Our non-American readers may not be up on the latest Chicago political scandal that is dominating the news. Given that Chicago politics are seemingly inspired by the screenplay of Robin and the Seven Hoods, one would need a scroll to list all the politicos ensnared in corruption stings in recent years. Suffice it to say that four of the last eight governors of the state of Illinois have ended up in jail and Gov. Rod Blagojevich looks to carry on that proud tradition. The Gov knew he was under federal investigation for corruption, but that didn't stop him and his Lady MacBeth-like wife from engaging in phone conversations that were so vile and filled with corrupt schemes that it would have tested Martin Scorsese's ability to make it seem believable to the public. Suffice it to say that Blagojevich, a Democrat, has now given the much-oppressed Republican party a breather. Not only is the attention off their recent political scandals, but in terms of sheer stupidity, the Gov makes Sarah Palin look like Stephen Hawking. Why report this on a movie-based web site? Well, it's because we're convinced Blagojevich, who was arrested on corruption charges, should have another major crime lodged against him: impersonating an actor. He seems to have been stuck in a time warp and has emerged thinking he is actor William Devane, circa 1970s, when the thespian sported one of the worst hairdos in Hollywood history: a seemingly unmoveable clump that looked like it couldn't be dislodged by a blast of TNT. Well, let's hope the Gov has some acting ability himself- he can put it to good use when he's organizing those jailhouse entertainment shows like those other loveable crooks from The Producers. - Lee Pfeiffer
Blast from the past: the Gov's hirsute chapeau is his worst crime - but the only one he hasn't been arrested for. We're expecting an "Impersonating an Actor" lawsuit to be filed by William Devane.
One of Hollywood's last living actors associated with the glory days of the film industry has passed away. Van Johnson, one of the industry's glamour boys, was 92 years old. Although he never broke through to superstardom, Johnson was a popular leading man whose career peaked in the 1950s. Generally relegated to playing romantic leads, Johnson's good looks might well have prevented him from getting more interesting roles. By the 1960s, he landed prominent roles in a few "A" list studio pictures like Wives and Lovers and Divorce, American Style but from there it was basically a downhill ride. Throughout the ensuing years, he appeared largely in B movies and little-seen Euro trash productions, though he did have a supporting role in Woody Allen's 1985 film The Purple Rose of Cairo. In a column about Johnson's career, Entertainment Weekly appropriately notes that the high point was his superb performance in the 1954 screen version of The Caine Mutiny in which Johnson finds himself in the awkward position of having to assume command of a U.S. Navy warship when he deems his captain (Humphrey Bogart) as being unfit to steer the vessel through a typhoon. Here, Johnson held his own against such heavyweights as Bogart, Fred MacMurry and Jose Ferrer. For more click here
Van Johnson (left) with Robert Francis and Fred MacMurray in The Caine Mutiny.