Posted by: toddzilla | January 5, 2007

My Thanks for an Iconic American Family with an Italian Flare


I was watching one of my favorite movies (Barbarella and yes I forced my poor wife to watch it too) the other day and noticed a familiar name in the opening credits…Then watching another classic last night (Conan the Barbarian and the missus simply refused to continue watching) I saw that name again and it prompted me to write this ode of thanks to the timeless, iconic family that I owe so much to…the De Laurentiis clan.  I know, I know, they have to be Italian, not American and frankly I don’t feel like doing the research to confirm this…call it a hunch…but they have helped shape American culture and my life as well.  Dino (the patriarch and owner of a cool frickin’ name) is alone responsible for producing Barbarella, U-571, Army of Darkness…yes THE Army of Darkness, Orca, Mandingo, and Death Wish! Dino has also produced…


Giada!  Oh my poor wife and what she puts up with…But it was my father-in-law that introduced me to Giada and all her Italian cooking goodness.  She and Rachel Ray have made the Food Network, well, not nearly as bad an idea as it sounded when I first heard about it.  Is it me or does Giada’s head look huge in some of the camera angles?

But back to his primo mission…movies.  Barbarella along with embarassing voice cracks and armpit hair, brought me into puberty.  I honestly think I actually crossed that line on the couch watching this movie…I think that’s when I sprouted my first chest hair.  Speaking of which, does anybody remember that scene with the furrier(?) on the ice lake in Barbarella when he wants to…well you know…the old fashioned way?  Then he pulls off his fur shirt and its almost as if he didn’t take it off at all!  That was great…I was born in the wrong decade.  I should have been a hip chest-hair having wild and crazy guy back in the 70’s.  Well Barbarella has left me with many questions, like wouldn’t that dude swimming in the hookah die of overexposure to nicotine and did George Lucas rip off the concept of the “Matmos” for his “force”?  I would really like to know for sure if Duran Duran got their band name from that movie.

Then last night…Conan!  I saw Raffaella De Laurentiis’ name in the opening credits (along with Oliver Stone as a writer!!!).  I checked and it was 23 minutes into the flick before Arnie spoke a single word and it was the classic line (when prompted with “Conan, what is the best thing in the world”) “To crush your enemies and see them driven before you…to hear the lamentations of their women”!  Now, that’s philosophy!  I guess there’s just not much to say while you’re pushing a millstone capstan for 10 years straight.  But it is apparently good for muscle tone.  The best part was Arnie falling down the rocks into the place where he got the sword…well anyway…Arnie’s dubbed falling distress sounds were hilarious…Ladies and Gentlemen of California (Caleef-ornia), your Governor!

Well, here’s to you Dino and the rest of the De Laurentii(?)…thanks for making America what it is today!



  1. She is great, just love her show.

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