While in Lisbon, we were heading over to a Portuguese barbecue that the organization set up for the journalists Friday night. On our way over on the chartered bus, I was talking with my friend Stewart Wolpin who beyond being an accomplished tech reporter and official historian for the and Consumer Electronics trade organization, is a highly-knowledgeable film historian (I believe he used to work for the American Movie Classics channel) and has even written a book on baseball -- so you can see why we get along.
Stewart and I were talking about movies on the bus, and I brought up that the “actor” in Godfather Part II who plays the senator grilling Michael Corelone at the Senate hearing and mentioned that, wonderful and memorable as he is in the scene, he is not an actor at all, but a famous screenwriter, William Bowers, who Francis Ford Coppola knew from his days at a student at UCLA, and was sort of a gregarious mentor, and Coppola figured he'd be perfect for the scene, which he was. When I went to UCLA for graduate school in screenwriting, my professor Bill Froug thought I should meet Bowers, because he'd written several well-known comedy westerns, and I'd just written one for class. So, Bill Froug contacted William Bowers who set up a dinner for me at his house. He was a wonderful guy, very gracious. And two of his most famous films were, as I noted, comedy westerns,Support Your Local Gunfighter and The Sheepman which stars Glenn Ford. (Another famous film he wrote was the classic, The Gunfighter which starred Gregory Peck.)
Surprisingly, even to himself, Stewart had never seen The Sheepman, but said he’d look for it when he got back from Portugal, which was yesterday. And...in today's Movie Moment – and there it is, on TMC, not only today, but in less than two hours as I write this. (It airs at 11:15 AM in Los Angeles, 2:15 PM in the East.)
If you haven't seen it, and you like this sort of thing, set your VCR.
And continuing Fun with Movies, immediately preceding The Sheepman -- on right now as I type -- and the day after returning from world travel -- is probably my all-time favorite movie, Around the World in 80 Days.