Thursday, June 29, 2023

 JULY 2023

- A Galaxy Summer Under the Stars -
By Rev Protodeacon George A. Haloulakos

This month's blog entry is an opportunity for you, our wonderful Galaxy Nostalgia Network audience, to help write the script for "A Galaxy Summer Under the Stars."  Over the past 20 to 25 years, it has become a summer tradition in either private or public venues to binge watch classic films (in both outdoor and indoor venues) with either a unifying theme or dedicated to a particular film star.  What are some of your favorite films or motion picture stars who delivered memorable screen performances but perhaps with the passage of time are overlooked or underappreciated by mass market audiences?  Summertime is the season in which we can share and enjoy cinematic gems, so we invite you to please share your recommendations either by posting to the GNN FACEBOOK page (and "liking" us when doing so) or writing directly to us at:

To get us started, I will offer up a combination theme of unique Academy Award Winners while celebrating the 50th anniversary of 1973 in Film.  In last month's GNN Blog, we marked the 50th anniversary of Bruce Lee's unexpected passing that occurred just weeks before the summer release of his signature film "Enter the Dragon" (regarded as one of the greatest martial arts films of all time).  A Galaxy Summer Under the Stars would certainly be a fitting venue to binge watch various Bruce Lee martial arts films.  As a continuation of this celebration of great media stars, I would offer two unique 1973 films -- both featuring very special Academy Award winners in supporting roles -- that encompass the spectrum of the oldest and youngest winners by an actor and actress.
We begin on the "older" side of the spectrum by saluting John Houseman (1902-1988), who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Professor Charles Kingsfield in the 1973 film "The Paper Chase."  Houseman's portrayal of a Harvard Law School professor and his impact upon his students was so convincing, that he reprised the role in the TV variant of "The Paper Chase" that aired during 1978-1979 and 1983-1986.  His was a more intimidating and formidable version of what is often referred to as a "Mr Chips" teacher persona.  Houseman's award winning performance truly exemplified that a supporting actor is the pedestal upon which the lead actors are able to shine forth.  This is consistent with his earlier behind-the-scenes collaborative work with actor/director Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater, "Citizen Kane") and writer Raymond Chandler in "The Blue Dahlia."  At age 71, rather than retiring to a quiet life, Houseman literally became a legendary film and TV star front-and-center to new generations of fans after having made his reputation as a skillful behind the scenes professional.  Whether on screen or off, he provided the foundation for memorable film and TV performances for multiple generations.
Our Galaxy Summer Under the Stars would not be complete without a salute to Tatum O'Neal (born 1963), who in the same year (1973) at age 10 became the youngest person to win a competitive Academy Award for her portrayal of Addie Loggins, a child con artist in "Paper Moon" opposite her father, Ryan O'Neal.  Fifty years later, Tatum's memorable performance is differentiated by the dynamic of working with her real-life father in a film that was shot in Black & White to give it a vintage look.  The spontaneity of this pairing continues to resonate especially as it vividly reflects the Midwest during the Great Depression Era.  The real life tribulations later experienced by Ms O'Neal (e.g., divorce, narcotics addiction, arrest) make her Academy Award winning performance all the more poignant by providing a striking contrast between cinema and real life.

The 1973 John Houseman / Tatum O'Neal Academy Award winning duo spanning opposite ends of the age spectrum is a reminder of the magic of Hollywood.  It is this magic that is celebrated in Our Galaxy Summer Under the Stars.  What films, actors and actresses bring magic to your heart?  We look forward to receiving your special memories as we gather together with a box of popcorn to celebrate our favorite screen stars!