Ben Martin from Monroe, NC
Aside from watch TCM, what do you do?
I'm a marketing VP by profession but I am also a writer, amateur filmmaker, and artist. (In fact I just finished a series of paintings of the faces of movie monsters that scared me the most when I stayed up late to watch Chiller Theater in Pittsburgh, PA.)
What’s your favorite movie snack?
JuJyfruits. They are becoming harder to find, dang it.
I like barbecue potato chips with a great home-made dip my wife makes from a recipe from my mother - who once went to a Halloween party as the Bride of Frankenstein where she looked exactly like Elsa Lanchester. Only even prettier.
What’s your favorite part of TCM?
The obscurities that TCM shows. Just when I feel as if I have seen everything, TCM shows something rare and wonderful such as The Beat Generation (1959) or No Greater Glory (1934.) And I love that TCM shows so many preserved films, foreign obscurities and even cult films. Thank you!
What’s your favorite movie genre?
Well since I seem to have seen every classic horror film made from 1900 up to 1970, I guess that's it. Yet if I list my top ten movies, none of them are horror. Any and all types of films can connect with me - but I love championing unsung gems that never make any of the top ten lists. Sure, Citizen Kane came out in 1941, but so did Among the Living!
Who’s your favorite actor or actress or filmmaker of all time? And why?
Actor? Let me list four: Charles Laughton, Charles Bronson, Peter Lorre, and Marlon Brando. (Before you scowl at Bronson, I believe he should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Great Escape. And have you seen Rider on the Rain? Once Upon a Time in the West? Gee whiz.) Actresses? Haley Mills, Janet Munro, Deborah Kerr and Glenda Farrell.
Who would you be thrilled to meet, and what would you say?
Marlon Brando. As he got older he lightened up and talked more about his movies and his acting - but his interviews dried up amidst tragedy, controversy and scandal. I'd also challenge him a bit on his ire toward Hollywood and its treatment of the American Indian. He had a point, it is true - but still there were so many movies that taught me to respect and understand the plight of the early American. And I would watch One-Eyed Jacks with him and moderate a commentary. (I'm sure he'd go for that.) If I couldn't get Brando then I'd pick George Breakston to talk about No Greater Glory and The Manster.
What do you collect?
Monsters. I love monsters and monster movie memorabilia . I also have some very cool original movie posters, and my favorites are the Mysterious Island and Jason and the Argonauts posters signed for me personally by Ray Harryhausen.
If you had to pick just one, what would be your favorite movie?
Well if I had to pick one - Seven Samurai. It is the greatest film ever made and my favorite.
Thank you Ben! For being in our Member Spotlight, we're sending you Must-See Sci-Fi, TCM's book on the best science fiction films of all time... featuring a ton of great monsters in it. Even for an expert like you, we think it'll be a great read.
Want to be featured here? Fill out our Member Spotlight questionnaire and you're on your way!