Archie "Arch" Danielson

Hello and welcome back to my newspaper column entitled "The Silver Screen." As you may recall, in my newspaper column I often will tell you about which movies will put the brass in your buttons and which of the motion picture entertainments are not worth an old shoe's worth of nickels.

But here today I will talk about a movie called Evitas which is a movie about a lady in the foreign country of South America, and she is the leader of this country and the country goes to war with the Turks or something. I do not approve of the Turks, as they are an unruly race of tinkers and layabouts who would just as soon kill you as cook you dinner.


And who can forget the Battle of Trafalgar, made famous in song and story and in history books, when Our Fighting Men were pinned down at the beach by the exploding shells of the Turks and their muskets before the boys were able to sail back home to Circular Key, and all their legs and arms had been blown off and they now only had stumps? Except maybe in Evitas it wasn't the Turks who they were at war with. In fact, I am confusing Evita with another movie. I was in the Great War. The only true friends are those friends made in war, it is said!

Evitas is a movie currently playing which stars an up-an-coming ingenue who has taken the name of Manodda. I do not know why she calls herself that. If I had a daughter I would give her a better name than that, and if she changed her name to Manodda she would taste my belt! But I do not have any children. My wife, Toots, used to say that a house full of children is a happy home, but I did not agree with her because at that time in my life I was not thinking clearly because I had just returned from the Great War, and I had seen enough killing and the last thing I wanted to see was the miracle of birth. But now I realize I was crazy and under the spell of the drink.

Evitas also stars a young Spaniard named Tony Bandelerro who is a fine actor, though in this particular film (Evitas) he was too swarthy for my tastes. I much prefer a good Bowery Boys serial to the movies they make today. Back in the days of Hollywood, before they started making all the movies, they only made a few movies but they were better movies than the movies they make today, except for Regarding Henry, which was a fine film. Regarding Henry was about a man who goes and gets himself shot in the stamper. And the Bowery Boys would always solve the crimes and give back to their community. Such ideals are rarely found in today's youth, who sit on my grass and play jacks, even though I have told them time and time again not to sit on my front lawn and play jacks because I have spent a long time cutting my lawn and they should go home for dinner, anyway.


There was one scene in Evitas in which Mr. Bandelerro started singing for no apparent reason. Then he jumped through a window, and something blew up and hurt my ears. I do not know why they cannot turn down the volume in the bijous. When I am looking at the television machine at home, I can hear just fine, so why do they need to set my head ringing? I pay money for the movies, so I should not have to go deaf at the movies! That is what I always say!

Give me the olden times, when old Mrs. Walterhominy would set her hands to an organ and play such musical accompaniment to the pictures that we would all stop throwing our penny whistles and licorice pipes. I was a young sprout in those days, and in those days, believe it or not, they did not even have words in movies because they hadn't yet figured out how to capture voices on records like they do today.

I remember one movie called The Robber Of Arabia, which starred the greatest actor of all time, Mr. Douglas Fairberry III. He would ride in on his flying carpet and the ladies would just about fall out of their seats because they were overcome with the vapors at the sight of him. But Mr. Fairberry never said a word. I believe this was because the sound hadn't been invented yet, as I have already explained. If you do not believe me you can go to the library and look it up. But be quiet because the library is a reverent institution.


Many people in the movie Evitas enjoyed singing. The best song in the film is one entitled "Don't Cry For Me, Darling Tina," though it was never made clear who Tina is. In fact, many things in this film were not very clear to me. I do not know why everyone was fighting, and I do not know why everyone was singing, and I do not know why everyone was having the sex.

There was no excuse for the amount of lewd behavior! They should start putting ratings on movies, like they do on television, so decent people like myself and my wife, Toots, will not have to be exposed to such balderdash. Toots and I walked out halfway through the movie, and we asked for our money back but the young man who ran the theater told me to jump in the lake.

There are no lakes near our home in Butternut, OH, though there is a ravine which occasionally beomes flooded during the rainy season. The rainy season now runs from spring to fall, except when I was younger it also rained in the winter once. I do not need to tell you, that was a cold rain! Then one time it rained soot, but it turned out that was because the rendering plant made a mistake and forgot to close a flue and the town stunk for days. I think that was in 1944, although it may have been in 1943, because it was right around the new year.


In any case, Happy New Year! May 1997 prove to be a fruitful year for you and your family, as old man time goes out the door and the baby comes in carrying an hourglass and wearing a top hat. And the baby is wearing a fine sash which reads, "1997."

Now I will review the movie I saw called Evitas. I saw this movie because my editor, Steve, thought that I would enjoy to see a musical. But Evitas was not a musical so much as a movie with lots of songs in it. And I went to see the movie, and this time I told the man at the door my name and the man let me see the movie for free because my editor, Steve, had called ahead, and as a movie critic I am allowed to see the pictures for free, but this was the first time when it actually worked, so I was happy to not pay money for the movie Evitas, which I saw.

Evitas was a pretty good movie, though I do not know what the title means. If I were to make this picture, I would have called it The South American Lady. Because that is what it is about. Evitas also had some scenes with tanks and men who wore unusual pants. But we had to leave because of all the sexual parts. So I left with my wife, Toots, and we went home and watched a show called Townies. It was a good program about three ladies who lived in a town, and they were friends, and they worked in a restaurant that served a lot of chowder, because it is a fishing village. If you ask me, Townies is the best television program on the television today. I hope I can remember to watch it next week. I will tell Toots to remind me to watch it, unless I am taking a nap in which case I would rather not be disturbed.


Well, until next time, I'll see you on the Silver Screen.

Mr. Danielson's column is reprinted with the permission of The Butternut Gazette in Butternut, OH. It has been edited for the sake of clarity.