murder

Music Monday: The Ballad of Captain Kidd 1701

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Captain William Kidd Image One
Captain William Kidd
Artist: James Thornhill
Image Credit: Wikipedia & Wikimedia

Three hundred, twenty years ago, yesterday, Scottish Sea Captain William Kidd was hanged at Execution Dock in London at low tide:

[P]roceedings against [Kidd] had been long and notorious. The actions for which he was tried had been still more notorious, one involving murder and five [involving] piracy. His career had been brief, brilliant in the beginning [but], catastrophic at the end. The general excitement at the time of his execution and, all during his imprisonment in London, had been at [a] fever pitch. Gossip went to work and, the wildest of tales of Kidd’s wickedness and wealth were believed. […] Upon his death, numerous accounts, both factual and fictitious, appeared.

William Hallam Bonner
University of Buffalo
American Literature, Vol. 15, No. 4, Jan. 1944
Journal Storage

Kidd was commissioned by King William III (William of Orange) as a Privateer and carried a license to hunt pirates, reserving 10% of any bounty acquired for the Crown. His murder charge was the result of the killing of crew member William Moore, his gunner, during a near mutiny.

Of all the things written and expressed, the ballad Captain Kid’s Farewel to the Seas (or the Famous Pirate’s Lament) was the only thing to survive. It was quite popular in the Colonies where the Captain had a home and may be considered America’s first folk legend. There is a British version and an American version, which changed the Captain’s first name to Robert for some strange reason and, several contemporary covers. The last website, below, has his name as John. He had to be hanged, twice, as the rope broke the first time. ~Vic

Additional Reading:
Captain Kidd Lyrics (David Kidd Website/Wayback Machine)
Captain Kidd Song (Wikipedia)
The Ballad of Captain Kidd (Chivalry Website Archive)
Wizard of the Seas (Ex-Classics Website)

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Ten-Pick Three-Jesse Stone Series

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Stone Cold IMDb & Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Ten pick.

Category: Movie Series
Films: Jesse Stone

Chief Stone: “I *know* who killed them.”
Captain Healy: “Do you have a motive?”
Chief Stone: “No.”
Captain Healy: “Witnesses?”
Chief Stone: “No.”
Captain Healy: “Weapon?”
Chief Stone: “No.”
Captain Healy: “Hell, I’ll warm up a cell right now.”

Jesse Stone is a character in a series of novels written by Robert B. Parker (the creator of Spenser from the TV Series Spenser: For Hire, the film series and the recent Netflix movie). Portrayed by Tom Selleck, the first four films are based on actual novels but, produced and shown out of order. The last five films are a collaboration between Tom Selleck, Michael Brandman and Ronni Kern.

As the series begins, Stone is approximately 35 years old (despite Selleck’s age) and is a former short stop in the minor leagues, leaving the career due to a shoulder injury. After a painful divorce from his beautiful actress wife Jennifer, he begins to drink heavily and is asked to resign from his job with LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division. Traveling to the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts (loosely based on Marblehead), for an interview to be Chief of Police, he is visibly drunk. Thinking him easy to control, the president of the town council, hires him, anyway. Stone realizes that the president is corrupt and, the town has serious issues with the mob, money laundering and murder. Throughout each movie, except for one, Jesse & Jenn talk on the phone.

Bridge To The House IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon
Joe the Dog as Reggie

Characters (regular ones):
Kohl Sudduth as Ofc. Luther “Suitcase” Simpson (nicknamed by Stone after first baseman/outfielder Harry Simpson)
Viola Davis as Ofc. Molly Crane (first four movies)
Kathy Baker as Ofc. Rose Gammon
Vito Rezza as Ofc. Anthony D’Angelo
Stephen McHattie as Captain Healy, head of the Massachusetts State Police Homicide Division
William Devane as Dr. Dix (cop turned therapist)
Saul Rubinek as Hasty Hathaway (former town council president)
William Sadler as Gino Fish (crime boss)
Sylvia Villagran (first movie) & Gil Anderson (voice of Jenn)

Additional characters:
Polly Shannon as Abby Taylor (first two movies)
Stephanie March as Cissy Hathaway (second movie)
Leslie Hope as Sydney Greenstreet (with MSP/5th & last movie)
Gloria Reuben as Thelma Gleffey (last three movies)

This series was never theatrically released. These are made-for-TV movies (CBS & Hallmark) and are still in development. These are great movies. ~Vic

Additional Reading:
List of Novels
Robert B. Parker
(Author’s Legacy Website/09-17-1932 ~ 01-18-2010)

Stone Cold 2005 Trailer

Night Passage 2006 Trailer (Prequel Movie)

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Nine-Pick One-Infamous 2006

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Infamous Poster IMDb & Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Nine pick.

Category: Historical/Biographical/Political
Film: Infamous

Gore Vidal: […on Truman’s voice…] “To the lucky person who has never heard it, I can only say…imagine what a brussel sprout would sound like, if a brussel sprout could talk.”

Truman Capote: […on Smith & Hickock…] “When you’re talking to them, they seem like perfectly nice boys. To be frank, I’m much more concerned for my safety around Norman Mailer.”

This is the second movie on Truman Capote regarding his foray into the Clutter Family murders. Released August 31, 2006, at the Venice Film Festival and widely on October 13, 2006, this film stood in the shadow of Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s Capote and his Academy Award for Best Actor. Unlike its predecessor, this film, with its $13 million budget, lost money. That being said, despite Hoffman’s turn, Toby Jones is no slouch and his interpretation has its own unique depth. Jones was awarded the London Critics’ Circle Film Award for British Actor of the Year. I found this film to be fascinating and quite entertaining, with parts difficult to watch. Bubbly Sandra Bullock brings forth the subdued, Southern To Kill A Mockingbird novelist Harper Lee. Much of the storytelling is done in mock interviews with the actors, in character, talking about their interactions with Truman. I seem to have a thing for underdog/obscure movies. ~Vic

Written and directed by Douglas McGrath, the movie is based on George Plimpton’s book Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career (1997). Produced by John Wells & Christine Vachon, (a pre-James Bond) Daniel Craig is Perry Smith, Peter Bogdanovich is Bennett Cerf (Random House Publishing Co-Founder), Jeff Daniels is Alvin Dewey (Kansas Bureau of Investigation Special Agent), Hope Davis is Slim Keith (ex-wife of Producer & Director Howard Hawks), Gwyneth Paltrow has a singing cameo as Kitty Dean (a Peggy Lee clone and possible reference to The Royal Family play), Isabella Rossellini is Marella Agnelli (Italian Princess and wife of the Chairman of Fiat Automobiles), Juliet Stevenson is Diana Vreeland (Editor-in-Chief of Vogue), Sigourney Weaver is Babe Paley (wife of CBS founder William Paley), Lee Pace is Richard Hickock, John Benjamin Hickey is Jack Dunphy (Capote’s partner) and Michael Panes is Gore Vidal (writer and Democrat party candidate).

Toby Jones Sandra Bullock IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

“Why shouldn’t there be a fizzy, comedic take on the naughty adventures of the Park Avenue gadabout as he fashioned In Cold Blood […]? Why not a movie that concentrates on the contrast between the writer’s frivolous party-boy side and the brutal murders in Kansas, the exotic and colorful tropical specimen who becomes a fish-out-of water when he jumps from his luxurious high-rise swan pond into the Midwestern plains?

[A]fter In Cold Blood, [Capote] never published another major work. Out of career desperation as much as anything else, he sold out his friendships with these […] people, publishing gossipy stories about them in an Esquire excerpt from Answered Prayers in 1976 and was banished from their lives.

[T]he movie centers on the symbiotic relationship between Truman and Perry, pondering the extent of the seduction and, who seduced whom.

Toby Jones inhabits Truman as if he were to the character born, a livelier and more perversely ebullient man than Phillip Seymour Hoffman‘s version in Capote (2005).”

Truman On The Rocks
Roger Ebert
October 12, 2006

Trivia Bits:
Mark Walberg was to play Perry Smith, originally but, dropped out. Mark Ruffalo was next but, dropped out, as well.
♦ Sigourney Weaver portrays the wife of a CBS Executive and is the daughter of NBC Executive Pat Weaver.
Michelle Pfeiffer was to play Slim Keith, originally.

Additional Reading:
The Story Behind A Non-Fiction Novel (George Plimpton/New York Times Archive/1997)

Warner Brothers Trailer

TV Tuesday: Cross of Fire 1989

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Cross of Fire Image
Image Credit: vidimovie.com

Thirty years ago, today, Part I of the mini-series Cross of Fire aired on NBC. Based on the kidnapping, rape and murder of Madge Oberholtzer, it starred John Heard, Mel Harris, David Morse, George Dzundza and Lloyd Bridges. Directed by Paul Wendkos and written by Robert Crais, it was filmed in Kansas, though the historical events occurred in Indiana.

John Heard plays the part of D. C. Stephenson, the Grand Dragon of the Indiana Branch of KKK.

The two-part TV movie Cross of Fire is set in the 1920s, when the Ku Klux Klan was at the height of its political power in Indiana. Part One, originally telecast November 5, 1989, details the resurgence of the Klan (which had been created during the Reconstruction era) under the leadership of David “Steve” Stephenson […]. Cloaking himself in the twin veils of patriotism and morality, Stephenson rails against such “deviates” as blacks, Jews and Catholics, gaining political clout and financial kickbacks as his “invisible empire” grows. Part Two […], telecast November 6, traces the fall of Stephenson…not because his followers have wised up but, because of a 1925 rape and murder charge.

[From Allmovie]

Madge Oberholtzer’s Dying Declaration [Warning: graphic descriptions]
Stephenson’s Murder Conviction
Aftermath and Fallout

♠ The scandal reached the governor. He was indicted and tried but, the conclusion was a hung jury. He wasn’t retried due to the statute of limitations but, left office disgraced with his political career destroyed.

Primetime Emmy Award