|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Index||17 reviews in total|
An aging widow in New Mexico is left homeless after the bank forecloses on her property and tears down the house; she chances to meet a retired bank robber still on the lam and asks him to teach her to rob the bank which took her to the cleaners. Still-relevant sociological observations (occasionally cutting quite deep) played for TV-type yuks, a mixture which had professional critics groaning in 1971. Indeed, the outré bits of business involving the hold-ups are sloppy, and Jack Cassidy gives a grueling performance as a sleazy police lieutenant. Still, Bette Davis is very fine in the lead; natural, unglamorous, and earthy, she's not a tough cookie nor a weeping willow--and when she chit-chats with Ernest Borgnine and her famous voice breaks mid-sentence, she's also endearing. Borgnine looks a bit incredulous at being caught in this scenario, but he doesn't embarrass himself and works well with Bette (their second picture together after 1956's "The Catered Affair"). In fact, most of the film is entertaining on a minor level, with something to say about oldsters and their financial plight. **1/2 from ****
An elderly woman looses her house to the bank of New Mexico and plans to rob the bank to get even. Her path crosses with an escaped bank robber who shows her the ropes of robbing banks and eventually grows to love her.Bunny O' Hare is a very funny movie that is one of Bette Davis's best movies from her later years. There is a great chemistry between Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine.
This film belongs to an enigmatic category I refer to as Extinct. No
VHS or DVD release. Only a TV broadcast now and then. It deserves more,
as do most extinct films: they should all be available for streaming or
download on the web.
After seeing it yesterday on THIS, the new CBS digital broadcast sub-channel, I found Delaney's performance to be the highlight. Her ambivalent, playful acquiescence must epitomize the fate of countless intelligent women, even to this day. I'm no feminist, but I can empathize. She's clearly the superior cop. But the best she can do is gently nudge her male boss in the right direction. And when he errs, she can't correct him, lest he lose face. Civilization would probably be a hundred years further along by now if we humans weren't so rigidly patriarchal. Too many great women have been relegated to the sidelines. Including Delaney, whose film career apparently ended here.
Davis and Borgnine, meanwhile, help us understand the unfortunate issue of exploitative adult children. They've grown up, but they don't want to be independent. They happily parasitize their aging parents, who in Bette Davis' case, actually risk life and limb to procure infusions of cash in response to concocted, irresponsible excuses. Her progeny's utter lack of conscience was bewildering to me. I shudder to think how many elderly grandparents sympathize with Bunny's futile situation. There are probably millions of real-life parent-parasites in the world, preying upon their progenitors' unconditional affections.
This is a multifaceted film. Thanks to its stars, it's engaging too.
Excellent movie, I just wish it was available on any format. The above summary is a line in the movie that I remember the most. Spoken by Bunny herself. I can't wait to see this movie again. If you like Bette, you'll like this movie.
In a most unusual role for Bette Davis she's playing the title role in
Bunny O'Hare with her partner Ernest Borgnine from The Catered Affair.
Ernie maybe doing plumbing sales now, but back when he was younger he
was a notorious bank robber.
Davis is having a cash flow problem mainly because of her two parasitic children, John Astin and Reva Rose. She's constantly giving them money, especially to Astin who's a degenerate gambler. Her house has also been foreclosed because she can't pay her own mortgage.
What to do but get a new source of money. So Borgnine comes out of retirement and trains Bette. They work out a lovely disguise as a pair of hippies on a motorcycle.
Wouldn't you know it, they happen to get an investigating officer in Jack Cassidy who is a vigorous opponent of the counter culture. His absolute hatred of the protesting counterculture generation blinds him in pursuing other leads.
One weakness of Bunny O'Hare is that I cannot believe Davis and Borgnine kept using the same method in their robberies. They pull off about half a dozen or more robberies and you would think that the bank guards would be ready for it. Won't tell you what it is, but the state of New Mexico's banks are being flipped the bird.
New Mexico at the time had a Governor named David Cargo who made one of the main points of his program to attract film companies to shoot in his state. Several films of varying quality were done there and Cargo always inserted himself in a small role.
I have to classify Bunny O'Hare as one of the few full blown comedies that Bette Davis did since leaving Warner Brothers. I'm sure she did that deliberately looking for something different. She's quite a bit subdued here, even generous as the laughs go to her supporting players. Most especially Jack Cassidy and John Astin.
Bette's fans will most definitely not get the Davis they're used to, but the film is pleasant viewing with a few chuckles besides.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Okay...You see this description on the on-screen guide, "An elderly
woman (Bette Davis) and a plumbing scavenger (Ernest Borgnine) pose as
motorcycle hippies to rob the bank that evicted her"...How could you
NOT set the DVR to 'record'?!
Did Bette Davis need the money or was she just having fun with this? Bank-robber is an unusual role for an older actress. It would actually be cool if there were more roles like this for women-of-a-certain-age today.
Borgnine is on-site when Davis's house is razed and offers her a ride somewhere. He tries to ditch her a couple of times but she learns of his past as a bank-robber and uses it to blackmail him into letting her stay in his camper, schooling her in Bank-robbery 101, and driving the get-away bike. He steps in to help with the first robbery when her nerves fail her. As the robberies continue, he becomes her accomplice and friend. There's the slightest hint of the potential for romance between them but it isn't really explored.
Jack Cassidy, dimples dimpling, plays the anti-hippie detective in pursuit of the duo. He seems to be enjoying himself, tossing off lines like, "...all they want to do is sit around and smoke pot, play ukuleles and let the rest of the world take care of them...I tell you, they're a threat to the very moral fiber of this country!" Joan Delaney (aka the girlfriend of the President's Analyst) is Cassidy's very young, ex-hippie assistant. John Astin plays Davis's son and is also credited as "creative consultant." What did he consult on, bank robberies? Loan sharks? The latest styles in bathrobes? Reva Rose is Davis's daughter (with a NY accent) and Herb Marlis is her near-catatonic son-in-law. There's even a "special guest appearance by Governor David Cargo", in case you're a fan of cameos by local politicians.
It's an amusing and sometimes poignant film. No, it's not Oscar-worthy but come on! Did you ever, in your wildest dreams, think you'd see Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine riding tandem on a motorcycle?! Dressed as hippies?!! Oh, no, you didn't!
All Young Home Buyers Should Watch This Before They Buy a Mortgage. I wish I had seen It, If I did I wouldn't have bought a House. Bette Davis Ernest Borgnine, Masters of Their Craft. An Honest View of What Hard working Americans will experience after they retire if they do not develop a solid financial plan from 18 years old on to old age. Very Entertaining Movie, I also like the message of staying away from marijuana This is were its at then Im getting the heck otta here ..lol Anyone that appreciates good movies will like this one. Not hard to follow, Great Actors with a good plot. The Banksters May they all fall too ruin, when the well runs dry.
That, of course, is a reference to the first of two films which they
did, where Bette spoke with an accent that Meryl Streep would never
envy. This second film together, made 15 years after the more well
remembered drama, is an obscure action comedy which didn't get enough
attention to even rank a nice ad in the New York Times. (Investigating
this film, I was stunned to find an ad the size of my thumb nail in
microfilmed copies at my local library). Based upon the fact that the
two of them were both Oscar Winners and that co-star Jack Cassidy was a
popular Broadway performer, this obviously was way even below "B" grade
to warrant such lack of publicity.
Reviews, of course, were no better. Bette is seen as the opening credits closed pleading with the bank not to foreclose on her home. Of course, she can't get a word in edgewise when she contacts her daughter (Reva Rose, who had just come off of playing Lucy in Off-Broadway's "Your a Good Man Charlie Brown") since the phone man disconnects her. When she calls back a second time, the cat is eating her son-in- law's breakfast with the guy sitting right there paying no attention, and the daughter has to rush off. Then, as she is finally getting around to telling her daughter what is going on, a tractor plows the house down. Ernest Borgnine, as the plummer taking out the toilet, offers her a ride to wherever she needs to go, and before he knows it, she has basically become his guest. He tries to get rid of her, but every time he makes an attempt, she some how manages to get back in his trailer. Thanks to a bumpy ride in the back of the trailer, she learns of his past as a bank robber wanted for escaping from prison, and subtly blackmails him into training her on the art of robbing banks.
In a rather funny sequence, we see Bette going through all sorts of indignities (running in unglamorous sweats; climbing on monkey bars; and not at all looking like the actress who played all those feisty Warner Brothers heroines in the 30's and 40's.) Even Margo Channing would have never allowed herself to be profiled this way! Noticing a group of hippies protesting the Bank of New Mexico, Davis and Borgnine use their looks to disguise themselves. Nobody seems to notice the lines around Davis's mouth which make it appear she is older, so the local police are on the look-out for young hippies. A funny note about Reva Rose's looks as Bette's daughter; She was a strange choice considering that Ms. Rose is obviously Jewish, and Ms. Davis was obviously not. It's one of those howlingly funny details not considered that make "Bunny O'Hare" comically bad. While John Astin as her son is much more believable (Gomez Addams as Bette's son---how appropriate!), his one-dimensional portrayal seems taken from Dick Shawn's portrayal of Ethel Merman's stupid son in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World".
A string of scantily clad women are on and off as the latest woman in his life, making Astin a cad the writers obviously used to make the point of how children use and depend on their parents too much, no matter what they are going through themselves. Then, there is Jack Cassidy's oh-so-stupid police commissioner. His opening scene giving a speech to his underlings is oh-so-badly written; Cassidy obviously was by this time becoming a caricatured of his off- screen persona, much like John Barrymore many years before. And when he openly sexually harasses the seemingly willing Joan Delaney (as the younger new female cop assigned to help him capture Davis and Borgnine), he just takes the character into dimensions that would have today's film audiences up in arms. Delaney is supposed to be smarter than Cassidy, but her willingness to be used in this way is destructive to her character. And the finale where all four come together is made unbelievable by what occurs. The cops are presented as buffoons, and Davis, using the money she steals to help her worthless children, isn't too bright, either. The very last scene does have a payoff in that aspect, one of the only good developments which happens towards the end.
In the early 1970's, veteran stars (Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Kate Hepburn, Olivia DeHavilland, Joan Bennett, and Bette) were all working; Hepburn and Stanwyck pretty much remained unscathed, while Bennett's "Dark Shadows" was still a hit no matter what the critics thought. DeHavilland sensibly took on smaller parts, but Crawford and Davis simply took any leading script they could get their hands on. If there were awards for "Most embarrassing role for a veteran star", Joan Crawford would have won for 1970's "Trog", and Bette would have won for 1971's "Bunny O'Hare". Watch for a chance to laugh at the buffoonery which takes 91 minutes to unravel. It's evidence that the old system of Hollywood wasn't too bad, and what was to follow this era of film trash could only get better.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I agree with all the other comments that the premise was bizarre, the
plot was beyond thin, the acting hammy, and the filming and budget
woefully low quality.
However, I am walking through 1960's & 1970's movies in an effort to remember and better understand how much our world has changed. The Montgomery Wards? Cars without safety bumpers, banks without safety glass, strip malls without Wal-Mart or Home Depot . . . hippies (the cinema interpretation).
But mostly the blatant sexual harassment by Jack Cassidy's character that is eventually met with nympho encouragement, an evil grin, an eye twinkle, and an implied roll in the sheets. That a writer could script and a director could film such scenes reminds me just how far we have come in some 40+ years. The jokes about "A real cop ... a man" were predictable, for guffaws. And while a low brow comedy is not reality; to a much lesser degree, not that long ago, this was.
Bette Davis made a few stinkers when she was no longer getting good roles, "Bunny O'Hare" will bring tears to Davis fans who recall her great performances in "All About Eve" for example and so many more. The plot is improbable as well as illogical, which would be OK in a farcical comedy, not so much in this low budget mess. The two principals are OK, they didn't write the screenplay, but the characters played by Jack Palance and the bit players, were drawn from bad stereotypes, Archie Bunker style, as well as starkly amateurish. I thought for a moment those who played the "Hippies", cops, and bank employees were right out of the 5th grade play. Maybe there was nothing left after Davis and Borgnine were hired. Aside from the just awful disaster films from the same decade, "Bunny" is as bad as it gets. If you get through this film once, you won't be back for a second helping.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Ratings||External reviews||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|