1992, Movie, R, 130 mins


Please settle a bet between ...

Question: Please settle a bet between my friend and me. I am positive that I remember the actor Morgan Freeman on the kids' show The Electric Company in the mid-'70s. My friend says no way. Who is right? I have a bottle of very good wine riding on this!

Answer: Well, this oughtta pop your cork, then, Jessica. (And, at the risk of beating this horse to death, all you goofuses who hold back on the details of your betting should take note of Jessica's gallant move of telling me what she and her pal have at stake in their bet.)

Freeman did indeed play Easy Reader, the afro-wearing character who helped a generation of children learn to read on the brilliant Electric Company, from 1971 to 1976. That role followed acclaimed work on stage and represented the actor's first break in television, but his feelings about the job seem to depend on when you ask him about it. In 2001, when he served as chair of the read more

What is a spaghetti Western? ...

Question: What is a spaghetti Western? And how does it differ from a regular Western?

Answer: The short answer is that spaghetti Westerns are Italian productions set in the American West. The longer answer involves a confluence of historical, economic and cultural forces. The popular reimagining of the American West began as the West was still being won, with pulp novels, Wild West shows and touring theater productions. Movies were the next logical step in the process, and their formative years followed so closely on the heels of the conquest of the frontier that real-life legend Wyatt Earp (1848-1929) lived long enough to act as an advisor on early Westerns. American Westerns ranged from simple adventure fables aimed at children to more psychologically and socioeconomically sophisticated stories. But by the early '60s, after more than 40 years of movies and TV shows, American Westerns were running out of steam. European read more

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