The Daily Dose/January 15, 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
Notes from around the Human Experience…
CAPSULE MOVIE REVIEW: Darkest Hour: Darkest Hour follows Winston Churchill from May 9, 1940 – the day before he becomes Great Britain’s prime minister until his Fight on the Beaches speech before the House of Commons on June 4. The main focus is Churchill’s battle with Lord Halifax over whether to fight or negotiate with Hitler and Churchill’s precarious position his first few weeks in office. Gary Oldman is brilliant as Churchill, and there are the usual capable performances you’d expect from a movie of this sort.
“Those Who Do Not Change Their Mind Never Change Anything.”: This movie is brilliant. Like 2012’s Lincoln, which covered the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life, you got the impression the History Channel had dispatch dozens of film crews to chronicle this moment in history. There will be some, of course, who will get their shorts in a knot over whether the color of Churchill’s pajamas is accurate and the fact Churchill likely did not ride the subway – known as the tube across the pond – to get the opinion of commoners, but do not let this detract from your enjoyment of this splendid film.
A Note To Guys: Be prepared, as we did, to fall in love with Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, who played Churchill’s wife Clementine, and Lily James, who played his secretary Miss Layton.
“He Mobilised The English Language And Sent It Into Battle.”: Warnings about some parts being unintelligible because Churchill mumbled from time to time are issued. It adds some realism to the film, frankly, so we didn’t fret over it. Also adding realism was the non-stop smoking that went on. Churchill smoked cigars constantly, even while taking lunch with King George VI, who usually was working a cigarette himself.
This Planet Is Going To Hell: Society being what it is today, the producers felt obliged to include a disclaimer during the credits to the effect that the smoking scenes were for historical accuracy and that the filthy and vile habit of smoking was in no way being condoned.
Oh Yeah: It was fun renewing our on-screen acquaintance with Britain’s King George VI, the father of Britain’s current monarch Elizabeth II. We had first gotten to know him on the big screen in The King’s Speech, a brilliant and touching movie about George VI attempting to overcome his stuttering problem, which he still has not completely conquered in Darkest Hour.
FunFact: George VI was played by Ben Mendelson in Darkest Hour and Colin Firth in The King’s Speech.
Final Rating: A – As Good As The Medium Can Produce: We do not issue the top rating too often here at The Daily Dose. And we did note our affection for Winston, not to mention our affinity for historical dramas of this sort. So we gave no small amount of consideration to this, but anything less than our top rating simply does not do this film justice.
Our only complaint was it was too short and we would not dismiss out of hand the prospect of a movie of this sort covering Churchill’s entire first term as prime minister.
MORE BRITISH MONARCH STUFF: Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England and Ireland on this date in 1559. The daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I had actually ascended the throne the previous November when her half-sister Mary I died. Elizabeth I reigned for 44 years, never bothering to marry or produce an heir and was succeeded in 1603 by her nephew James I, who was also King James VI of Scotland.
This Really Happened: 21 people are killed when a large tank containing over two million gallons of molasses collapses in Boston on this date in 1919. The incident happened about 12:30 pm, with a wall of molasses reaching a height of 25 feet and a speed of 35 mph making its way through the streets.
Dry, Technical Matter: Cleanup took several weeks and involved both washing the streets with salt water and laying sand down for absorption. Boston Harbor was reported to have remained brown until summer.
Hut, Hut Hike: Super Bowl I – then known as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game – is played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on this date in 1967. The Green Bay Packers, champions of the National Football League (NFL) defeated the American Football League (AFL) champion Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.
Dry, Technical Matter: The attendance was 69,946 and Super Bowl I remains the only Super Bowl not to sell out. Though unofficially known as the Super Bowl even then, Super Bowl would not come into official usage until Super Bowl III.
Running The Numbers: The top ticket price was $12, about $89 in today’s value and the cost of a 30-second commercial on both CBS and NBC was $42,000, about $315,000 in today’s dollars.
Quotebook: Oh, what low joke was Fortuna playing on her now? Arrest, accident, job! Where would this dreadful cycle ever end? – John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The four American television shows that have been on the air longer than Today are Hallmark Hall of Fame, Music and the Spoken Word, CBS Evening News and Meet the Press.
Today’s Stumper: On what date has the Super Bowl been played the most times? – Answer nest time!