Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Today's treat, as snow fell outside the window...
STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET, Richard Quine's romantic opus from 1960, is one I had not seen until now. (It may well have been banned in the Ireland of 1960 due to its adultery theme). I do though like these end of the 50s, cusp of the 60s, movies: the houses, furnishings, architecture, costumes - as in A SUMMER PLACE, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, IMITATION OF LIFE, PILLOW TALK.
STRANGERS, like A SUMMER PLACE, is by Evan Hunter (who also scripted THE BIRDS) and wrote under several names. Its a perfect encapsulation of late 50s America just before the 60s, and has great views of LA at that time, with new houses being built - rather like that George Barris photo of Marilyn Monroe that I like a lot, where she is sipping a glass of champagne looking out over undeveloped land from the freeway. So very L.A.
Here we have dissatisifed architect Kirk Douglas getting involved with beautiful neighbour, Kim Novak, also married with kids. Her husband does not respond to her, and Kirk's wife Barbara Rush seems busy with the house and her own interests. Ernic Kovacs is the writer who commissions Kirk to build a new house, while Walter Matthau leeers in the background and soon discovers Kirk and Kim's secret, so he naturally comes on to Barbara who is slowly beginning to realise there is another woman ..... its pure soap opera of course, but nicely worked out, with great Scope and color compositions and a nice theme tune. Kim appears rather sonambulastic at times, but as in Quine's previous BELL BOOK AND CANDLE is at her zenith here. Its a great '50s suburban movie when the new suburbs were all the rage, as in 1957's NO DOWN PAYMENT (which also featured Rush as a suburban wife).
Quine did 4 films with Novak and must have been involved with her, this is definitely their best/ Once can sense the new decade of the 60s dawning ....