Each month, the CMBA profiles a classic movie blog written by one of our members. This month, we’re featuring Gill Jacob, who writes at Real Weegie Midget Reviews.
CMBA: Why do you blog?
Gill Jacob: As a lifelong movie and TV lover, my first blog post was a review of Love and Mercy (2014), a mental health-themed biopic. The review was written for my Darlin Husband while he was away on a work trip overseas. It then kind of snowballed from there. I love how supportive, caring, and friendly the blogging community is, and I have met so many wonderful people -- famous and non famous -- who have distracted me with their friendship and friendly comments and blogathons, which have helped me with my on/off homesickness for Scotland and its people. I still have pangs but not as much now, so thanks!!!.
As a classic blogger, I love finding obscure films from a star's career and tributing stars in all sorts of ways. I also love to give something back to those stars that I have enjoyed in movies and TV, from childhood favorites to beyond. I always tag them on social media. I'm thrilled if I get a personal reply or a like (see my Starry Mentions pages). I guess it reminds me of the excitement I used to get when I asked for signed photos as a child and an envelope with a reply came through the letterbox. I love reviewing for others and am constantly touched that many of those filmmakers and authors that I have written for have returned to ask me to review more of their content. I've also made a few good friends that way, too.
I love the entertainment blogging community and through entering those blogathons, I have met some lovely bloggers and discovered lots of great movies and TV. I also love interviewing filmmakers and I've made good friends with a few filmmakers. My childhood self has to pinch herself as I've had so many lovely likes, follows, and comments from stars I adored then and still do now, such as Judy Matheson (Jarvis), Morgan Brittany, Joan Collins, Lee Grant, Emma Samms, and William Shatner. My most personal thrill to date was writing a recent movie review for Valerie Perrine on her documentary about her current personal experience of Parkinson's Disease. I was deeply touched when she asked me to do this for her. I also interviewed her friend and the director of this movie, Stacey Souther, and it was lovely to learn more about this wonderful and inspiring actress from a best friend.
CMBA: Besides classic movie blogging, what are some of your other passions?
Gill Jacob: I adore reading entertainment-themed books, memoirs, and biographies. I have a huge collection at home (mostly unread) and I particularly enjoy audible autobiographies (which are read by the person who wrote the book). I prefer autobiographies, as you have that person's view on their life and not the gossipy version. Dallas (1978-91) is another obsession, and I have a big post planned about one of the cast members coming up next year. But even if it doesn't happen, I am super excited about what has been happening behind the scenes with this lovely cast member so far . . . this will make sense when I reveal all.
I also am passionate about mental health issues. I used to work in mental health and chose this career after seeing One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I disliked Nurse Ratched and was at first a staff nurse running activities with patients. However, I had wanted to work in mental health in more of a Jack Nicholson role, as the person who took them fishing, and this prompted me to train as an occupational therapist. I also get passionate about putting right misconceptions about mental health, as more than a few people can justify.
I am also passionate about my Darlin Husband, as he is my best friend and the love of my life. He is also generous, fun, supportive, caring, and one of a few people who make me laugh out loud. He can make a bad movie good with his riffling and can do many retro impersonations such as Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, and Sean Connery. What's not to love???
CMBA: If you could program a perfect day of classic movies for TCM, what would be the seven films on your schedule?
Gill Jacob: Now that's a toughie . . . these are pretty random (and all have been reviewed on my blog):
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) - I LOVE Richard Burton and I adored watching him with his then-real life wife, Elizabeth Taylor. His character is wonderfully played and no one can insult in films as beautifully as Burton.
Endless Night (1972) - Favorite film adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel, with a fabulous Bernard Herrmann score, Hywel Bennett, and as the trailer says, "a love story."
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) - Favorite role with Jack Nicholson and has a fabulous behind-the-scenes story and ensemble performances.
Somewhere in Time (1980) - A timeless and sumptuous time travel romance with a fabulous John Barry score (and Christopher Plummer at his most on-screen villainous).
Fedora (1978) - an underrated Billy Wilder movie and a wonderful satire on the film industry and I love it!.
Sunset Boulevard (1950) - another film satire from Wilder, fantastically immersive until the final shot.
Airport 77 (1977) - my favorite disaster movie (as I said in my review, "It's a soap in the skies") with an amazingly silly plot including the Bermuda Triangle, an all-star cast -- shoutouts to Christopher Lee and Lee Grant -- and some wonderfully intriguing cut scenes that suggest a completely different plot.
CMBA: What is a classic movie that you love, but most people don't know about -- and what do you love about it?
Gill Jacob: I adore the British black and white movie, Whistle Down the Wind (1961). It has a teenage Hayley Mills as one of three siblings who find a man (played by Alan Bates) in their barn and think he is Jesus. They don't realize that he's actually a fugitive who is on the run. The children in the film are beautifully cast and the movie is based on a credible plot written by Hayley's mother. It's a really sweet and touching film. I read it does have religious themes but as a kid, I only noticed the more obvious ones, I love the innocence of the kids in this movie and their Northern English (Lancashire) accents add to the ambience.
CMBA: What is something that most people don't know about you?
Gill Jacob: When I was wee and painfully shy, I entered a debating competition where you had to choose a real-life person or fictional character and argue why you should be the only person to stay in a sinking hot air balloon heading towards the sea. I entered as Sue Ellen Ewing (from Dallas), then launched into my impersonation of her and won hands down. Years later, I also entered this true tale in a Dallas-themed competition, as my reason to see Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy interviewed on a TV show and won two tickets!
We thank Gill for participating in our Q & A profile and encourage you to visit Reel Weegie Midget Reviews!