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, 24 March 2017
Sixties rarities: bawdy fun with Kim, Susannah etc.
It’s a return to that bawdy, lusty 18th century with LOCK UP YOUR DAUGHTERS, Peter Coe’s 1969 film of a stage show with songs, though the songs are gone here, as this vainly follows THE ADVENTURES OF MOLL FLANDERS in trying to capture the success of TOM JONES. It ramps up the squalor of the era and plays like a CARRY ON on speed – all it has going for it really is that cast. It basically follows the misadventures of three sailors on shore leave: Lusty (Jim Dale), Shaftoe (Tom Bell) and Ramble (Ian Bannen) who are all looking for some action – willing to provide it are Susannah York (Hilaret) who is rather underused here, Vanessa Howard (Hoyden) and Glynis Johns (Mrs Squeezum). Fabulous Fenella Fielding has the Joan Greenwood role as Lady Eager, allowing herself to be seduced at the theatre and ensuring her seducer has the correct window to call on later – Kathleen Harrison and Roy Kinnear are also funny as Lord and Lady Clumsey, and Roy Dotrice is the Gossip. Other familiar faces include Arthur Mullard, Peter Bull, Fred Emney and its good to see Georgia Brown (the original Nancy in the original OLIVER) as the local strumpet. Top billed though is another extraordinary performance by Christopher Plummer as Lord Fopington with a grotesque wig and what looks like a false nose and who can barely walk he is so effete - he is as stunning as his Inca king Atahualpa in the film of THE ROYAL HUNT OF THE SUN, also that year.. Shot in Kilkenny, Ireland it is an amusing trifle to see at this remove.THE AMOROUS ADVENTURES OF MOLL FLANDERS in 1965 was obviously following in TOM JONES' footsteps with Kim Novak in the lead as amorous Moll, but is good-humoured fun as Terence Young directs a good cast and practically every British comedian and character actor of the era. There is that terrific star quartet of Angela Lansbury and Vittorio De Sica having fun as impoverished aristocrats, Lilli Palmer as leader of the criminal underworld, and George Sanders as Moll's first husband. Kim was so iconic in the '50s [PICNIC, EDDIE DUCHIN STORY, VERTIGO, BELL BOOK AND CANDLE, STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET etc] but - rather like Carroll Baker - she seems diminished in the '60s as items like BOYS NIGHT OUT, OF HUMAN BONDAGE etc did her no favours. She plays along gamely here ... its still a laugh.