Showing posts with label Earnest Ernie Borgnine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Earnest Ernie Borgnine. Show all posts

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Heart Ernest Borgnine

If reading his biography wasn't enough (read my review of it here), watching the great Ernest Borgnine on TCM's Private Screenings made me half-fall in love with the man. Borgnine is a cheerful, optomistic, hardworking actor who pursued his craft for pure love of it. He has just such a great attitude about the life he's led. His enthusiasm just rubbed off on me.

I promise Ernest Borgnine that I will watch more of his films, for sure. He has garnered so much of my respect that I at least owe him that. And I want to thank Ernest Borgnine for making Marty (1955), which is very high on my list of all-time favorites. I really identified with the Marty character and he played the role so well, I often find myself confusing Ernie with Marty. While I don't make such a huge fuss about the Oscars, I am really glad that he won Best Actor Oscar for this movie. Marty was a little film that almost didn't get made and Borgnine was a man who almost didn't go into show business (if it wasn't for his mother). And Borgnine is one of the few character actors to get the Best Actor Oscar!

So do any Ernest Borgnine enthusiasts have any recommendations for this budding fan? I would love to beef up my Netflix queue with some goodies. I've only seen Marty and From Here to Eternity (1953) thus far and already have Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The Catered Affair (1956) on my list. And if you saw the Private Screenings episode on TCM, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I don't want to set the world on fire, I just want to keep my nuts warm. - Ernie


Monday, October 6, 2008

Ernie: The Autobiography

Ernie: The Autobiography
by Ernest Borgnine
Citadel Press
August 2008

My favorite quote: "I've gone from a working stiff who didn't want to set the world on fire, who just wanted to keep his nuts warm, to where I am."

I just finished reading Ernie's autobiography and gee was it swell! Written in a conversational style, you feel like Ernie is sitting right down next to you telling you in person the stories of his life and his movies. He's upbeat all the way through. Some have criticized this as being a major flaw in the book, but I think it just makes it more authentic. Ernie's a happy-go-lucky Italian guy who's led a long and interesting life and why wouldn't the writing reflect that? Why do biographies and autobiographies always have to be down and dirty tell-alls? Grab a nice hot beverage and snuggle up to a book that will keep you in high spirits as you take a journey through the life of one extraordinary hard-working and upbeat actor!

I only have one critique to make. And it's not about the book or its author (or ghost writer if there is one). It's a critique about myself. I haven't watched enough Ernest Borgnine films!!! I would have enjoyed the book more so if I had been more familiar with his films. The book is laid out with a unique structure. The first few chapters are about his childhood and his family. Once you get into the chapters about his film career, they are sections within each of the chapters. Each section is dedicated to one of his films and it goes through many of them. Ernie will chat to you about his unique experience with each film and the directors and actors he works with. He doesn't bad mouth anybody. If anything, he feels sorry for the folks he didn't like or he watched fall. So die-hard Ernest Borgnine fans (or at least those people who have seen enough of his films), this book was written for you!

You get such lines like "I had a helluva time", "Believe me, I'm not complaining", "you bet your life!" He won my heart when he said that he loved Bob Mitchum and lended his support to get Mitchum an honorary Oscar before he passed away. It didn't end up happening, but the fact that Ernie was rooting for him won me over. I heart Ernie. Ernie even addresses his ex-wife Ethel Merman's biography, which had a chapter in it called "Ernest Borgnine" followed by a blank page. He said "at least she didn't say anything bad about me".

This is not your average biography. This is probably the closest you'll get to the real thing. So go out and buy a copy! Now!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Marty (1955) ~ Script Review

I am currently in the midst of a very chaotic semester. So I'm sure most of my posts will be my script reviews for class, which at this point are exclusively for classic films. Here is the one I wrote for one of my all-time favorites, Marty (1955).
I simply adore this film. Today this film couldn't be made, but it should. Marty, is 34-years old. All of his siblings have gotten married and now the pressure is on him to find a girl. He’s plain ugly and that gets in the way of his search for someone genuine, kind and who can love him for him and vice versa. Finding a mate is one of the most difficult tasks we have these days and Marty has a doozy of a time. We learn straight off the bat, what his problem is. As he's taking orders at the butcher shop, little old Italian ladies are telling him he should be ashamed of himself for not being married already. But what's excellent about the writing, especially his dialogue, is that he is so upbeat and optimistic about life that we don't feel bad for him. Rather, we want him to find someone because we care, not because we think he's pathetic. That is a sign of a really well-written and well-developed character! I love the inciting incident. At a ballroom, a rude doctor offers Marty $5 if he’ll take his plain jane date off his hands. Marty downright refuses, the doctor gets another stag, the plain jane refuses the replacement stag. Marty approaches her afterwards and they begin to connect.. Only a genuine guy would refuse the money, feel bad for the girl and try to cheer her up by asking her to dance. It shows us his motivations are completely unselfsih. It also sets us up for the major problem ahead, keeping the girl. And we root for him, through the story. He stumbles in his relationship with Clara. He runs on the mouth but she’s patient with him. His biggest challenge though is his mother who turns on him. She fears being alone for the rest of her life and knows Marty’s love interest will take him away.. His friends also turn on him, scared that they’ll lose their parter in crime in their sexual escapades. When Marty stands his ground and fights for the girl in the end, we know he’s come full circle.

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