When I was the age of the kids in this film, in my area of the world, we had two groups of kids, and you were either one or the other, unless you were a total loser, or just didn't care. In the movie, Jimmy and his crew were the mods; we had what were called the "baldies", because of the close-cropped hair. I placed my allegiance with the baldies. We wore what would be called "preppie" attire now: khaki trousers, button-down collar "Gant" shirts with the little loops in the back, high-polished leather oxfords in shell or wingtip styles, v-neck sweaters, and belts with big round buckles. The shoes were important in that the soles were heavy enough to inflict some damage in a fight. The shirts and trousers had to be perfectly pressed, and the shoes spit-shined. Yes, to any self-respecting baldie, appearance was extremely high on the list of importance. It was all about image, you see. Favorite baldie smoke: "boros"; favorite beverage: malt liquor.
In place of the rockers, we had the "greasers", for obvious reasons. Very similar to the rockers portrayed in the movie, with their black leather jackets, engineer boots, denims, and early Elvis-type hair. The greasers were more of your lower or lower middle class working kids, while the baldies were generally in a higher economic class. Music-wise, the baldies went for the Beatles, Stones and other British groups; the rockers hung onto Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Your typical greaser smoked Camels and drank Grain Belt beer, or booze.
Others had mentioned "The Outsiders". If I remember correctly, in that film, the "Soc's" (pronounced "sowshuz) equated with the mods/baldies, but I can't recall what the rockers/greasers were called. Anyone?
I guess the point is that all young men go through this stuff, to varying degrees, all over the place. You have that dangerous period where you are not a little kid anymore but not yet a man, the hormones are screaming, you think your parents are the stupidest people on earth, you HAVE to make sure you get your share. You desperately need to prove your manhood, because you're not a man and you're insecure about that whole deal. So you fight, to measure yourself against the next guy. And your buds are much more important to you than your parents.
The Vespas in the movie were something we didn't have around here: more car-oriented, though the greasers did have their Harley's. If there was a popular bike, it would have been the Honda 50! Sort of shows you how old and decrepit I am now.
I really was blown away when I first saw the film. Seemed real raw and honest, and loved the "Britishness" of the whole thing. But we could all totally relate, because as you see, the English kids were alot like us.
Those years, I must admit, were not very happy ones for me. Self-indulgence is a dead-end. I needed to be working hard, towards a goal, with a family, for me to feel truly fulfilled. And I think that is the case with most of us.
Murray Burns and his world are totally unrealistic AND unhealthy. Do not try to emulate him. It is a trap and a prison. It's like smoking dope all the time: you lose your drive and you increase your cynicism.
But perhaps I'm being too serious. Murray does have the kid, and he seems to fall in love at the end, so maybe there is hope for him. The movie has some great lines and funny characters. The black and white scenes of NYNY in the 1960's are wonderful, Martin Balsam as Murray's brother is one of our greatest actors, Barbara Harris is great, William Daniels is great, Barry Gordon as Rafael Sabattini, etc., is great.
See it and enjoy it but don't take it to heart like I did.
Alexander Hamilton imitations???
Wait a minute, I thought I was writing about "Children of Paradise"!!
But I'd still call this a masterpiece. If you love gentle, imaginative comedy, love movies that MOVE, love caricature, love subtlety, have an attention span of more than five minutes and need a relief from the drudgery, devilment and depression of ordinary, everyday life, I'd highly recommend this one.
It's truly a unique experience. There are no other movies like it. The antithesis of many of today's popular films, with their seemingly endless dialogue, car chases, sexual gymnatics, and gore.
A funny guy in a raincoat, pipe and hat goes to a seaside hotel for a few days. That's all you need to know. Just watch it and laugh. It will do you a world of good.
Mon Oncle is great also, but not as great as this one.
Cary Grant is at the building sight of his new home, which is at that point, being framed. A young carpenter, played by future Tarzan Lex Barker, asks him if he wants his "lallies to be rabbeted", or some such thing that only a carpenter would know. Grant, not wanting to appear ignorant, replies in the affirmative. At that, Barker yells up to his mates, "OK boys, he wants 'em rabbeted, so....YANK 'EM OUT!" A second later you hear the ripping and tearing sounds of about 20 big nails being pulled out of various boards. All Grant can do is moan.
Yes, the movie IS dated. You'd never see that many carpenters working at once on a single family home, and a place like that, in Connecticut of all places, would probably run a few million bucks.
A classic movie that is really a treasure.
Or how about the ancient, toothless, wrinkled-up (but really wealthy) human wreck who is married to the buxom Kristy? The old sod has absolutely no lines to speak at all, yet he is hysterical, just sitting next to his brainless wife, whose lips are so full of Botox she can hardly utter an intelligible word.
The gay couple is spot-on accurate, so real they don't even seem to be acting. Ed Begley as the hotel manager checks them in at the front desk, telling them that one of the available rooms has a "queen"-sized bed; WHAT ARE YOU SUGGESTING? demands Scott in mock indignation.
Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy, in every scene, remind you very clearly why "SCTV" is the funniest TV show that's ever been on. And of course, the magnificent Fred Willard: "Trevor, it's really amazing to think that, in some parts of the world, these dogs are actually eaten!"
Don't miss this one! They will have you eating it up!
That's what always amazed me about the Rolling Stones: Jagger played the part of the tough "Street-Fighting Man", but at the same time the little twerp, who weighed, what, about 140, would prance around in his capes and makeup like a bleeding fairy. But I liked the Stones for years anyway (but not now because they are too old and make too much money for playing music that they played 30+ years ago; it's a disgrace and they should be ashamed). Unlke most of us, and like the Stones, Spinal Tap didn't have to face any of this aggro because they, at least at one time, could fill stadiums! And in this movie they are running on the fumes of their previous success.
Sorry about the digression. EVERYTHING about this movie is perfect. I was raised on rock (Stones, Beatles, Jeff Beck, The Who, Rod Stewart, Ten Years After, Blodwyn Pig, King Crimson, etc.) and this music and its practitioners had been screaming out for parody. Thank God that mssrs. Guest, McKean, Reiner, et.al. have done it up right. The endless series of exploding drummers, the choking on SOMEONE ELSE'S vomit, the fatal gardening accidents, the hissy fit over the dressing room refreshments, Fred Willard, the one-foot actual size reproduction of Stonehenge, Derek being trapped in the plastic pod, Paul Shaffer's character begging them to kick his ass, the manager, the girl friend, the songs, the lyrics, the accents.
Christopher Guest is an absolute genius and a fantastic actor. This is a TRUE classic and so are the other ones such as Waiting For Guffman and Best in Show.
Now, does anyone know where I can find a copy of "Break Like the Wind"?
At one time in my life I was trying to make films, and experienced many of the same problems Mark Borchardt did in trying to make HIS film. And I also went through a protracted period of self-absorbed arrested development, where I refused to grow. But then, miraculously, I got married, and had kids. I realized that being a struggling filmmaker was, in all likelihood, not going to feed my family. So I got a decent job and did what I felt I needed to do to make that happen. That is what an mature, responsible adult does.
Mark hasn't faced up to that reality as yet, and so, in that sense, he is a retarded adolescent. For this reason, there is a hopelessness about him. Like Don Quixote, he seems so inept and self-deluded that he doesn't realize how bad off he really is. The viewer feels a sense of superiority and pity for him and his circle. Mark has kids and an ex-wife and bills to pay, but the film depicts him caring basically only about pursuing his "artistic vision".
Despite this, Mark comes across in the film as a likeable individual, surrounded by a very interesting family and group of friends. Unfortunately, Mark lacks many of the things necessary to be successful both in life and in a career: maturity, responsibility, education, knowledge, life experience, prioritization, financial clout, etc.. Yet he trudges on, much like Ed Wood, apparently without any semblance of a clue.
I guess we are supposed to feel encouraged by the spectacle of the "never say die" attitude of this noble individual, struggling against the odds. And man, what odds there are! Kiefer Sutherland, Colin Hanks, Tori Spelling and Angelina Jolie are all offspring of big-time film or TV people; no doubt, they will all want to direct some day, if they aren't already. How much room is there for an independent like Mark? It's like watching a guy hit himself in the head with a board, over and over again. Come to think of it, that is pretty close to what happens to one of Mark's actors, with the kitchen cabinet door, in one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen in any movie.
Despite these misgivings and seeming criticisms, I truly enjoyed this movie, and would heartily recommend it to anyone. Uncle Bill is amazing. I have a friend who met both Mike and Mark and he told me that, in real life, these guys are just exactly the way they appeared in the movie.
Leguizamo must have been between paychecks.
Arnold should not make any more movies. Period. And especially no more movies in which he is supposed to play Americans, with names like Jones and Smith and whatever; in his bodybuilding days, he was known as "The Austrian Oak". But he must have SWALLOWED the oak.
It's obvious nobody has ever been able to help him ditch the accent, and they never will. Apparently all the steroids have thickened not only his pecs but his vocal cords as well. A good actor is supposed to be able to do accents (Olivier, Streep, Oldman, even Ryan Phillipe did a credible Scots turn in "Gosford Park").
But he was great in the first Terminator, a mono-syllabic role.
Somehow he procured some money, a camera and gallons (litres?) of fake blood, and over the years threw together miles and miles of murky, rambling, pointless, clumsy and totally absurd footage, and now everyone calls him "The Italian Hitchcock". This is not an insult to Hitchcock, simply because it is so ludicrous. There is not one character in any of the Argento movies that we care even remotely about, so when they kill or are killed, we DON'T care. Not one whit! One of the greatest and most unique things about Hitchcock was that he was able to constantly create characters that we deeply cared about, normal, everyday people who were thrown into unusual and dangerous situations and somehow triumphed. There are no people in Argento; only bodies, limbs, torsos, blank faces. And God forbid--never, ever any humor.
I can appreciate well-choreographed violence and gore, but he doesn't even do that well! I am convinced that the people who have canonized him are too young or inexperienced to have seen any really fine filmmakers, and so they think he is the best. In reality, he is so awful, so pretentious, so self-indulgent, so self-important, so solemn, and so completely and utterly inept that it is a crime that he is so "successful". But that's life. And as we all know, life isn't fair.
And he may be a nice guy. He just should not be making films.
Lucas has created a masterpiece for the ages. A truly unique time portrait taken on one summer evening during an innocent era in the history of a great country.