Linnea Quigley stars mostly in horror films and horror-comedy films. I really don't like most of the movies, not my genre, and I like her better in comedies, but I do like Linnea Quigley and watch merely for that sake. Here she is pretty darn cute, dresses in cute clothes and does a cute topless scene. These are her hallmarks and here she does them as cute as ever. She isn't given that much to say or do and that is a shame. There are many more films which give her better roles and I urge you to seek them out. I still recommend this film because I really like her look in it which is more along the lines of her look in Vice Academy (though I didn't really like her character that much in that film) and she appears to be having a blast. If you want to see the cutest actress who every graced film SEXBOMB is the place.
In 1953 Abbott and Costello quickly updated their old vaudeville routines to capture a younger, modern audience and try their hand at this phenomena. They had success spoofing the horror genre with A&C MEETS FRANKENSTEIN and A&C MEETS THE INVISIBLE MAN a couple years earlier and the young audiences who had watched Universal's monster films were now watching rocket films and would soon be watching alien monsters devour entire cities. Though flights to Mars were now a typical plot device, A&C GO TO MARS was ahead of the game by going to Venus six years before FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS (1959)!
Abbott and Costello start off toward Mars but end up back on Earth during New Orleans Mardi Gras. They are fooled by fanciful costumes with giant masks and believe they are on Mars. Eventually they flee to Venus populated by beautiful women and all's well that ends well.
The production values were very good, considering that studios were rushing out poorly produced imitations of ROCKET X-M and DESTINATION MOON after their success. After the quick patter routines of the duo that serviced them well in the forties had become so familiar to the audience it was refreshing to have them do something else. Though certainly not a classic and not on the list of best A & C films, for those tiring of the same routines this film is visually exciting filled with space-age fun, beautiful models and hilarious gags. Kids love the film and older adults love the 50's space-age theme. Grab the popcorn.
During those three seasons ABC had another wholesome entry in the magic sitcom genre (that already included Bewitched and The Flying Nun) this time inspired by the success of Mary Poppins whereas we find a magical nanny (think ESP to the max power) who comes to help a widower raise his children. Whereas shows like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie frequently played on the romantic relationship or sexual tension between the two leads (there was even some sexual tension between The Flying Nun's novice nun Sister Bertrille and playboy Carlos Ramirez!), Nanny and the Professor had virtually no character development and the plots began to repeat themselves. Wheras Mary Poppins had a mother in the household the TV show wisely dealt with a father only. While this left the door open for romantic involvement and possible marriage (think Eight Is Enough), this simply was not to be.
Charming as the characters were, they just didn't grow as a family. Bewitched kept interest over the years first by watching the newlywed couple cope with their differences, having their first child, and eventually raising two children.. I Dream of Jeannie moved from sexual tension to engagement to marriage. The big dilemma that was built into Nanny was that the show had two young attractive adults living together under the same roof with young impressionable children. Any sign of sexual tension would have been taboo in 1970 (Jeannie at least lived in a bottle) so they kept the character of Phoebe "Nanny" Figalilly uninterested in Professor Harold Everett and kept a goofy look on the Professor as he got ready with dates uninvolved with the show or his character.
The show eventually played to its only audience that could care less in the social aspects of the plot, young children, when it finished off it's run as a Saturday morning TV cartoon in 1972 (original cast members providing the voices). When shows got canceled in those days that's where they went, funny as it may seem now. From Gilligan's Island to Welcome Back Kotter from Happy Days to Punky Brewster and even TV favorites Mr. T and Gary Coleman animation was the ghostly graveyard of sitcoms.
ESP Note: Juliet Mills wasn't the only actress from this show to play a role where the character has ESP. Six-year-old Kim Richards who played the young Prudence Everett had a long run in television as a child actress but is best known as Tia, the girl with ESP, in Disney's Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) and Return to Witch Mountain (1978). She also played a young woman with ESP in her self-produced film Escape (1990).
It's all based on a short story called appropriately Stage to Lordsburg but also on a French story (Guy de Maupassant's Boule de Suif) with similar characters traveling in a coach during the Franco-Prussian War.
The basic structure of the plot is also familiar to fans of disaster films. Passengers are introduced, board a common conveyance and face a tremendous danger. The exciting adventure of who lives, who dies, will the stage make it to its destination, and what happens next is highlighted by perhaps the most famous stunts in film history by the most famous and respected stuntman of all Yakima Canutt. If one of the stunts looks familiar, Steven Speilberg recreated it for his first Indiana Jones film.
The film is also a lot more. Unlike other westerns up to its time which were mainly shoot-em-ups between the good guys in the white hats and the bad guys in the black hats, it examines very serious social issues and how different people look down at others differently. Besides prejudice, some of the characters are flawed with alcoholism, greed and revenge. We also see the good in bad people with respect for new life and ultimately redemption. Nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Interior Decoration, Best Film Editing, Best Supporting Actor (won) and Best Score (won), Stagecoach was John Ford's first sound Western and elevated the genre in both critical praise and popularity. The low camera angles in Monument Valley would become a John Ford trademark. Despite doing 70 films, this is the one that made Wayne a star and it's easy to see why. Many consider it his best performance; both subtle and clear he cares for the needs of the people around him and yearns for his own need for a home, a wife and a family. It is considered one of the great films in cinemas greatest year, 1939. Gone With the Wind, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Wuthering Heights, Dark Victory, The Wizard of Oz, Of Mice and Men and Ninotchka were all nominated for best picture alongside Stagecoach that year.
Regarding the political incorrectness of an Apache uprising, well, they happened. If you just happened to be in a stagecoach in the middle of the southwest during an Apache uprising chances are you would be killed. This story does not examine the reasons for the uprising only the effects on a group of travelers trying to travel through it.
Though it worked for Moore, such an unoriginal film probably won't bring much interest outside of France. Sad-sackers tend to have short attention spans and the topic has pretty much played itself out. It would have been more interesting to compare the level of violence around the world to bring things into proper perspective. It would have been nice to find out what it would be like to go to school in third-world countries, in war-torn countries, in dictator-run countries, and the dangers posed to students there and the amount of deaths that occur each year.
The skill in these types of films, as is criticized with Moore's documentaries, is that the film-makers pick-and-choose the facts and wear blinders. I am reminded of a running gag on Late Night with Conan O'Brien where he shows a close-up of a picture and only after the camera pulls back completely can we see that the surrounding landscape puts everything into a completely different perspective. Such is the work of documentary film-makers who shelter us from scenes just beyond the camera that might shed sunlight onto a gloomy close-up. Unfortunately, they never pull back the camera. At least with Moore's films, his facts are so doctored, his techniques so tasteless, years from now we'll have fun laughing at his films in the same way we have fun laughing at Ed Wood. The biggest problem with ELEPHANT is not it's point of view, it is just too watered-down to really make any point at all.
Time will tell if Hollywood still shares a taste in this type of film. As far me, I have much more faith in life. There are wonderful things happening in the same schools and cities documented in ELEPHANT and pity those that choose not to recognize them or make documentaries about them. Even without documentation, for the majority of us, we are happy to be apart of it and experience it first hand.
Mel Brooks loved the old genres he spoofed (these were the films he grew up watching), but look at a film like YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and there are scenes which are as much of the genre as the original. The set from the original FRANKENSTEIN was used to recreate the reanimation scene! Tony Randall's small role in DOWN WITH LOVE (and his modern-day counterpart David Hyde Pierce) helps a little, but doesn't help the rest of the film. The inspiration was in the costumes and sets, not in the script and not in the direction. Too bad the actors relied on the script and direction one hundred per cent. Let's hope THE ITALIAN JOB does a better job at remaking hip. Let's hope the writers go back to sitcoms where they belong.
So now we have Bob Roberts, written, directed, and starring Tim Robbins an actor and former member of Los Angeles' Actors' Gang, an experimental ensemble that expressed radical political observations through the European avant-garde form of theater. Tim Robbins is a self-proclaimed left-wing political activist who has made no attempts personally or professionally to hide his disdain for American values (he prefers European values) and hatred for conservatives and nationalism (he prefers liberalism, socialism and internationalism). His story-line for Bob Roberts is campaigns and politics, a subject matter Tim Robbins the author has virtually no experience in professionally or intellectually (he was a drama major at UCLA), but alas, this is Hollywood where a drop-out like Martin Sheen can pretend he is President on screen and off. Why actually know your subject when you can just make it up as you go along? It sure as heck beats having to know the subject professionally or have any real insights.
If a story is built on the knowledge and expertise of the author then Bob Roberts is not really a story of politics or campaigns. It is on the surface a story of acting, Bob Roberts is an "actor," a "con man" who pretends to be one thing but is actually another. Tim Robbins, the "actor" had been acting professionally for about a decade when Bob Roberts came out so one has to give their own assessment for what constitutes experience in this department. The point I am making is that acting is his only experience so playing a con man can't be too much of a stretch. Given that his roles included an astronaut, a prisoner and a Viking, a con man is virtually home turf.
During his professional career Tim Robbins formed his political views which became what the story of Bob Roberts is about dressed up as political satire. If you are looking for substantial facts or any connection to the truth you won't find them here, but why would you? Consider the source of the information...or more precisely the lack of information. If you are interested in left-wing anti-American sentiment the libraries are filled with books by qualified individuals who studied decades of philosophical viewpoints, some even holding political power. You may disagree with their philosophies but at least they spell out the philosophy, perhaps offering examples lifted from experience and they don't re-write the philosophies of others. The points of view are left bare for people to either agree, partially agree or disagree based on their merits.
Bob Roberts is a dangerous film, and an inaccurate one, because it doesn't support its philosophy by spelling out what it believes. Instead it incorrectly describes other people's philosophies based on emotion, not facts. Like a spoiled brat the film can't find anything nice to say about itself or it's viewpoint, so it makes up something bad about others. This is Hollywood fake-believe. Don't expect it to be factual. Set your standards higher than a Tim Robbins film.