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by Leonard Maltin
January 29, 2013 1:00 AM
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George Clooney-Descendants-325
Monday’s press release reads, “The Walt Disney Studios has announced that its live-action release previously known as 1952 will be titled Tomorrowland. The film will be released domestically on December 19, 2014. George Clooney (The Descendants) is set to star.”

Oh, that George Clooney! I’m so glad they identified him clearly.

In this age of media clutter and dumb-cluckery I understand that there are people who may know the names of the Real Housewives of Atlanta but not the justices who sit on the Supreme Court. Even so, isn’t there a point when someone does become famous enough that he or she doesn’t need to have a credential following their name?

I can picture conversations in which p.r. executives decide that it’s better to be safe than sorry, but I shake my head at the results. If you don’t know who Brad Pitt or Beyoncé or Dick Van Dyke is in the first place, I don’t think a random movie or song credit is likely to solve the problem.

The late Steve Allen referred to this sorry trend as “dumbth.” And if you don’t know who Steve Allen was, never mind.

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  • Kevin House | February 5, 2013 8:53 PMReply

    Clark Gable ("Parnell")

  • D. J. Fone | February 1, 2013 1:19 AMReply

    I always choke/cough/gag/snort at the formality of the New York Times when the wonderful critic A. O. (Tony) Scott reviews an Adam Sandler film and, by Times custom must call him "MR. Sandler", as if writing an obituary.

  • vp19 | January 30, 2013 6:59 PMReply

    Myrna Loy ("The Senator Was Indiscreet")

  • DBenson | January 30, 2013 4:28 PMReply

    I think Ebert's book of movie rules had one saying that even the most famous actors had to be identified in blurbs and reviews by their most recent and/or least notable work.
    Laurence Olivier ("Inchon")
    Helen Hayes ("Herbie Rides Again")
    James Stewart ("Dear Brigitte")

  • Jim Reinecke | January 29, 2013 5:54 PMReply

    Ronald Reagan (GIRLS ON PROBATION).

  • Robert | January 29, 2013 5:32 PMReply

    Touche, Leonard. Touche. Please keep up the great work, and pointing out inanities. Someone's got to do it.

  • Norm | January 29, 2013 5:31 PMReply

    Steve Valentine Patrick William Allen multi-talented composer, writer, singer, talk show host, interviewer, TV and film. Star terrific sense of humor and starred in College Confidential !
    One of the most influential people on TV of all time !
    Also Guest Host of the VP Fair Parade in St. Louis which has never been the same !
    Great Person...

  • mike schlesinger | January 29, 2013 4:19 PMReply

    Many years ago, when THE LAST PICTURE SHOW was first released on laserdisc, the cast list included this curiosity: Ben Johnson (Godfather I, II and III). What obviously happened was that the punk kid who was writing the copy yelled out, "Hey, what's a movie Ben Johnson was in?" and someone older replied, "Three Godfathers." When I told Bogdanovich this story years later, he almost literally fell out of his chair, laughing hysterically.

  • Lee | January 29, 2013 12:04 PMReply

    I can name all 9 justices, my representative, both senators, most cabinet members, the UN secretary general, and several foreign heads of state.

  • Earl | January 29, 2013 5:15 AMReply

    Alfred Hitchcock (extra crossing street in The Man Who Knew Too Much)

  • Michael Biel | January 29, 2013 5:09 AMReply

    Leonard Maltin (Entertainment Tonight)

  • George Matusek | January 29, 2013 2:01 AMReply

    Orson Welles (Paul Masson wine commercials), Preston Sturges (appeared in a Bob Hope movie)

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