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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Report Card---"Elvis and Nixon"

"Elvis and Nixon", with Michael Shannon as Elvis, and Kevin Spacey as Nixon, is a true story about how and why they met in Nixon's White House.
It is a complete hoot.
What makes it as funny as it is was the decision to depict both Elvis and Nixon as complete shmucks.
Elvis wants to be made a "special FBI agent".
Nixon doesn't see any value in meeting with Elvis and has to have his arm twisted to agree to even meet with Elvis.  No matter how much publicity it would derive.

On to the scoring:   

Is it interesting?

Fascinating.  No matter how much it stuck to the facts.

Compelling even?

Often.  Mainly due to the strength of the two leads.

Is it controversial?

Only if you are concerned with how accurate it is.  I wasn't.

Is it a story worth telling?


Is it good storytelling?


Is it well written?

It particularly lets Spacey chew the scenery.

Is it well cast? Well played?

Every year, there is one actor who has it in his contract to appear in every movie.
This year, it's Michael Shannon.
And he's earned it.
Spacey is his usual brilliant self.

Well shot?


Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

I can't tell.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale and time period?

Almost every movie I've been seeing lately takes place in the seventies.  The cars are a dead giveaway.

Is it too long? Too short?

It seemed to fly by.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

You certainly could believe that they were shmucks, as were Haldeman and Ehrlichmann.
You didn't care about them, but both Shannon and Spacey made you care about Elvis and Nixon.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I didn't know most of the details.  If true, it was quite illuminating.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

It made me wonder just how many presidents Spacey can play convincingly.

Is it funny?


Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

I could wait until Amazon Prime, like I did.

Is it impressive?


Overall grade: A+.

Loved it.

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. This is one of those movies that doesn't get booked into the plex because the CGI-fests squeeze it out.

    That said, I have a dumb question:

    Does this movie make any mention of Paul Frees?

    Reason I ask: Some of the accounts I've read about this incident maintain that Elvis got the idea when Frees showed him his 'credential', IDing him as an Agent At Large with the Justice Department, which Frees used to go on drug raids in Marin County, CA.
    When Elvis saw this, he wanted one of his own, and his cadre went about making it so (or so the story goes ...).

    Just curious ...



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."