Thursday, February 18, 2010

Random Acts of Thursday - Step right up, folks!

Ah, the circus. I always loved when the circus came to town when I was a kid, it was a once-a-year thing. Wild animals, motorcycles in rings, trapeze artists and clowns. Somewhere around fifth or sixth grade, my dad discovered that one of his one-time co-workers was now the head clown at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, so we trekked up there and both my sister and I got to be part of a magic act and meet some of the other circus folk.

Ah, the fair.
I always loved the fair as a kid, too. It wasn't until my teen years, however, that I ventured into the midway, experienced the sights and sounds at night. The fair was the place to people watch, better than the mall and better than downtown Milwaukee, for my money.
Carnival and circus culture has touched so much in this world, including the art of film. Obviously, I got to thinking about this after last weekend's trip to the Florida State Fair, and it's amazing to me how many movies I've seen over the years that feature the art of live, gripping entertainment. Freakshows, circuses, little county fairs, street performers, the thrill of traveling entertainers.
Like this guy, our little pygmy fire-eater from Tuesday. Doesn't he look like he wants to be friends?
If there was a decent living to be made at it for someone of my limited talents, I'd run off and join the circus or a side show tomorrow, or start raising fair-worthy pigs and chickens. Sadly, the most I can expect is to write about them, being a practical man and all.
But now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, if you would direct your attention to the center ring, Thursday rules apply. This means study hard, show your work, and enjoy something battered and deep-fried. I give you a few of the actors (generally not the main actor) and a memorable scene, you give me the film in which all three appeared in each case. I do grade on a curve, remember, so even if you don't get them all, you'll have learned something.

Jill St. John and Charles Gray - Jill eludes federal officers by sneaking into a sideshow act where a woman transforms into a giant gorilla.

Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryce - A traveling carnival which includes an age-altering merry-go-round.

Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia - A wish is granted by a coin-operated fortune teller on the boardwalk.

Geoffrey Lewis and Sondra Locke - Wild West show performs in a circus tent made from American flags.

David Ogden Stiers and Barnard Hughes - Characters interact with a waylaid physician during the local squash festival.

Louis Jourdain and Maude Adams - A circus is used as an unknowing front for nuclear disaster.

Bernadette Peters and M. Emmet Walsh - Character runs off to the circus with his dog to avoid a madman.

Stockard Channing and Edd Byrnes - Students attend a carnival on the last day of high school, declaring their eternal friendship.

Yes, I make you jump through hoops and tie yourself in knots over these things, but it's worth it. Really, it is. Have at it!


MJenks said...

Awesome, I know two of them without having to look them up.

The third one is directed by Penny Marshall.

The seventh one features a character born as a poor, black child.

See, I didn't give it away for anyone else. Just extra hints.

both have one word titles

Elliott said...

You are, of course, correct on both counts. Sadly, nobody else has taken the time to take advantage of your magnificent hints.

calicobebop said...

Uh, I get the "Big" reference but that's about it.

I once saw a movie called "Freaks" but only made it half-way through as I was in a somewhat altered state of mind and started freaking out a little. Ok, a lot.

Carnies scare me.

Samsmama said...

Something *ahem* shamed me into commenting.

Yeah, I got "Big", and also got "Grease", even without the extra hints. I'm going to think on that Jason Robards one for a bit. I feel like I know it.

Samsmama said...

Oh oh oh!!! Something Wicked This Way Comes! I knew I knew it, but had Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil stuck in my head.

Elliott said...

Calico, I've only made it through little bits of 'Freaks'. Need to catch that one at some point.

Smama, what do you mean 'shame'? My comment was only meant that because I have so few followers, it's like we're family. And I never saw 'Midnight...Evil' but really?

Samsmama said...

NO! Not you! The *other* guy. Ack. My attempt at humor has failed.

No, not that the movies are at ALL similar, just the long title thing had me boggled for a minute.

tracey said...

All I've got is Big & Grease. That sounds dirty - sorry. Too much Merlot. Anyhoo - I'd have to Google the rest & I'm nothin' if I'm not honest, so, um, yeah, that's all.

Elliott said...

You're allowed to Google, Thursdays are open-Google tests.

tracey said...

by the way, your little fire eating pygmy is terrifying. sweet baby james - he looks like he eats puppies. thank god he's a fire eater and not a clown. i would never have gotten over that.

Elliott said...

I purposely avoided posting any clowns. And thanks to you, I'll do my best to remember the clown disclaimer should I do so in the future.

Leanne said...

Thank you for not posting pictures of clowns. I would rather see a picture of a geek biting the head off a chicken.

Since you said open Google, I'll take a run at it...

Diamonds Are Forever
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Bronco Billy
Doc Hollywood - visited Micanopy, Fl shortly after this movie was made...
The Jerk! I should have known this - I have a standee of Steve Martin from this movie...

That was fun! And a good way to avoid what I should really be doing...

Elliott said...

That's all of them!

I had to look up standee, learn something new every day.

Nej said...

Diamonds are Forever, Big, Doc Hollywood, Octopussy (shiver), The Jerk and Grease.

gotta look up the others

Be nice and share!

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