Reviews written by registered user
|16 reviews in total|
I thought this was a dandy picture until little Shirley nearly ruined that
fine Swedish Landrace piglet by picking him up and darn near rubbing the
hide off him. Don't those Hollywood people know anything? You rub up on a
baby Landrace too long and you spoil him for his mama, and everyone knows a
spoiled pig ain't no good to nobody, especially a Swedish Landrace. After a
Chester White their the most delicate hogs there is! Now, you take one of
your hardier breeds, like a Berkshire or a Saddleback, you can pick them up
all you want. It won't hurt them at all; matter of fact, they like it. But
you handle your Landraces too much when their young and you'll never get
them back on their mama's teat. They are fussy ones, those
Otherwise, a dandy picture.
As a rule, I'm against gratuitous remakes of film classics, but the
yet poignant story told in Sunset Blvd. is so timeless that it could
be redone every ten years or so, like A Christmas Carol, with each version
chronicling the slow decent into madness of a different fading movie star
and his show business contemporaries due to their abandonment by
For example, Sunset Blvd. 2002 could star Jack Nicholson as Norman Desmond
and Roman Polanski as Max. They spend their evenings screening Chinatown
again and again while complaining bitterly about the "weasles at
who won't return their calls. Jack sits stooped over his typewriter for
on end, adding yet another scene to his mammoth comeback screenplay, 'Five
More Easy Pieces', while Roman pens phony fan letters for his deluded
scented with Chanel #5. Jack works tirelessly each day except Wednesday,
when Warren Beatty, Peter Fonda and Karen Black come over and, between
hits and hands of canasta, swap bittersweet stories of the good old days
Hollywood, before "the suits" took over. Jack's downfall is completed when
naive young screenwriter Heather Graham rejects his leering attempts at
seduction and is found face down in Jack's swimming pool, bludgeoned to
death with his best putter.
Next week: Nick Nolte and Walter Hill guzzle lukewarm Old Milwaukee and throw darts at a poster of Eddie Murphy.
Shirley Temple has continually reassured her fans that her unique Hollywood
childhood was as normal and trauma-free as any other 1930's kid. People
simply assume that an actress as young as she must have suffered some sort
of psychological scarring along the way, Mrs. Black's denials
notwithstanding. I, however, have always chosen to believe her, the
conventional, scandal-free adulthood she's led since her retirement being
proof enough for me, and I also believe this movie is an accurate portrait
of Shirley's childhood memories. The film itself is a little too glossy and
it certainly could have used more authentic 1930's atmosphere, but I'm not
here to nitpick. Like all of Shirley's films, the less you analyze, the
On the other hand, it would be interesting to see this same subject redone, unauthorized. I never entirely trust autobiographies; the human ego is simply too fragile to reveal all of it's secrets and shames. Not that I expect to hear many tantrum tales, (if stories like those did exist, I'm sure we would have heard them by now,) but it would make Shirley Temple's life story more believable if her life weren't so darn perfect. There must be someone out there who can tell us about the line she refused to say or the song she refused to sing, or the time she slapped Jane Withers in the mush (I'm just assuming, here), but either the people who know of this darker side of the Shirley Temple story are keeping quiet or else the dark side doesn't exist. Sadly, for a lover of Hollywood dirt like me, it's probably the latter.
Isn't it always the way? Just because some snobby twit has a title and a
frilly blouse he gets all the attention. Well, what about me? I'm a
Canterville ghost, too! Where are my movies? Where's Oscar Wilde's story
about me? The sad truth is, there will never be a movie or a book about my
sorry life, but thanks to the kind folks at IMDb, I can at least tell you
what I think of this silly little film!
But first, a little about me. Raleigh Knibbles is the name, and I've been haunting the stables at Canterville Manor since 1811 when a manure cart overturned on me and I was smothered to death under a pile of fresh pony droppings. But you'd never know that from watching this film; I don't even get a mention! All they show is that bag of phlegm, Sir Simon! He couldn't scare a nervous rabbit let alone a manor full of soldiers. Now, if I'd been in this movie, you would have seen some real frights! I have this one trick where I pretend to hang myself with my own intestines, and another where I literally stick my head up my own- well, you know. But nobody wants to see that sort of thing in a family picture, I suppose. Still, this movie did have one or two good points; the hunting scenes in the beginning were fun, and that little Margaret O'Brien is a dear one. I could hug the stuffing out of her, I could!
Well, I must be off. Some tourists are coming round later to view the grounds and I want to give them a good show. Forget this movie and read the book instead, it's much more interesting. Now, where did I put my head...
A Charlie Brown Christmas has survived, I think, because it is the most adult of all Christmas specials; it is the only one which accurately foreshadows the melancholy many adults, but few children, feel during the holidays. I paid little attention to Charlie Brown's musings on the true meaning of Christmas until I began re-watching the show in my mid-twenties, after I had gotten over my teenage scorn of the holidays and rediscovered the pleasures of the season. It was then that I noticed the striking differences between this and other classic Christmas specials: The Charlie Brown special doesn't include an appearance by Santa Claus, has no monsters or mythical creatures (How the Grinch Stole Christmas), or feature any acts of magic (Frosty the Snowman.) These differences make A Charlie Brown Christmas a show for kids and adults, while the other specials are merely children's tales. A Charlie Brown Christmas has lasted because it tells a simple, straightforward story of a small group of troubled children and their determined search for a little Christmas joy. By the show's end it is debatable whether they have found, or ever will find, that joy, but their yearly search makes our search much more bearable.
A bit dull for a Hitchcock film; half the cast was out-acted by the corpse.
The only real fun came from little Jerry Mathers, which makes me wonder, as
I often do when writing these silly little comments, would any of
Hitchcock's other films have been improved with an appearance by young
Jerry? Or anyone from the cast of Leave it to Beaver? Ooohhh, I can see it
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN - While taking the train to Centerville to compete in a soap-box derby, Beaver crosses paths with debonaire psychopath Eddie Haskell. Eddie becomes convinced that if he kills Beaver's hated rival Gilbert, Beaver will do his math homework for him.
ROPE - A cocky, arrogant Beaver convinces naive friend Larry Mondello to murder their pal Whitey, then brazenly invites his revered mentor Miss Canfield to solve the crime.
REAR WINDOW - Confined to his room with the chicken pox, Beaver gazes out the window and thinks he sees Fred Rutherford club his wife to death with his prized nine-iron. Beaver enlists the aid of his beautiful, high-society girlfriend Judy Hensler to bring him to justice.
SHADOW OF A DOUBT - A visit from beloved Uncle Billy pleases Beaver, until he begins to suspect his uncle is actually Sid Gimp, the Mayfield Weasel Strangler.
VERTIGO - Traumatized by his near death experience inside a giant coffee cup high above Mayfield, Beaver develops a fear of heights. This fear renders him helpless when local thug Lumpy Rutherford chases him up a light pole for spilling chocolate milk on his best comic book.
PSYCHO - Beaver's attractive young teacher, Miss Landers, is on her way to a passionate rendezvous with her lover, Gus the Fireman, when she pulls into the Cleaver Motel for the night. There she meets polite, mild-mannered proprietor Wally Cleaver, who seems unusually preoccupied with his mother June.
I almost believe Shirley could end a war single-handed. Not the entire war, of course, but a few regiments from each side, camped across a creek from each other, going over their plans for tomorrow's battle... but wait! What's that noise? Why, it sounds like singing! And tap dancing! Then from out of nowhere, floating down the creek on a raft is little Shirley herself, singing 'Those Endearing Young Charms' in her prettiest dress, a pink bow in her hair. Hooray! shout the rebs, Hooray! shout the yanks! The generals from each side wade out to meet her and carry little Shirley off on their shoulders to the White House where an oddly blond-bearded Abe Lincoln asks her help in ending the war, reconstructing the south, appeasing the slaves, preventing his own assasination, working things out with Mary, and sobering up Grant. Accomplishing this in less time than it takes to curl her hair, our three-foot heroine bids a tearful farewell to America and sails to Germany, where she charms the baby Kaiser out of starting World War I.
This film should be remembered not as an early experiment in comedy but as
the world's first psychodelic movie. I'm certain the person who thought up
the dancing teacup number was floating a few feet off the ground at the
time. (By the way, the reefer man wasn't playing bass; it was whoever put
Baby Rose Marie and Cab Calloway on the same bill.) How else do you explain
a movie that stars an actress playing herself, then her identity is never
mentioned again? Come to think of it, why does a man fly to China and drive
halfway across the desert to meet his fiancee? What was his fiancee doing in
China? Why does Baby Rose Marie look like a twelve year-old and dress like a
two year-old? What's with Bela Lugosi? Can a person sit on a batch of
kittens for five full minutes without killing them? What's wrong with
Gracie's brother? Is he the one who thought up the teacup
Now that I think of it, this film should be remembered as an early experiment in comedy. It's fast pace and complete disregard for plot would become standard for the great slob comedies of the 1970's, especially Caddyshack. The scenes of W.C. Fields tearing through International House spewing insults and sex jokes would be revived almost 50 years later by Rodney Dangerfield (even their names are alike.) Just substitute a midwestern country club for a Chinese hotel, a dim-witted caddy trying for a scholarship for a dim-witted groom trying to get married and Bill Murray for Gracie Allen and the two movies become indistinguishable. Of course Caddyshack doesn't have Bela Lugosi, but Ted Knight will do in a pinch.
Man, I just saw this awesome flick, it,...uh...what was it called? ...man, I just saw it!...oh, I know, it had those two dudes in it, you know...those two dudes?...the one dude who's in that show with that other dude?...what's his name?... that dude that was in Miami Vice, yeah that dude! Man that was a great show, Miami Vice! How come it's not on anymore?...they always do that, take off the best shows, like, uh...what was that one show with those dudes that lived in that house...you know, one guy was rich, I think, and they had a car...that car was awesome! I saw it at a car show once but some dude gave me a hard time when I tried to sit in it...Magnum P.I.! That's the show! yeah, that show was awesome...I can't believe that dude wouldn't let me sit in the car, man, I wasn't gonna hurt it...
This movie will never be remembered as great filmmaking, but it's sure to go
down in history as an eerily accurate time capsule of the 1970's. The
seventies, a time when, despite the depressingly high crime rate, people
left their keys in the ignition without giving it a second thought; when
cars were stolen so often we considered them communal property.(By the way,
if you're ever the victim of a car theft, stand in the road shaking your
fist as the car drives off, then yell 'come back here!' as loudly as
possible. This is sure to get your car back.)The seventies were a magical
time, when gubernatorial candidates wore jumpsuits without fear of ridicule
and kept hired goons on retainer; when towns had only one radio station and
we all listened to it; when whiny polo players were considered good catches.
And the car chases! Every day and twice on holy days, my Dad would tell me. Many times, while driving to his job as Jack Lord's shoe buffer, he would come across an impromptu car chase headed to Las Vegas or Tahiti or some other fun place and you better believe he joined in! He would be gone for weeks at a time but we always understood. Mom and I were never worried about him; we could follow his progress from the constant radio reports given by the DJ flying overhead. In the seventies, radio stations thought nothing of scrapping their entire playlist and sending up a fleet of helicopters manned by skinny DJs in smoked glasses to spend days covering a car chase while whole police forces sat idly by, except for that one wacky policeman who always seemed to show up carrying some personal vendetta against one of the chasers and was in way over his head but didn't know it because he wasn't too bright but we understood and we loved him anyway.
Because it was the seventies.
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