Thursday, September 3, 2009

And in this corner ...

By Kelli

What protagonists would you most like to see in a cage match? Why? Who would win?

One of Raymond Chandler's oft-quoted lines about writing is "When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand." For me, that translates to, "When in doubt, write about movies!" So--drum roll, please--here are some cinema match-ups I'd like to see, appropriately handicapped for your betting pleasure!

The Battle of the Femme Fatales

Who's the nastiest, bitchiest, most fatal of the femmes? How about a duel between blonde and deadly Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity (as portrayed by the great Barbara Stanwyck) and deliciously evil Veda Pierce Forrester (played by Ann Blythe in Mildred Pierce).

Both babes are based on James M. Cain novels, so it's an even coin toss, though my money's on Veda at 5 to 2--after all, she takes down Mildred (Joan Crawford), and as Bette Davis could tell you, that ain't easy.

Dirty Cops

"Dirty Harry" Callahan: one of San Francisco's finest. Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle and his porkpie hat: NYPD Black and Blue. West Coast/East Coast Irish cops, Eastwood and Hackman at the top of their game ... who will win? Will Popeye make Harry's day, or will Doyle's car-chase abilities elude the Magnum 44?

For this match, I'm handicapping for Doyle and his French Connection. Odds are 3 to 1 ... he's not as pretty as Harry, and he just might have been a tad dirtier.

DeNiro vs ... DeNiro?

"I got some bad ideas in my head ..." How about Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle in one corner and Cape Fear's Max Cady in the other? Which DeNiro emerges triumphant? Or do they both get wiped out by Al Pacino's Tony Montana in Scarface?

Let's make it a family rumble and add Vito and Michael Corleone. The Last Mafioso standing? Hey--in Family Feud, my money's always on Brando. Even odds!

Bondsmen and Bondswomen

You know the routine ... Connery, Lazenby (yes, he counts!), Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, and of course, Craig. I confess ... I own every Bond movie, even the original Casino Royale with David Niven and Connery's one-off, Never Say Never.

Which of these 007 incarnations would survive a cage match with the others? No contest. Connery, of course--he may be a senior citizen, but he's all Scot and the field's clear favorite.

And finally, let's round out the face-offs with some women from the Bond franchise. It's a long list of characters and actresses ... Sophie Marceau, Ursula Andress, Michelle Yeoh, Maude Adams and Jill St. John, among many others. But if I have to place a bet, I'll go with a boxed exacta on just three: to show, Jill St. John (she's damn smart); to place, Michelle Yeoh (wonderful action star); and to win--Honor Blackman. Nobody, but nobody, has ever gotten away with saying "I'm Pussy Galore" before or since. 'Nuff said.


Can't close this week without thanking the wonderful Book Blogger Appreciation Week folks and all the extended family of Criminal Minds commentators and bloggers and supporters for nominating us for Best New Blog and Best Collaborative Blog. We're very honored!!

I think the entire gang of CMS will be at Bouchercon this year, so please stop by and say hi to one and all!!


About Me: I like to whistle. (Little Known Fact #810)

My second book, CITY OF DRAGONS, releases February 2, 2010, from Minotaur.

My first, NOX DORMIENDA, won the Bruce Alexander Award and is a Macavity finalist.


Jen Forbus said...

I'll take the underdog, because I just can't go against my beloved Dirty Harry! :) I don't think I could watch those movies enough, Kel! But, I'm with you on Sean Connery/Bond. He simply embodies Bond...he IS Bond. Connery can simply do no wrong in my book.

And I simply CAN NOT wait to see you all at Bouchercon! Woo Hoo!! :) 43 days - yeah, yeah, yeah!! But don't look for me until Friday.

Bobby Mangahas said...

REALLY???? George Lazenby counts?? Okay, fine. But in a battle royal of Bonds, he's gonna be the first to fall.

You know, I'm still really bummed about having to miss B'Con this year :-[

Shane Gericke said...

Lazenby does NOT count, and neither does Roger Moore. Sean's the man ... and so is Daniel Craig. I loved Craig in his first Bond movie. The second movie sucked so bad I couldn't stand it. But he's much more along the lines of how I pictured Bond from the Ian Fleming books.

You're missing BC, RJ? Bummer! But we'll hoist a drink or two in your honor.

Bobby Mangahas said...


I think Brosnan did a pretty fair job too, Moore and Dalton were just...bleh.

Well, I appreciate you all having a round or two for me. :-]

Kelli Stanley said...

We can't wait either, Jen!! ) And yeah, Clint as Dirty Harry is so iconic!! That was a tough, tough call ... I love Eastwood. But I love Hackman, too (he even made Lex Luthor irresistible!) ;)

And Sean Connery--the man's got IT. Whatever IT is. BTW, Tom Jones has it, too. I think it's a Scotland/Wales thing. ;)


Kelli Stanley said...

RJ, my dear, we're going to miss you!! But as long as we get to see you in San Francisco next year ...

We'll be thinking of you--and like Shane says, raise a pint in your honor!!


Kelli Stanley said...

Ah, Shane, Shane ... of course Lazenby has to count, because if he doesn't, neither does Diana Rigg, and she was one awesome Bond woman!! ;)

I love Daniel Craig, too--completely embodies the physicality, brutality and "blunt instrument" that's the Fleming Bond. But let it be said that Brosnan resurrected -- actually saved -- the character ... and looked damn good while doing so. :) My favorite Brosnan: Tomorrow Never Dies. And who can beat Judi Dench as M?? She'd take 'em all down in a cage match!! ;)


Bobby Mangahas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobby Mangahas said...

Kelli ---

I don't know if I can promise San Francisco this early, but hopefully I'll see you at T'Fest (and of course Boston for your wildly successful book tour for City of Dragons. ;-]

Kelli Stanley said...

Definitely Boston, RJ! I wouldn't miss it or you!! :)


Unknown said...

Lazenby counts if only by virtue of the fact that his story was one of the strongest (at least until the Brosnan/Craig films).

One of my worst moments of real life noir was back in the 80s. Reagan was running for President. A major network played OHMSS, which ends with a tragic moment. Followed immediately by an ad for the RNC. It was chilling! We thought we were imagining it, but then David Brenner opened the Tonight Show right after the long, law&order vibing ad with a joke about tanks. He saw it too!

I always thought that if Joanna Lumley had gotten into the front row of Bond girls from the back "chorus", she'd have kicked Bond's ass!

Kelli Stanley said...

Scary stuff--and not just Lazenby as Bond. ;)

I sure wish Connery had had a chance to work with Diana Rigg ... and I loved Joanna Lumley! OHMSS had one of the best villain lairs of all, too ...

Hmmm ... makes me want to listen to my Bond soundtrack. My favorite is, of course ... "Goldfinger."! (Gotta love Shirley Bassey).


Shane Gericke said...

Ooooh, Goldfinger. GREAT song for a movie. I still listen to it when I can. I liked Brosnan. Didn't care for Moore, though. Ditto Dalton, RJ, you're right. Meh to both.

Shane Gericke said...

And Diana Rigg was so hot on the Avengers. At least to this then-very-young Riter Guy. Another great theme song, the Avengers.