Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford & The Pink Panther

In the Frozen Pictures documentary film, All The Presidents’ Movies, narrated by West Wing President Martin Sheen and soon to be released on a special edition extras-packed DVD, Steve Ford, son of the late president Gerald Ford, remembers his father’s movie tastes, family movie nights in the exclusive White House screening room, his own career as a film actor (from When Harry Met Sally to Black Hawk Down)— and one night at Camp David that President Ford didn’t know the truth about until he saw the documentary!

Steve Ford recalls: “I wouldn’t say dad is a huge film buff. If he was going to watch a film, he’d like a comedy, he’d like musicals, which they don’t make anymore. Mom, on the other hand, she would be more somebody who would watch a film that would challenge your belief system...

“I remember one time--oh, dad’s going to kill me for telling this story-- Dad was just exhausted, you know, I mean, he’s dealing with Watergate, he’s dealing with the Vietnam War, he’s dealing with Cold War, recession, and the country. Get to Camp David and he’s beat. And we have dinner, we sit down to watch this film. And I’m not sure which one, but one of the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies. And I remember dad got in the chair, turned the lights off, the credits start to roll, and the little cartoon comes on. Da-da… da-da… da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-daahhhhhhhhhhh…

“…and Dad was asleep within 20 seconds. And we watched the movie, saw the Peter Sellers movie, and at the end of the movie, the cartoon comes on again. Da-da… da-da… and he wakes up about that time and he looks up and: ‘Are you telling me you watched a cartoon for two hours?’ And he couldn’t… none of us would tell him, ‘Dad, it was a Peter Sellers movie.’

“It was just so precious. Everybody was actually so happy to see that he’d gotten a two-hour nap.”

Actor and cowboy Steve Ford, other presidential children, relatives, advisers, close friends, celebrities—and the Chief Executives themselves—appear in All The Presidents’ Movies, which was originally seen on the Bravo network, and now, for the first time, due to popular demand, is set to be released as a feature documentary film DVD in early 2007.

Stay tuned here for the details.

(Fun Fact: The president in 1976's The Pink Panther Strikes Again is modeled on then-President Ford.)

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