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Merle gets a young'n (on screen and in real life!)
Proudly taking it's place in the "Once glamorous star, now in decline" genre is this romantic gem. Other classics of the genre include "Trog" (Joan Crawford), "The Swarm" (Olivia deHavilland), "Airport 1975" (Gloria Swanson) and "The Fan" (Lauren Bacall), "The Big Cube" (Lana Turner), "Angel, Angel Down We Go" (Jennifer Jones)and the like. In this sudsy throwback to a time when a flimsy story could scoot by on the appeal and wardrobe of it's leading lady, Oberon poured her heart, soul and money into the project. The film opens with badly photographed shots of Mexican ruins. Then we see the remains of Ms. Oberon tearing down the road in a Volkwagon bug while hip music suddenly blares on the soundtrack. She plays a woman who is at one with nature and seems eternally content, but there may be more to her than that. Norwegian actor Wolders plays a younger, bed-hopping guy in hip-huggers who finds himself intrigued by and attracted to Oberon despite their considerable age difference. Their scenes together are sometimes sincere, sometimes funny. He supplies most of the humor as he lurches around with poor posture. She gets in a few licks with her array of fuzzy close-ups and white slacks with every top she owns. Her hair is almost a third character. At waist length it is beautiful when it's up and scary when it's down. The film strives for irony and symbolism and just good old fashioned romance, but it tends to overplay it's hand. Merle spends a key scene in an impossibly glamorous and flowy lavender chiffon gown (in which she admittedly looks marvelous). One scene actually has Wolders standing up and screaming, "I'm somebody!!" followed by him running across a field into Oberon's arms!! It may as well be a Dentyne commerical! This picture put a cap on Merle's film career, but at least it gave her a fairly hunky man to spend her last years with.
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