By MORT BRYER
Sid Adilman is dead and that hurts. I liked our old Canuck bureau chief, a kindly, helpful fellow. He was a great trencherman, but oddly enough, built like a pipe cleaner. I’ll miss him. He was “a good old boy”, Canadian style.
My modus operandi, on missions to our good neighbor to the north, was to first meet Sid, usually in his house at 74 Albany Ave., smack in the middle of Toronto. I always hauled a list of Canuck show biz companies with we, as “au courant” as possible and would read them off to Sid, to get the latest input.
A usual Sidism: “Forget about him, he’s a crook”, or “That’s a hot production outfit!” Canada, as I’m sure the dear reader knows, is one big chunk of terra firma, actually larger, in square miles, than our own beloved U.S. of A. And I mean, Sid knew what was going on in showbizland, not only in the major Canuck cities, like Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver, but also in the smaller burgs like Halifax, Nova Scotia, St.Johns, Newfoundland, etc.etc. Plugged in, he was, with numerous stringers and agents.
He once saved my precious carcass in Montreal while I was trying to organize a special section for that city. I had to make a presentation to a bunch of tourist type, non showbiz execs. I had prepared a brilliant pitch, so I thought, until the Montrealer who introduced me, literally made MY speech, word for word! Collar tugging time for Bryer. I was sweating not bullets, but torpedos.
Fortunately, Sid was there, caught the drift, bounced up and made a great, verbatim speech about Variety, showbiz in Montreal and what a nice guy I was and how about supporting the effort. I was tempted to plant a smooch on his benign puss. Better yet was to pick up the tab at one of the fine beaneries in that Francophone city.
Sid, of course, did a syndicated showbiz column that got ink coast to coast in Canada and was a loyal and faithful promoter of his nation’s film industry. Sid was a fine Variety mugg, of the old school. May St. Peter greet him with a smile.