Black Lanterns Wail: RIP Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith. June 1, 1926 – July 3, 2012

It may be hard to tell, but I grew up in the South. Texas to be precise, I know, strange isn’t it, but that is beyond the point. I was raised to understand believe only a few things:

  1. Gravy goes under the Chicken Fried Steak
  2. You deep fry chicken. Pressure Cooking is for the weak and lazy.
  3. Home Fries are not French Fries, but both are good.
  4. When you order a Coke, you then have to say what kind, i.e. Dr Pepper, Sprite etc…
  5. When in doubt Andy knows best.

Yesterday was a sad day, we lost our true Sheriff.

Andy Griffith was an institution, a member of the old guard that never seemed to preach to you. You knew what was right because it was something Andy did. He was a good Pa, and good Nephew and a good Friend.

But before he was Andy Taylor, he was a master story teller…

On Football:

On Shakespeare:

On Agriculture:

On Religion:

On American History:

When I was heading in to middle school, my dad sat my sisters and I down and made us watch two movies. He informed us that one was a comedy and the other a drama, and that both starred Andy Griffith. Prior to making the Andy Griffith show, he did not have an extensive career. He wasn’t a slouch, mind you, just a a really fast rise to fame.

The two movies in question were No Time For Sergeants, and A Face in the Crowd. Both are now considered classic movies with A Face in the Crowd being entered in the National Film Record n 2008.

I can tell ya, that I did not think much of A Face in the Crowd when I first saw it, but now I do enjoy it for what it is. No Time For Sergeants, I loved from the start.

As we get older, we start to see the pillars of our youth crumble to the ground. One such pillar fell yesterday, but I will always remember the whistling…

It’s time for me to pass this on to you folks

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Black Lanterns Wail: RIP Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron. May 19, 1941 – June 26, 2012

This might come as a shock, but I am a big fan of stupid RomComs.

This isn’t an idle thing either, I tend to watch a lot of movies: in theaters, on DVD or on cable, and while they tend to mostly be SciFi and Fantasy, I also spend a few hours each Wednesday to watch RomComs. I understand that that is a little weird, concidering that there are a lot of “better” genres out there and that I don’t get paid to watch movie, so I have no obligation to watch, what are essentially, movies out side my interest zones.

But, think back on the last thirty years and name the best comedies you’ve seen? Just a sort list, five to ten…

I’ll put good money down that When Harry Met Sally… is on that list. If that were all she had written, she would still get a show case at next years Oscars, and possibly still get a Black Lantern article, but that was not all she wrote.

My Blue Heaven is quite probably the last great Steve Martin Character Comedy, it may be the last thing he was actually funny in and is hands down the best non-franchise Rick Moranis movie ever (come back Rick we all really miss you…).

Sleepless in Seattle, while not my cup of tea, is certainly one of the defining Chick Flicks of the 90’s.

Recently, I was able to introduce my favorite RomCom to RedSarah. You’ve Got Mail, is a remake of Shop Around the Corner, and could only be remade in the age of emails and the ubiquitous AOL call sign, but is wonderful in its secondary characters.


I know that I am rambling on a bit, and Nora’s efforts of late have been less than stellar, but I still feel the loss of the person who wrote the movie I was watching when I learned about my first nephew, that sorta thing sticks with a cinephile.

You will be missed, Nora. There should have been more.


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