Friday, January 15, 2021

I'm a Mazurki Maniac

Do you know Letterboxd? It's like Goodreads, but for movies. You can log each movie you watched, rate it, note where/why you viewed it. Like Goodreads, it tabulates your personal year-end stats. 

In 2020, I saw 126 films. 

•  My favorites were (no surprise) The Way We Were and Casablanca. I predict they will be my favorites in 2021, too.

•  I didn't like The First Lady or Mame (sorry, Lucy).

•  The one that I appreciated most that also got a high rating from the rest of the Letterboxd community was Joker.

•  The one that I liked less than the rest of the Letterboxd community was Vertigo.

And here's my favorite stat. My most-watched stars of 2020 were:

•  Cary Grant

•  Robert Redford

•  James Stewart

•  Gene Kelly

•  Mike Mazurki

MIKE MAZURKI? Never once in 2020 did I curl up, grab the remote and think, "I need me some Mike Mazurki." And yet I watched more Mike Mazurki movies than I did Elvis, or Judy Garland, or Katharine Hepburn. 

So, Mike Mazurki, let me shine a spotlight on your career. Because of his 6'5 frame, square face and husky voice, he was almost always cast as a gangster or a bully. When his career as a professional wrestler tanked, he tried his hand at acting. In addition to movies from the 40s and 50s, he played his share of bad guys on TV shows in the 60s and 70s -- everything from Mr. Ed to Gunsmoke. Never a star, but always a presence, he worked regularly for more than 50 years. He never actually retired and was still appearing on TV and in music videos when he died of heart failure in 1990. Friends and coworkers recall that he was nothing like the characters he played, that he always had a book in his hand and was very witty in conversation.

As for me, thanks for being a bright spot in an otherwise shitty 2020, Mike Mazurki!


  1. I remember that guy! I hated his guts. lol Not really.
    Thanks for the tip on a list for films. Trés Cool!

  2. Once upon a time I was a major film buff, but now I can't manage to watch many. Letterboxd would be so much fun! I recognize Mike Mazurki!

  3. Never heard of Letterboxed, so I joined it. Now I'm trying to figure out how it works!