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The GI Salute To Our Favorite Ernest

August 24th, 2012 § Leave a Comment

No, I’m not talking about the character of titular movie fame (portrayed by Jim Varney). I’m not even talking about Hemingway. I’m talking Ernest Goddamn Borgnine, a man active in film and television right up to his death earlier this summer at the age of 95. 95 and he was still doing acting work! For those of you who may not know his face (i.e., if you weren’t born in the 20th century) you’ll surely know his voice, as he was the force behind senile superhero Mermaid Man on Spongebob Squarepants.

Alas, poor Ernest. I knew him well.

Anyway, I went on a Peckinpah kick a few years back, saw nearly all the man’s stuff. I gotta say “The Wild Bunch” is one of the best of the revisionist westerns of the late 60s early 70s. Starring other GI favorite leading men William Holden and Warren Oates, the film is a true treasure and a must-see film because of its game-changing bullet storms that paved the way for John Woo and a host of other over-the-top filmmakers (and fans of slo-mo!).

That being said, I had never seen “Marty” before, and if you haven’t either, I can hardly recommend it more. I was moved nearly to tears, I have rooted for few on-screen romances in recent months as hard as this one. Who doesn’t love a lonely hearts tale? Ernest’s Marty, a butcher whose siblings have all gotten married and moved on, is starting to believe he’ll be a bachelor for life. He lives with his mother, and even his cousin’s family is trying to get his aunt to move out of their place and move in with him. Set over the course of roughly a 24 hour period, Marty’s chances at happiness dependent on him overcoming the forces of comfort and perceived duty to his bachelor buddies and his mother made for an edge-of-my-seat cinematic treat. “We ain’t such dogs as we think we are.” Goddamn! I was feeling hella romantic and sweet after seeing this film. Hey, apart from the awful-looking “Hope Springs,” there are no major romantic releases anywhere near this weekend. Need a great date movie, make it “Marty.” He won an Oscar for that performance for goodness sake! If you don’t leave with a smile on your face, you’re broken. But then, maybe you should stay for “The Wild Bunch.” 🙂

And hey, with Rob and Kristen broken up, we need “Marty” now more than ever. Don’t give up on love!

————long dash line this time, dan

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