MONDO EXTRAS

Staff Flick Picks

by The Editors August 16, 2007
The Movies On Cable We Can't Resist

High Noon has your McCarthy-era allegories. But does it have Jimmy Stewart playing Dr. Kevorkian in greasepaint? Gary Cooper gives a compelling performance in High Noon, but at no point does he dolefully gaze at the camera and say over a red rubber nose, "Sometimes you've got to kill the thing you love." Advantage: The Greatest Show On Earth.

Singing In The Rain has romance, but it hardly compares to elephant-tamer Klaus's (Lyle Bettger) attempts to woo his assistant Angel (Gloria Grahame). Since The Greatest Show On Earth was made before sexual harassment was invented, the sparring between these two is supposed to be comedic. Klaus buys Angel a hat reading "Du Bist Mein"; she throws it at him. Klaus asks Angel to stop ogling another man; she steam-presses his fingers. Klaus tries to get an elephant to stomp Angel's face; she quits his act. Klaus tries to impress Angel by derailing a circus train; Angel boards the train. Klaus flings himself on the tracks; Angel uses his elephants to haul wreckage off her boyfriend. Do the lovebirds in Singing In The Rain generate an inappropriately hilarious cycle of escalating abuse? Nein!

While I'm on the subject of romantic contrivances and The Greatest Show On Earth, apparently Cecil B. DeMille was into partner-swapping. At first, there is one acknowledged couple -- high-flyer Holly (Betty Hutton) and circus manager Brad (Charlton Heston). However, Brad's first love is the big tent. Holly spends a lot of time saying petulantly, "Brad, you have sawdust in your veins." Then The Great Sebastian (Cornel Wilde) shows up, trailing clouds of testosterone and debauchery. What follows comes off like a CDC brainteaser, with Brad, Holly, Angel, Klaus, The Great Sebastian and the circus in a six-way tie for Patient Zero. Does 1952's A Member Of The Wedding testify to this resilience of the human libido? Hardly.

Finally, while John Ford coaxed his actors to once-in-a-lifetime performances in The Quiet Man, that hardly compares to DeMille's evident decision not to talk to any of the actors he hired. He certainly didn't tell Heston he wouldn't be playing Moses until 1956. Did any other movie made in 1952 have a ringmaster who could also part seas with a glare? No.

The Academy knew what it was doing when it handed that Best Picture statuette to The Greatest Show On Earth. The brainless lunacy pervading every aspect of this film is both compelling and timeless. The minute the flick hits TCM, I hit the couch. Like Brad, I have sawdust in my veins. And, quite possibly, my head.

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Staff Flick Picks

by The Editors August 16, 2007
The Movies On Cable We Can’t Resist High Noon has your McCarthy-era allegories. But does it have Jimmy Stewart playing Dr. Kevorkian in greasepaint? Gary Cooper gives a compelling performance in High Noon, but at no point does he dolefully gaze at the camera and say over a red rubber nose, "Sometimes you've got to kill the thing you love." Advantage: The Greatest Show On Earth. Singing In The Rain has romance, but it hardly compares to elephant-tamer Klaus's (Lyle Bettger) attempts to woo his assistant Angel (Gloria Grahame). Since The Greatest Show On Earth was made before sexual harassment was invented, the sparring between these two is supposed to be comedic. Klaus buys Angel a hat reading "Du Bist Mein"; she throws it at him. Klaus asks Angel to stop ogling another man; she steam-presses his fingers. Klaus tries to get an elephant to stomp Angel's face; she quits his act. Klaus tries to impress Angel by derailing a circus train; Angel boards the train. Klaus flings himself on the tracks; Angel uses his elephants to haul wreckage off her boyfriend. Do the lovebirds in Singing In The Rain generate an inappropriately hilarious cycle of escalating abuse? Nein! While I'm on the subject of romantic contrivances and The Greatest Show On Earth, apparently Cecil B. DeMille was into partner-swapping. At first, there is one acknowledged couple -- high-flyer Holly (Betty Hutton) and circus manager Brad (Charlton Heston). However, Brad's first love is the big tent. Holly spends a lot of time saying petulantly, "Brad, you have sawdust in your veins." Then The Great Sebastian (Cornel Wilde) shows up, trailing clouds of testosterone and debauchery. What follows comes off like a CDC brainteaser, with Brad, Holly, Angel, Klaus, The Great Sebastian and the circus in a six-way tie for Patient Zero. Does 1952's A Member Of The Wedding testify to this resilience of the human libido? Hardly. Finally, while John Ford coaxed his actors to once-in-a-lifetime performances in The Quiet Man, that hardly compares to DeMille's evident decision not to talk to any of the actors he hired. He certainly didn't tell Heston he wouldn't be playing Moses until 1956. Did any other movie made in 1952 have a ringmaster who could also part seas with a glare? No. The Academy knew what it was doing when it handed that Best Picture statuette to The Greatest Show On Earth. The brainless lunacy pervading every aspect of this film is both compelling and timeless. The minute the flick hits TCM, I hit the couch. Like Brad, I have sawdust in my veins. And, quite possibly, my head.

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13Next

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