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November 17, 2007 10:22am
Bill Margold Talks About Self
Source: Cinema Seen
by: Bill Margold

11-22-07 Cinema Seen by William Margold

One of my more vexing sentiments is: "As long as you spell my name correctly… I don’t care if you put it on an outhouse wall." and so on Wednesday evening (November 28), at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go in West Hollywood, I am being given something called the Career Achievement as a Movie Critic award---during an event called the Hollywood F.A.M.E. Awards (www.hollywoodfameawards.com).

However, because I’ve noticed that a dress code ("no tennis shoes") has been recently added to their website, I may well be attending the event from the outside… looking in… if I am caught wearing "comfortable" footwear. (In fact… with the rarest of exceptions, the only time that I will ever wear my leather shoes again---I have a pair of Florsheim Imperials purchased in 1999 for $125 when I visited Washington D.C.---to plead a respectable position for the Adult Entertainment Industry in its eternal battle to gain equal footing in the eyes of society---is if one of my enemies dies, and I attend its funeral just to make sure that it is dead.)

But perhaps none of the hulking security guards at the Whiskey-a Go-Go (to which I’ve never been) will notice what is lurking below my pants during the impending sure to be hectic evening… and I will be able to join the myriad of others being honored throughout the affair---including an old friend named Norm Lubow---whose "The Hellemarketer" is being feted as the Independent Feature Film Screenplay of the Year.

Also slated for recognition (posthumously) is legendary film producer Stanley Kramer, which sort of makes the whole event spin like a runaway merry-go-round of life’s most remarkable coincidences, as it was Mr. Kramer’s High Noon in 1952 that ignited my passion to pursue a long and circuitous reviewing, criticizing, and most importantly commenting upon movies career that has spanned well over five decades, and has encompassed 1000’s of columns in such venues as student newspapers at Santa Monica City College and Cal State Northridge, community dailies (including the Santa Monica Outlook), numerous "underground" publications, and of course… my current home since 1972---the LAXpress by way of the Hollywood Press.

On a Tuesday evening in September 1952, while our first television set was being installed in our apartment in Santa Monica, my mother took me over to the Dome Theatre in Ocean Park to see a western with Gary Cooper. It was black-and-white little movie that pitted a weary sheriff (Cooper, who would become my first screen idol) against the seemingly overwhelming odds of four revenge-minded outlaws. And when Cooper reached out to the townspeople they turned their backs on him. So he had to go it alone… to the haunting strains of Dimitri Tiomkin’s score… as the incessant ticking of the clock on the wall of his office headed him toward the showdown time that is the film’s title. And while not overly action-packed, although the gunning down of one of the outlaws in a barn was a death scene that I would reenact repeatedly on the playground for years to come, I found myself consumed by the tension of the piece. And on the way home… I told my mother that it "Was the best film that I had ever seen." I was nine years old, and my fate was sealed. Over 54 years later… "High Noon" stills remains of all-time Favorite. However… the bold bloody ballet that is Sam Peckinpah’s "The Wild Bunch" joined "High Noon" in a tie for the top spot on my list in 1969. (for the record… the balance of my Favorite Five are "The Magnificent Seven" "The Great Escape" and "Ride the High Country.")

The recurring themes that run throughout that quintet of films are the cornerstones of my life: Truth, Honor, Loyalty and Friendship.

My Cinema Seen column, which makes up the very valuable back page of the LAXpress, is a weekly chance for me to fashion a thought-provoking piece about how the movies (and other forms of entertainment) that I see affect me in relationship to the surprisingly diverse life that I have led (take a peek at www.billmargold.com), and that I am currently leading, which for the sake of geographical proximity alone, has already resulted in my being honored (in 2002) less than 100 caddy-corner yards away from the Whiskey-a Go-Go in front of the Hustler Store.

And so, with a very limited amount of humility, but nevertheless with considerable gratitude to all those who have allowed me to fill up their pages with my insights---that after making sure that I am still in cement for being an Adult Industry Actor and Activist on one side of Sunset Blvd.---I will walk (in tennis shoes, most likely a new pair in the honor of the evening, and because my current ones are pretty well worn down) very slowly (my knees aren’t what they used to be), and very cautiously (remember those enemies), across the street to get a plaque for being a Movie Critic. Hopefully… it will have my name spelled correctly on it.

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