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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Category Archives: Classic Films

It’s hard to imagine Dean Martin as 100. In truth, it was hard to watch Dean get old. He was the living embodiment of the old joke, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” Except it’s doubtful Dean Martin would have changed anything he did. He […]

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Phil Silvers, comedy giant, was born on this day in 1911. He was the man who was always “glad to seeya” and we were certainly thrilled to see him. Best known as Master Sgt. Ernie Bilko, Silvers was the embodiment of the comedic con-man. He gave memorable performances in Top Banana, Sgt. Bilko, It’s A […]

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Bing Crosby was born on this date in 1903. I have hosted a radio show called “Sinatra & Company” for many years and it still amuses me how the Sinatra fans refuse to show the same love for Bing that Sinatra did. And the tired excuse of his personal life and conduct doesn’t work when […]

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Two of the “Ocean’s 11” crew – the original crew – shared birthdays today: Richard Conte and Norman Fell. In fact, Conte’s character plays the vital role in the outcome of the 1960 heist film. Richard Conte was a dark, tough looking Italian and subsequently played lots of tough guys roles in the movies and […]

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Everyone’s favorite bumbling sitcom Nazi would have been 97 years old today. Werner Klemperer was born in Germany on March 22, 1920. His father, Otto Klemperer, was a world famous symphony conductor. The family, which was Jewish, wisely fled Europe in 1935. Werner Klemperer would go on to have a solid and steady career in […]

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If you read through posts on this site it will quickly become obvious that I love character actors and actresses. As of late, I’ve taken to recording birthdays of thespians, musicians, comedians, etc. to salute here on this site, on my Sinatra and Company Facebook page, and on my weekly radio show. Today is a […]

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I remember seeing Tin Men in the theater many years ago and liking it but I honestly didn’t remember it being this funny. Then again, when I saw it in the theater back in 1987, I was a 23-year-old kid who’d never been married or had children and who just recently had become part of […]

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Oh what a tremendous service Turner Classic Movies provides for the civilized of this nation! Earlier this week TCM ran The Magnificent Yankee, an MGM production from 1950 starring Louis Calhern as Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. and Ann Harding as his wife of 57 years, Fanny Bowditch Holmes. I had never seen this rather obscure film […]

Comedian George Burns was born 121 years ago today. It seems unfathomable to me that I can have so many distinct memories of a guy who was born well over a century ago but that’s what happens if you live to be 100 years old as Burns did – you transcend multiple generations. Like most […]

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In keeping with old, black and white Hollywood comedies that are just right for Halloween, I offer Rene Clair’s comedy, I Married A Witch. I had DVR-ed the film a while back when it ran on TCM so I could watch it as we got closer to All Hallow’s Eve. It does not disappoint. I’ve […]

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