Severin and the Warner Archive continually tempting me with new releases I’m not sure if I’ll get any further ahead by the end of 2020 but I’ll keep trying.

Summer vacation appears to be a trip to Newfoundland for the first time and yes you can be sure I’ll do a little prep work before the trip to see if I might score some memorabilia from the east coast of Canada to bring back to the vault here at Mike’s Take.

And of course I’ll have my co-pilot Brando the Weiner Dog join me for some of his monthly picks that are sure to feature his canine friends and other furry critters from the movies. Secondly we’re also hoping to have Brando win the annual Weiner Dog Races held at a local racetrack/casino this summer. He placed 6th last year in a field of 30. Nearing three years of age he should be hitting his peak running days.

One of the best additions to the vault at Mike’s Take came on the last day of the year. Yes, just a couple hours ago so I’ve hastily added this in. Knowing my passion for “the stuff that dreams are made of,” my lovely wife had a Walter Huston look-a-like in a postman’s outfit deliver me my very own Black Bird, aka The Maltese Falcon, which will now be perched on the corner of my desk here in the movie room.

And just like it appears in the movie, the darned things heavy too.

In closing I’d like to thank each and every one of you for stopping in regularly and on occasion leaving a message or two. Your voice is always appreciated. May all of you have a safe and wonderful 2020 finding both happiness and success in the year ahead.

 

24 Comments »

  1. An impressively busy year! Thanks for all you do and all your “work”! (I put that in quotes because is it really work if you love what you’re doing?) Love your “take”!
    Happy New Year!

    • Always been an extension of my passion/hobby and sometimes it’s just a matter of sitting at the keyboard to start a spotlight but once I begin the words usually come quickly. Thanks for dropping in and best of 2020 to you.

  2. Have a Happy New Year my friend, always a pleasure to see what you’ll write about. Love supporting eclectic fans like yourself, and thank you for being a follower of my own blog writings.

  3. Haha I love Brando poking his tongue out ready to fire himself off down the racetrack. Godspeed mister weiner.
    WOW look at that movie room. A place of wonder and dreams. Too cool.
    That falcon is damn cool too. Amazing.
    hehe it funny that the saucy ones gets the big hits. One of the most searched phase on my site is Susan Sarandon Lemons LOL. From the Burt film Atlantic City and her cleaning scene.
    Mike you’ve done the film world proud yet again with your eventful movie journey.
    Looking forward to seeing what you get up to in 2020.
    Happy new year buddy.

    • No need to tell me which film had Susan Sarandon and lemons. Aside from the guys just being guys humor, Atlantic City a magnificent film. Lancaster’s last great performance as a leading man. If you lived just up the street your wife would know where to find you when you’ve gone AWOL. In the movie room at Mike’s. LOL. Brando will be going into training come April and ready to rock the Weiner world. Cheers buddy.

  4. It always fun to look back on our movie lives. Thanks for sharing. I identified with a lot of your comments. A lot of films acquired that I still need to watch. I lost my wiener boy this year, he was always a great companion on the couch. Happy New Year. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.

    • Sorry about the pooch. Didn’t know you had a Weiner Dog as well. I cherish my little guy and am so glad we brought him home just over two years ago now. He brightens every day in our home. Cheers and best wishes for 2020.

  5. Really appreciate your columns. I thought that I did well clocking in at 175 movies and series at home for the year; just an apprentice compared to you.
    Good year for film; really loved Knives Out, Fisherman’s Friend and The Two Popes.
    Just love the photo of your Falcon; a collectors dream!!
    Happy 2020 and great viewing to you and your family.

    • That’s a solid amount of titles. Im looking to forward to Knives Out and was just talking about the Two Popes today. One I’ll be sure to see as I like the two actors involved. Wasn’t aware of third title but just looked it up and it sounds fun. Thanks for the tip. Best of wishes for 2020. Thanks for dropping in. Cheers’.

  6. A nice way to round out the year…a screening of the coolest movie of all time! And you positively DESTROYED me as far as 2019 movie watching went…355 to my measly 214 (which actually is quite good for me). For you it’s ‘What the Peeper Saw’, and for me it’s always been ‘The Stepmother’ as my most-visited post…lord knows why. And am I the only person to notice, in that photo of your movie room, that you’re watching a hockey game on TSN?

    • I did overachieve this year in my count. It’s usually around the 300 mark. Maybe it was all those “B” flicks that run 70 minutes that allowed me to squeeze in some extra double features. Won’t hit that total this year if I’m going to watch 40 plus hours of Robert Mitchum in the Winds of War sagas. If I’m not watching movies then I’m watching sports on TSN. Nice catch.

      • I don’t have access to cable hockey games, but I find full games from the past on YouTube, and I love TSN’s presentation of the games more than any other (including CBS HNIC). I just found a bunch of HD broadcasts on YT from 2011-12, my last year of following ‘current’ hockey; my movie totals for 2020 may now be on the low side as well!

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