Me 'n' Larry King -- An Affectionate Hug for a Nice Jewish Boy From Brooklyn

(Original post date 5/15/09 - Permalink: )
Larry, I know your new book "My Remarkable Journey" will be out in bookstores in a few days. I hope to read it, and I'm sure there are no footnotes about me in it! But I did cross paths with you briefly in the late 1950s, and then again in 1971. My life changed dramatically because I reached out to you.

For years, I've had a lot of fun telling people, "I dated Larry King, but never married him. Of course, he never asked me!"

This message is heartfelt. I just want to thank you for being in my life in the early times and offering me encouragement. We had one rather forgettable date in the 1950s, when you were on radio at WAHR-AM with your alter-ego Captain Wainwright, the crooked Miami cop whose voice you created on a filtered microphone. I loved that character!

I was on television at Miami's WTVJ Channel 4 with "Skipper" Chuck Zink on "Popeye Playhouse," the local live children's show that ran from 1957 to 1979. I was the original "First Mate" on the show while in my first year of college at the University of Miami. Larry, we were introduced by WTVJ salesman Frank Boscia, who thought we might have something in common. You are five years older than I am, and we're both from Jewish backgrounds. I think we ate at the Pickin' Chicken Drive-in Restaurant, but don't recall much else. But I was already in a relationship.

In 1962, I graduated with a B.A. in Communications with honors from the University of Miami. I went to work at McCann-Marschalk Advertising, and then briefly for Miami's Channel 10. In November 1962, I moved to New York City to find fame and fortune. I had a job as a production assistant at NBC's "Tonight" show unit. Later, I worked with NBC's news division, and was there on November 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. I was On-Air Promotion Supervisor at WPIX, Channel 11, and did copywriting for several advertising agencies. One temporary production job was with Barry Gray at radio station WMCA. Barry is who credited as the first talk host to put telephone calls on the radio in the early 1960s. I had no idea I would ever work as a radio or TV performer again!

In December 1963, I married former classmate Peter Rabow. (This gorgeous photo was taken of the two of us at a party in 1959.)

Peter and his parents had come to New York from Europe when Peter was a young boy. The family lived in Washington Heights, on the upper west side of New York City. Peter was an aspiring TV producer and film director with a degree from UCLA. Peter held production jobs at ABC, working with the program development group, then with the Wide World of Sports unit. Our daughter was born in October 1968. Sadly, Peter's dreams of success in his chosen field were not to be. He became disillusioned, but he had one final job offer with Reela Films in Miami, working on documentary fillms. We moved back to Florida in March 1969 with our tiny daughter. I got pregnant again almost immediately. Our second child, David, was born at Miami's Mercy Hospital in December 1969. The Reela job evaporated. After Peter's career crisis, two children, and eight years of marriage, we divorced. I had to support myself, two children born 14 months apart, as well as my first "child," a Cocker Spaniel named Buffy. Peter remarried another woman in April 1971, three weeks after our divorce.

Larry, I reconnected with you in the summer of 1971. I was divorced and working some menial jobs for very little pay. I had the two tiny children to care for, and a monthly home mortgage to cover. One early morning, I was driving from Miami Beach over the North Bay Causeway bridge to Miami Springs. You were on WIOD radio on the overnight shift. You called out for someone to PLEEZE bring you doughnuts and coffee. I stopped at a local shop and bought the refreshments you requested. Although you didn't remember me from our brief encounter in the 1950s, you invited me to stay and screen your calls before they went on the air. I kept dropping in a couple of nights a week. You said you'd talk to the program manager about compensation for my work. One day, I began to supply hour-long "woman in the mall" cassette tapes when you started to fall asleep at the microphone in the wee hours of the morning. Somewhere along the way, a listener re-named me "Ellen Rainbow," which is just a few letters added to my ex-husband's name.

You kept me busy, interested, and even laughing for those difficult months in the fall and early winter. But a few days before Christmas 1971, you were gone -- let go by your employers and caught in a legal and financial tangle that I barely understood.  I have not seen nor spoken you from that day to this. Of course, I know your career eventually resumed on Westwood Radio, and then on CNN for years. I was pleased that you were back and saw your program most nights!

After you left, WIOD Program Manager Elliot "Biggie" Nevins hired me do the night show shift several times each week, while they looked for a male host to replace you. He paid me $50 each night I hosted. I might have ended up who-knows-where if I had not had that income.
Early in 1972, I did a show with Larry Johnson in Chicago via WATS lines. Then, we patched in with Bruce Lee on Boston's WEEI-AM. (No, not THAT Bruce Lee!) He saved the tape of our show, and called me in Florida, saying that CBS was looking for a woman to host a morning show. I had to make the first contact with Program Manager Dan Griffin, because if they called me, it would be termed "talent raiding." WEEI was owned and operated by CBS and it was a union shop. WIOD was affiliated with NBC. WEEI managers flew me to Boston for a marathon interview on April 28, 1972. It was a glorious spring day that will live in my memory forever! Barbara Trombley, one of my former WIOD guests, drove me to see Boston sights. I was enchanted by this historical city and the beautiful temperate weather.

Dan Griffin offered me the job a few days later. I gave my children to my ex-husband and his wife temporarily, and told them I would let them know when I was settled in an appropriate living space. I packed up my Volvo and my Cocker Spaniel dog, drove to northern Florida, boarded the Autotrain, got off in Virginia, and headed up to Boston.

On May 15, 1972, I started a brand new gig as the first woman with a daily, four-hour radio talk show in Boston. At the beginning, I worked six days each week, four hours a day Mon. thru Sat. on "Boston Forum with Ellen Kimball." Imagine! I was talking for 24 solid hours each week. It was a crushing schedule, but I kept it going for months. Finally, management relented and newsman Ben Farnsworth took over the Saturday show. My show was eventually renamed "The Ellen Kimball Show."

A few years later, another Boston station, WMEX AM, hired me after WEEI changed their format:

I met a widower with three older children in June 1972. He is from a Jewish background, and five years older than I am. His first wife died at age 34 from stomach cancer. He holds a BSEE degree, worked for a long time in high-tech sales and marketing, and then became a software analyst. We married on February 4, 1973 and will celebrate forty years of marriage in 2013.

Photo of our wedding day -- This is Al's second marriage and my third. Daughter Linda was 3 years old. My son, David, was only two years old. He is 14 months younger than his sister. I became stepmother to Al's three older children, Michael, Karen and Cindy, who were coping with the tremendous loss of their mother. I tell everyone that I am so happy to have had their help taking care of their two younger step-siblings. It was a hectic time. We wish we had had more guidance about stepfamilies, but we tried to do the best we knew how to do.

My husband and I moved from Boston to Portland, Oregon, when Linda and her husband were transferred by Intel in 1995. Al and I followed in 1997- 8. I am now 73 years old, and my husband is 78. It has been a full life, but as hubby likes to say, "Not perfect." Even with the setbacks, we are now in relatively good health, and we enjoy various volunteer pursuits, timeshare travel, and digital photography. While I worked at marketing jobs in Portland for awhile, a volunteer connection with the Oregon Public Broadcasting and NBC affiliate website from 2001 to 2010 allowed me to stay in broadcasting for some extra time. However, in 2010, I retired fully to move on to other pursuits. Most recently, my husband was motivated to become a self-published author. He completed eight books in 2011. He's now working on a ninth, "The Lost Pharoah | Sobek II." You can check out his work at I swim for health and have become a vegan. That has given me a final opportunity to learn to cook... before I croak!

Larry, once again, thanks for being who you are, and for helping me along my remarkable journey. I wish you all the best for the rest of your life.


Ellen Kimball
Tweet me! @BonusGrandma
Also on Facebook now! New screen name: BonusGrandma

PS. In 2006, I called Steve Z., the radio engineer with whom Larry and I both worked at WIOD. Steve is a wonderful guy, now retired from Cox Broadcasting and living in Venice, Florida. He entertains me with an array of fascinating emails. We speak by telephone quite frequently.
Larry King with his beautiful and talented wife, Shawn Southwick, and their two young boys, Chance and Cannon:

Edited: Monday, May 13, 2013

Larry discusses changing his name minutes before his radio career began on May 1, 1957:
Larry King interview in June 2013

The owner of this blog is taking a break in 2010.

Comments to this blog have been suspended.

Please be aware that my blogging at this site has officially ended. On June 1, 2010, I ended my long career as an entertainment reviewer. That began in 1971, when I took over for Larry King at Miami's WIOD AM radio. I've been involved with media since January 1957, when I was almost 18, and a freshman at the University of Miami. If you search Google images for Ellen Kimball, chances are you'll find some early photos of me on television. "It was a very good year..." as Frank Sinatra crooned years ago.

Now that I am in my 70s, I felt it was time to head off in new directions. The need to step back into my real life, with local volunteer organizations and other affiliations, has come to the fore.  Wish me well -- luckily, I didn't have to have heart surgery like Barbara Walters and Larry King. (UPDATE: Larry retired in December 2010, but I'm pleased he is still active and healthy.)

My husband and I have many interests. We are enjoying the ride of our lives for the rest of the time that the fates have planned for us. 

Peace, love and happiness,

Ellen Kimball | BonusGrandma

UPDATE: Join my public facebook page at

Friday, February 24, 2012

Movie Review: "Alice in Wonderland" || Effects, YES || Story, NO

The movie “Alice in Wonderland” is a crude cinematic concoction. Prior to seeing this film, I refreshed my decades-old knowledge of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass,” those two ubiquitous tomes I recall reading around the dawn of time. I found a great deal of reconstituted information about the English author whose pen name is Lewis Carroll, some of which is quite hard to believe without supporting documentation. I am not sure even now what to think of the chap. I do know that director Tim Burton has had an uneven film career, but I have no particular feelings about him one way or the other. I liked at least four of his movies, and I always hope for the best -- both for the director’s sake and mine.

Some of the characters in the film I recall from my childhood. There is the lovely Alice Liddell (Mia Wasikowska), no longer a child, but a beautiful young woman of marriageable age; the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), who appears and disappears while sporting an evil, extra-toothsome grin and fluorescent body stripes; the Red Queen (Helen Bonham Carter), who has an exceedingly large head with red-yarn hair perched on it, as well as a tiny outline of a heart in lipstick on her mouth; and the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), with deathly grayish skin, dark eyes, thick dark eyebrows, and a black mouth. One actor (Matt Lucas) voices the rotund twins Tweedledum and Tweedledee. The White Rabbit (Michael Sheen), Blue Caterpillar (Alan Rickman) and Dormouse (Barbara Windsor) are well conceived.

Then, there is the matter of the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). This dashingly handsome actor is transformed into a flame-haired, pale-skinned carnival oddity with bulging green eyes that reveal two different pupil sizes. I understand that might be a sign of brain damage should a doctor ever be called to diagnose it. Looking at and listening to Johnny Depp are particularly irritating in the movie. It isn’t the accent, because I’m fine with both British English and a Scottish brogue. What comes out of Depp’s mouth is somehow a contrived and coarse conversation with a generous lack of coherence and cohesiveness. At one point, I wanted a copy of the script so I could follow it with my pen/light – or maybe a DVD with “closed captioning” might do it.

Most of the main characters are computer-generated or at least computer-aided. Costume design and make-up are very original, but rather odd and grotesque at the same time. The film is crammed with cloying hues undiscovered by Crayola. I found myself queasy due to the 3-D glasses, and when the story heads down the rabbit hole into “Underland” – nausea erupted more than once. I watched most of the beginning, dashed out for a Diet Coke so I could resume watching until the end. I found myself struggling to find anything but a big fat race with about as much involvement as a child’s computer game. Whose fault is that?

Is there a central theme? Not really. The original works were parodies on the English class system and people in the British government. Nothing like that rings true here. There’s about 20 minutes of flagrant feminism at the beginning – as a young woman doesn’t want to marry the man who has been chosen for her. So she chooses another path… But wait! That seems to include going down that same rabbit hole for perhaps the third time to revisit things she remembers from her dreams. At the end, after a tantalizing tangle with a monster, the Jabberwocky (Christopher Lee), Alice decides she wants to go to China!

I give “Alice in Wonderland” a “C+” on Ellen’s Entertainment Report Card. It’s as murky as a mud pie, and that's a crying shame. Better luck to all next time.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Superb Romantic Movie “Dear John” connects due to life experiences

I’m 70 years old – a movie-loving girl, woman, former wife of an aspiring film director (now deceased), TV and radio broadcaster, mother, stepmother and grandmother. I’ve been going to the movies since I was a small child and reviewing motion pictures since 1971. I learned long ago that I bring my personal experience to each film. That fact is especially true in this case.

Color me a total romantic who has had to heal a broken heart many times during my life. For me, “Dear John” is a sensitive, beautiful film and an intense theatrical experience. I was swept away by the handsome actors, location photography, sun, sea and sand – as well as the story. The fictional circumstances are blended with real events in this drama. They were remarkably close to actual happenings in my extraordinary life. Others moments reflected many of the difficult choices made by lovers.

I didn’t read Nicholas Sparks’ novel. You shouldn’t have to read a book before you see a movie. I have heard that the movie ends differently from the book, but that doesn’t affect my feelings. Scriptwriter Jamie Linden and Director Lasse Hallström have done their work well. This film’s theme is romantic love – found, delayed, broken, and repaired. The beauty and intensity of the film is brought it to a climactic ending that is really a second beginning.

Channing Tatum (John Tyree) is a new talent. Born in 1980, he fulfills all my prerequisites: Adorable young man, great physique, and believable acting. I predict he will go far.

Amanda Seyfried (Savannah Curtis) is one of my favorite young actresses. Born in 1985, she is the same age as our oldest granddaughter! Amanda is wonderful on HBO’s “Big Love." She was saucy in the movie “Mamma Mia.” Her gorgeous ethereal eyes and cornsilk hair do it for me. I just adore blondes! (I’m a brunette.)

Richard Jenkins is very believable as the tightly-wound father of the lead character, Mr. Tyree. Perhaps there could have been more of an explanation of his obsessed personality – as he did the same things over and over again. I could just feel his panic when he was invited to a social event.

My 41-year-old daughter also liked “Dear John.” I didn’t discuss her reasons with her, but I did see her dabbing her eyes with a tissue. It wasn’t allergies. I spoke to some of the women in the audience after the movie. The script pleased most of them, but it might be too skimpy or syrupy for others. This is one film where I will probably be one of a few reviewers who liked “Dear John.” As we used to say in film school, “It’s always ‘Rashomon’ at the movies.” That classic 1950 Japanese movie shows how several different people react to the same situation.

I’m giving "Dear John" a “B+” on Ellen’s Entertainment Report Card. The film is rated PG-13 for some sensuality and violence.


Backstory: I telephoned my first boyfriend this week for his birthday. He was born on Feb. 4, 1936. We dated in the mid-1950s when we were teenagers. He and his older brother still live in the Miami area. His nickname is “Al” – the same as my “current” husband. (I’ve had three husbands.) I’ve been in touch with “Al G.” since 2005, when another movie stirred me to call him in order to apologize for my behavior. I sent him a “Dear John” letter when he was in Basic Training in South Carolina in 1957. It wasn’t wartime, but I still hurt someone whom I had loved for years. I had no choice. I was only 18 years old and had fallen in love with another man born on February 4th…

Eventually, I married a UCLA classmate who had returned from the U.S. Army. He comforted me with beautiful letters when a year-long first marriage ended in hospitalization and the birth of a stillborn girl. Our marriage in December 1963 produced two beautiful children, but Peter R. told me he didn't love me and left in 1970 to start a relationship with a divorced woman. I had to raise my toddlers alone and support them. The children were ages 2 and 1, born 14 months apart. A radio talk show job opened up in Boston in May 1972 due to affirmative action and I landed it. That summer, I met a widower whose wife had died of cancer in 1971. He had three delightful children, ages 13, 11 and 8. He placed an advertisement in the Boston Globe newspaper for a housekeeper. I answered his advertisement, spoke with him for two hours, and then invited him on a blind date. He tells me that I sounded a little desperate!

We married on Sunday, February 4, 1973, with five children from two previous relationships. I thought it would be good luck to marry on the birthday of two former lovers and my maternal grandfather, Martin Kovacs. I was right! Today marks our 37th Wedding Anniversary. Cordially, Ellen_K.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Classic Movies: Harold and Maude (1971) Movie Review

1971 Film
Reviewed in Boston May-June 1974
"Movie will run indefinitely based on solid SRO crowds."

     There's a simple tale, well-told these days at the Allston Cinema on Harvard Avenue. Judging from the standing-room-only crowds, it's a big hit with Boston moviegoers. Now, you might have missed "Harold and Maude" the first time around a couple of years ago, because it's the kind of film that didn't cause a sensation.
     But in Minneapolis, "Harold and Maude" just broke all attendance records with a 46 MONTH run. That's in an industry that usually values a movie when it draws crowds for a week or two.
     Harold and Maude are an oddball couple if there ever was one. Bud Cort plays Harold. He's just out of his 'teens -- an ashen-faced young man whose sole macabre interest is death. He stages fakey dramatic suicides for shock value. His idea of kicks is going to funerals.
     At one funeral, he happens to meet Maude. She's going on eighty years old, but never you mind... she's a snip of a girl at heart. She loves flowers and trees and the earth. She's old enough to be Harold's grandmother, but youth is a state of mind, and Maude is eternal.
     Actress Ruth Gordon plays Maude to the hilt. In real life, Ruth is married to Garson Kanin, a man many years her junior. Kanin vows that Ruth savors every minute of her real life... When she bites into an apple, she'll exclaim, "This is the MOST WONDERFUL apple I've ever eaten!" It's that joy of life that comes through in this movie, and Boston is eating it up.
     "Harold and Maude" is good, solid filmmaking, with skillful acting, just enough humor and bite, plus a swift but poignant ending. Michael Sirota, the manager of the Allston Cinema, plans to keep the film there as long as people come to fill up his two- hundred-seat theater. 
     Please go -- and get there early for a good seat.  "Harold and Maude" -- a couple of kooks who got a well-deserved second chance! I'm giving this an "A" on Ellen's Entertainment Report Card.
     This is Ellen Kimball for WEEI Newradio 59.

Monday, January 25, 2010

XANADU -- From Broadway to Portland's Keller Auditorium

Xanadu has closed in Portland, Oregon -- but please check these links for performances in other U. S. cities.

Visit for more details.

Elizabeth Stanley and Max von Essen || Photo courtesy Carol Rosegg

XANADU -- A Roller Disco Fantasy -- comes to Portland's Keller Auditorium

Put a bunch of smash hit songs, Tony (c) Award winning Douglas Carter Beane and the cutest couple in town into a Broadway musical comedy blender, and what do you get? "Heaven on Wheels" says The New York Times. Taking audiences back to 1980 California, this hilarious new musical follows the beautiful Kira, who travels to earth to inspire a struggling young artist named Sonny, as she helps this aspiring painter find his voice, discover true love, and build the world's first roller disco (not necessarily in that order).

All performances are at Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St at 3rd Ave, downtown Portland. Performances with American Sign Language description are usually on Thursdays. Please call 503-241-1802, M-F, 9a-5p, for more information and tickets.

January 12-17, 2010

Tuesday-Friday at 7:30pm

Saturday at 2pm & 7:30pm

Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm

In person: The Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers St, Portland, OR 97214
By Phone: 503-241-1802, or toll-free at 1-866-739-6737 (M-F, 9a-5p)

Portland Opera, in association with Broadway Across America, is proud to provide our entire region with the very best nationally touring Broadway productions.

Visit for more details.

January 8, 2010

Movie Review: The Towering Inferno (1974) -- Classic Movies

The Towering Inferno

This film is another in the endless series of disaster movies we've been offered in 1974. The Towering Inferno comes on like hot stuff. But the people who get burned are in the audience, because this film is a big bore. Some pyromaniacs might enjoy it, and the production substitutes technical achievement for plot.
The acting is tepid. The dialogue lacks spark. Screenwriter Sterling Silliphant devises some of the most ludicrous lines I've ever heard. They play to the giggles and hisses of the audience. Paul Newman is the architect who designs the 138-story building. His engineering is subverted by Richard Chamberlain. He replaces the specified wire with an inferior gauge, and the bhilding's whole electrical system goes haywire on the first day.  Enter the intrepid firefighters, with Chief Steve McQueen.  He sports lighter hair, sky blue eyes and a furrowed brow.  How can he save all those people trapped at a party on the top floor? And how can we tell him from Paul Newman, who also has sandy colored hair and baby blue eyes? Jennifer Jones and Fred Astaire leave their rocking chairs for this outing. Faye Dunaway wears a sheer brown dress to the fire, showing everything went thataway on her towering frame. Also in tow for their names' sake are Robert Vaughn, Susan Blakely, Robert Wagner and O.J. Simpson, who plays football much better than he acts. Music by Joel Hirschhorn and Al Kasha includes a song called "We May Never Love Like This Again." The flames lick higher, the firefighters bomb the water tanks on the building's top floor, and most of the important members of the cast survive.  Hollywood took two books and two studios, four camera crews and fourteen million dollars to make "The Towering Inferno." They build 57 sets and burned down 49 of them making this movie.  They dropped a million gallons of water on a huge set covering more than 11,000 square feet of sound stage.
"The Towering Inferno" should become an entry in the Guinness World Book of Records. The movie that spent so much to bring you just a big blast of hot air...This is Ellen Kimball on Entertainment for WEEI.

Rated: 'C' on Ellen's Entertainment Report Card.

(Review originally aired Dec. 25, 1974 to January 5, 1975)

For more information on this film, go to:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Can you IMAGINE? The Fab Four together again live!
Opens in Portland, OR 12/29/09

Left to Right: Joey Curatolo (Paul McCartney), Ralph Castelli (RingoStarr),
 Joe Bithorn (George Harrison), Steve Landes (John Lennon). Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus

This theater event has finished its run in Portland, Oregon. However, you can check the Internet for other locations where the touring company is headed. Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

Time travel back to those fabulous musical days. The Liverpool group is discovered and grows so popular that England can't contain them. Off they go to New York, where girls were swooning. I remember the day in 1964. I was working at CBS when their limo pulled up. The secretaries dashed to the mezzanine and looked down to see them.

Follow the group from Ed Sullivan to Abbey Road! You won't believe your eyes! They look like them and they sound just like them! "The next best thing to seeing The Beatles," raves the Denver Post. All the music and vocals are performed totally live!

RAIN covers the Fab Four from the earliest beginnings through the psychedelic late '60s and their long-haired hippie, hard-rocking rooftop days.

RAIN Is a multi-media, multi-dimensional experience ... a fusion of historical footage and hilarious television commercials from the 1960s lights up video screens and live cameras zoom in for close-ups. Sing along with your family and friends to such Beatlemaniac favorites as "Let It Be," "Hey Jude," "Come Together" and "Can't Buy Me Love."

All performances at the Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St at 3rd Ave, downtown Portland.
Performances with American Sign Language description are usually on Thursdays. Please call 503-241-1802, M-F, 9a-5p, for more information and tickets.

December 29, 2009 - January 3, 2010

Tuesday-Friday at 7:30pm
Saturday at 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm

In person: The Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers St, Portland, OR 97214
By Phone: 503-241-1802, or toll-free at 1-866-739-6737 (M-F, 9a-5p)

Portland Opera, in association with Broadway Across America, is proud to provide our entire region with the very best nationally touring Broadway productions.

For more details on the production in other cities, please visit

Monday, December 21, 2009

Movie Review: The Godfather Part 2 (1974) -- Classic Movies

The Godfather Part II (1974)
Original broadcast dates of this review: January 6-13, 1975
Classic movies are now available on DVD at NetFlix and other distributors.
PLEASE NOTE: This review may contain spoilers.

Movie director Francis Ford Coppola would have been a great painter. Since he decided to make his mark in film, his canvases turned out to be the screens in our movie theaters. (Now, we can view his work via DVD in our homes.) Coppola has literally painted this film epic in umbers, ochres, and deep pinkish tones. It’s “The Godfather, Part Two,” one of the best films I’ve ever seen.
In my opinion, this is a unique sequel, because it’s better than the original film. “The Godfather, Part Two” interweaves two stories. One involves the young Vito Corleone, played at an older age by Marlon Brando. First, we see him as a boy in Italy and subsequently as a young man in New York. The second story concerns Michael Corleone, Vito’s youngest son, the Godfather in 1958. The performance of Robert DeNiro crystallizes author Mario Puzo’s descriptions from the novel. Marlon Brando was bigger in star stature than the original role demanded, but he brought in the people for the first film. Now, DeNiro and Al Pacino render the story more human and understandable.
Director Coppola tells the two stores in alternation. In the first epoch, we see nine-year-old Vito’s early days in Sicily. A town feud ends with the violent death of his father, mother and older brother. Friends send Vito away in the night. He makes his way alone by boat to a new life in America.
Coppola captures the feeling of the early 1900s in New York City’s Italian district. It’s a thoroughly moving experience. In the modern story, Al Pacino as Michael Corleone faces his life as the new head of the family. He’s involved in gambling deals in the State of Nevada. Michael is a tragic character caught in a mix of revulsion and necessity. Michael’s life is a series of deals. The criminal part of his existence takes place in shadowy sequences. These are set amid the bright exterior glitter of the world of gambling. Michael’s role as husband and father are pressed into the background.
Finally, his wife leaves him. She admits that she aborted his second son rather than continue the bloodbath that began in Sicily. At the fade, Michael is alone with his dread and his double-deals. Al Pacino’s low-key performance is just a whisper. “The Godfather Part Two” is a giant of a movie. It runs three hours and twenty minutes. It is fascinating and unusual filmmaking. This is Ellen Kimball on Entertainment for WEEI Radio in Boston.
Thursday, November 26, 2009

Finally! Coming out of the fog of illness that was my summer...

Never give up hope, even in the darkest of times... A new day is dawning. I'm pleased to report that I'm feeling much better after a difficult summer. Thanks to everyone for your patience and understanding. I hope to be contributing to this blog on a more regular basis in the next few weeks.

As for now, you can find me on Twitter at Due to my improving health, I am spending less time on the computer and more time keeping myself in better shape. I've lost more than 10 lbs. by eating better food and LESS food. Also, I am committed to walking, swimming and completing household tasks that I could not do this summer.

I'm happy to hear from you and glad you could stop by! My best to you for the coming holiday season.


Ellen (@Radio_Lady on Twitter)
Monday, November 16, 2009