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This movie tells the story of the latter years of Earl Long, a flamboyant governor of Louisiana. The aging Earl, an unapologetic habitue of strip joints, falls in love with young stripper Blaze Starr. When Earl and Blaze move in together, Earl's opponents use this to attack his controversial political program, which included civil rights for blacks in the 1950's. Can Earl keep Blaze and retain control of the state? Written by
Paul Newman made his best movie after becoming an old man. In Blaze, he plays Governor Earl Long of Louisiana. Earl has a scandalous affair with stripper Blaze Starr. I remember this being in the news in 1959. Blaze is played by Lolita Davidovich. She is Yugoslavian, of Serbian/Croatian descent. Blaze makes her way from West Virginia to New Orleans to the governor's mansion in Baton Rouge. Obviously Earl is a liberal. He is a Democrat who supports Civil Rights. This is a comedy, and there are some funny scenes, Earl having sex with his boots on and shooting his lawn mower. Robert Wuhl's character is interesting but has a small part. Blaze exits through the bathroom window and leaves him, taking her mother's advice not to trust any man who tells her to trust him. Blaze's affair with the governor continued until his death in 1960.
I watched Blaze again last night and must say it is an underrated movie. Paul Newman's acting is superb. He should have gotten an Oscar for his portrayal of Earl Long. Lolita Davidovich is charming as stripper Blaze Starr. We all understand that movies stray from the facts for comedic purposes and dramatic effect. After all, how many of us care about Louisana politics in the 20th century. We are looking for an entertaining flick! Fact is, both Earl and Blaze were married when they met. When Earl died in 1960, he was the Democratic nominee for Congress but had not been elected. He left Blaze Starr $50,000 in his will which she refused to accept. There is not a dull moment in this film. It is one of my favorites.
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