A Movie Night Precedent?

Supreme Court Justices
The Magnificent Nine: The Supremes went to see "Red River," with John Wayne, to celebrate the newly retired O'Connor. (Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Friday, June 9, 2006

So what if you have 25 cases to wrap up by the end of the month? No reason the whole office can't bail out a little early one night to catch a movie together!

For the folks on the Supreme Court, a retirement was even more cause for a midweek treat. On Wednesday afternoon, all nine justices -- plus recently retired colleague Sandra Day O'Connor and a handful of spouses -- sneaked over to the Library of Congress for a private screening of the John Wayne classic "Red River."

Justices traditionally hold a dinner for retiring members; this time they started the festivities with the 1948 western that is one of Arizona native O'Connor's all-time faves, a court spokeswoman said. Called "one of the greatest of all westerns" by Roger Ebert , "Red River" is a father-son saga set on a Chisholm Trail cattle drive. It's also a cult favorite because of the homoerotic undertones picked up by film scholars in later years. Surely not even Antonin Scalia could help but snicker during the scene where Montgomery Clift and John Ireland caress each other's weaponry. (Ireland's line: "There are only two things more beautiful than a good gun: a Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere. You ever had a Swiss watch?")

After the film the group adjourned to the library's Jefferson Building for an informal buffet -- Western-style food, of course.

Carrying Brit's Baby? All in a Day's Work

The outta-nowhere hunk who all the gossip rags hope will lure Britney Spears away from her dubious husband? None other than Alexandria native Perry Taylor . The 28-year-old Naval Academy grad (Class of '00) emerged as a tabloid sensation this week when he was photographed with the pop star, even carrying her baby son, Sean .

SLUG: RS/PERRY  DATE: Downloaded email 06/08/2006 (EEL)  CREDIT: Courtesy Star magazine  CAPTION: Local boy Perry Taylor, Britney Spears' bodyguard, is featured on the latest cover of Star magazine.
On the job: Alexandria native Perry Taylor, shadowing Spears on a magazine cover.(Courtesy Star Magazine)
A new boyfriend? A nanny, er, manny? Turns out the former lacrosse player (who went to boarding school in Pennsylvania while his family lived on the Eastern Shore) is doing security for the singer, a field he got into after leaving the Navy. His martial-arts and defensive-driving skills come in handy. And no, nothin' goin' on here -- he's got some well-adjusted outdoorsy girlfriend of two years. Still, sounds like Brit could do a whole lot worse.

"He is my coach," said his D.C.-based mom, Caroline Taylor . "His advice to me is always really valuable, and I think that's the same for his friends."

Coopermania!

My goodness, ladies! What brought so many of you out on a rainy evening to see Anderson Cooper ?

"He's funny," gushed Esther Palanken , 21, who drove from Baltimore for the CNN star's book signing at Olsson's in Arlington Wednesday. "His honesty," sighed Erina Young , 19. "He's just so cute!" murmured Jillian Smith , 33.

And then the crowd of some 300 fans -- yes, mostly female -- parted for the boyish bachelor anchor, who turned his silver head our way with a shy little nod and wave. Smith blushed a bright pink.

Cooper, flacking his memoir "Dispatches From the Edge," packed a lot of wry deprecation and earnest-guy empathy into a brief speech -- funny stories of running into Steven Seagal in New Orleans, when the actor was dressed as a cop ("I'm on the down-low, man, I'm just doin' the work") and lessons learned from his father's death and brother's suicide: "Grief is such an isolating experience." (Smith stopped us to note that that was Cooper's true appeal: "It's nice to hear someone who has genuine feelings, and who doesn't conceal it.")

Those prep school manners got a workout as he signed hundreds of books, for fans who all seemed to claim some personal bond (I've been watching you since "World News Now" / "Channel One News" / "The Mole"!). But when a silver-haired young guy walked up with a book, the newsman greeted him like kin: "Prematurely gray! We're taking over the planet, now that Taylor Hicks won 'American Idol.' "

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

· To m DeLay eating French food and drinking French wine Tuesday at Le Paradou, one of Washington's priciest French restaurants -- no freedom fries on that menu! The former majority leader was honored at a farewell party hosted by the Texas delegation; today is his last day in Congress. Au revoir!

· Rep. Cynthia McKinney , dancing to music pouring from her car stereo as she stopped on her way out of the Cannon House Office Building for an impromptu schmooze with -- yes, really! -- some Capitol Police officers. So all's forgiven?

· Sen. George Allen and his wife, Susan , dropping by Washington Life's 15th-anniversary party at the Kuwaiti ambassador's home Wednesday, and saying they were celebrating their own 20th anniversary. Dude -- buy her some flowers, too, okay?


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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