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 Posted:   Feb 25, 2024 - 9:27 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In David Lynch's 1997 film LOST HIGHWAY, when “Fred Madison” (Bill Pullman) receives a strange message on his intercom, he thinks it’s odd, but just puts it out of his mind. However, when his wife “Renee” (Patricia Arquette) finds a video on their doorstep the next morning, which is just of their house, the plot thickens. When another appears showing them asleep in bed, they go to the police, but they aren’t interested. Fred starts having strange visions of a Mystery Man (Robert Blake), which soon turn into nightmares.

Robert Blake in LOST HIGHWAY



In 2002, director David Lynch said he had only recently realized what subconsciously inspired the film. It was the O.J. Simpson trial. Lynch said that the trial was a major influence on his mind during the writing of the script, which deals with a man who was accused of killing his wife. Lynch cast Robert Blake to play the Mystery Man, because Lynch liked his previous work and was always interested in working with him. Curiously enough, several years later, Blake was put on trial for killing his own wife.

Blake told Lynch that he was not going to give him a hard time about the script, because Blake did not understand it. Blake was responsible for the look and style of his character. When Lynch told him to use his imagination, Blake decided to cut his hair short, part it in the middle, shave his eyebrows, and apply white Kabuki make-up on his face. He then put on a black outfit and approached Lynch, who loved what he had done. Blake said he felt his character was the Devil.

Seven tracks of Angelo Badalamenti's score were interspersed with songs on the Nothing/Interscope soundtrack CD. The $15 million production was a flop at the worldwide box office, grossing just $3.8 million. LOST HIGHWAY was Robert Blake’s final film role.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2024 - 9:36 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 2001, the murder of Robert Blake’s wife, Bonnie Bakley, thrust Blake back into the limelight in a different way. Admittedly having married Bakley through the coercion of her pregnancy, a routine Bakley had apparently tried with various other celebrities (Blake was her tenth husband), Blake made no denial of his distaste for the woman, but was by all accounts thrilled with the daughter born to them. Blake was arrested for his wife's murder, but the presumption of innocence trumped when jurors didn't believe what they thought was flimsy evidence, and Blake was acquitted in a trial that made worldwide headlines. Eight months later, however, a jury in a civil suit brought on behalf of her children found Blake liable for the murder and ordered him to pay over $30 million in damages. Blake filed for bankruptcy, and indicated hopefulness that he might be allowed to return to acting work, but that never happened.

Quentin Tarantino's novel Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, based on his film of the same name, is dedicated to Blake. Notably, Blake's later life dealing with his wife's murder mirrors Brad Pitt's character “Cliff Booth” who is also accused of murdering his wife.

Blake once said, “Would I do it differently if I lived life over again? You bet your ass.” However, if Blake had done it differently, we may not have had IN COLD BLOOD and “Baretta,” so there’s that. Farewell, Bobby.




with ‘Wild” Bill Elliott and Tom London












 
 
 Posted:   Feb 26, 2024 - 3:55 PM   
 By:   Indy1981   (Member)

A superb overview of Robert Blake's career.

 
 Posted:   Feb 26, 2024 - 7:01 PM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

Great job, Bob.

 
 Posted:   Feb 26, 2024 - 7:33 PM   
 By:   Valiant65   (Member)

It has been mentioned elsewhere here, but I want to spotlight the Blake biography "Tales of a Rascal". It is a fabulous read, and one of the best actor bio's I've read. Blake pretty well self published the book. It is a circuitous, rambling read but I loved every word in it. Particularly liked his meeting up with John Garfield who gave him some early acting advice. So I highly recommend this book for his fans.

Blake was a rebellious inspiration for me, especially on his Johnny Carson appearances where he would almost always have a hilarious story to tell about how bad his movie is (this was around the time of Corky). Check out the guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Burt Reynolds where Carson does his impression of Blake (on Youtube). This ranks as one of the funniest late night bits on Carson (and there were many).

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 27, 2024 - 2:24 PM   
 By:   Indy1981   (Member)

Blake was a rebellious inspiration for me, especially on his Johnny Carson appearances where he would almost always have a hilarious story to tell about how bad his movie is (this was around the time of Corky). Check out the guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Burt Reynolds where Carson does his impression of Blake (on Youtube). This ranks as one of the funniest late night bits on Carson (and there were many).



It was imo a largely unfunny mess, but at least it wasn't relentlessly promoting something and the "hijinks" were seemingly unscripted. The "best" part of the thing was learning that Burt Reynolds actually laughed like his Bandit character.

Carson's best moment will always be Ed Ames and the tomahawk.

 
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