It’s almost 1 a.m. and Sam is asleep in the family room watching 55 Days at Peking (1963), a big-budget semi-historical epic that attempts to tell the story of China’s Boxer Rebellion of 1900. I’ve never been able to sit through this thing in its entirety — almost three hours long — because they’ve got Caucasians with taped eyes playing most of the major Asian parts, Charlton Heston as an arrogant U.S. soldier with enough over-the-top swagger to give you a nervous breakdown, and Ava Gardner doing the same breathless, mumbling, hypersexual shtick from every movie she’s ever made. (Here, we’re supposed to believe she’s a Russian baroness.) Others in the cast include David Niven with terrific outfits and Flora Robson as the empress of China (seriously). For added Far East authenticity the movie’s theme song is performed by Andy Williams.
Before I forget, I’d like to share a must-see video clip from Friday night’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO. This is Bill’s hilarious closing monologue comparing John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan. We LOVE Bill Maher here at Howdygram headquarters. Enjoy!
I should probably wake Sam now so we can go to bed. Thank you for reading this.