Saturday, March 1, 2014

Harold Ramis (1944-2014)

It's been a tough week. Of course, every week is tough when you're losing those who meant something to you in your life even in small ways.

Writer, director, actor Harold Ramis (1944-2014) was a classic and worked closely with another of the greats, Bill Murray.

Sure, I enjoyed Ghostbusters (1984) and that theme song by Ray Parker Jr. as much as the next guy.  I really did.  I wore that soundtrack to the bone and it more than cemented my love for the Thompson Twins.

But to be completely truthful Stripes (1981) was the film that was played to death in my neighborhood.  We were ripe for it.  We were coming of age. And Stripes pretty much delivered all that a young lad could demand of a film.  Stripes had the needle amped to the right, in the red and in the naughty zone.  Tits, swears, gay jokes, hot babes and generally all things not intended for a youngster's eyes and ears pretty much filled the screen and begged for repeat viewing.  It's just the way things were - a product of its time. And, even if it's not acceptable by today's standards, it still holds up as a flat out comedy classic.

Stripes had it all not to mention a hell of a great cast and boot camp sequences that honestly remain second only to Full Metal Jacket (1987), but it's apples and oranges really. But Stripes was where it was at and it really gave many of us kids in the neighborhood a lot of laugh and good memories.

Of course, Ramis was much more than Stripes.  Still, I'm late to paying tribute and I clipped a terrific little moment for you from Stripes featuring Ramis with Murray.  Remember, Stripes was Harold's first big film appearance.  It's raw and raunchy and politically incorrect and, hell, they just don't make films like this anymore.

Ramis gave a great deal including works behind the camera on Caddyshack (1980), a year earlier than Stripes, National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and Groundhog Day (1993), a few featuring Murray.  Ramis passed far too young and we're sorry to see him go. He'll always be remembered.

Here is Bill Murray and Harold Ramis as John Winger and Russell Ziskey respectively.


El Vox said...

Yes, sad loss. I think Harold Ramis and John Hughes did a lot to define and highlight the 80's. For me I've seen & enjoyed many of the Ramis' films, but enjoyed Animal House, Meatballs, Stripes, and Groundhog day the best. Like you said they are worth multiple viewings and they are multilayered. Most of all they are goodhearted fun, he will be missed.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Those are indeed some of my favorite films too my friend.