Author Topic: ABCs at the Movies: The Doubles Round!  (Read 1215557 times)

Offline MaineWriter

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"H" is Hang 'Em High
« Reply #1100 on: November 04, 2007, 12:05:27 pm »
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Offline southendmd

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"I" is I Love You, Alice B. Toklas
« Reply #1101 on: November 04, 2007, 12:41:34 pm »

Offline oilgun

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"J" is for Juanita Banana
« Reply #1102 on: November 04, 2007, 12:49:16 pm »
I have no idea if this image is related to the film but here goes...


Offline Ellemeno

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"K" is The Killing of Sister George
« Reply #1103 on: November 04, 2007, 12:58:08 pm »
IMDb: "Sister George" is a BBC soap opera character who is "killed off" due to low ratings. The aging actress who portrays Sister George is a lesbian living with a childish middle-aged woman named Childie, who works in a factory when not playing with her doll collection. Conflict arises between the two lovers when the hard-nosed BBC female program director, who told George of her canceled part, also steals Childie away. As consolation for losing both her job and her lover, George is offered the voice part of a puppet cow in a new animated cartoon series.


Offline MaineWriter

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"L" is The Love Bug
« Reply #1104 on: November 04, 2007, 01:12:56 pm »
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Offline southendmd

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"M" is Mini-skirt Mob, The
« Reply #1105 on: November 04, 2007, 01:25:27 pm »

Offline dot-matrix

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"N" is The Night They Raided Minsky's
« Reply #1106 on: November 04, 2007, 01:56:35 pm »


Narrator Rudy Vallee announces that he knows we are a "real high class audience," thus he has "some swell story to tell." Thus begins The Night They Raided Minsky's, set in the rarefied world of burlesque in the 1920s. Quaker girl Rachel Schpitendavel (Britt Ekland) comes to New York in hopes of securing work as a dancing interpreter of religious stories. She gets a job at Minsky's burlesque house, where the dance numbers are "Biblical" only when some gum-chewing stripper performs Salome's Dance of the Seven Veils. The many subplots leading up to Rachel's accidental invention of the striptease during a midnight Minsky's show involve many: top banana Chick Williams (Norman Wisdom) and womanizing straight-man Raymond Paine (Jason Robards Jr.); Billy Minsky (Elliot Gould), whose efforts to stage girlie shows at the National Winter Garden are looked down upon by Minsky Sr. (Joseph Wiseman), who holds the lease on the theater; gangster Trim Houlihan (Forrest Tucker), who intends to shut down Minsky's if he can't get a piece of the action; Ekland's preacher father Harry Andrews, who shows up in New York just in time to see his daughter bare all in front of a cheering audience; and Vance Fowler (Denhom Elliot), self-appointed protector of public morals, whom Paine hopes to embarrass by having Rachel perform her religious dance. A straightforward adaptation of Rowland Barber's novel The Night They Raided Minsky's would seem to be called for here, but novice director William Friedkin and film editor Ralph Rosenblum seem determined to turn the film into a kaleidoscope Hard Day's Night clone. Happily, producer Norman Lear is able to accommodate several nostalgic re-creations of such burlesque chestnuts as "Crazy House" and "Meet Me Round the Corner," as well as six delightful in-period songs penned by Bye Bye Birdie's Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, the best of which is the ribald "Perfect Gentleman." Bert Lahr makes his last appearance on screen in the role of washed-up funnyman Professor Spats; he died during production, and had to be extensively doubled throughout. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
Life is not a dress rehearsal

Offline Fran

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"O" is Odd Couple, The
« Reply #1107 on: November 04, 2007, 02:17:14 pm »

Offline oilgun

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"P" is for Petulia
« Reply #1108 on: November 04, 2007, 02:22:07 pm »

For some reason, when I entered "The Party Movie" in Google, I got lots of porn but no images of the Peter Sellers movie, so i switched to Petulia.


Offline MaineWriter

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"Q" is The Queen
« Reply #1109 on: November 04, 2007, 02:25:38 pm »
==comment==

A user comment from IMDb. Oilgun, our resident obscure movie expert...have you seen this one?

1968's "The Queen" is a slight but fascinating time capsule, probably one of, if not THE earliest in-depth glimpse at the drag queen subculture in its final days as a solidly underground phenomenon. This doesn't concentrate on professional female impersonators, who'd been a legitimate part of show biz for decades, but specifically on effeminate men whose cross-dressing was an active part of their social lives in the homosexual milieu, which as a North American whole was still trying to struggle along beneath the radar of vice laws. Taking place a couple years before the Stonewall riots, which engineered the gay rights movement, this documentary is strikingly non-politicized and thus warts-and-all candid, taking the viewer into this insular world of long ago in a manner that's never preachy and rarely poignant, but shows an amused affection for its marginalized subjects, rather than leering at them in the "Mondo" shock value style that was then the exploitive norm for this kind of subject matter.

That isn't to say that "The Queen" lacks a sleazy expo-zay appeal, just by the nature of the annual event it covers. It's the way downscale, transvestite answer to the 1967 Miss America Pageant. More of a glamour than a beauty contest, elected "empresses" from cities nationwide flock into New York, to vie for the title of that year's national reigning drag queen. Out of drag, they come in all shapes -- spindly teenagers and gawky nerds and big hairy trucker types and fat balding guys nearing middle age. Followed around with hand held 16mm cameras, the contestants get to know one another in the dilapidated hotel where they're billeted, swapping remarkably upbeat life stories and opinions on gender issues in the spirit of outcast camaraderie. One notable exception, focused on immediately as resentments begin to simmer, is the aloof Philadelphia representative, Richard, alias Miss Harlow, a very pretty blond lad whose rise to drag circuit stardom has been a little too rapid for most everyone's taste. His cause isn't helped by his sulky attitude.

In preparation, they're choreographed and groomed and grilled on rules of stage conduct, by a pair of established drag queen organizers who, with New Yawky know-it-all-ness, are as fiercely demanding as drill sergeants. Here's where the film's period is especially evident, inviting comparisons to later drag show docs like 1995's "Wigstock", with its wild and free-wheeling variety of bizarre drag performances. No such freedom of expression thirty years earlier, as the conventions of these fringe dwellers' burlesque are rigidly enforced, with the unquestioned conformity of regional folk dancing. In fact, it's written that the legendary Divine helped break this mass creative stranglehold, after violent opposition early in his stage career.

It's the transformation process on the big night that's really captivating, as the boys pluck away body hair, pile on make-up, pad and corset their figures, and fret over wigs and gowns. As we watch, this rather goofy looking bunch not only shed their maleness, but their individualism, as they turn into a small army of statuesque glamour girls. The look, an exaggerated version of the Ursula Andriss 60s Greek goddess in a towering bouffant and streams of diaphanous chiffon, is a fun one but utterly uniform, and one all but loses track of the different players. The pageant itself is an embarrassing disaster, clearly sucked dry of any spontaneity in the planning stages, in a grubby old theatre with a bored society crowd in trendy attendance, and a catatonic Andy Warhol chairing the panel of judges. The competitors themselves are merely paraded about, not even allowed to lip-sync girl songs like they'd do in the clubs back home -- they're simply gaudy mannequins. Entertainment, such as it is, is provided by talentless local transies doing drunken versions of dreary old show tunes, while a tired strip joint orchestra tries valiantly to match their ever-changing tempos and keys. The night is a catastrophe in the making.

Tempers start to flare when the five finalists are announced, and some of those left backstage go ballistic with unconcealed envy. This shameless poor sportsmanship is carried onto the stage, when the fourth runner-up, a certain Miss Crystal, storms off in a huff. The crown, of course, goes to the undeniably prettiest, the reviled Miss Harlow, to politely thunderous applause, and in rivers of mascara, he weeps over this greatest moment of his life. The magic is short-lived, though, when who should be waiting backstage but Miss Crystal, who tears into Harlow, mocking his shoddy make-up and ugly dress that wasn't even clean, and insisting Harlow was not the prettiest -- Crystal was! The organizers spring to Harlow's defence, diverting Crystal's rage, with accusations that the whole pageant was rigged and they'll be sorry. As Harlow sobs, the threats and insults fly back and forth, with increasing shrillness, until the theatre management shows up and unceremoniously tosses everyone out. So much for that year's pinnacle of appreciation for the American cross-dressing arts.

As cheerfully tasteless a finale this is, celebrating bitchy stereotypes while pulling out on a note of cheap hilarity, it's refreshingly free of judgment pro or con, making for the best sort of historical artefact, superficial in its mood and thus unbiased as an accurate documentation for future cultural study. If, on EBay or wherever, you can track down "The Queen", enjoy it in good conscience --your neighbourhood drag queen certainly would.
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