On March 26, 2019, the Criterion Collection is releasing I Wanna Hold Your Hand on DVD and Blu-Ray.

I don’t do advertising but if you want to know how I feel about the movie you can go here or here.

I find it double hilarious that this is the first film by Robert Zemeckis selected for Criterion’s prestige touch, given that his 2004 commentary (which will now be abetted by a bunch of new extras) made it clear he didn’t think much of what he had done, mostly because it didn’t make any money.

Criterion chose wisely. Zemeckis was later responsible for Back to the Future, Romancing the Stone, Forrest Gump, Castaway, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and many others that made a whole lot of money. This is still his best work.

..And the most exciting thing that will happen this year?

Stay tuned.


  1. Congratulations Neal and John! I look forward to learning a lot about the era through its music (what better way?). Even a die-hard Sinatra “crooner” fan like me can learn something!

    • Thanks April, we definitely had fun with this…but I think you can learn a lot too (I know I learned a few things and I’m now officially an expert!).

      And we even got to comment on Frank (he had a couple of #1s in the sixties)…Just know going in that I love Frank’s stuff from the fifties, but Nancy is my favorite Sinatra…and I’n not shy about it! Just lonely. Hell, Nancy’s not even Nancy’s favorite Sinatra! (lol)

  2. Can I ask a music related question (i think it’s from just after 1969). Who in the world was The Mike Curb Congregation? were they an actual musical group or chorus? Because my sort of official “anthem” for last year was their song for Eastwood’s Kelly’s Heroes (1970), “Burning Bridges.” That song could be written for me and even though it’s a choral effort I think I sound mighty fine piping it on my own. It’s just such an odd tune and the artists I have not heard of. Hope you or Neal might know. I’d particularly like to know if the song was written specifically for the movie or what you can tell me about its origins. Did it even get released as a single?

    • You have come to the right place:

      Mike Curb was a music mogul/businessman/politician (a staunch right-wing Republican who served as Jerry Brown’s lieutenant governor in the last seventies–now THAT’s gettin’ around!). The Mike Curb Congregation was a group of choral singers he put together with the principal aim of using them as session singers. Their most famous record was backing Sammy Davis. Jr. on his #1 hit “The Candy Man.” Curb and his singers were also occasionally involved with the Osmonds after they signed with his record label in the early seventies.


      The Mike Curb Congregation also released some records under their own name, of which “Burning Bridges” was by far the most famous. It reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart during a run that lasted a very healthy seventeen weeks beginning in November, 1970. It was written for the movie as part of Lalo Schifren’s score (yes, the same fellow who wrote the Mission Impossible theme.)–not sure if he wrote the lyrics, though. I’ll have to check next time I watch the movie. It’s been weeks since I saw it last, so it won’t be long!

      (On a related note–I noticed the name changes of late and I hope it’s not presumptuous of me to wish that the new direction, whatever it might be, has left you in a good place!…And you are not the only person who has found a sort of catharsis in that Burning Bridges melody of late, even after years of familiarity.)

      • I’m rather stunned at this unexpected backstory. I was expecting something more hippie-dippy but I’ve worked in the music business too (yes, I got around) and I know that it–and politics–make strange bedfellows.
        I know a successful Argentinian composer who worked briefly with Lalo and developed an immense rivalry (and I suspect, envy). But think what you will, Mission Imp’s theme is a classic like the 007 by Barry.
        The lyrics in the Mike Curb song are universal enough that you could relate them to a dozen different eras and to anyone who lived life to the point of bursting, where burning bridges comes with the territory.
        Besides the song my favorite thing about Kelly’s Heroes is Telly. I have such a thing for him. He makes the other men seem like boys, but he’s so genuine, too.
        Thanks so much for answering a question that really was bothering me. I bow to the expert now for my music education.

        • Curb’s name probably makes more teeth grind among the Lefties than any other single figure. I take ’em as they come and anybody responsible for any part of Kelly’s Heroes gets a pass from me!

          You’re so right about Telly. Was he ever less than compelling? I need to get hold of Kojak…I only barely remember it, but as much as I love him in movies, I would probably have a blast just watching him. (That scene where he turns back one last time to train the field glasses on the two men he’s having to leave behind gets me every time….One wrong second there and the whole movie is blown because it’s the one moment when the danger and tragedy of war are allowed to impede on the comedy and give it weight. There’s about a thousand ways it could go wrong…and he’s perfect. Even if it was scripted it was down to his timing and, of course, he delivered, as he did in every other scene. I don’t think a supporting Oscar would have been out of line.)

          • Telly never spoke about his own service but I can’t help but see his experience informs roles like that. Kojak is my go-to for Man Shaking his Head at the insanity in Midst of Civilization Crumbling. This is a good place for a law enforcement figure to start from.
            Perspective that men who lived life experiences is lacking in these characters now, in fact their lack of the most necessary experience and clear heads seems to be the whole point. They are provided one special skill, like psychic ability or ESP, and are otherwise bloodless odd bodies.
            Telly was one with the people of the neighborhoods he played cop to and they welcomed him everywhere. Do yourself a favor and get the show however you can before it’s a collector’s item.

  3. P.S., I want to direct this question to you and any of your readers for comment. If you had to choose just one song that describes (fits) you and your life in 2018, what would it be? The song can be from all time.

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