Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Strolling Through Medfield Campus

Tonight due to impending storms I decided to visit treadmill theater. I selected a DVD that I picked up recently and had not yet watched.

Disney’s The Strongest Man in the World (1975) starring Kurt Russell. Now my first thoughts when considering tonight’s post were to attempt a comparison of Disney’s Medfield College, to Animal House’s Faber College. Early in the film we see Dexter Riley sneaking a cow into the school lab.

By comparison over at Faber College, Bluto and his pals sneak a horse into Dean Wormer’s office. Two different results follow. The cow goes on to accidentally drink a formula that makes it produce gallons and gallons of milk. The horse unfortunately suffers a heart attack and dies in Wormer’s office.

It would also be easy to talk about the many recognizable actors and one particular actress in this film. Actors such as Cesar Romero, Phil Silvers, Dick Van Patton, Eve Arden. (You would remember her as Principle McGee in Grease) Other character actors who appeared in many films yet never really had the same level of success. Joe Flynn, Harold Gould, Ronnie Shell, and Raymond Bailey. These are all very familiar faces to me although I had to look up some of their names.

But instead of going deep into all that, let me just say a few things about Kurt Russell. Kurt is an actor whom I’ve grown up with so to speak. Much like today’s generation is growing up with Shia LaBeouf who starred in the Disney series Even Steven’s and will soon be appearing in the upcoming Indiana Jones Movie Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

But let’s get back to Kurt. In 1998 he was inducted as a Disney legend. The following two paragraphs come from the Disney legends website.

At 15, Kurt was cast in his first Disney picture "Follow Me, Boys!" starring fellow Legend Fred MacMurray. Walt Disney took an instant liking to Kurt and signed him to an exclusive Studio contract, making him the Studio's teen star of the 1960s and 70s. Kurt made 12 Disney features, in all, including "The Barefoot Executive," "The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit," "Charley and the Angel" and "Superdad." In the 1968 Disney musical "The One and Only, Genuine Original Family Band," Kurt met a young dancer named Goldie Hawn, who later became his real-life leading lady.

In 1970, he narrated the animated short, "Dad, Can I Borrow the Car?" and later voiced Copper, the young hunting dog, in the animated feature "The Fox and the Hound." Kurt also appeared in Disney television shows, including "Willie and the Yank" and "The Secret of Boyne Castle."

Now for some reason the legends page could use a little updating. It does not include the two most recent films that Kurt starred in for Disney. Miracle (2004) and Sky High (2005)

Growing up I enjoyed watching Kurt in many different movies and on television. I remember seeing watching him as Jungle Boy on Gilligan’s Island and later in my teen years as Snake Plissken in Escape from New York. Some of his other films I have enjoyed are Used Cars, The Best of Times, Big Trouble in Little China, Overboard, Backdraft, Captain Ron, Tombstone, and Stargate.

Snake Pliskin vs Capt. Ron?

I must confess, I wish I had not watched one of his most recent films. In Death Proof Kurt really takes a twisted departure from what I am used to seeing him play. Although I do like many of Quentin Tarantino's films and I knew this film would have its dark edges, this one was not for me.

Kurt has entertained us for decades now, and hopefully he will continue to do so for years to come.

1 comment:

DebWDW said...

Good info, Jeff. You are my movie go-to guy!