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“Yes, you’re very smart. Shut up.”

When looking for a quote for this next movie, it was going to be damn near impossible without giving it away.

I did my best.

I think this might be the most quotable movie that most people do by accident.

I remember watching this movie for the first time with my family and my older sister skipped on it as she started watching it at a friends house and did not enjoy it.  She was too cool for it.

I’ll have to admit, until they reached “The Cliffs of Insanity” I was on the fence.  When Fezzik put on a saddle and carried three people up a rope to the top of the cliffs, I was hooked and realized I was watching an epic satire.

The Princess Bride” is easily my favorite Rob Reiner film.  That is saying a lot.  He has an amazing filmography as a director. “This is Spinal Tap,” “Stand by Me,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Misery,” “The American President,” “Ghosts of Mississippi,” and “Flipped” just to name a few masterpieces.

A lot of the success has to be shared with William Goldman.  The author of the great novel by the same name and an amazing screenwriter himself of such classics as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “Stepford Wives,” “All the President’s Men,” and “Marathon Man,” (also adapted from one of his novels) to name a few.  If you haven’t watched these, try and find them and give them a chance.  You won’t be disappointed.  Some of these will appear on my list later as well.

Back to it.

I remember taking the same journey as the grandson in the picture.  Not impressed at first with the love story (I was 11 years old) and the fact that Westley was killed off screen was annoying to me.  But as soon as Vizzini, Inigo, and Fezzik enter the picture, the film takes off and it is memorable moment after memorable moment.


The shrieking eels, the cliffs of insanity, the fencing, the wrestling, the battle of wits, the fire swamp, the R-O-U-S’s, the pit of despair, Miracle Max, storming the castle….did I miss anything?  Probably.


Villains become heroes, heroes are unveiled as masterminds, magicians come out of the woodwork, and revenge is had.  All in less than a 100 minutes. By the end of it, I couldn’t believe that my sister didn’t love it.

I did.

I mentioned how quotable it was, but the visuals in the film are amazing too from the costumes, the externals, the sets, and the props; everything was done with such precision and care.

Years later I ended up reading the novel and enjoyed the film even more after that.  I caught a lot more of the dialogue during the fencing and understood it.  The book equipped me with a lot of back story for the characters that gave them more depth and I got the pleasure of an “extra” ending as well.

What are your favorite quotes from this picture?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments and have a discussion about them if you’d like to share.

That would make my day.

But please do….As you wish.


Please join my #Clintington on Film Dope Sheet.  Enter your email to be one of the first to subscribe to my newsletter.  There will be talk of my first novel (I will share my first chapter for sure…at some point) and discussions on the television that has influenced me as well.


After a short/long hiatus, I am back to my blog again.  If there were any of you out there that couldn’t stand it, I apologize.  For those of you that appreciated the break, I apologize.  Sorry’s all around….


I thought it would be a great opportunity to take a second review of the last half of films that I have discussed to get everyone back up to speed before I tackle any more new movies (they’re coming, be patient).

So, at the mid point I had finished “Ghostbusters” and then watched the following in this order:

1.  “The Last Unicorn” –Another animated film, but it was unlike any other “cartoon” I had seen.  There was interesting dialogue, a great story, and adult themes (love, self-sacrifice).

2.  “Mr. Mom” –A great family film that had its adult moments (very brief and at this stage, harmless).

3. “War Games” –Another kid saving the day.

4.  Ralph Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” –Child-like characters saving the day (sort of, the story was never finished).

5.  “Superman” –A fantasy film making a comeback in my life.

6.  “The Neverending Story” –See #5’s note.

7.  “Cloak & Dagger” –One hell of an adventure to get more attention from dad.

8.  “Jaws” –My favorite horror picture.

9.  “Back to the Future” –If “Ghostbusters” is 1A, this would be 1B

10.  “Ladyhawke” –More fantasy, but a great love story; and Matthew Broderick with an accent to boot.

11.  “The Guns of Navarone” –First war movie, and an introduction to the actors my mom enjoyed growing up.

12.  “The Great Escape” –Fun…ish.

13.  “Explorers” –I don’t really want to give anymore away on this one.  Just go see it.

14.  “Lucas” –My favorite High School angst movie…ever.

15.  “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” –Do I even need to say anything?  Everyone loves this movie.

16.  “The Blues Brothers” –I just remember the scale of this “comedy” and could not believe the lengths they went to, in order to make sure we continued to laugh.  Easily holds up over time.

17.  We’ll call it, “The Summer of Hitchcock 1” and “2” –Read the posts dammit!  😉

18.  “Stand by Me” –Great story about the importance of youth friendships.

19.  “Little Shop of Horrors” –My favorite musical.  There, I said it.

20.  “The Bridge on the River Kwai” –Best acting in a war movie ever made.

21.  Let’s call it, “the intermittent sprinkling of James Bond films” –See #17’s notes.

22.  “Tootsie” –I rented every Dustin Hoffman movie my parents would let me see after I was exposed to this film.  Still my favorite Hoffman.

*Wiping the sweat off my forehead*

Where could we possibly go from here?

There is so much more.

That’s why I love movies.  They just keep making them.  Some better, some not.  I’m going to write about the better ones.


THIS MOVIE…sorry left the caps lock on from the quote.

This movie made me think about trying an acting career (that was short lived) but I thought about it. To see Dustin Hoffman transform himself in such a way was a sensation.  Casting against type is one thing, and like Alec Guinness before him, Hoffman proved there is no “type” for actors like them.

In “Tootsie,” Michael Dorsey is a struggling “method” actor that is having a hard time finding anyone willing to work with him, due to his need for “motivation” behind every character that he will have to portray.  He cannot get work in New York or Los Angeles and word has gotten around that he is impossible to work with, so much so that even parts for extras on stage are not available for the very talented artist.

After having a very real conversation with his agent, played by the amazing director Sydney Pollack, Michael realizes he has to change things; and man does he.

He finds that there are open casting calls for a soap opera that is filming locally and he goes, auditions, and gets cast.  First, he puts on his makeup, his wig, his high heels, and his skirt, and gets cast as Emily Kimberly, his/her stage name now is Dorothy Michaels.  So we have a very Shakespearianesque set of layers here.  Michael is a man, dressed as a woman (Dorothy Michaels), playing the part of Emily Kimberly on  the soap opera Southwest General; the play within the play if you will.  

Imagine the shenanigans that might ensue.


This movie had a lot of people that were fairly young in their careers and it made them stars.  To name a few: Teri Garr, Jessica Lange, Geena Davis, and Bill Murray (Murray already had a “career” having done SNL, “Meatballs,” “Caddyshack,” and “Stripes,” but he hadn’t done “Ghostbusters” yet so….).  We also see Dabney Coleman again as the sexist director of the soap.

Given his limited time on screen, Murray still manages to get one of the best lines in the movie, and Jessica Lange shines as the actress on set that Michael falls for while playing Dorothy Michaels playing Emily Kimberly on Southwest General.


I learned what situational comedy was when I watched this.  Living the life that Michael does as soon as he commits, not only changes his career, but how he will view the world.  Watching characters grow like that on screen is great, and getting to learn something along the way with them is always fun.

I think I love slapstick comedy because of this movie–and Abbott and Costello of course.

Given the set of circumstances that Michael finds himself in now leads the way for misunderstandings, revelations, outcries, and hearts to be broken.

Shakespeare, eat your heart out.


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“What do you mean? You can hardly see the strings.”

This next movie was like “E. T.” and “Goonies” banged and their nerdy kid was reproduced.

It starred a very young Ethan Hawke in one of the most likeable roles ever written and an equally young (and slightly chubby) River Phoenix.

The camaraderie that you find amongst the teenagers in “Goonies” you’ll find in this film, but on a friendlier level.  There is also the family-fantasy element that is “E. T.

Hawke plays Ben Crandall, one of the most enthusiastic and positive young teenagers that I can recall in a movie.  He gets bullied and beat up, but he doesn’t dwell on it and allow it to last longer than that moment.  “Onto the next now” is sort of the attitude of the character and it is inspiring, especially for an 8 year old.

One day he is rescued from the bully by a loner for no apparent reason.  Ben eventually tracks down Darren Woods in order to thank him.  Darren is resistant at first, but realizes that he did do it for a reason, he’s tired of being alone with nothing to do and would like some friendship.

Enter Ben’s best friend–the hefty/nerdy–Wolfgang Muller (Phoenix) and we have everything we need for another 80s coming of age adventure in the “Explorers.”  How can you go wrong with a character named Wolfgang?

Everything changes when the three young men learn that they have shared the exact same dream to the littlest detail.  They are given subtle clues in these dreams on how to develop a technology that….you know what, I feel that I have said too much already.

What you need to understand about this film is that I saw a River Phoenix that I was not used to, and he shines.  I’m trying to think of an actor with more talent at his age and the closest would have to be Leonardo DiCaprio.  Phoenix delivered comedy so well and was just as effective with drama too (“Stand By Me“).  His comedic timing in moments in this movie is what makes it a watchable film for the first hour of the picture.


The chemistry of the three young actors was great, and all three gentlemen knew their roles.

Hawke = optimist.

Darren = Gary Cooper–strong silent, effective.

River = believable as a child genius and comic relief; not deliberately, just circumstances.

This is another family film that I cannot wait to share with my son some day.  All three of the characters are good people and we cheer for them.  They are not motivated by self-indulgence or fame.  They are motivated by their dreams (literally in this case) and love the idea of being able to go see what can be seen.

There are a couple of twists that I found well crafted when all things are said and done and the movie ended up being something way more than I expected.

Plus, the laughs keep coming in unexpected, clever ways.

Adventure, high comedy, and coming of age.

Wasn’t that what the 80s were?


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“I don’t want to play anymore!”

There was something about Henry Thomas and tears.  When he had them, I always had them (“E. T.” “The Quest“) it didn’t matter.

When I was attempting to look up a quote for this movie, I ran across the “Jack Flack’s final bow scene” in the list of quotes and started feeling a little tickle in my throat.  It took me back and I could picture that entire scene all over again.  When Jack tells Davey that he was, “the best playmate I ever had,” I lost it every time.   I get so damn invested in these things, it’s ridiculous.  My dad was the same way.

Jack Flack is an imaginary friend that Davey hangs out with in “Cloak and Dagger.”  Davey is a boy whose mother has died, and he yearns to spend more time with his dad, played by the underrated Dabney Coleman.

My experience with Coleman in movies was always that of the antagonist, or at least characters of questionable integrity (“9 to 5,” “Tootsie” “The Muppets Take Manhattan,” “War Games,”).  He starts out appearing to be heading down that same path as the dad that is always annoyed with his bored son.

Enter Jack Flack, who looks exactly like Davey’s father, only he is dressed in tack gear and wears a black beret (I went and bought a damn beret after this movie and wore it all the time with my camo pants…shoot me in the face).

Davey is consumed by video games and ends up getting involved in real espionage when one of his video game cartridges contains secret government files that are going to be smuggled out of America.

Writing this feels as ridiculous as it sounds to you guys, but for a 7 year old kid like I was, this was a great movie.  Again, this is another 80s movie where kids are involved in adult spy missions and being semi-successful, but the family theme undertones are the connections that I made with this film.  Even at 7 I knew that Davey wanted to spend more time with his dad.  Imaginary friends can look however you want them to, and he chose his father.  Touching.

To see Dabney Coleman as Jack Flack supporting young Davey with encouragement throughout the film was enjoyable and made an impression on me with his depth.  I thought that he could only play smarmy and egocentric.  This gentle supportive performance proved to me and many others that he did have a good guy or two in him.


Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Coleman as a villain too.  He is a great actor, and is rarely over-the-top. His villains always have a gentle-venom to them that can be terrifying and seething.

This departure for him and the one in “Short Time” were enjoyable for me.  It makes you appreciate what actors can do.

Henry Thomas for me is the greatest child actor ever.  “E. T.” and this film had a lot to do with that.  I always feel good when actors are able to continue with their craft throughout their life.  It took Henry Thomas a while, but he persevered and has carved out a decent acting career as an adult.

At the end of the day, I enjoy a film where the thematic undertones come full circle. Davey learning that Jack Flack was and will always be there looking out for him was a pleasure to see.

Even if he wears wings instead of tack gear and a beret.


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“Chopper! Sic balls!”

Goonies,” the adult version.

This next film has another set of young boys going on an adventure together–of sorts.

It starts off with “the writer” of this story as he reflects on a news story that he has just read.  It is narrated by Richard Dreyfuss (one of my favorite actors–check out his filmography; great resume) while he writes the tale of his youth about being with his friends.

It seems like a very simple premise.  Four friends decide to walk the train-tracks out of town in the hopes of finding a supposed dead body of one of their classmates that was struck by a train.  Being that the tale is narrated by one of the four boys, we get quite an insight from him regarding his take on his friends in a very short amount of screen time.  Basically there’s “the clown,” “the chub,” and “the best friend.” It takes more time to get to know the narrator as he doesn’t want to show all of his cards right away.  We take the journey with them and slowly gain a perspective of what “the writer’s” life has been, and how his friends impact his choices.

Stand by Me” is one of the first movies in which I was exposed to boys using the infamous “f” word (“Lucas” was probably the first time I heard it on film).  I felt that it depicted a true outlook on what boys are like when they are comfortable with their friends and away from their parents.  You speak how you want to, you show affection by slighting your friends with mild insults, and you tell a few dirty jokes along the way.

My dad had built us a very nice tree-house when we were children.  My cousins and I would play all around it during the day, and then sleep in it under the stars at night.  Thinking about this movie makes me think of how I engaged with my cousins.  It is very similar.  You start out having loads of fun together, then you start to pick at each other–usually out of boredom, then you start trying to be funny or hope that someone else starts being funny; and sometimes, shit happens along the way.


The young actors that Rob Reiner was able to direct, are what make this film believable.  The somber countenance of the Gordie character (“the writer” as a child) is played very subtle by Wil Wheaton. Equally important is the display of support and admiration that Chris–played by River Phoenix–displays for Gordie (and Teddy and Vern for that matter) in order to help all of them survive the trip they take together.

The original title of the novella written by Stephen King is “The Body.”  I enjoy that title given the circumstances of the story, but the decision to change the title to “Stand by Me,” adds a clear thematic element that allows the opening scenes of “the writer’s” reflection to come full circle by the movies very stirring climax.

“Skin it.”


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Clintington Presents Hitchcock 2.

I was just 8 years old (1985) when Jimmy G. ruined “Psycho” for me.

(Originally I had the dialogue of the actual spoil that occurred in 1985, but I omitted it because I didn’t want to do the same to any of you.  Who says I don’t care?)

I was too young to realize I should have been angry, not confused.

Years later when my parents finally allowed me to see it, I was angry.  It could’ve been the scariest movie of all time for me, but instead, it was…okay, had to delete this too.

I admit it, I don’t like to get spoiled.  That’s why I’m not a huge fan of trailers much any more.  They give too much away (especially in comedies) and it ruins the theatrical experience of “shock and awe.”

That is the fuel that fired up Mr. Hitchcock.

How can I shock people into “awe?”

Some of his other films that I watched that summer were:

Strangers on a Train

Classic Hitchcock.  Two men who each need someone “out” of their lives, meet on a train.  The one gentleman (the naive one–there is always one in a Hitch movie), thinks it a mere coincidence, but he has been stalked by the other gentleman.  They do what a lot of people do in Hitchcock films, get onto the topic of murder and discuss how to commit one.  That’s all you’re getting.  Go see it.


I feel this was the master’s last great film (this was his second to last film, the last being “Family Plot” which I did not like the acting in particular).  There are MANY brutal murders (there is a serial killer who strangles people with his neck ties) and a case of mistaken identity/wrongfully accused.  Watch it.  It’s horrifying.


My favorite Hitch of all time:


I love this movie.  It was one of the last ones I had seen that summer.  I remember every time that I tried to rent it, it was not available.  It was finally in the store and I felt like it was Christmas.  We rented 7 Hitchcock films before I could watch it!  After seeing it, I knew why it was always gone.  In terms of setting, it is Hitch’s greatest achievement.  An adventurous photographer is home-bound at his apartment loft in a wheelchair after he broke is leg on the job.  His only contact is with his girlfriend, played by the Princess Grace Kelly, and his maid.  He entertains himself by breaking out one of his large telephoto lenses and “peeps” on his neighbors across the way at another complex.  It’s a Hitchcock movie.  What could he possibly see?  There is no way I am writing another word about it.


It was one of the best summers of movie rentals I every experienced.  My mom, dad, and I would talk about them right after we finished and would ask each other things like, “Why did he do that,” “Who writes these things,” “Remember when … happened,” and “What was she thinking?”

These weren’t the only Hitch films I watched.  I would eventually see “Shadow of a Doubt,” “Rope,” and “Notorious.” I recommend all three, especially “Notorious.”  Cary Grant plays a very different character than what you are likely used to seeing on screen–as only Hitch could force him to do; and Ingrid Bergman shines as a spy, forced into a very dangerous circumstance.

Hitch’s movies will appear to “drag” by today’s standards.  They are full of a lot of “explaining” dialogue that distracts from the flow of the story, even in Hitch’s time of film making (the last explanation in “Psycho” by the doctor explaining the psychology of it all absolutely destroyed a near perfect film).

With that said, the scenes where Hitchcock ensnares us as the viewer and dares us to look away–makes all of the “explaining” and the lengthy monologues well worth the wait for the “AWE” moments.


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My parents were watching what I felt was a rather ODD movie when I walked into the living room one random evening after dinner.

There was a woman in a daze.  Cut to a little girl walking into a room (that she probably was not supposed to walk into).  Back to the woman in a daze.  Cut to a little girl witnessing “abuse” between a man against a woman.  Dazed woman one last time and cut back to a little girl with a blood-stained fire poker with a dead man on the floor.

I may not have all of the details correct.  I have never seen this film in it’s entirety, other than that brief moment when I was a child almost 29 years ago.

I asked my mother what she was watching and she said, “It’s called ‘Marnie’ and it has Sean Connery in it.” Years later I found out that she didn’t like that movie, but she wanted to look at Connery….go figure.

Slightly intrigued, I asked her what was going on and she said, “The typical things you’d find in a Hitchcock film… flashbacks, murder, suspense.”

I really stopped listening at “Hitchcock.”  I was curious why she would assume I knew what a “Hitchcock film” was.  So I asked her and she mentioned “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and gave me a short bio in terms of the suspense that he was known for.

My dad butted in and said, “He did ‘The Birds‘.  We’ll rent that this weekend. It’s way better than this.”

We did.


I remember that once the heroine, played by Tippi Hedren, realized what was going on with the birds, that I was anxious with anticipation for each scene that followed until the end.

I remember being disappointed with the ending, because I felt it did just that…it ended without any “real” resolution.  It wasn’t until years later when I was watching a special on Hitchcock that someone pointed out that in an era in film when “THE END” was always superposed on the last few frames of every picture, Hitchcock did not do that in “The Birds.”  So, given its time period, that makes for a very ominous and overwhelming ending for a horror picture.

Subtle brilliance.

After that experience, I rented at least one Hitchcock picture on every rental outing until we ran out of options at the rental store.  In one summer I think I watched 9 Hitchcock films. NOTE: the only one mom would not let me see was “Psycho.” (shocking–I know.)

North By Northwest

One of my favorites.  A man, Cary Grant, is set up to be a patsy for things larger than him in the world and has to figure things out along the way in order to clear his name.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Not one of the best, but it has its moments.  It stars Jimmy Stewart who gets caught up in overhearing minor details in an assassination plot while vacationing with his family.  He of course has to get involved and try and prevent the murder.


Not my very favorite Hitchcock, but it is probably number 2 on the list.  It also stars Jimmy Stewart as a man that is asked to follow a woman to ensure that she does not harm herself with suicide.  Stewart becomes obsessed with her as he watches her and if you think I’m going to give anything else away you’re crazy.  This is widely considered a “Classic Must See” and everyone needs to find it and watch it if you are any kind of movie fan that wants to learn about the art of cinema.  Masterpiece, easily.

I’m going to leave this post with those.  Not to worry, I was always planning on doing two posts for “the master of suspense.”  I’ll touch on my favorite “Hitch” film and list a number of others that I was able to rent as a child.

Stay tuned…. 😉


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“Are all American officers so ill mannered?” “Yeah, about 99 percent.”

The next war movie I watched, didn’t much feel like one.

It took place in a German POW camp and all of the heroes were prisoners.  The one message I think I took from this movie was, German prisons ain’t so bad.

It seemed like most of the guards were either stupid or aloof, and the prisoners were free enough to develop such an elaborate plan as creating 3 tunnels (Tom, Dick, and Harry) out, so that all 250 prisoners could escape. There was very much a sort of, “Now shame on you prisoners for trying to escape from my nice little prison. Do you know how that made me feel?  I want you to go sit in the cooler and think about how that made me feel.”  You never saw anyone get beaten or tortured.  One prisoner makes a break for it by literally trying to climb the fence in front of everybody giving them no choice but to shoot him, but I had a hard time seeing the motivation for that character to act out like that and felt that it was a manipulation scene by the screenwriter to develop a little bit of urgency in the rather long film.

I don’t mean to sound like I didn’t enjoy the picture.  There were many classic elements created here.  Some even inspired Stephen King to write the novella for the “Shawshank Redemption.”

This is a scene from “The Great Escape,” not the “Shawshank Redemption.”

As out of place as the score for the picture is, it is totally a catchy tune that I enjoy listening to.  I feel that it doesn’t really set the proper tone though for a POW camp, where escape could mean death.  It sets more of a tone that is “hey, look at all of these silly little allies and their shenanigans.”

The Great Escape” does offer many things, foremost being the cast: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson, and James Coburn for starters.  For those of you that are not aware of who these people are, I suggest you check the links and look at their work.  Just these four names from the film hold at least a dozen movies worth watching from their resume’s combined.  If you have any questions about which ones to watch, I would love to get a comment from you and help you out.

There is a bit of suspense in this picture, as well as some amazing motorcycle stunts, and gun fights.

Looking back I feel that this film was another bit of glorification for the “Greatest Generation,” which is not a bad thing, but it did not feel like a real POW camp like “Stalag 17.”  For a real atmosphere of fear, despair, distrust, and survival, I would suggest that movie.

For a great cast, witty writing, a large scale, and some decent action enjoy “The Great Escape.”


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“Fix the cigarette lighter.”

This next movie was watched much later than its initial release.  My parents wanted to wait until my humor was mature enough to understand all of the jokes.  After surviving “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” they must’ve felt I was ready.

The circumstances under which we rented it for my first viewing were rather funny.  I remember having a discussion with my dad about Carrie Fisher (I called her Princess Leia) when we were watching “Star Wars.” We were talking about how we never saw her in movies any more.  Then my dad said, “She was the woman who couldn’t shoot in ‘The Blues Brothers.'”

He told me about the scene and we decided that it would be the next movie we’d rent.

Carrie Fisher’s character was a very small part of a rather ludicrous, comedic masterpiece.

Everyone that has seen this movie talks about the amazing musical numbers from some of the greatest stars in soul music history.  Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Cab Calloway, and of course, the Blues Brothers.

“Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” is a performance that you can’t help smiling at when you’re watching it happen.  Check out Dan Aykroyd, that guy could really dance back then.

For me, like my dad–because of him in a way–I will never forget the very brief and hilarious Carrie Fisher moments in the film,


Her character never really gets a proper introduction until way later in the film.  This adds to the “ludicrous” element I was talking about as she is just a random woman that is attempting to kill the Blues Brothers for all we can see.  The bold way in which she goes about it is what adds to the overall farce of this movie; which is a huge part of its charm.

It is a movie that has everything in it.  A load of laughs, amazing music, live performances by legendary artists, dancing, gun fights, car cha–sorry–EPIC car chases, and a cameo by Steven Spielberg as an actor.

It will be a movie that I will never forget, and can always hold dear in my heart.  My dad introduced me to this picture and it was the last film that he and I shared as viewers together before his passing.  It was an amazing evening of just sitting and enjoying a hilarious movie together while talking about the scenes we couldn’t wait for.  Even though we had seen it over 10 times, we still laughed.

…and that is everything you want from a comedy.


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