Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2016
Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

We (don’t) get letters…

Apparently, a lot of people don’t realize it, but I actually have an email address ( expressly for the purpose of sending reader comments to the feedback page. But I suspect that a lot of readers (both of you) sometimes compose letters in your heads but never get the nerve or the time to send them in. In fact, sometimes I am positive that I am psychically tuned into people’s minds when they are composing these messages. To prove it, I am printing and responding to a few of the letters that readers have composed in their heads but for whatever reason have never actually sent me:

From West Hollywood, California: Okay, Mr. Movie Hot Shot, why not show some real cajones and tell us outright what your all-time favorite movie is. Stop being a wuss and hiding behind alphabetized top ten lists.

Okay, it’s embarrassing to admit, but my personal favorite movie of all time is Casablanca. Sure, it’s become a cliché because it’s everywhere you look and it’s old and it’s in black and white and the “special effects” at the beginning of the movie setting up the story are downright silly. But you don’t get screen icons bigger than Bogie and Bergman in their prime, and there are just so many classic lines. Besides, when everyone at Rick’s starts singing La Marseillaise, I fall to pieces every time. But mostly, Casablanca is a sentimental favorite because everything in that movie actually happened to me.

From Topeka, Kansas: So what’s with the political commentary all of a sudden? Why don’t you stick to something you about, like movies? Not that you really know that much about movies either. It’s obvious that you are one of those mindless, brainwashed Gore supporters. Don’t try to ram your left-wing political views down my neck.

Sorry, I don’t know what came over me. I guess I just got carried away with all of the excitement of the TV network convention coverage. It won’t happen again.

From Elma, Washington: What kind of second-rate, rinky-dink movie web page are you running anyway? I mean, you review crummy movies like Hanging Up and Battlefield Earth, but there’s not so much as one word about great films like She’s All That and Girl, Interrupted and Shaft. What are you, some kind of myopic cretin?

Why, yes, I am. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to clarify that point.

From San Francisco, California: So, I see now that you are delving into political coverage. As if somehow your supposed insight into film makes you expert on everything else. What gives you the right to try to tell me how to think about politics? It’s clear that you are one of those wacko, right-wing Bush supporters. Give it a rest.

You saw right through me. I can promise you that I certainly won’t try that again.

From New York, New York: Hey, I notice that your favorite movie of the year so far is Wonder Boys. Didn’t that film play for about fifteen minutes and then disappear? I think you may be the only person who saw it. Doesn’t this just go to show that you are completely outside mainstream thinking and shouldn’t be trying to foist your insipid movie opinions on everyone else?

I hear that studio is planning a re-release of that film with a better marketing campaign. I predict that it will be the sleeper hit of the year the second time around. Or not.

From Dublin, Ireland: The lads and me have been getting great craic out of reading about your supposed meetings with famous celebrities, including some Irish ones. I mean, I think I have met more famous people than you just staggering around drunk in Temple Bar on the weekend. Don’t you feel just a bit silly trying to pass this stuff off as interesting?

As I explained at the outset, the whole idea came about while listening to National Public Radio. I think that fact alone excuses anything that may have resulted. In any event, if you are unhappy with the quality of the commentaries, send in your name and address and I will cheerfully refund your money.

From Columbus, Ohio: I can’t believe you have the gall to try to write about politics. Despite your desperate attempt to sound witty, it is patently obvious that you are one of those extremist Ralph Nader supporters. Why don’t you go back to where you came from and leave America to us Americans who love our country.

Good idea. Now I just have to figure out where I came from.

From Cambridge, Massachusetts: So, why don’t you settle on just one writing style for these weekly columns? I mean, one week you are trying to sound like Pauline Kael. The next week, it’s as though you think you are Dave Barry. Still another week, you seem to think that you are Russell Baker. Lately, you seem to want to be Maureen Dowd. Don’t you have a style of your own?

Okay, my secret is out. The columns are actually generated by a software program I wrote. In coming weeks, watch for parodies of William Safire and George Will.

From Ottawa, Canada: I know it’s a bit early yet, eh, but what film do you think is going to get the Oscar for Best Picture for 2000?

Remember that you heard it here first, but I predict that in a shocking turn of events, Highlander: Endgame will walk away with all the major awards. No, seriously, everyone knows that the serious contenders aren’t released until late fall or Christmas time. The winner will be something you haven’t even heard of yet.

From Chicago, Illinois: Why don’t you close down this stupid web site and go do what it is you obviously really want to do: go serve your political master, Pat Buchanan?

Thanks. I think I will.

-S.L., 7 September 2000

If you would like to respond to this commentary or to anything else on this web site, please send a message to Messages sent to this address will be considered for publishing on the Feedback Page without attribution. (That means your name, email address or anything else that might identify you won’t be included.) Messages published will be at my discretion and subject to editing. But I promise not to leave something out just because it’s unflattering.

If you would like to send me a message but not have it considered for publishing, you can send it to

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