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Cinderella Liberty (1973) starring James Caan at approximately 2 a.m. this past Saturday night. As you must be aware, I am a James Caan enthusiast, and was pleasantly surprised to find one of Mr. Caan’s overlooked works on British public television at such a late hour.
Most Caan scholars divide Mr. Caan’s career into two major eras—-pre- and post-cocaine addiction. While Mr. Caan made quite a career for himself after kicking his troubling narcotics jones—-think Misery (1990), Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), and the similarly-named NBC TV series “Las Vegas”—-I am not a great fan of his later turns as gentle-hearted gangsters and hobbled romance novelists. I prefer the James Caan of old—-angry, tall, broad-shouldered, curly-haired, dangerously handsome, mustachioed, and drug-addled. Who can forget James Caan as “Sonny Corleone” in The Godfather (1972), or as “Jonathan” in Rollerball (1975), or as “Frank” in Michael Mann’s cult classic Thief (1981)? These films laid the foundation for Mr. Caan’s career! When I realized that you had elected to air Mr. Caan’s work from this same era—-a film, no less, in which Mr. Caan portrays a mustachioed sailor entangled in a doomed love affair with a prostitute—-I was overjoyed. Last Saturday night, I was in the perfect mindset to lose myself in a selection from Mr. Caan’s repetoire.
Before watching Cinderella Libery, I performed at a music festival in Birmingham, England. Though the festival was a bit slapdash—-my precious postpunk trio played alongside a series of films and some decidedly “heavy” hard-rockin’ acts—-the crowd was enthusiastic, and the promoters hospitable. All too hospitable, in fact—-these promoters provided an enormous box of vegetable samosas (see above) for all present to consume! Now, I don’t know about you, but I love vegetable samosas. I just love them! How many vegetable samosas can I eat, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you: six! Six samosas for me! Delicious! However, as you may know, vegetable samosas are packed with potatoes that, upon digestion, are converted into energizing sugar energy. So, though my set had ended at midnight, I found myself “up and Adam” at 2 a.m., fueled by potato power and in dire need of something to do until the sugar rush passed.
Enter Cinderella Liberty! Never has James Caan looked better, and never has he been so ably-mustachioed. What a compelling piece of art, made more compelling by your network’s policy to present it without commercial interruptions! If only stateside television programmers would dare to go sans commercials! I do not doubt that the aesthetics of Lost and Everybody Loves Raymond would improve without obtrusive ads from the Toyota and Budweiser corporations. Fueled by samosas and by your network’s unimpeachable programming decisions, I watched Mr. Caan deep into the night until I crashed. When Mr. Sandman visited, he brought dreams of samosas and thick mustaches.
I had always heard that British public television was of the highest quality. Now, I can return to my native country and report to all my friends: “It’s really, really true!”
I look forward to consuming additional samosas and watching more BBC whilst I am in England. Keep up the good work.
Yours in struggle,
Justin Moyer CEO/President of the WeBlog “Iceland”