Submarine secret shared
Mythic maiden inspires movie magic
For a time, he seemed to be everywhere. All the best directors wanted a taste of Candy to sweeten their A-budget projects. Steven Spielberg's Second World War comedy 1941 (1979), John Landis's manic musical Blues Brothers (1980), Frank Oz's shock musical Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Mel Brooks's Star Wars parody Spaceballs (1987), even Oliver Stone's alternative history JFK (1991) — they all feature Canadian comic John Candy in small but showy roles. Candy, born on this day (October 31) in 1950, was part of the creative collective that wrote and performed in the six-season SCTV series (1976-1984). A big man (Candy stood six feet, three inches and weighed in at about 300 lbs.), he used his size to great comic effect. Occasionally, in a film such as Chris Columbus's Only the Lonely (1991), he achieved romantic pathos. He was at his best, though, as a supporting player, in gormless sidekick roles such as Tom Tuttle (opposite Tom Hanks in 1985's Vounteers) or Del Griffith (opposite Steve Martin in 1987's Planes, Trains and Automobiles). Today Reeling Back remembers Candy as Freddie Bauer, his first pairing with Hanks, in director Ron Howard's sweet-tempered mermaid fantasy from 1984, Splash.
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Looking for Mr. Nutbar
Future cops battle bad 'bots
Born on this day (October 23) in 1942, the multi-talented Michael Crichton wrote best-selling novels — he's considered the father of the techno-thriller — and directed science-fiction films, including the 1984 future-cop feature Runaway, shot on location in Vancouver.
Cat in tune with times
Comix with a deranged Disney look
Though the artists did not see eye to eye on the result, adult animation pioneer Ralph Bakshi, born on this day (October 29) in 1938, made cartoon history with his feature adaptation of underground comics pioneer Robert Crumb's most famous character, Fritz the Cat (1972).
B.C. gets Klondike Fever
London-born producer a London buff
During the 1979 filming of the feature film Klondike Fever, the prolific British-born producer Harry Alan Towers sat down with me in Vancouver to discuss its subject, author Jack London, and the perils of international co-productions.
Change in the air
My Blog; Your Guide to What's New
Author-activist Naomi Klein will be in Vancouver on Sunday (October 26) to give a free lecture in UBC's Chan Centre on the subject of capitalism versus the climate. Hundreds of people were lined up at noon Tuesday (October 21) for advance tickets to the early evening event.