Dr Blair's Lab

"Get obsessed and stay obsessed ".

Any movie that features Wilford Brimley is at least worth watching for Wilford Brimley.  You might guess that we are Brimley fans here. This page is named after his character in The Thing. We have argued that that character is the true hero of that film. That quote up above? That's from The Hotel New Hampshire, a movie that Brimley absolutely steals. It's also kind of our informal motto here.

Brimley is an interesting guy. A High School dropout, he joined the Marines. He worked as a ranch hand, a wrangler, and a blacksmith - all things that you could likely guess just looking at his face.  For a time he was Howard Hughes's body guard. Then he started working in the movies. First as a ferrier (that's a guy that shoes horses). Then he moved on to being an extra in Westerns. They needed guys that could ride horses and look natural doing it in the background. That led to working as a Stuntman.  Then he started acting.

His major break in Hollywood came in the form of a recurring role on The Waltons where he played Horace Brimley, a character named after him. His move to serious film started with The China Syndrome, a serious film about the dangers of nuclear power.  He would play small but important roles in more serious films like Absence of Malice, and The Natural. He would become a household name with his role in Ron Howard's geriatrics meet aliens movie Cocoon.

That movie would also birth a popular meme. Brimley plays an elderly man in Cocoon, despite being barely fifty-years-old in reality. The Brimley line is the number of days he had been alive prior to being in that movie. It's fun to note when one has crossed The Brimley Line.

Of course, prior to Cocoon, Brimley had encountered an alien that was much more important than the nice ones in that movie. in 1982 he starred in John Carpenter's The Thing (the greatest movie of all time).

He would never really become a leading man, but he added something to every film he took on. Even the execrable   Ewoks: The Battle for Endor is at least enjoyable for Brimley's appearance.  The Firm, which is one of the worst legal thrillers ever to stain the local cineplex, comes alive when Brimley's Bill Deveshar is on screen.  He nearly made Hard Target fun. Nearly.

later in life he would become known as a pitchman for Oatmeal and Diabetes awareness, He is sometimes the butt of jokes on shows like Family Guy. Even given that, Brimley is a monster of American film. He's an actor that deserves respect. It's a shame that he doesn't have an Oscar (he does have a Golden Boot, though).

Wiflord Brimley is the reason to watch any movie that features Wilford Brimley. This is the hill that we will die on. 

The Thing can be found at Amazon.