I had to read The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry for my Southern Literature class, which kind of confused me because it's not a Southern novel, nor is it particularly literary. And since my professor likes to waste our valuable tuition ("our," of course, means the people in my class who don't work for the university as I do and therefore are paying about two-hundred dollars for each class session) by watching movies, he naturally began and ended class with scenes from the very good film version released in 1971.
(Side note: My professor has a thing about sex (he LOVES it) and so I'm not surprised that the first scene he showed us was the nude swimming party sequence where Cybil Shepard strips.)
Anyway, my professor likes to think that he knows as much about movies as he does about literature. Maybe he does, since it's become pretty obvious to me that he knows nothing about literature. One of the scenes we saw last night was the funeral for Sam the Lion, the Ben Johnson character. At the end of the scene, Lois, played by Ellen Burstyn, starts to cry and runs away from the funeral. My professor told us that the tears were genuine - "Ben Johnson had just discovered he was dying; he died four months later."
So this morning at work I was looking at the IMDB listing for the film, and I clicked over to the Ben Johnson page to see what other movies he was in. Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that I recognized him from another film based on a Larry McMurtry novel: The Evening Star. Which was the sequel to Terms of Endearment. Which was made about twenty five years after Ben Johnson "died.".