Reeling Through The Year in Review Part 2 ūüéä


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In Memoriam

2016 has been a challenging year in so many ways including the loss of some of our childhood idols and icons. As I reflect back on the year, these are some of my most heartbreaking moments.


David Bowie 

R.I.P. David Bowie


The loss of David Bowie truly touched my heart. I’ve followed and loved his music since 1972 with the release of the album ¬†– “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”.


“Starman” from the 1972¬†album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

“If you’re sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie”. – Dean Podesta

I’m appreciative of this tweet because I found it calming and it put Bowie’s passing in perspective. A true innovator. He will be missed.



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Gene Wilder

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Jerome (Gene Wilder) Silberman (June 11, 1933 ‚Äď August 29, 2016)

Time reversed itself for a moment when I heard the news of Gene Wilder’s passing due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. He’s been a part of my life since “Willy Wonka” and his spirit helped me through the challenging and uncertain days of my fight against Colon and Breast Cancer.

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Our Prince is Gone – 1958-2016




Ever since Prince came on the scene his music has been such a vital part of my life. His passing is a tremendous loss personally and his enormous talent leaves a hole in our collective souls.


As the memories flood my mind I flashback to Prince and Morris Day with The Time performing at Hill Auditorium on the campus of my alma mater – The University of Michigan. This was 1978¬†before Prince was PRINCE. I can still see the audience swaying, fully in tune with Prince’s dynamic energy and saw a sea change, realizing this was the last time I would intimately see this badass, revolutionary genius.

Now, PRINCE would belong to the world.


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To my dismay, more artists would follow


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And, the Greatest of All Time

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So, as we wind down 2016, let us remember the joys, and the sorrows, but look ahead in Faith of a bright and shining tomorrow.



Have a Blessed and Happy New Year!









Puttin’ on the Ritz with Young Frankenstein!

Twentieth Century Fox Presents

A special event in cinemas nationwide

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

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Young Frankenstein (1974)


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Special Fathom Feature:

Seeing this black-and-white masterpiece on the big screen with an audience is a rarity in itself, but to make this screening a truly one-of-a-kind experience, writer, and director Mel Brooks will introduce the film live from the 20th Century Fox Lot in Hollywood, CA.

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Mel Brooks “Young Frankenstein”

As I’ve written about before, “Young Frankenstein” is one of my all-time favorite films! Mel Brooks’ genius is on full display as he accurately fuses every Frankenstein film into one of the most hilarious ever produced.

In 2003, it was deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the United States National Film Preservation Board, and selected for preservation in the Library of Congress National Film Registry. On its 40th anniversary, Brooks considered it by far his finest (though not his funniest) film as a writer-director. (Wikipedia)

The original “Frankenstein” is no longer a horror film to me since watching Mel’s take on this Universal Classic. There are so many scenes and moments from Brook’s movie that I couldn’t possibly pinpoint one. This is¬†a reel of some of the best moments.

Young Frankenstein brings together Brooks‚Äôs inimitable style with a cast of comedy legends, including Gene Wilder as Federick Fronkensteen, Marty Feldman as shifty humpback Igor, Teri Garr as the hay-rolling lab assistant Inga, the brilliant¬†Madeleine Kahn as Dr. Frankenstein‚Äôs high-strung fianc√©e Elizabeth, Peter Boyle as the kind-hearted monster, an uncredited Gene Hackman as the blind man who befriends him, and Cloris Leachman as Frau Bl√ľcher!

“Frau Bl√ľcher”

“Young Frankenstein” is a 1974 American black comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The supporting cast includes Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars,¬†Richard Haydn and Gene Hackman. The screenplay was written by Wilder and Brooks.¬†(Wikipedia)

Check out the doctor and Frankie, Jr. “Puttin’ on the Ritz!”

Join in the fun as the young neurosurgeon (Wilder), inherits the castle of his grandfather, the famous Dr. Victor von Frankenstein. Young Frankenstein believes that the work of his grandfather is to put it in his words, “do do”, but when he discovers the book where the mad doctor describes his reanimation experiment, the light bulb comes on as he exclaims – “It could work!”.

“Dr. Frederick Frankenstein”

The film is an affectionate parody of the classic horror film genre, in particular, the various film adaptations of Mary Shelley‘s novel Frankenstein produced by Universal in the 1930s.

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Most of the lab equipment used as props was created by Kenneth Strickfaden for the 1931 film Frankenstein. To help evoke the atmosphere of the earlier films, Brooks shot the picture entirely in black-and-white, a rarity in the 1970s, and employed 1930s’ style opening credits and scene transitions such as iris outs, wipes, and fades to black. The film also features a period score by Brooks’ longtime composer John Morris. (Wikipedia)

If you’ve never experienced this Mel Brooks’ gem, make sure to check out this one-night special event! And,¬†if you’re a fan like I am, this is a great opportunity to quote your favorite lines and re-enjoy this classic on the big screen!

Extras: Behind the scenes of the Making of “Young Frankenstein”.

Tickets available online here.  You can also, check with your local theater for showtimes and tickets.


Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see the classic film on the big screen!

Fathom Events



Gene Wilder – A World of Pure Imagination

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Gene Wilder Dies at age 83

Time reversed itself for a moment when I heard the news of Gene Wilder’s passing due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. He’s been a part of my life since “Willy Wonka”and his spirit helped me through the challenging and uncertain days of my fight against Colon and Breast Cancer.

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Last year I wrote about¬†Gene Wilder on my¬† blog as I began chemotherapy for Colon Cancer and how his role in one of my favorite films,”Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” influenced my attitude toward treatment.

Throughout my cancer journey, I was constantly inspired by Wonka’s belief that all things are possible with imagination, whatever your dream may be. What a great philosophy and attitude to keep joy and a positive spirit in your life.

It was “lightning in a bottle” when Wilder teamed up with the brilliant, writer, producer, actor and director Mel Brooks. Their collaboration cemented our “love affair” and would lead to the hilarious and very political comedy-western, “Blazing Saddles” (1974), in which Brooks also starred. This film is an all-time¬†favorite¬†at my house and it’s not unusual for me and my husband to break out in quotes from the movie as we reflect back on the film with fondness.

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The Waco Kid


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“Mongo only pawn in game of life.”

I break out in uncontrollable laughter at just the thought of “Young Frankenstein”.

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The next Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder collaboration, “Young Frankenstein” (1974) was pure genius. I’m an old Universal horror fan and the accuracy of integrating all the Frankenstein films with humor was unforgettable and an incredible tribute to the franchise.

“Puttin’ on the Ritz”

Baron Von Frankenstein








Wilder aspired to touch audiences much as Charlie Chaplin had. The Chaplin film ‚ÄúCity Lights,‚ÄĚ he said, had ‚Äúmade the biggest impression on me as an actor; it was funny, then sad, then both at the same time.‚Ä̬†Mr. Wilder was an accomplished stage actor as well as a screenwriter, a novelist and the director of four movies in which he starred. (He directed, he once said, ‚Äúin order to protect what I wrote, which I wrote in order to act.‚ÄĚ)

“Bonnie and Clyde” 1967

He made his movie debut in 1967 in Arthur Penn‚Äôs celebrated crime drama, ‚ÄúBonnie and Clyde,‚ÄĚ in which he was memorably hysterical as an undertaker kidnapped by the notorious Depression-era bank robbers played by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. He was even more hysterical, and even more memorable, a year later in ‚ÄúThe Producers,‚ÄĚ the first film by Mr. Brooks, who later turned it into a Broadway hit. (New York Times)


Although his light has dimmed his spirit will live on forever. R.I.P.

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Blazing Saddles_movie_poster

I’ll never forget the day my boyfriend (now husband) came to me super excited about, in his words, “the funniest movie he’s seen” and there’s another showing in half an hour!. ¬†Okay I say, skeptical, but I’m game. ¬†He couldn’t stop talking about his favorite “moment” – the “campfire and beans scene.” ¬†As the end credits rolled I agreed, this was the funniest movie I’d ever seen and my favorite “moment” was — holy crap — I can’t name just one. ¬†Lili von Shtupp “I’m Tired”, “The sheriff is near” or “Mongo only pawn in game of life.” ¬† Awwh, it’s too hard to pick just one! ¬†Blazing Saddles is probably one of the most quotable movies of all time.

The movie was nominated for three¬†Academy Awards, and is ranked No. 6 on the¬†American Film Institute‘s¬†100 Years…100 Laughs¬†list.

“Mongo only pawn in game of life”



But, I wonder, how would Blazing Saddles be received by audiences today?

This film was released in 1974 but reflecting today on the welcoming scene for Sheriff Bart, it could just as well have been President Obama’s¬†Inaugural Reception. ¬†In the western town of Rockridge the women clutched their purses and the men drew their guns. ¬†A Black Sheriff, no way! ¬†For some, The President’s election and re-election evoked some of those same feelings. ¬†A Black man in the White House, no way! ¬† Yes, it’s 2014 but yes for some, the stereotypes still¬†exist. ¬†There are those who wish the country could go back to the “good ole days” when if you were white it’s alright, but, if you’re black get back. ¬†It’s irrational and built on fear, but racism has always been apart of the fabric of this country.

Mel nig


Directed by: Mel Brooks

Written by: Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Andrew Bergman, Norman Steinberg and Al Unger

Songs: Mel Brooks

Starring Cleavon Little
Gene Wilder
Harvey Korman
Slim Pickens
Madeline Kahn
Mel Brooks

It’s a brilliant film! ¬†The writing, the acting, the concept. ¬†And what a concept. ¬†A Black sheriff in an all white 1874 small western town. ¬†What could possibly go wrong?

The film is an in your face satire about racism in the old west as opposed to the Hollywood cowboy myth. ¬†Liberal uses of the N word and plenty of references to black men being sexually”gifted.” ¬†Lili: “Is it true what they say about you people?” ¬†Also, you know black men all want white women.

Lili von Shtupp goes there:


“Where the white women at?”


I’m not really sure how Blazing Saddles would touch people today, but in 1974 I got the feeling that black and white laughed at the jokes and understood their own truth within the satire. ¬† Have the voices of hate overshadowed our ability to laugh and rebuke racism or are the hate filled voices of today outliers? ¬†Is the majority of the country trying to go backwards or are we embracing progress and the commitment it takes?

Harvey Mel

 Blazing Saddle Quotes:

  • Jim: [consoling Bart] What did you expect? “Welcome, sonny”? “Make yourself at home”? “Marry my daughter”? You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know…¬†morons.
  • ¬†Bart: I better go check out this Mongo character.

[Bart reaches for his gun]

Jim: Oh no, don’t do that, don’t do that. If you shoot him, you’ll just make him mad.

  • Mexican Bandit: Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges.
  • ¬†Lili Von Shtupp: Hello, handsome, is that a ten-gallon hat or are you just enjoying the show?

If you have seen the movie give it a revisit and let me know what you think. ¬†Or if you haven’t, check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments.