Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sometimes a crappy movie (yields something a bit more interesting)

Over the weekend, Scott and I watched a terrible film called, Sometimes a Great Notion. It stars Paul Newman and Henry Fonda, so you would think it would be at least halfway decent.

I'll tell you what the problem was: the characters were all actual assholes. The only people who weren't assholes were the enemies of our protagonists. I guess they were the antagonists then. Whatever. They were the people with the compassion and the troubles. I need to be able to identify with the people I'm watching for two hours or I can't really get into it.

When it was over, I immediately got on the IMDB to see what other people said about it. Turns out some other people like it.

Question mark?

Then, on Monday morning, when I was deriding it with Ann, one of my colleagues shouted over the cubicle, "That's a great movie!"

I replied, "You're joking, right?"

"Absolutely not," was the reply. "Paul Newman? Henry Fonda? It doesn't get much better than that!"

"Actually, a compelling character would make it a helluva lot better," I didn't say out loud.

Its being wholly terrible is sort of a shock because it's based on a book by Ken Kesey, he of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest fame. I really liked that book and assumed I liked Ken Kesey. I'll have to read this other book to find out for sure.

In any event, I was tooling around IMDB and clicked on the link for the fellow who played Paul Newman's brother, Richard Jaekel. I clicked because it turned out he was nominated for an Oscar for this role, which blew my mind because this movie was so suck. But it was so suck because of the story, but not because of the acting, so I'll admit that he did a great job. Fine. I concede.

Now this Richard Jaekel fella is somebody. He's made his living being the guy who's only on a TeeVee show for one or two episodes. Murder She Wrote? Check! Little House on the Prairie? Check! The Love Boat? Check! Baywatch? Check and check!

But there's a real jewel in his crown, I found, for in 1981 he was in a film called, Mr. No Legs or The Amazing Mr. No Legs in the UK.

Turns out that Mr. No Legs is a mob boss from the 1970s, and I'm forced to recommend that you read the IMDB comment from "Steven Nyland (Squonkamatic)", which you can find on this IMDB page. Alas, I cannot link directly to the comment. Please do a search for his name on the page and delight in his description of the film.

(Aside: Damien, please seriously read this. You may soil yourself from laughter.)

Jeremy suggested that AstroVideo will likely have this film in its archive. According to Jeremy, "If it's on VHS, AstroVideo has it."

We can only hope. I can hardly contain my excitement.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home