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.

Friday, 4 October 2013

A final (?) dollop of Trash ...

... as we count down to 1,000 posts. (15 to go before I sign off for a while). We like a good or so-bad-its-good Trash classic here at the Projector, there's of course 'the higher trash' and 'the lower trash' as Pauline Kael once wrote. Here are some more delirious farragos to enjoy. See Trash label for lots on those Lana Tuner sudsers we like, and some truly awfully enjoyable bad movies, with Susan ! Bette ! Carroll Baker ! and more.
THESE OLD BROADS. Finally, a look at this 2001 telemovie about the problems of staging a reunion of 3 ageing stars: Debbie Reynolds, Joan Collins and Shirley McLaine, and Elizabeth Taylor plays a few scenes as their ballsy agent! How about that for star wattage? This could have been fabulous and is scripted by Carrie Fisher – but somehow it all goes horrendously wrong. It is just a bad cheap-looking telemovie; the scene with the 3 divas wowing the boys in the gay bar with their version of “Get Happy” is hilariously gruesome and other scenes just go on pointlessly. Debbie is fun as usual, Collins in horrendously over the top and McLaine is just her regular sourpuss. Her son, played by Jonathan Silverman, is amusing though as he tries to placate them all to get the show made.
Elizabeth seems to be having a whale of a time as the raucous agent, but her solo scene with Debbie is very odd - It is shot in continuous two-shots with the camera looking over the shoulder of whichever one is listening to the other speak – but they are never completely in the same frame together, so maybe that was filmed with each star and a stand in? Maybe director Matthew Diamond knows?
Reynolds and Taylor were reputedly friends again by then, but maybe both were not available at the same time that day ... though all four pose together in the group shots.

MARTIN AND LEWIS, another telemovie, from 2002, purporting to be all about Martin & Lewis, that oddball duo who were so big in the '50s before their solo careers. Again, its the casting what makes it ... you would not immediately think of Jeremy Northam as Dean Martin, but he gets that Dino laid-back vibe just right, and WILL & GRACE's Sean Hayes nails that manic Jerry Lewis schtick which used to drive me nuts. 
Together they are ideal, as they play out that rise to fame in those '40s nightclubs and then the movies in the '50s, pitting the suave lounge act of Martin against the buffoon version of Jerry's stand-up comedy. It captures Eisenhower America nicely, but again, how much of it is factual, as Dino and Jerry finally can't bear to be together, Dean wants his own career and Jerry can't see how much he is suffocating him. Directed by John Gray. 

MARRIAGE GO ROUND. Now you know how I like Susan Hayward, and how much I appreciate James Mason - just see labels. Put them together and what do you get? A tedious unfunny comedy based on a Broadway play, which also featured the stunning Julie Newmar as the visiting Swedish bombshell who wants professor Mason to father her ideal child, to the amusement and consternation of his wife, Susan, another college professor. It has that 1960 look in spades and I love that spacious house (by Frank Lloyd Wright I think - like the house in A SUMMER PLACE or that specially built one for NORTH BY NORTHWEST, capturing that mid-century look - love those sofas and cushions...). James and Susan though are in Rock & Doris territory and have nothing much to work with. 
Watching it I felt they would have been ideal casting in 1966 for the roles of George and Martha in WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? The Burtons, excellent as they are, are really stunt casting here. By 1966 Mason and Hayward would have been about the right ages and could certainly go to town on those roles - even if no longer considered top box-office. You can imagine Susan spitting out "What a dump" and "You married me for it", while LOLITA and GEORGY GIRL showed how Mason could have approached downtrodden George - I think Albee wrote it with him in mind.
Walter Lang directs and it has that nice 20th Century Fox Cinemascope look.  I like the scene where Julie wows the guys in the pool, including Trax Colton, a Fox discovery who went on to star with Jayne Mansfield in IT HAPPENED IN ATHENS, (that is now available again and on its way to me, so more on that later).  
COME DANCE WITH ME. Not strictly Trash per se, this remains a delicious 1959 French comedy with BB in her prime - dig that gingham skrit look with the tousled hair that girls in their millions copied, as Brigitte dances in this amusing scene - as mentioned before at BB label.  
In this one she goes undercover as a dance teacher to track down the murderer of the dance teacher (sizzling Dawn Addams) who was blackmailing BB's dentist husband Henri Vidal - who died that year aged 40 - Vidal label. BB dances up a storm and its nicely amusing, taking in as it does gay Paris by night, as the killer turns out to be a drag queen ! Its the best of that BB boxset of 5 titles, though I liked TWO WEEKS IN SEPTEMBER too, a long missing Swinging London item from 1967.


  1. Sorry to hear you're going to take a break, even if only for a while although I understand the need to recharge the engine from time to time. Still you will be missed.

    In Debbie's new bio she mentioned that Elizabeth was in pretty rough shape and a lot of pain when they filmed Broads but was determined to participate so that may account for the static feeling of her shots. The film is enjoyable in a train wreck way but a shame they wasted the opportunity with all the girls gathered together.

    It's been years since I saw Marriage-Go-Round and even then I'm not sure I saw the whole thing but I don't remember being overly impressed which is a shame since I have a deep love for all three of the main performers.

    The idea of Susan and James in Virginia Woolf is heady, I've never been very fond of the film-Taylor & Burton were fine, she's much better than he but still I think Hayward & Mason would have made more sense. To see them going at it tooth and nail in a quality picture that allowed each to unleash their dramatic beast would have been everything a film fan could ask for.

  2. How very true, if you are going to cast Hayward & Mason together you want them to have something dramatic to do, not just play a limp comedy. Same with Susan and Peter Finch, if only their I THANK A FOOL had been worthy of them.

    Yes, Taylor seems unwell in THESE OLD BROADS and is out of the film for long stretches. Shame the 4 gals did not have better material to play with.

    Thanks for comments, I feel that 1,000 posts is enough for now, though as I said earlier I will continue looking in and adding photos and comments of interest, I do want to get on with other writing projects, but we will see how it goes. It may prove too addictive to stay away for long ....