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, 7 August 2013

Summer fun - 1962 classy trash

Winding up our summer repeats, heres a pair from 1962 I have written about here before, but hey, they are always worth another look ... 
THE CHAPMAN REPORT, Cukor's film of a sensational book (which I read as a teenager) concerning a sex survey among a group of women. It has that perfect early 60s look and Cukor certainly makes it look good, with a separate 'look' for each of the women and their homes. Claire Bloom is outstanding as the self-loathing nymphomaniac, who gets passed around by some sleazy doped-up jazz musicians - she is presented like a vampire lurking in the shadows watching the water delivery boy, Chad Everett in tight trousers;
Glynis Johns is a lot of fun as the arty housewife who becomes distracted by beach boy Ty Hardin in those spray-on shorts; Shelley Winters is the hausfrau with a very dull husband and she is having an affair with heel Ray Danton, a theatre director - it ends in tears in the book, but not so in the movie. Jane Fonda impresses the least as the frigid young widow, but Jane had not yet found herself back then. Cukor regular Henry Daniell also pops up. Its all marvellously entertaining and not at all trashy like some others I could mention. It was great to finally see THE CHAPMAN REPORT recently, as it has not been available for decades, and there is still no proper dvd release!
ALL FALL DOWN - one of Frankenheimer's three in '62. I loved James Leo Herlihy's book when I was 16. People talk about THE CATCHER IN THE RYE or LORD OF THE FLIES as great books about children or teenagers, but when I was 16 ALL FALL DOWN, was like reading about myself. The film, as scripted by William Inge, perfectly captured how I felt and my relations with my family. I too eavesdropped on my parents. I did not have an older brother though to worship, being the oldest of 6 myself! The film is perfectly cast: Angela Lansbury and Karl Malden deliver pitch perfect performances as the parents Ralph and Annabel who is forever fretting over her missing son Beri Beri - probably Warren Beatty's best early role, and Eva Marie Saint is perfection as Echo O'Brien "the old maid from Toledo". 
At the centre is Brandon de Wilde as Clint, the narrator and the story concerns his eventual disillusionment with his selfish, womanising brother. It is all lyrically shot, with some nice scenes at the Florida Keys and back in Ohio. Its certainly one for me to savour. What a shame De Wilde died so young in a traffic accident, after he being a child actor on Broadway, he is perfect as little John Henry in THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING. Then there were SHANE, NIGHT PASSAGE, HUD etc. Herlihy also wrote MIDNIGHT COWBOY, among others, and acted (in IN THE FRENCH STYLE and others). It seems Beatty was a pain on this film as well, as he was on LILITH, practically telling Frankenheimer how to direct!  (I must put LILITH on my list of classic American dramas to revisist).


  1. The Chapman Report is on DVD!

  2. Thanks for that info, just seen it. I have of course ordered it, a Spanish edition. Lots of interesting movies turn up on Spanish dvds now !