After Mizzou football surged to 6-0 yesterday with a resounding victory over Texas A&M, the Tigers have set up a neat mid-season showdown next weekend with their long-time nemesis/tormenter, Oklahoma. ESPN’s College Gameday is even coming to Columbia for the first time ever. Out of excitement for the game and pride in the way they’ve played, here are six film references to the state of Missouri with a heavy emphasis on the University.
1. The Outlaw Josey Wales
Much of the souce of tension between Missourians and Kansans dates back to the mid 19th century when Quantrill’s raiders and “Bloody Bill” Anderson wreaked havoc on Kansas. The fictional Wales was an acquaintance of both. At one point, he mutters “I always heard there were three kinds of suns in Kansas; Sunshine, sunflowers, and sons-of-bitches.” Right on, Josey. Right on.
2. Das Boot
For those of you who don’t know, the Mizzou fight song is a modified version of a World War I-era song called “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”. As such, it pops up occasionally in war movies. Das Boot is one instance.
3. Grand Illusion
Imagine my surprise this summer when I was watching Jean Renoir’s amazing French classic and a group of captive troops started to belt out the Mizzou fight song. Incredible movie, too, by the way.
4. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
It’s the perfect time of year for this. Snoopy is decked out as a World War I flying ace. Schroeder preps him for battle thusly:
5. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
James, of course, was a Missouri outlaw who met his end in St. Joe. Director Andrew Dominik revisited James’ death in a spectacular metaphor for celebrity worship. What makes it a true Missouri film besides the James mythos is that it also stars Brad Pitt, a Springfield native who fell one credit shy of attaining a degree at Mizzou.
Speaking of Pitt, there’s a rather impressive list of Mizzou grads who ply their craft on the silver screen. The list includes Chris Cooper, George C. Scott, Robert Loggia, Jon Hamm, and the star of the best film ever made starring a Mizzou grad:
6. Tom Berenger in The Substitute
See you Saturday, Lee Corso.
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• The Inexplicable Success of Manager Jake Taylor in Major League II