Send in the Clowns

Man has made 32 million laws since the Commandments were handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai… but he has never improved on God’s law.

American director and producer, Cecil B. DeMille, was born on this day in 1881 (died 1959).

We are on day 151 of 15 days to slow the spread.

Most people know the name Cecil B. DeMille because of The Ten Commandments.

Or from Norma Desmond saying “Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

Points if you can name the movie and the actress. Just points, there are no prizes.

But my favorite DeMille movie is The Greatest Show on Earth.

It’s another one of those epic, Hollywood, let’s-cast-everybody-under-contract, movies.

It stars Charlton Heston, Jimmy Stewart, Dorothy Lamour, and a host of others. There are even cameo appearances by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. It won best picture in 1953.

The Greatest Show on Earth is, you guessed it, about the circus, so you get all the animals, and the clowns, and the obligatory train wreck which causes the injured troops to rally for an impromptu parade and performance under the big tent of the open sky.

I’m sorry if that’s a spoiler. You’ve had almost seventy years.

I remember going to the circus under a tent. I have a specific memory of my Mother taking me once and we observed that the trapeze acts were all the same acrobats who would change costume and be introduced as a different family.

My sons grew up going to the circus in the coliseum. Those days are pretty much gone now.

Let’s hope the animals are at least healthier and happier.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Even if things were normal in Hollywood…wait…did I just write that? Let me try again.

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Even if things in Hollywood weren’t slowed down by COVID, we aren’t getting this type of epic movie anymore. The old studio system is gone, and it’s just too costly.

Life’s a bit of a train wreck right now with COVID, with the racial tension, with so much more.

But no one is going to dig through the wreckage of the train to salvage the trapeze equipment and build makeshift cages for the lions.

Besides, if we want to see clowns, we don’t really need to go to the circus or the old movies.

That’s about as political as I’m going to get right now because I’m really just tired of all of them.

I will say that I did not have an agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates on my Bingo card this morning. Look it, up, it’s pretty historic and it could do us all good.

So, I’ll keep watching old television series, and talking about old movies, and planning what I’m taking to the beach.

But before then, I have to do a pretty important call back audition.

Step aside, Norma. It’s time for my close up.

American singer-songwriter and guitarist, Buck Owens, was born on this day in 1929 (died 2006).


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