Sunday, January 30, 2005

VON TRAPPED


Sometimes things happen for a reason. But sometimes it seems they don't. What I'd really like to know is, is there a reason I was subjected to The Sound of Music twice this week? Was it the ghost of kindly old Father Phelan of St. Patrick's Parish in Lake County, Oregon getting some kind of metaphysical revenge on me for my being lukewarm (to say the least) on The Passion of the Christ? Perhaps I'd become the focus of an insidious torture campaign at the hands of the Daughters of Julie Andrews (or, as they were known in the heady days of kidnapping newspaper heiresses and winning them over to radical terrorist causes, the DJA) who conspired with the cackling Fates to make my week a living, candy-coated hell.

Oh, probably not. It's more likely just one of those ugly bits of happenstance that mean nothing, but seem like everything in the midst of enduring them. What makes the whole thing even stranger, in terms of coincidence, is that I'm also currently knee-deep in another movie that was released in the wake of The Sound of Music's middlebrow cultural hijacking, 1967's Bedazzled, written by and starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, a comic reworking of Faust in which Cook's Satan uses the magic words "Julie Andrews" to transport Moore's rumpled everyman soul-seller to and fro in the fulfilling of his various wishes. Believe me, the idea of using the name of a post-Poppins/post-von Trapp Julie Andrews as some sort of satanic invocation is a very appealing one to me right now. I've never been a fan of her squeaky-clean image or her clipped and overly precise enunciation of all those teeth-rotting lyrics. And although I've always found Mary Poppins entertaining, it's also a bit much-- my inevitable siding up with the movie's stern taskmaster, played by David Tomlinson, during each viewing is a pretty good indication that the movie doesn't work on me in the precisely the way its creators intended.

But as a kid I loved Mary Poppins and the world it lovingly (if a bit creakily, as it turns out) evoked. Not so The Sound of Music. My mom dragged my sister and I to see it in the friendly confines of the Alger Theater back in 1969-- probably on one of the movie's many, many re-releases-- and even as a relatively impressionable nine-year-old I found it virtually unwatchable, as dead in the water as any movie (and I hadn't seen that many yet, really) I'd ever seen. The Sound of Music is chock-full of moments that make me question the sanity of everyone involved: the queasy lunacy of the nuns' bizarre obsessing over their pesky postulant (the answer to their query, "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" always seemed obvious to me, but there just aren't many good Catholics like Torquemada around anymore); the lockstep animatronics of the von Trapp "children" (Nicholas Hammond as Friedrich is, I believe, the first MPAA-documented use of the UNIVAC Artificial Intelligence Unit in a worldwide Oscar-winning hit); the obvious homage to Hammer Films in the Christopher Lee-like entrance of Captain Georg von Trapp (surely the most paternalistically fascistic anti-Nazi in the history of lousy familial melodrama); that inexplicably perverse moment at the conclusion of the devastatingly bad Charmian Carr’s big “16 Going On 17” number when, in a burst of romantic joy at having had such a lovely encounter with her soon-to-be-goosestepping boyfriend Rolfe, she launches herself out of the gazebo, through the pouring rain toward the camera, and just before Robert Wise-ly cuts away, gives us a giddy, whooping “Wheeeeeeeeee!” as she gathers her arms around herself and swoons with delirious abandon (maybe that’s just delirium brought on by creeping hypothermia at being out too long in the cold Austrian rain); and, of course, the psychotically insistent effervescence of Maria herself (early on, when she describes to the Mother Superior how the birds calling to her was so sweet that she felt she could almost fly away with them, I can never hold back my fantasies of her being successful in her fine feathered flight of fancy, thus lopping off an excruciating two hours and 35 minutes of running time). Every time I see this movie I always end up with one question: What is it that others see in this movie that seems to so completely elude me?

And I think that's a fair question, if it's posed as more than a rhetorical one. So for anyone reading who finds The Sound of Music as rapturous and delightful as I find it inexplicable, uninspiring and fully absent of style, and who would like to take the opportunity to explain why, I'd love for you to do so.

But I'd also like to pose another question, and that is:

What movie, beloved by seemingly everyone else, do you find to be unconscionably, unsupportably, unmistakably bad?

Your choice really should be a movie that has enjoyed some improbable measure of popularity at the box office, critical acclaim, a plethora of awards, or some combination of these, which just drives you around the bend with frustration and irritation. Irrational responses are, I suppose, inevitable, but I'd like to hear why something grates on you so badly, when all else is but praise. I guess I've already answered that question for myself. Now I eagerly await your stories. Come share the pain.

35 comments:

Thom McGregor said...

Well, I have to watch it twice this week also, mostly as a favor to you, and all I can say is Maria is a flibberdigibbit, a will-o'-the-wisp, a clown. And certifiably insane.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

And then the magisterial reprise of that song played-- where else?-- at her wedding! Didn't she have a choice of tunes? "My Favorite Things," okay. "Do Re Mi," even. But why can't those creepy nuns quit picking the Maria scab even on such a joyous occasion? She landed the vampiric Captain von Trapp, Mother Superior! Talk about climbing every mountain! Give the cheerful little twerp her moment!

Anonymous said...

Come on. She makes the kids matching outfits out of the old curtains! And somehow the two boys don't get their asses kicked by Rolf or any of the other Hitler youth or by any other self-respecting Austrian boy who's lederhosen (sp?) don't look like, well, curtains. Between that and the Sharks and Jets dancing about at the beginning of WEST SIDE STORY, it's not a stretch to say that Robert Wise (it's hard to believe it's the same guy who directed THE HAUNTING and edited CITIZEN KANE) has produced a couple of the most famous scenes in the history of the gay cinema.

My nominee for the movie-everyone-tells-me-is-a-classic-and-I-just-don't-get-it is WEST SIDE STORY-- except for the "America" sequence. I'd vote for SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, but I've never made it all the way through, so I don't feel it's fair for me to slam it.

Andy

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Andy, I'm right with you on "West Side Story," though my stand on this one is a sore spot in my household, Patty being a big George Chakiris fan and all. I too always felt that "America," and particularly Rita Moreno in that incredible purple dress, almost made up for Natalie Wood's overdubbing, Richard Beymer's dentures, Sergeant Stedenko-- er, Officer Krupke, and every overblown moment (is there any other kind?) in Wise's other well-regarded Best Picture-winning musical. At least Jerome Robbins can share some of the blame here. "The Body Snatcher," "The Curse of the Cat People," "The Set-up," "The Haunting," "The Day the Earth Stood Still"... the man made some very good movies-- just not these two. And you're right-- you can leave "The Shawshank Redemption" right where you left it. I've never understood that one either.

Anonymous said...

I can't say any of the knocks you've made against "The Sound of Music" are invalid, and I fully appreciate how cheesy it is, but I still love it. I can't fully explain why, but here are two things I understand about it: First, it was THE movie all the kids in grade school were going to see and talking about 'round about first grade, and my family didn't go see it, nor own the soundtrack album. In fact, I assumed an air of superiority about "Sound of Music" because I loved "Doctor Zhivago," and had been to see it two or three times. I'm aware of the irony of holding up "Doctor Zhivago" as the sophisticate's choice, but come on, I was about seven! I did have that soundtrack album, too. So I never saw "The Sound of Music" all through elementary and most of high school, and, knowing its saccarine reputation, never pursued a viewing--until, in the midst of a mid-70s depressing teenagerhood, after my parents' messy divorce and having my siblings and I shuttled around between parents and their partners--and, mind you, being a hungry consumer of both horror movies and many of the fine, bleak films of the 70s--I happened to get an opportunity to see "The Sound of Music" on what I believe was its TV premiere on The ABC Sunday Night Movie or something of the sort. For me, all the extreme corniness faded in the face of its insane message that, for me, seemed to be "You can be cheerful in the worst of circumstances!" I am a sucker for the catchy if corny songs, too--can't help it. It just cheers me up. I also saw "It's a Wonderful Life" for the first time during this period, while hanging out post-depressing Christmas at one of my mom's hippie friends' houses...what a revelation! I don't watch that one too often, as I don't want to dull its specialness.

I've gone on so long with that, I forgot what my other brilliant point was about "The Sound of Music." I'll just mention that I like Maria's awkward stance and way of walking, as if they'd given her ballet lessons to teach her to be graceful, but she'd never quite gotten it. I like the overblown quality of some of the scoring, as when the Von Trapp family is discovered to have escaped from the concert, and the orchestra crashes into a brief horror-movie version of "So Long, Farewell, Auf Weidersein (sp?)". I guess you could say I like it for its corniness. Anyway, to each his own.

Here's my enthusiastic nominee for "What movie, beloved by seemingly everyone else, do you find to be unconscionably, unsupportably, unmistakably bad?"

"Pulp Fiction"

Mean-spirited, ugly and cruel, valuing cool above all else; Tarantino's a gifted storyteller, and to my amazement I liked both "Kill Bill" movies (though the second one revels a bit too much for me in the same kind of prolonged human suffering--though not played for pure cool laughs)--but I just find his heart, if he has one, is in the wrong place in this one. I did give "Pulp Fiction" a second chance, and I found it just as sick and empty the second time. Sorry, everyone in the universe, but again, to each his own.

And if you don't think I feel weird supporting the least cool movie ever, and condemning the most cool ever, you're mistaken!
--Bruce

Anonymous said...

Oh--and Andy, I can't stop laughing about your point about those stupid curtain lederhosen, and the "tough guys" dancing at the beginning of "West Side Story." I never even thought about the curtain pants, for some reason, but I've always been creeped out by all those overgroomed dancers in skintight pants dancing around. Man, I forgot Robert Wise directed "The Day the Earth Stood Still"--I love that movie!--Bruce

Anonymous said...

Oh, and also Angela Cartwright was later really cute--and Heather Menzies went on to appear in the masterpiece of horror, "SSSSSSS", co-starring Dirk Benedict and Strother Martin! And I am now going back to work. Bruce

stooge1970 said...

A few years ago on a trip to Europe, myself and two buddies were on our way to Germany to go visit a Nazi camp-- Dachau, I believe. Anyhow, when we arrived in Munich, there was a convention going on and we were unable to find a cheap room. So we hopped back on the train and went on over to Salzburg.

First off, Salzburg is a beautiful, picturesque, beer-guzzling paradise. It also plays home to about 30 Sound of Music tours. Well, me and my two buddies-- all three of us your average, run-of-the-mill punk rockers-- decided to shell out about $20 bucks and hop on board one of these fun-loving excursions into the land of the Von Trapps.

Some of the highlights included the gazebo from the "16 going on whatever" song, ( hey, I don't remember the film that much-- sorry) the house, and the actual abbey that the real Maria was from.

Now, the highlight of the film was our tour guide. During one point of the tour, as we were going high up into the mountains, we came upon this beautiful lake. Here, as our tour guide pointed out, was where members of the Czech army "cowardly" shot Nazis who were surrendering. Now, back up a minute. "Cowardly"? He then went on to tell us how disgusted he was by the killings and what a ruthless act it was on the Czechs' part. Hmm.

It now became apparent what the real tour was about. Forget the soundtrack that was blaring as the bus made its way up the hills into a sleepy little village where we disembarked to have lunch. Forget learning all about the original Maria and the abbey where she was from. Forget about touring the grounds outside the estate where the film was shot. We were there to learn one thing and one thing only-- the Nazis are alive and well and running Sound of Music tours in Salzburg!

What's the point of this post? Who knows? Does it matter? I don't know. What was the point of Mel Gibson using his own hands for the close-ups of the nails being driven into the hands of the cross in his bloodbath Passion? I don't know. Ask him. Where is this all leading? How the hell should I know? All I know is Charlie Babbit thinks K-Mart sucks and McDonalds cheeseburgers taste the same in Prague as they do in Long Beach.

Anonymous said...

Stoogeking, are you sure it was Nazis who were being shot, or regular German army, who weren't necessarily Nazis? Of course, such distinctions were lost on their Czech pursuers, and it is a weird thing to mention on a tour. Needless to say, there was no Maria running around the hills singing at that time.

Bruce, you are a brave man for defending SOUND OF MUSIC, and while I don't object to all of PULP FICTION, the Tarantino movie I really don't like is RESERVOIR DOGS, and for all the same reasons you dislike PULP FICTION.

As for SOUND OF MUSIC trivia, Heather Menzies grew up, appeared in Playboy and was married to Robert Urich (all true). And Nicholas Hammond, who played the older boy in curtains, was Spiderman on TV (also true). And I think Rolf was Stoogeking's tour guide (rumor).

Andy

Anonymous said...

I think it's time that someone stands up for the wonder and the glory that is THE SOUND OF MUSIC. I unapologetically admit that I plan my summer around THE SOUND OF MUSIC sing-along at the Hollywood Bowl! It's not to be missed for any fan of the movie. And, Andy and Dennis, I'm stunned to learn that you 'don't get' SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION! I saw it for the first time at a screening and after it was over was surprised to find that I was sitting two seats away from the director, Frank Darabont! I'm sure he must have heard me sobbing uncontrollably at various parts of the movie. Love, love, love that movie.

Anyway, the movie that I find to be inexplicably overly praised is THE ENGLISH PATIENT. Hey, I enjoy a soppy love story, but that thing was just a snooze fest for me. I don't think I'll ever understand what the proverbial shouting is all about. It seems to be happening again for me this year with MILLION DOLLAR BABY. It was good, but I’m beginning to think that all the accolades are the result of Clint’s (Eastwood, that is. No disrespect intended to our friend Mr. Howard) popularity and not the attributes of the film. I’m beginning to suspect that I’ll be spending another Oscar night with a bruised forehead, the consequence of all repeatedly slapping my head as MDB picks up award after award.

~ Sharon

That said

Anonymous said...

Great story, Stoogeking--who cares what the point of it is? Very strange that your tour guide would launch into that grim story, and, though I wonder how anyone could justify shooting soldiers who are surrendering, I reckon there is more to the incident than he told the Sound of Music tour! Wow...

Andy, I'm glad to know someone else had similar reaction to a Tarantino film. Actually, I remember being able to take "Reservoir Dogs" as a grisly cartoon, for some reason, though whenever I get the chance to see some of it again I've chosen to do something else--and the glorification of it as a classic (grand DVD release in different colored boxes, etc.) is disturbing. Kind of like the legions of young men who think of DePalma's "Scarface" as a timeless classic. And thanks for the memory jogs about Heather Menzies--I'd forgotten about the Playboy spread--er, layout--er, feature.

Sharon, I'm with you on "Shawshank Redemption": I loved it, too. I certainly think it's much better than Darabont's other Stephen King-goes-to-the-1930s-prison movie, "The Green Mile," which I thought was only a mediocre adaptation of a good book. I recently saw "The English Patient" again, though, and found it more powerful and moving than I remembered it. Maybe it's something to do with the state of the world, or of my life, or something.

Bruce

Thom McGregor said...

Nazi tour guides in Salzburg? Hmm, not surprised somehow. I didn't hate The Sound of Music, but I've yet to have my second viewing (coming tomorrow), but I sure didn't like it. Not my style of corn, I guess. However, I love "West Side Story," and Andy-boy, I challenge you to a rumble-- but instead of sticks and knives, how about... tortillas and rice? I'll meet you under the bridge at midnight. You're going down, you Mexican Hairless! But back to the subject. Everyone seems to love the Three Stooges, but I don't get them. I just got introduced to the Ritz Brothers, and I don't get them either. But I guess that's not movies, really. Stoogeking, your tour guide was probably just trying to impress you and your fellow punks.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Please forgive any typos you find in here. I've got precious little time and a dirty little two-year-old who needs a bath...!

Bruce, you're right. This blogging stuff is, as Jason Mewes might say, tons of fun. And the comments on posts like this one are exactly what I'd hoped would sometimes be the result. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again, but thanks to everyone to taking part so eloquently and humorously.

And thanks for the reminder of that little bit of horror movie orchestration as the von Trapps escape the concert. It sounded so much like the little parodic soundtrack sound bites we're always coming up with to punctuate absurd moments in day-to-day life. I realized when I heard it that that little habit or amusement is probably deeply rooted in hearing strange moments of orchestration just like that one as a kid, the weirdness of it taking root in your subconscious somehow so that recreating mutated musical bits like that to comment on everyday occurrences seems like natural, organic response. Take a listen to Jerry Goldsmith's innovative score to PLANET OF THE APES sometime (I know you already have!) and hear just how many of your personalized dramatic stingers have their roots in this pretty influential bit of work. Hmm... maybe our wives are right-- we may be twisted freaks after all.

I've always liked PULP FICTION more than you have, and I expected-- no, practically wanted-- to dislike it when I saw it again recently after not having seen it for years. But, at the risk of getting a spit-take sprayed all over my black turtleneck, I think it holds up very well. It definitely has moments where its comic tone is a bit dodgy, given the circumstances of the comedy, but it still seems to me, despite the heavy mantle of cool it rather heavyhandedly bestows upon itself, to be a sharply, profanely-told weave of stories about getting to the place where one has to reinvent oneself, and its frequently imitated chronological trickery, which lesser talents have proven is easier to talk about than to pull off, is key to how the movie thinks about that subject. I think less of RESERVOIR DOGS as each year goes by, simply because it seems more like an audition piece than a movie, at least in my memory. (For me, Tarantino's high-water mark is JACKIE BROWN.) But I don't feel particularly passionate about defending PULP FICTION, largely because so much has already been said about it in the last 11 years, much of it nonsense gushing from fanboys and starry-eyed film writers who'd rather be members of the Tarantino cult than take a longer view, one informed by a sense that they'd seen at least a FEW movies that were released before QT came on the scene. In fact, I think the worst thing that can be laid at PULP FICTION's feet is that fawning and sycophantic reaction to Tarantino himself, and the subsequent attempt by so many filmmakers, young and old, to adopt his singular pop-soaked worldview and co-opt it into its own genre. I can certainly understand your resistance to the movie itself, because I've wanted to resist it too-- but the movie itself ends up, after 11 years, able to stand enough apart from the disquieting phenomenon of "Quentin Tarantino" and still exist as a movie, one whose difficulties, for me, are outweighed by its formal inventiveness and the richness of its themes. And I second Andy's comment about your being brave enough to say when you feel like the emperor is wearing no clothes. We'd have a richer film culture if more people, and writers, owned up to their problems with filmmakers like Tarantino (and if I have them, then I'd bet most everyone does) instead of just giving in wholly to their enthusiasms. And you get many points from me for being a good sport about THE SOUND OF MUSIC too!

Steve: I too seem to remember hearing that Mel Gibson insisted that his hands were the ones used in the close-ups of the nails going in. If it's true, that is seriously skin-crawling, eh? No delusions of grandeur or lofty persecution complexs being worked out in that movie, right? Right.

Sharon: It's SHAWSHANK's overly prettified and nicely composed sensibility that I reacted to most immediately. Though many of the details of the movie have (thankfully) seeped through the sieve that is my brain, I recall being mightily put-off by the movie's romanticization of Andy Dufresne's plight, and the sense that it was all supposed to somehow be good for me that I experienced it. And Darabont's touch is not, let's say, a light one. Every plot point is driven home with a thudding significance that is certainly unmnistakable and leaves no room for ambiguity, for an audience to experience them any other way than in the most cloying and obvious way. And this was certainly the movie (along with BOB ROBERTS) that made me reconsider Tim Robbins-- he seems right in step with Darabont's desire to telegraph the essential goodness and resolve of his character despite every indication that backing off on that approach might have resultyed in a more dramatic interesting endeavor. It's one of those movies that I see as having emotional bludgeoning as its primary goal, and if it works on you in that way then maybe you see it as a good movie. A movie like MILLION DOLLAR BABY earned the wracking sobs it inspired in me, but all I did while watching SHAWSHANK was resent the insistence of almost everyone involved that I have this big gushing response to what was, essentially, a prison escape picture inflated with endless directorial pretension. As for THE ENGLISH PATIENT, I think that even those who loved it at the time may not have much strong feeling for it anymore. I know that, while I really liked it when I saw it in the theater, I've not once ever felt like seeing it again. It's just another one in a long line of movies, like the multitude on display this month on Turner Classic Movies' 31 Days of Oscar, that have grabbed the big award, but none of a moviegoer's real enduring love.
Finally, I hope you have a cold compress handy for that head on Oscar night... I went through four of 'em the year TITANIC won!

Again, thanks so much to everyone for stopping by, leaving your thoughts and making this so much fun for me and everyone else lurking out there who has yet to check in on the comments pages. I look forward to writing, and READING, a whole lot more.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Ack! Thanks a lot, Bruce, for blowing my big theory on the enduring appeal of THE ENGLISH PATIENT! Ha ha! Oh, well...! Maybe I should see it again, eh?

And, Thom, sure the Ritz Brothers are the movies. They're just not the Marx Brothers. Didn't you think their picking Lad De Winter up and shaking her upside-down until all the love notes came tumbling out of her cleavage was hilarious? And what about that drinking to all the King Louis slapstick routine? As Moe might have said, that was cherce!

Anonymous said...

Haha! It's funny: when I first saw "The English Patient" in the theater, with a too-sophisticated-for-their-own-good, Miramax-ready audience of Oakland/Berkeley types, I thought it was great. When I saw it again at home again a year or so later, it had lost most of its appeal for me. So when Pattie and I put on the DVD several weeks ago, I was stunned by how much I liked it. And the very next weekend, Mick LaSalle in the SF Chronicle pointed out that it was one movie he'd raved about when it came out, but that he now didn't think much of. So maybe you're right, and I'm crazy...anyway, it's been a great time on the blog today. Thanks for setting up such a good soapbox for us all! Now you'd better give that girl a bath, and I'd better get some of these damned invoices done.

Bruce

Anonymous said...

Damn, I can't stop myself--Thom, I don't get the Three Stooges, either! Supposedly all guys think they're hilarious, but not me. I love the Marx Bros. and Laurel and Hardy. Can't remember ever having seen the Ritz Bros. Bruce

Anonymous said...

Damn, I can't stop myself--Thom, I don't get the Three Stooges, either! Supposedly all guys think they're hilarious, but not me. I love the Marx Bros. and Laurel and Hardy. Can't remember ever having seen the Ritz Bros. Bruce

Murray said...

Dennis, Seeing that you are having so much fun with this blog on Sound of Music, all I could think about was a movie you call a favorite of yours that you subjected me to many years ago and I have yet to forgive you for. Do you remember it??? I will give you a clue S _ _ _ _ _ T _ _ Now you remember? The Sound of Music is definately music to my ears, if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Patty, I am happy to call you my friend, even if you do like WEST SIDE STORY.

My uncle loves it-- I think it's his favorite movie. Somewhere in their house, my mom and dad have the original soundtrack, complete with color photos, and I remember listening to it and thinking it was okay, but I'm sorry, George Chakiris is only slightly more threatening than Ed Wynn, and Natalie Wood is really miscast. I mean, think of Vincent d'Nofrio (or is it D'nofrio?) as Orson Welles in ED WOOD lamenting the fact that the studio forced him to cast Charlton Heston as a Mexican in TOUCH OF EVIL. Natalie Wood as a Puerto Rican! What's next? Eli Wallach as a bandito?

As a point of honor, I don't beat on ladies, so I'm not going under any bridge with you and your pack of cholas, and didn't Sharon throw down the gauntlet when she mentioned THE ENGLISH PATIENT? Everyone knows that a girl fight is 10 times more vicious (and entertaining) than the shoving matches that pass for fights between boys, excluding your fight club escapades, Stoogeking, and Dennis and Bruce's annual weekend wildings when they go to some drive-in in the sticks, get sloppy drunk and bray at the screen until the locals ask them to leave, after which all hell breaks loose. (Patty, I'm tired of that gig. Next time you want Dennis shadowed, ask Paul, or send Mark-- the pay stinks and the hours are lousy).

So how 'bout it? Sharon and Patty in a sort of MILLION DOLLAR BABY fantasy-come-true. I'll buy the beer. Willie doesn't need his allowance this week anyway.

Andy

Thom McGregor said...

Andy, I love you like the "Light In August"-loving older brother I never had, but I don't think Sharon and I should stoop to the level of bringing to life this odd fantasy you have of us having a catfight. And, like bloggin' Dennis, I have never felt like seeing "English Patient" again, despite my attraction to the fine Fiennes. "West Side Story" is an obsession from childhood, which could explain why Natalie Wood as a Puerto Rican didn't bother me. At the time, I probably thought, "Who's Natalie Wood? What's a Puerto Rican?" It just sends me. Hey, I have a better idea. You and George Chakiris under the bridge, rumble at midnight, whiffle bats and nerf footballs. He's gotta be nearing 70 or something so that might balance out your, shall we say, leanness. Can Sharon and I watch?

Anonymous said...

The eerie cult of "Sound of Music" has infiltrated my life, evidently: last night, my wife asked me if I had heard that our niece, Brigette (10 years old), hadn't gotten "that part."

I: "No, I hadn't heard. What part is that?"
Pattie: "Alameda High School is doing 'The Sound of Music,' and both the girls auditioned. Brigette got called back for Brigitta, but another girl ended up getting it."

Imagine the dramatic scoring, an intensified reprise of "So Long, Farewell...", going through my head at that moment!

Andy, you must not remember very well the last time you were hired to shadow Dennis and I on our weekend revelry, or you would not have brought it up. Clearly you've forgotten that we caught you spying on us, plied you with tequila and you ended up joining us in the ritual slaughter and roasting of the raccoon, and the subsequent traditional loincloth dance, followed by the making of slurred pronouncements about great horror films, all performed on the grounds of a sacred, shut-down drive-in theater. So much for your oath of secrecy!

Bruce

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

OK, that's weird; I posted it earlier today, it didn't show up and I assumed it was lost in the ether--and then it shows up again in another version. How embarrassing!

B.

stooge1970 said...

Um, I'm gonna have to side with Andy on this whole catfight issue. In fact, since I was recently fired from Captions Stink, I am looking for a new career. I believe I've had some hair days quite a bit worse than Don King, so I think I'll give boxing promoting a try.

Now, naturally, our main event will be Sharon and Patty.
I'm thinking Sharon "Mad Dog" Johnson against Patty "The Crusher" Cozzalio. My cut will be 50%.

Hey, how's this for an undercard? Lee Jordan can fight a steaming pile of cow dung. That would be a pretty equal pairing. Or, we could dig up Tom Mureka and have him fight the ghosts from buildings past. I, personally, would love to see a battle of former beauty accountants. Yes, that's right-- Melissa and Heidi. Ooh, baby!

All right, for the ladies, we'll have Newk take on Andrew Blackwood clad only in tights. Also, we'll put Dwight "I Look Better Than Paul Newman" Chuman against Juan "Don't Call Me Mexican" Rico. All bragging rights will be on the line here, folks. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

I need help.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

The whole catfight thing (and the personal jabs, which I'd like to discourage, and which probably don't mean anything but to a few anyway) seems to have taken on a life of its own. I respectfully redirect any further posts about catfights, work history and/or matchups with steaming piles of dung to "Hey! Ho! Argento!" located at: http://stoogeville.blogspot.com/

Senn any good, or bad, movies lately, Stoogeking?

Dennis Cozzalio said...

My editor insists that I point out that "senn" should be "seen." So much for that free lunch.

Thom McGregor said...

I just want to say one thing.... cat fight!

Cruzbomb said...

I'd like to comment on how I came to like "Sound of Music", but I am saving that for my breakdown of the movie on my site. I will also elaborate on that "Sound of Music" tour I was on with Steve. Now, about the catfights-- why is it when women fight it's called a "catfight"? I've seen some girls get into some serious fights and they didn't remind me of no cats. And how the hell did we get from "Sound of Music" to catfights? How can you take a musical Nazi movie and reduce it to this? Have you no shame, you politically-correct bastards? And Cozzalio, you might like the damn movie a lot more if Trish would only let you make a snappy dress out of your curtains. You know, something like a strap-less back with a skirt that falls just above the knee. Then, and only then, will you find yourself wanting to run through the hills singing like a hopped-up virgin. Try it. It's nice.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Officer Krupke. We've tabled the fight for now. My people are talking to George Chakiris's people. We'll keep all posted on further developments.

We now return to the kinder, gentler blogspot named for the man whose very name is synonymous with restraint and nonviolence.

By the way, next to Natalie Wood, my favorite white-girl-as-Latin-spitfire is Jennifer Jones in DUEL IN THE SUN. Of course, if someone had ever found a role that put Eli Wallach or Akim Tamiroff or J. Carroll Naish (or Nehemiah Persoff, the TV version/poor man's version of the all-purpose, multiethnic, multi-accented character actor) in drag as a Mexican woman, this list would be completely different. - Andy

Dennis Cozzalio said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dennis Cozzalio said...

Now, just hold on a minute! Name ONE Sergio Leone movie that was anything but civilized, restrained entertainment for sophisticated audiences!

I am ashamed to say that I've never seen Jennifer Jones dabbling in exotic ethnicity in DUEL IN THE SUN, but you make it sound pretty delicious. But not as delicious as Akim Tamiroff in a dress, makeup and high heels pouring drinks for banditos on the run, strangely enough.

On this same note, I had every intention of catching Lupe Velez in MEXICAN SPITFIRE GOES WEST wen it aired on TCM, but I set the timer on my recorder wrong and missed it. Oh, how I wanted to see that one!

Wouldn't Lupe Velez been terrific as Maria von Trapp?!

(I had to delete the previous comment because I misspelled "ethnicity"-- trying to set a good example for the young folks here!)

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Murray: Oh, yeah, I remember, all right. SPIRAL TIP, I believe, was the name of that film, all about an old country-and-western combo reunited after several years. It was told in a fake documentary style and starred those guys that played Lenny and Squiggy on "Laverne and Shirley" and one of the guys that does voices on "King of the Hill," I think it is. Great movie! I can't believe you didn't like it! As for THE SOUND OF MUSIC, when Julie Andrews comes on it really makes me wish I had a switch to flip like you do! Silence or "Do Re Mi"-- I know which one sounds better to me!

Murray said...

S P I N A L T A P

I like your name for it better.

Anonymous said...

Aw, even you are a sucker for "Edelweiss." Admit it!

Bruce

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Yes, I will admit that even I am a sucker for Edelweiss...