Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
This is 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 1st of each month and on the 7th, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of DOG BITE High Gravity Lager (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!
[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Monday, October 26, 2015


This is my contribution to Bish Denham's 'THE LISTING BLOGHOP', going on today. To participate and/or read the various lists, click HERE.

Congratulations, Bish! That might be the best Blogfest advertisement I've ever seen. Very clever, you clever gal!

As part of my own listing project ('25 FAVORITE MOVIES'), I've decided to post my personal Top Ten list here today. Here they are in alphabetical order:



English teacher John Keating inspires his students to discover their love for poetry and "Seize the day!" ~IMDb

In my opinion, this was the role Robin Williams was born for. Any movie that quotes Thoreau is right up my alley. I'm Stephen T. McCarthy... and you know what the "T." stands for, right?

What a fantastic ending to an inspiring movie! 

Roger Ebert said the ending made him want "to throw up". Well, I give that repulsive little fatso two thumbs down and one middle finger up!

EAST  OF  EDEN  (1955)


In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father, Adam. ~IMDb

It was THIS performance that really ignited the "acting bug" in me. James Dean was the world's most imaginatively creative actor. One cannot teach others how to do what he managed: it's not a technique; it's a God-given gift. James Dean was the best, and 'East Of Eden' was the best of James Dean. 




An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. ~IMDb

Of course, everyone's seen this one. There's nuttin' I need to add... except... the best name for a Rock band that I've ever heard was ZUZU'S  PETALS.


A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them. ~IMDb

In 1982, a fellow film enthusiast recommended I see 'KOYAANISQATSI', a movie with no story, no actors, no narration. In some respects, I was a different person when I walked out of that theatre. No movie before or since has blown me away like 'KOY' did. It literally changed the way I saw the world. And for weeks afterwards, I dragged just about everyone I liked to that movie theatre. I probably saw 'KOY' 12 times in 3 weeks!


If God told me I could watch only one movie for the rest of my life, 'KOYAANISQATSI' is the one I'd select.

MONTE  WALSH  (1970)


An aging cowboy realizes that the West he knew and loved will soon be no more - and that there will be no room for him, either. ~IMDb

Recently, some folks were discussing whom they imagined might play the part of themselves in a movie about their lives. Well, me, I didn't need to speculate, because the story of my life was filmed back in 1970. They titled it 'MONTE WALSH', and Lee Marvin played the part of Stephen T. McCarthy.

Sometime later, Jeanne Moreau stated that Lee Marvin was the most masculine man she ever shared the screen with. (I'm sure she woulda said the same 'bout me;o)




Upon admittance to a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients to take on the oppressive Hillary Clinton head nurse. ~IMDb

Well, simply put, I first saw it in a theatre in 1975, and I never tire of watching it. It's funnier than most "Comedies", but what a damned great Drama it is! One of my Top 5 favorite movies.

ROCKY  (1976)


Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight the heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed, in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect. ~IMDb

Never mind the 364 remakes disguised as sequels. The first one should have been the ONLY one!

SCROOGE  (1970)

A musical retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about an old bitter miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions. ~IMDb

Hands down the best version of 'A Christmas Carol'. If there is such a thing as a movie that's better'n 'It's A Wonderful Life', it's THIS one! Every December I debate with myself over which of the two is my favorite.

Great story, great sets, great songs, great acting! What's not to love? (You gotta admit, those British actors really are the best.)




Danny, a poor northern Californian Mexican-American, inherits two houses from his grandfather and is quickly taken advantage of by his vagabond friends. ~IMDb

No dog lover should fail to see this movie! The Pirate (Frank Morgan - the Wizard of Oz) and his "good boys" come close to stealing the show. The movie is better'n the Steinbeck book it was based on. It's "Double H" (Hilarious 'n' Heartwarming).

Protly Top 5 for me, right after '...Cuckoo's Nest'.

If you can watch this movie without craving wine
It's highly unlikely you're a good friend of mine.

THE  WILD  BUNCH  (1969)

An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them. ~IMDb


As some of you may have heard, my friend Kevin and I are currently working on the third installment of the 'OUR FAVORITE MOVIES' project. (The last edition was in 2004.) We're collecting lists of your 25 FAVORITE MOVIES, and keeping score to see what our collective list of favorite movies looks like when all the results are in.

Anyone may participate (whether you and I know each other or not). We hope to have all the lists in by the end of November, so we can tabulate the results then.

For details about this filmtastic good time, click the link below and scroll down to where you read this message: 

And now, a special message to YOU from my friend Kevin (and me)...  

Hi, I'm LINK. Click ME!


~ Stephen T. McCarthy


  1. Koyaanisqatsi was such a unique film. Did you see the sequel? Can't remember the name of it.
    Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

  2. Thanks for listing with me, Stephen! Great list of movies. I've added Koy to my list of must sees! I've never heard of it. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of those few movies that stayed close to the book and was done SO well.

  3. The Wild Bunch is a great western. It seems like I've seen Dead Poet's Society, but I don't remember it--that would have been several years ago if I did.

    Some great films on this list no doubt.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  4. You have a fantastic list here. I only say that because I included a few of the movies you have here on my own list, and because I liked all of the others to some degree, so... I guess it's just bias talking. But I have great taste, so if you share that taste you must also have great taste by extension. Don't argue the logic.

    With that said, I thought I had my list just about done. Thought. Then I saw a couple movies I had almost forgotten. Like, how could I have forgotten Tortilla Flat? That's definitely top ten! Alright, back to the drawing board...


  5. Nice classicy list. I've not seen Tortilla Flats.

  6. Yup, I've only see It's a Wonderful Life. LOL!

  7. I think I didn't quite read the directions correctly. I just randomly put together 25 movies. I didn't realize I needed to break them into 10 and 15. Yikes. I don't think I can. I had a really hard time deciding on the 25.

    I slept really badly last night and feel just terrible. Terrible. Can't string two thoughts together well.

    As expected, I haven't seen most of these. Dead Poets Society. Great movie. As you say, Robin Williams was MADE for that role. I have it right now on my DVR to watch again. I probably should've included it on my own list. Rocky. That was a fantastic movie. Who doesn't get a chill when he runs up the steps with the music playing?

    If it's 80s I've probably seen it. If it ain't... well, it gets dicey!

  8. OK...I have not seen Dead Poet's Society...I know! Slap me silly!! This is on my top 10 must see list. I have not seen Tortilla Flat and won't if you tell me a dog dies because I can't take it:) Love The Wild Bunch-it is quite a great film and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a film of comedy and tragedy-stellar! Glad to see It's A Wonderful Life on this list:) I have to check out that documentary-I never heard of it

  9. ALEX ~
    Yeah, POWAQQATSI and NAQOYQATSI. I own all 3. And the filmmaker says that they were conceived as a trilogy. Hmmm... Well, I've seen "POW" twice and "NAQ" once. Frankly, I don't much see the point in either of them, as they didn't say much (if anything) that "KOY" didn't cover to at least some degree.

    Also, once you've walked into a theatre not knowing what to expect and been blown away by KOY, there's no repeating that experience with the two (inferior) movies that followed.

    BISH ~
    I never read the book. But I heard of a couple things in the book, left out of the movie (thankfully!), and I'm kinda glad I haven't cracked that book open (although I'm sure it's excellent).

    I could watch the movie ANYTIME. I probably saw it in the movie theatre 10 times in 1975. God only knows how many times I've seen it since!

    LEE ~
    Well, if you don't remember 'DEAD POETS SOCIETY', you should definitely see it again. You're absolutely due for a second viewing!

    Yes, how could you have forgotten 'TORTILLA FLAT'? Saint Francis is rather unhappy with you at the moment, boy! Say ten "Hail Rovers" and volunteer 16 hours at your local No-Kill Shelter!

    Thanks! (And get on that movie, animal-lover! Yeah, I seen "da bear".)

    CHRYS ~
    Well, at least you saw a GREAT one! Hard to top 'It's A Wonderful Life'.

    Welcome to my world of Tossing 'N' Turning.

    You have plenty of time to get your list broken into two groups. I don't need 'em all in until the second or third week of November.

    Just think about what FAE did: She listed all 25 movies in order of preference! Amazing! I could never accomplish that - it seems impossible. (Well, for one thing, that order would change from mood-to-mood and year-to-year. I can't fathom HOW she managed to do that!)

    BIRGIT ~
    Well, if a dog DID die in 'TORTILLA FLAT', it would go immediately to Heaven because all dogs go to Heaven. But fear not, good lady, NO DOGS DIE in 'TORTILLA FLAT'.

    ~ Stephen

  10. OMG... 'KOY' sounds amazing! I'd never heard of it, but I will look it up and watch it. Great list, Stephen!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  11. Enjoyed your list and what you had to say about each one, I have seen several of them.
    Juneta Writer's Gambit

  12. I didn't realize there was an original Monte Walsh film before Tom Selleck remade it for TV. I love westerns and there are so few made anymore.
    Susan Says

    1. GUILIE ~
      I have little doubt that you will dig 'KOY'.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      JUNETA ~
      I'm pleased you liked the list and my commentary. I'm surprised no one has had anything snarky to say yet about my "political" remarks.

      SUSAN ~
      Yes, The Western is my favorite movie genre, and I think the original 'MONTE WALSH' was head and shoulders better'n the Tom Selleck remake.

      I wish they'd stop trying to re-do the Classics that really can't be improved upon!

      ~ D-FensDogG

  13. Excellent list. We agree on one in the top ten anyway. There are several that I think are great films, but they didn't make it onto my list, mainly because they are a little too painful for me to watch over and over, every couple of years for Cuckoo's Nest is enough for me, although it's absolutely superb (Jack at his best). And a great movie like Tortilla Flat was only introduced to me so recently that, I haven't even had time to see it a second time. Rocky is another one that was excellent and acted so well by that big ole palooka. Dead Poets, again great, but painful. Wait a minute, what is this telling us about you STMcC. Guess I really shoulda included MW, as I do sit down and watch that one every few weeks (yes, I said weeks), but then I love that man's man, Lee Marvin.

    This was way more fun than I thought, but you have probably noticed my post if fraught with typos. The bain of working and reworking on it late at night.

    1. FAE ~
      Yeah, I guess I like pain-filled movies. I can relate.

      G'wahn! Get outta here!
      You're seriously telling me that you watch 'MONTE WALSH' every few weeks?

      If so, you're hooked on my life even more than I am. Heck, I only manage a viewing of 'MW' about once per year.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      >>... I only manage a viewing of 'MW' about once per year.

      But then again, I'm living it 24/7 365! Who needs to watch what they're already feelin', eh?

      ~ D-FensDogG

  14. Whoa. That Koyannisqatsi is one I will look up. Thank you. Your list makes me think of what mine might look like!

  15. I like some of your movies. Toss up for me between Dead Poets and The Fisher King for fav Robin Williams roles. Lee Marvin would play you huh? Well, I always enjoyed his movies, and Paint Your Wagon was probably his best.

    My favorites would include Signs, Sixth Sense, Last of the Mohicans, Brave Heart, The Patriot (everything Mel Gibson), Grand Tourino, From Dusk Til Dawn. Way too many to list, even in a long post.

    1. LISA ~
      Thanks for the visit. I'll get to yer list before too long. Really busy with work at the moment.

      By all means, do check out 'KOYAANISQATSI'.

      OH DONNA! ~
      I'm pretty sure I saw 'THE FISHER KING', but it was so long ago I can't really recall anything about it at the moment.

      Did you ever see Lee Marvin in 'CAT BALLOU'? It was Marvin in a comedy (yes, believe it!) and he sets the all-time speed record for intoxication!

      ~ D-FensDogG

  16. I keep blanking when trying to come up with a list, although you know what movie we have in common...

    If you've never seen it, the 2006 sequel Rocky Balboa was actually pretty good-it was the only sequel that came close to capturing the spirit of the first film.


  17. Hey Stephen, I started my own movie/actors list last Tuesday, which I put up my first 5 and I hoped to share another 5 tomorrow, but I'm running on fumes it seems. I did manage to pull together a different list for today's The Listing Hop, though. Come by and check it out, if you want. You shared some very good ones and It's A Wonderful Life is one of my all-time favorites. We don't watch it every Christmas and I'm pretty sure we didn't last year, so now you got me wanting to watch it. That being said, we will have to make a point to include it in our movie watching this December. Have a spooktacular week!

    1. LC ~
      Do you want me to send you a copy of your 2004 list via Email? It will give you the foundation from which you can make your 2015 adjustments.

      Yeah, I remember you telling me once before that you thought 'ROCKY BALBOA' was pretty good, and the best one since the original.

      But I think of it like this: If I want to watch a 'Rocky' movie that "captures the spirit of the first film", I just watch the first film. Ha!

      CATHY ~
      I will definitely get to your blog and check out your list ASAP.

      I don't watch 'IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE' every Christmas either, because I don't want to dull the emotional impact of it by too many viewings.

      So what I usually do is watch what I consider the "Old Classics' one year ('...WONDERFUL LIFE', 'MIRACLE ON 34th STREET'), and my "New Classics" the next year ('SCROOGE', and 'A CHRISTMAS STORY').

      BTW, all four of those movies are on my 25 FAVORITE MOVIES list.

      See ya soon, Cathy!

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. The thing about Rocky Balboa is that not only did it capture the spirit of the original film, but it captured the spirit of where I am in my life now. Not the boxing part, but the growing older part. The film is a great commentary on aging while continuing to maintain one's self esteem. It's a film to which I can relate.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Wrote By Rote

    3. Hmmm... Well, maybe I'll have to look into that movie then, LEE. As I expect that any year now I too will begin aging. [;o)}

      ~ D-FensDogG

  18. The original Rocky -- one of my favorites!


    1. YVONNE ~
      There are a lot of Sports movies I like a lot, but the first 'ROCKY' is definitely #1.

      Thanks for coming by. I'll re-pay the visit when I can.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  19. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a great movie and a great book. How often can that be said?

  20. Rocky and It's a Wonderful Life are the two I've seen. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one I've always wanted to see, but have never gotten around to it. And I recently learned that Nurse Cratchet (sp) is the same actress who plays Kai Winn from Star Trek: DS9. (Only the best Star Trek ever)

  21. Never knew you were doing this, Arlee said you were compiling top 25 lists. Used movies for my 25


    can't go wrong with Nurse Ratchet, as long as you don't have her. It's a wonderful life is great. Really enjoyed Dead Poet's society too, great list.

  22. My parents took me to your number one film and Mom and I left crying. My father never got it. :D


      I am currently in the middle of a JOB CHANGE, and so I'm running here, there and everywhere to get all these things done in time. Things like drug tests, Alcohol Awareness class, etc. (Imagine anyone thinking that I might need to be made aware of alcohol! Where's the lectern? Move aside, rookie! I'll be teaching this class from now on...)

      Seriously... please excuse my tardiness. It's not like me at all, but under these circumstances I'm not quite myself.

      SHANNON ~
      True that.
      I've not read the book, but seen the movie countless times. And I can think of only two times when I thought the movie was better than the book that spawned it. Both of those instances made my list here ('Tortilla Flat' and 'East Of Eden').

      JEFFREY ~
      I think I've seen only one of the Star Trek movies. (And couldn't even tell you which one it was, but it was an old one because that was long ago in a galaxy far, far away. Oops! I'm mixing up my SciFi, ain't I?)

      You absolutely SHOULD see '...Cuckoo's Nest'! You're missing one of the very greatest movies ever made, Brother.

      PATT ~
      Thanks for stopping by. I haven't gotten there yet, but I PROMISE I'll check out your list and include it in my movie project. Thanks!

      Your comment made me laugh!
      Aww, "fathers" NEVER "get it". What's up with that? I guess I was 22 when I first saw 'KOYAANISQATSI'. But if I had been a father rather than a young adult, I'm sure I wouldn't have "gotten it" either. Ha! (Thanks for the laugh. I'll be along to check out your list soon.)

      Well, gotta run. Another test calls me. I'll be Bach... and Beethoven soon.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  23. This is a typical StMcC list: well thought-out, with compelling reasons for the choices.

    Referring to our possible/probable differences in movie choices vs. music choices: I like almost everything on the list very much, some of which would make either my own top 25 or at least a top 50 if we were doing one. The only exceptions are these:
    1) I've not seen Koyaan....si. I'll put it on my to-do list. It looks very interesting. Also not seen Tortilla Flat.
    2) I'm "meh" about East of Eden.
    3) I disliked Coocoo's Nest big time. In fact, walked out of the theater, probably because I was so pissed at the way it was going. Aficionados would contend that just because I didn't like the plot that does not mean it is a lousy movie. But since I go to movies for my own pleasure, YES IT DOES... to me.

    You list confirms my own belief that our taste in movies is not that far off, but that is because I like to see the glass 3/4 full instead of 1/2 drunk. YOU prefer to emphasize the differences... and the drinking. That's because I was George Marshall in a past life, whereas you were Genghis Khan... or somebody.

      Your seeing the glass "1/2 drunk" remark made me laugh out loud!

      You don't EVER want to be George Marshall in a past life, Brother! Marshall was a bad man and a traitor to his country. And after all, he did win a Nobel Peace Prize, and what more needs to be said? (With a few exceptions) you know the sorts of people that prize goes to, right? Look to the White House!

      Senator Joe McCarthy couldn't stand George Marshall (for very clear reasons), therefore it's a no-brainer that I despise the man, too.

      And wait just a cotton-pickin' second here!
      I knew you had walked out on '...CUCKOO'S NEST' when you saw it in 1975. But, are you telling me you've not seen it since? You still don't know how the movie ends? Is that what you're sayin' here, Bro? *[Careful! Careful! Easy does it, Stephen.]*

      ~ D-FensDogG

  24. Ha Ha!

    Yes, I deliberately picked George Marshall for myself because I wanted Lee to know I was just joshin' with him with that Ralph Bunche comment the other day. And Khan? Nah. Just picked a name with bad connotations that would not bother too many people.

    And no, I have never seen the movie to the end. I am an immovable force when I dig in my heels. However, when I walked out, it was literally less than ten minutes from the end. I had HAD ENOUGH.

    I DO know how it ends, though. These days, I never see a movie without knowing how it ends, and Coocoo is a major reason for that policy. I saw Coocoo having just heard the rave reviews. What BS. (Spoiler alert!!)

    The ONLY way that movie would have a decent ending would be for Yul Brenner and Steve McQueen to go in with guns blazing and take out Ratched and her evil crew. THEN justice would be done! The big guy just escaping while Jack drools his life away makes me want to punch someone in the face after I kick them in the groin. OOOHH! I'm pissed all over again!

    1. SBB-6 ~
      It's still funny because how many people even know who Bunche and Marshall were?

      I'm not sure I can go along with your proposed mash-up ending for 'Cuckoo's Nest', but I understand why it would appeal to you.

      I think you have totally missed the boat on 'Cuckoo's Nest' and now your stubbornness (dug in heels) has robbed you of a great and inspiring (and funny as funny can be) story.

      No, never mind. I get where you're coming from. I didn't like what they were doing to Jesus, either, so I stopped reading The Bible before I got to the end. Ha!

      Man, sacrificial stories are some of the best! And R.P. McMurphy was done wrong, but he sacrificed himself and freed all those prisoners mentally - and one he freed bodily, also.

      Six, it's sad, Sad, SAD! And you a lover of art and great storytelling, too. Brother, not every story can finish with a Disney ending. Gotta have some bittersweet too, ya know, Bro?

      ~ D-FensDogG

  25. Stephen, I agree that the first Rocky was the best. Sly will be the new "Mickey" in the latest version with Apollo Creed's son. Dead Poets Society, and Cuckoos Nest were also classics. I don't remember if I ever saw the entire version of East of Eden, so I'll have to look for it as I really liked James Dean. FYI, the actress who played Seinfeld's mom was one of James Deans' girlfriends. Fabulous list, my friend!

    P.S. I'll come back tomorrow for your BOTB, as the videos kept going in and out. Love Burt Bachrach!


    1. GEM JULIE ~
      Why do I fear that you're not joking about that "latest version" of 'Rocky'?

      Is there REALLY going to be another version? And if so, is that REALLY the idea behind it?

      If this is all true, I'm totally protesting and boycotting! This 'Rocky' thing got so far out of hand it's preposterous! I almost hate myself for loving the first 'Rocky', because it obviously became just a money-making endeavor for Sylvester Stallone, who so shamelessly rapes his original masterpiece that he ought to be arrested to protect the viewing public.

      Great catch about the actress who played Seinfeld's mom. I actually learned that some time ago and was surprised by it. Yeah, her name was Ann Sheridan (if I remember correctly).

      She indeed knew Dean very well, but I've seen her interviewed in a documentary or two, and I have a feeling she may have slightly exaggerated the "relationship" she had with him. For sure they were friends and studied together, but I'm not convinced that there was all that much romance between them. I could be mistaken, however.

      Julie, I would love, Love, LOVE to get a movie list from you, to include in my project! Do you think that's possible? Top 25 broken into two groups: Top Ten (any order or none at all) and The Next Fifteen (in any order or none at all).

      How 'bout it, my gem of a friend? Can you put together a 25 Favorite Movies list for me? You can take a couple weeks to do it in, if need be.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    I will return to reply to yer comments ASAP. Right now, things are truly hellctic. Please give me a day... maybe two.

    [SBB-6, you do realize, I'm sure, that this calls for a snarky smack-down, right?]

    See yaz great friends soon...

    ~ D-FensDogG


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