Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, 1980
Harrison Ford turns 66 today, which means that his best days are probably behind him. He’s already attempted to play an old Indiana Jones, which went okay, but we don’t really fancy watching a pot-bellied Han Solo trundling around space attempting to chat up sexy green lap dancers with a dribbling wookie nervously looking on. It wouldn’t be right. Even so, we thought we’d celebrate the ageing process by getting him a present, so we ordered four orange squashes, informed mummy that this was going to be a long afternoon and to keep the sandwiches coming, and got to debating. After at least thirteen minutes, it boiled down to a toss up between some Star Wars figures, or an old interview with Han and Luke. In the the end we got him both. Happy Birthday H. Ford!
Han Solo, PI
It’s official, our homosexual friends will be in mourning today, remembering the loss of the greatest gay man of them all – Judy Garland. She would have been 87 today, had she not done herself in with barbiturates back in 1969. A terrible terrible waste. She should be with us, putting on one heck of a show down at G-A-Y, possibly supported by Girls Aloud, or the Pussycat Dolls. But she isn’t, she’s dead. Still, we thought we’d get her a gift, so we put on vest tops and strode down a high street looking fierce and giving good walk, and decided that she’d either like a drawing of a massive ant fighting a mouse, or a Magnum PI/Star Wars mash up. In the end we got her both. Have a FABULOUS Birthday Garland!
No, we don’t know what a mash up is either…
Two things mattered in the early 1980s – Star Wars and the A Team. Everything else just existed, like wallpaper, or the heel on your new school shoes. There was nothing fun about those things, they were just boringly essential, a bit like toes. Hence, a small fireworks display went off in our minds when we were pointed in the direction of this special treat, a Star Wars/A Team mash up. Our younger selves would have literally wet their Spiderman underpants.
Ladies and gentleman, John Cazale!
Don’t be fooled by the way they stride grinningly around the planet, when the doors shut, and the staff have been angrily dismissed, actors weep hysterically into pillows. If discovered, they claim to be getting into character, but the truth is that they’re petrified that one day they might make a bad film. Everyone’s done it – De Niro, Pacino, Brando, Nicholson, Depp. Everyone. Sean Penn’s been in mostly appalling films. But, of course, as with everything, there is an exception that proves the rule – in this case, it’s the late John Cazale, who made just five films before bone cancer got him in 1978. All of them excellent. The five – The Godfather, The Godfather Part Two, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Deer Hunter – were all nominated in the Best Picture category at the Oscars, and his co-stars included: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Christopher Walken, Harrison Ford, and his girlfriend Meryl Streep. In each of the films he was absolutely brilliant. Hence, the greatest of all time? Quite possibly.