Kyle's Career Filmstrip: TV Series and Movies

May 21, 2013

Ward Bond, Kyle Chandler .. and Liz’s Book Club?

By Elizabeth Snyder

Is Kyle Chandler, seen in the left photo with Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty,” this generation's Ward Bond (seen at right with Clark Gable in “Gone with the Wind”)? And what does that have to do with Liz's Book Club? Nothing really, except to remind you the deadline to submit books is Wednesday. 
Which came first, the journalist or the deadline?

In my own variation of the “chicken or the egg” question, I’ve never known whether I started working for newspapers because I need the tyranny of an absolute deadline to accomplish anything or if I need the tyranny of an absolute deadline to accomplish anything because I work for a newspaper!
The deadline thing doesn’t just apply here in the newsroom either. Ask me the last time I dusted anything at home ... and no one was coming over. (Hint: Never.)

I recently told a group of friends over lunch that “I live my life by library deadlines,” explaining I had to watch “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo” on DVD that afternoon and then finish a 469-page book by the end of the weekend to stay in the good graces of our local librarians.

Watching the films back-to-back that way did offer this observation: Kyle Chandler is the modern Ward Bond.

Bond was a popular character actor who appeared in more movies than any other performer on the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 U.S. films. He had roles in seven titles on the AFI list — “It Happened One Night,” “Bringing Up Baby,” “Gone with the Wind,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” “The Maltese Falcon,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Searchers.”

Jimmy Stewart is next on the list, appearing in six movies.

Bond was never a leading man, but he was able to enjoy a long, flourishing Hollywood career by being a dependable presence in a number of films — from a screwball comedy like “Bringing Up Baby” to dramas (“Gone with the Wind,” “The Grapes of Wrath”) and John Ford’s searing Western classic, “The Searchers.” In all, he made 23 films with his longtime friend John Wayne and also starred in the TV series “Wagon Train” until his death at age 57 of a heart attack.

I hope Chandler — who is probably best known as high school football coach Eric Taylor on “Friday Night Lights,” for which he won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2011 — enjoys a long, Bond-like career.

He had roles in the big-screen films “King Kong” (Peter Jackon’s 2005 version) and 2011’s Steven Spielberg sci-fi romp “Super 8.”

Chandler also had supporting roles in “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” which were both Academy Award Best Picture nominees this year (“Argo” won). That places him squarely in Ward Bond territory; Bond appeared in 11 Best Picture nominees.

This is a very long, meandering way to remind folks reading this column that you also have a deadline.  May 22.

That’s when this year’s book suggestions for the fifth edition of Liz’s Book Club are due.
To join the club, just tell us about a great book (fiction or nonfiction) you’ve read and why you liked it so much. We’ll run the book list and descriptions on May 26. And, to sweeten the deal, we’ll even offer an incentive. One person, chosen at random, will receive a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.  (Sorry; this isn’t Oprah’s Book Club and we can’t give everyone a car.)

Send your suggestions — by Wednesday (May 22) — to “Liz’s Book Club,” Kenosha News, 5800 Seventh Ave., Kenosha, WI 53140. Send emails to: The deadline is May 22.

And, if you’re curious, the book I was reading — and did hustle back to the Northside Library on time — is “The Interestings” by Meg Wolitzer. The book, which just came out in April, follows the lives of six teens who meet at an “arty” New England summer camp in 1974. As for the movies — “Zero Dark Thirty” plays like a two-and-a-half-hour very special episode of “60 Minutes” (complete with torture scenes!) while “Argo” is an entertaining tale of guts and intrigue.

Note from KCC:  We also hope for a long Bond-like career and look to see Kyle is some more principal roles.

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