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.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Bad Movies We Love

Here is a Trash Classic indeed. Rebello and Marguilies' 1995 tome on those bad movies we love, with a foreword by Sharon Stone, who gets a whole chapter to herself. The usual suspects though are here in force: Lana, Susan, Joan (Crawford), Bette and all those delirious movies of theirs.

Browsing it again makes one want to dig out QUEEN BEE (Joan - ["wearing the kind of gown a female impersonator would choose"]: "Any man's my man if I want it that way" or: "You look sweet - even in those tacky old clothes"); or Lana's PORTRAIT IN BLACK or LOVE HAS MANY FACES - perennial favourites of ours. Others like THE CHAPMAN REPORT, THE  BEST OF EVERYTHING, SERENADEPARRISH and those Troy Donahue spectaculars get their due (I will have to look out for PALM SPRINGS WEEKEND, which sounds a hoot).

Pity they did not include Suzanne Pleshette's opus A RAGE TO LIVE, or THE SUBTERRANEANS or THE SOUND AND THE FURY or Lee Remick's SANCTUARY or Jean Simmons' HILDA CRANE or Jane Russell's THE REVOLT OF MAMIE STOVER or Shelley's A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME or Debbie's THE SINGING NUN.... maybe in a new edition, and with a foreword by Joan Collins please? At least JOHNNY GUITAR gets it due - a delicious piece on its gay subtext, as does TORCH SONG, AUTUMN LEAVES, FEMALE ON THE BEACH, Bette's THE STAR and DEAD RINGER and Lucille's MAME, plus the pure trash of THE OSCAR and THE LOVE MACHINE and ... those 'disasters' get trashed again too: those AIRPORTs, THE CASSANDRA CROSSING, EARTHQUAKE etc. too easy to make fun of those! 

Lets' savour a few comments on the usually-respected THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (the 1968 one, natch): "Its not the money" business tycoon Steve McQueen drawls soulfully "Its me and the System" - that 60s phrase explains why the ineffably cool McQueen - who plays polo, drives a Rolls, pilots his own glider plane and dune buggy, and lives in a killer Boston mansion - masterminds multi-million dollar bank robberies on the side.... Everything's so terribly, laughably with-it in Norman Jewison's chi-chi epic - that you could bliss out with glee from all the faux hip dialogue, multiple-screen images ... Dunaway, all teeth and legs, and blissfully unaware of how disasterously dated she is going to look in those Theodora Van Runkle costumes, sets a trap to catch a thief, McQueen, whom she just knows is the mastermind".

Lots more here too on bad girls we love like Gina Lollobrigida in GO NAKED IN THE WORLDTaylor and Burton get roasted for THE SANDPIPER and THE VIPs and Liz' THE DRIVER'S SEAT and X, Y AND ZEE (one I have been meaning to return to...). Carroll Baker gets her due (SYLVIA, THE CARPETBAGGERS, HARLOW) as does Natalie Wood (MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR), Ann-Margret ("THE SWINGER might just be the all-time tackeiest major studio  movie") and so many more .... its well worth seeking out for Trash devotees.   
Above: Bette, Susan and director Edward Dmytryk who after his early successes (THE YOUNG LIONS, RAINTREE COUNTY) hit the Trash trail with a vengance: WHERE LOVE HAS GONE, THE CARPETBAGGERS, BLUEBEARD ...

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