Our favorite film blogger and southern belle of belle lettres, the Siren, has posted her contribution to Goatdog's Movies About Movies Blogathon. The Siren's written about The Bad and the Beautiful starring Kirk Douglas as a manipulative monster of a movie studio exec and Lana Turner, Dick Powell, Gilbert Roland and others as doomed and self-destructive victims of Douglas' ego, all of whom may remind film buffs of a real-life Hollywood monster and his victims:
The game of "guess who THIS is" is quite fun and all but basically irrelevant, and Minnelli signals that in part by keeping the connections so flippin' obvious. Lana Turner's father-obsessed starlet stands in for Diana Barrymore, the Southern writer (Dick Powell) who hates Hollywood and wants to go home is an obvious take on Faulkner, the director (Barry Sullivan) plays Jacques Tourneur to Shields' Val Lewton on a movie called "Attack of the Cat Man"--I mean, with that last you wonder why they even changed the names. Aside from the Lewton echo the Shields character rings a bell, or more like a cathedral, for David O. Selznick, what with producing a large epic with a big death scene, even if it's set in Russia and not Georgia, and then moving on to Dick Powell's sexy Southern epic, The Proud Land (Faulkner would have thrown up, but never mind).
Go on over to her place to read her post and then follow the link to Goatdog's for more fun. I especially enjoyed reading Bob at Forward to Yesterday's take on the Blake Edwards' S.O.B., a movie I'm sorry to hear Bob doesn't think quite holds up. For some reason I can't explain to myself S.O.B. grabbed me by the funny bone and wouldn't let go. I went to see it about six times when it was in the theaters, dragging friends along and demanding they love the movie as much as I did. Nothing in Bob's post tells me what in God's name might have enthralled me, and, no, it wasn't the sight---a quick glimpse, really---of Julie Andrews' "boobies." They were perfectly charming, but I'm sure I had other reasons for liking S.O.B. so much, and no it wasn't the sight of Rosanna Arquette's tits either. Geez. You people. I think it was Robert Preston's one-liners, none of which were actually funny, he just made them funny.
Patient: Will this work?
Preston (as a doctor about to stick a needle in the patient): Is Batman a transvestite? Who knows?
Pretty girl at a party: What do you do?
Preston: I breed armadillos.
Pretty girl: Is that satisfying work?
Preston: Oh yes. You know what they say. Make an armadillo happy and the world is your oyster.
Pretty girl: I think I have heard that.
Preston: I used to breed oysters but it didn't have the same ring to it. Make an oyster happy and the world is your armadillo.
Or maybe it was Julie Andrews' breasts.
At any rate, read Bob's post, read the Siren's, and keep in mind this:
Wednesday Night at the Movies is returning to newcritics in September!
The Siren has chosen our feature films and she'll be hosting the open threads, starting with Hitchcock's Rear Window on September 10.
All six of her chosen films are set in and about life in New York City, and the Siren's picked them with themes in mind. Here's her schedule:
September 10: People-watching - Rear Window.
September 17: Ambition -- Sweet Smell of Success.
September 24: Drudgery (loneliness) - The Apartment
October 1: Romance - Desperately Seeking Susan
October 8: Resilience Double Feature - Serpico and 25th Hour
The Siren, always gracious, has graciously yielded the hosting duties for The Apartment to a fellow blogger who counts that Billy Wilder classic as one of his ten favorite movies of all time, and with this one I know why I love it.
Free Official Lance Mannion baseball cap to the first three readers who correctly guess what I already know I'm going to title my post.
Send your guesses by email. Caps designed and embroidered by Uncle Merlin. Colors may vary.