Trailer Park–The “Three for the Weekend” Home Edition

Usually we reserve Trailer Park for a pile-on of new movie trailers, but this year has seen a serious dearth of new both new movies and previews for new movies.  So let’s highlight some true classics you need in your repertoire if they aren’t there already.  Three standouts are airing on basic cable–depending on where you live and what you subscribe to–Saturday and Sunday.  First up is the baseball comedy classic Brewster’s Millions And then we have two different brands of war movie.  So what are they?

Let’s get to it.

Brewster’s Millions just turned 35 last month.  When it was first released in 1985 you lined up in theaters for it for being fans of either or both of the two funniest men who ever lived: Richard Pryor and John Candy.  Although many may not have noticed at the time the writer-director Walter Hill, audiences would know him later for writing Aliens and producing later films in the franchise, and he also directed Wes Studi in John Milius’s vastly underrated Western, Geronimo: An American Legend.  Brewster’s Millions is a remake, at least the sixth remake of a classic story of a regular guy whose uncle leaves him a pile of money with the proviso that he must spend a percentage, but still large amount, of it quickly in order to trigger the release of the full sum (there’s a musical British version, one with Fatty Arbuckle, and the earliest premiered in 1914).

For the 1985 version, Pryor’s Montgomery Brewster is a minor league baseball player.  His uncle, played (briefly) by the great Hume Cronyn, leaves him a choice of either $1 million or $300 million but only if he can dispose of $30 million in 30 days, with several restrictions, including not being able to tell anyone.  That includes his best friend played by Candy.  As Spike Nolan Candy nabbed the greatest baseball character name in baseball movie history and he also gave us one of his best roles as that Samwise-type loyal friend audiences loved him for.  Pryor’s slapstick angst and “Vote None of the Above” idea cemented the film as an often forgotten 1980s classic, and a classic baseball movie we almost always forget to add to our “best of” lists.  The supporting cast includes greats like Pat Hingle, Jerry Orbach, Peter Jason, Tovah Feldshuh, Rick Moranis, Yakov Smirnov, and post-Star Trek Stephen Collins.

You can’t say enough about Robert Aldrich’s Oscar-winning World War II comedy drama The Dirty Dozen.  It was the original all-star action ensemble flick that led to movies like The Expendables.  Everyone who was anyone in 1967 got cast in this film, beginning with noted tough guy star Lee Marvin.  The rest of the cast is a who’s who: Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland, Richard Jaeckel, Clint Walker, and George Kennedy.

Who do you tap for a suicide mission to take out a cache of key Nazis?  How about a dozen convicted criminals with death sentences and nothing to lose?  And why not bring in Jim Brown–one of the greatest players in NFL history–to lead the way?

The third required classic not to miss this weekend is the best modern war movie: Memphis Belle, which turns 30 this year.  This is another all-star cast of its decade’s finest actors, but it also is one of the few war movies not made during WWII and the post-war era to capture the soldiers’ bravery, fear, determination, and drama as well.  It also is a great reminder of how young the guys were who fought and won the war.

Look for John Lithgow, David Strathairn, Matt Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, D.B. Sweeney, Billy Zane, Reed Diamond, Harry Connick, Jr., and Sean Astin all in key roles.

Here are the original trailers for all three films:

Set your DVRs so you can fast-forward through the commercials later.  Catch Brewster’s Millions 7 p.m. (Central) Saturday, June 20, on the MLB network.  Watch The Dirty Dozen at 11 a.m. and Memphis Belle at 2:30 p.m., both airing Sunday, June 21, 2020, on the Sundance channel.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg

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