Saturday, April 20, 2013

Morning Matinee

The trouble with an 11 a.m. movie is being there by 11 a.m.

But it was Hitchcock and a fine morning to walk to Movieland for a black comedy like "The Trouble with Harry."

The opening credit told me it was shot in VistaVision, which means absolutely nothing to me besides knowing that "White Christmas" was also shot in it and that it guarantees garish colors throughout.

In this case, it was fall in Vermont, so everything was orange and green.

The other interesting credit was "Introducing Shirley MacLaine," a baby at only 18 years old, despite playing a woman, Jennifer, who'd already been married twice.

For 1955, the script was kind of racy, with painter Sam (played by an incredibly handsome and charming 37-year old John Forsythe) meeting Jennifer and immediately saying he'd like to paint her...nude.

By the end of the movie, he's in love with her and then his greatest wish is a double bed, so I think we know where Sam's mind was.

The secondary love story was between the Captain, who was only looking to shoot a plump rabbit for his evening stew, and Miss Gravely ("a woman of gentle habits"), who claimed to be 42 and looked like she was 62.

"She's very well preserved and preserves have to be opened someday," the captain says of her, showing that his mind was in the same neighborhood as Sam's.

Which means, of course, the same neighborhood as Hitchcock's mind, which we all know lived in the gutter.

When I'd gotten to the theater, there were only five other people seated and waiting, so I figured that I wasn't the only one challenged by an 11 a.m. film.

But then within the first ten minutes of the film, a dozen more people straggled in, proving my theory that 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning is hard for just about everybody.

But even as I grumble about getting up early, just thinking about the witty dialog reminds me that it was worth it.

Marriage is a good way to spend the winter," the captain says.

So single is a good way to spend the summer?

"He looked exactly the same when he was alive, except he was vertical," Jennifer says.

And since it was 1955, she wasn't even being ironic.

Probably the raciest line after the nude modeling comment was when Sam finally kisses Jennifer and she warns him, "Lightly, Sam. I have a very short fuse."

I guess that's how you can be on your third marriage-to-be at eighteen.

The trouble with having a short fuse is how quickly it can be ignited.

Even, I would add, if you're well-preserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment