Authors, Entrepreneurs, and other Creative Individuals Pursuing Their Dreams
That’s the title of the last of the “Dirty Harry” movies with Clint Eastwood. The Dead Pool has a cast of “not-yet-famous” actors, the characters played by Liam Neeson, Patricia Clarkson and Jim Carrey. That kind of movie was my favorite brand for many years. After a week of pressure in my business and family life, it was always a treat to watch a movie where I didn’t need to think. The hero would come in, assess the problem, blow the hell out of all the bad guys and win the heart of whatever fair maiden was in the female lead. Case closed.
The “Dirty Harry” movies were a staple, spanning the gap from 1971-1988, along with shows such as The French Connection, the Charles Bronson films known as the Death Wish series, and others. Among them was a movie starring Lee Marvin, one of my all-time favorite actors, called The Dirty Dozen. Oddly enough, Lee Marvin died at age 63, my current calendar age. If I believed in signs and omens, which I don’t, it might get my attention.
Without necessarily knowing why, whenever I’ve been asked about my favorite movie of all time, The Dirty Dozen is the one I’ve selected. Something about the character played by Lee Marvin, his viscosity, and variations of it in other characters, captured a part of me.
My second favorite film ever, perhaps to the surprise of most people, is Hannie Caulder, a low-budget film starring Raquel Welch and Robert Culp. What caught my attention was the inner strength of both as they fought off a rising urge from each to attach to the other, while tacitly acknowledging and accepting the flaws in the other … but not their selves. Culp’s near final scene as he lies with a knife in his belly in a cowboy town and tells his costar, “Hannie, get me out of here!”, wreaked of a strong man refusing to accept being incapacitated. It was also a moment where both refused to accept the finality of life foisted upon them.
It heralded a love that would never know completion, an event that went into sequels in my own life four times. Misleading as it may be, since I’ve been married four times, only one of those sequels involved anyone to whom I was married.
The common theme in all these cinematic productions, from my perspective, is the old adage, “You can never go back.” That was my thought when I decided a few days ago to write this post. Last night, May 25th, I learned the expression doesn’t always apply. On a whim, I chose to watch The Dirty Dozen. Was it exactly as I remembered? Did I feel the same things this time? Was I glad I did it?
No, who can say, and yes. Those are my replies.
The anticipated letdown never happened. Instead, I came away from it with a heightened appreciation for the story and was entertained all over again. It’s possible the “dozen” part of the title is even the number of times I’ve watched that movie, although many years have gone by between this viewing and the last one before it.
I was given cause to believe, no matter what your predisposition to homeless people might be, you may be in for a pleasant surprise by open-mindedly talking with one of us. Just to see what it’s like. You’ll learn we are, essentially, a rerun of your own bad experiences … except your life traumas turned out better than ours did.
I’ll always be a homeless guy as long as there are legal Americans without a roof, a bed and food to eat.
I’m just sayin’.
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