Friday, November 30, 2007
So much of Otto Preminger's persona was severe and forbidding--the shiny bald skull, the tantrums, the thick Vienesse accent, the unrelenting work ethic--that I can't help but put him in the Jack Webb bin, which is to say that the more I think of it, the more Preminger's act seems to be a highly evolved form of comedy. Otto the Terrible was, in fact, a warm-hearted family man who clearly enjoyed his own persona and didn't mind sending it up here and there. I'm not saying that he wasn't really monstrous--clearly he could reduce co-workers to a dithering shambles of their former selves--but merely that he was his own best creation.
Comedy is noticebly absent from his canon--his one straight up attempt, "Skidoo", was a notorious flop when it was released in 1968. The film is a collision course between old Hollywood (Preminger and his stars, who include Jackie Gleason, Carol Channing, George Raft, Groucho Marx, Peter Lawford, Mickey Rooney) and the hippie counter-culture (the music is by the very young Harry Nillson, Frankie Avalon is in it, etc.) Though long deplored as one of mainstream Hollywood's worst movies ever, "Skidoo" turned up at a film festival in Hollywood last summer and seemed to provoke an affectionate response. An ambitious youtuber named Mrberger (I think) has actually posted the entire film in ten parts.( I must confess to having started out watching it with great enthusiasm only to turn it off at the end of part two). Clearly Preminger meant well by doing the film--it seemed, to the screenwriter Doran Canon, that the material spoke to the gentle and humorous Otto that was buried beneath the formal and cool exterior. You can't possibly go out and make a film with Groucho Marx playing a gangster named "God" and not, underneath it all, be something of a renegade yourself. Below I've posted a clip from "Skidoo"--an entirely inncuous bit of late sixties "Laugh-In" style cheesecake humor, as well as a guest appearence by Preminger on the soap opera "Ryan's Hope". The latter was shot in 1980, after Preminger's career as a filmmaker was over, but it gives a nice glimpse of the man sending himself up, albeit lightly, and enjoying being "OTTO PREMINGER" in quotes.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Below I've posted two of the best Saul Bass title sequences designed for Preminger's films. And here's an excellent, non-Wikipedia link on Bass's work.
"Anatomy Of A Murder" is generally thought of as Preminger's best film (along with "Laura")--the score, by Duke Ellington, is minimal, hip and jaggedly convincing although completely unlike any other film score, and the acting--especially George C. Scott--is top notch (which is, weirdly, not always the case in Preminger's films. In the Hirsch bio, he gradually makes it clear that Preminger's tense, dictatorial style of direction tended to freeze up a lot of actors who might have done better in a more relaxed atmostphere). By the way, Ellington provides an amusing account in his memoir "Music Is My Mistress" of Preminger keeping him and his collaborater Billy Strayhorn on salary throughout the film, ostensibly to compose the themes as they go and be part of the development of the process...etc, etc. Ellington admits that all they did was party and that the entire score was ultimately written in the three days leading up to the final recording session. I also included the Bass designed title sequence for "Bunny Lake Is Missing", a mid-sixties London set noir which contains one of the best late Laurence Olivier performances extant.
So pleased with Bass's work was Preminger that he incorporated the designer's aesthetic into his personal life. Bass designed the lettering on the door of Preminger's offices at 711 Fifth Avenue (black doors, small white lettering: o t t o p r e m i n g e r.) Preminger's taste was severely modern--his home and office were identically decorated with only white and black furniture, Eames chairs, marble tables, and millions of dollars of modern art on the walls. Lots of speaker-phones (then very cutting edge) and Henry Moore sculptures. At his townhouse on East 64th Street (which sort of resembled Preminger--it was tall, hulking and bald looking), he had Bass design small white lettering with the address (1 2 9 E a s t 6 4) on the black front door, and a giant doormat, with the letter "P" on it.
One day, about five or so years after Preminger's death, a friend of mine noticed that the house seemed deserted. (It's since been sold and completely remodled in a fussy, Empire style that Preminger would have loathed). My friend noticed the doormat and thought, "what the hell is going to become of this artifact?" So he took it. For many years he hid the doormat guiltily in a closet in his apartment. Later, when he moved to a house in the suburbs, he took it out, cleaned it and placed it on his front doorstep, turning it upside down so that the letter "P" now formed the letter "d"--which is the first letter of my friends last name. I wonder what happened to that guy, anyway...
Friday, November 23, 2007
In 1980, a writer and filmmaker named Ted Gershuny published a "making of" account of Otto Preminger's penultimate film, the disastrous "Rosebud". The book, "Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture", is one of best looks at the behind the scenes misfires that can occur on pretty much any movie--though this film had certain ingredients, going in, that marked it as an all but certain cinematic calamity just waiting to happen. Gershuny's book--out of print and where did my copy go anyway?--really needs to be required reading for all aspiring filmmakers. For rather than mocking the bad material, blaming the aging director or rolling his eyes at the whole corrupt set-up, he shows what every director knows is the truth about filmmaking; it's a big, fat roll of the dice and sometimes, as the machine starts gathering momentum, mistakes occur and compound, luck with actors and behind the scenes technicians runs out, energies flag and--as with all movies--it all becomes an endurance march just to finish the damn thing. (I recall a Francois Truffaut quote, which I paraphrase: "When I begin a movie I'm filled with hopes, plans and ideas. By the end, I'm just glad I finished...") Preminger is not unfairly treated in Gershuny's book--he comes off as energetic, optimistic and never less than lucid, organized and able to inspire his ragged troops to push onward with an alarmingly difficult and ill-planned shoot that spanned four countries and spelled the end, one way or the other, of his career as an international filmmaker.
"Rosebud" turns up on TCM and, unlike many other luckless flops of the past, really does deserve its lousy reputation. Strangely, the below trailer for the film--the format which usually can hide a film's flaws by zeroing in on the handful of sharp moments almost any professional movie possesses--instead manages to encapsulate the films errors. The laughably wooden John Lindsey (former Mayor of New York and no Ronald Reagen he!) is mistakenly showcased, along with the once fine actor Cliff Gorman (the original "Lenny" in the Broadway production of Lenny Bruce's lifestory, pre Dustin Hoffman/Bob Fosse's filmization of it) who is strangely unconvincing in "Rosebud" and feels as if he's reading his lines for the first time off cue cards located a mile away from the camera. Preminger himself narrates this trailer with a wince-inducing accent, right out of the Max Von Mayerling school of Prussian/Teutonic filmmachherrs. Finally, the films tasteless and immortal line, "Jews don't go marching into gas chambers anymore...they fight!" is given center stage and, alas, points up the reason--pointed out in Foster Hirsh's new Preminger bio (see previous post)--that "Rosebud" remains beyond criticle rehabilitation; the plot, centering as it does on the kidnapping of five wealthy young girls by a Palestinian terrorist group, cynically uses the Arab/Isreali conflict as a mere mechanism for a kidnapping-thriller, ignoring any sense of political reality or point of view, turning both sides into cartoons and leaving the Palestinians drawn as unmistakably the fanatics who deserve elimination. (In fact, the chief thing that the film gets right--the loony of the PLO side, played by Richard Attenborough, Bin-Ladinishly hides out in and issues orders from caves--now seems prescient but was laughed off the screen in the previews). One of the kidnapped girls is a seventeen year old Kim Cattrall ("Sex In The CIty"), another is the French actress Isabelle Huppert. Both appear frozen and petrified by something other than being kidnapped--the temper of the director, perhaps? Probably the best parts of the movie, the views of the exotic locations, are on view here, though I do wish the footage shot with a drunken Robert Mitchum had survived--Preminger canned Mitchum after a week do to extreme inebriation. Mitchum was replaced by the equally alcoholic Peter O'Toole. When told that O'Toole had been hired as his replacement, Mitchum supposedly said: "That's like replacing Ray Charles with Helen Keller."
Monday, November 19, 2007
I'm reading an excellent new biography of the still controversial director and producer Otto Preminger, called "Otto Preminger; The Man Who Would Be King". (He didn't make that movie, by the way--John Huston did--and I'm not sure why the author, Foster Hirsch, chose that for the subtitle. I like my golden skull gag much more). Anyway, Preminger comes off in this book as an inexhaustible individual, constantly in motion setting up movies, buying "properties" and working with different writers often at night after a full days shooting of his current movie (all his shoots were, of course, tense and trouble-filled), and then going off and publicizing the finished films himself--going so far as to pick the exact theaters he wanted to show his films in in different cities, supervising the poster art, endlessly giving press conferences, throwing opening night parties etc. And then, when he wanted to relax, he'd stage a Broadway play...
The main thing you come away with is how tough--really TOUGH--old show-biz guys were. Sure there are wankers now like Michael Bay and Russell Crowe, but they come off as more petulant, spoiled. Preminger was a non-stop locomotive, constantly moving ahead, brushing past problems that would have stymied others, ending the blacklist with a single bold stroke (crediting Trumbo on "Exodus"--it wasn't Kirk Douglas and "Spartacus" which, in fact, came second), ending the production code in a similarly bold move (he simply asked himself "What's the big deal about not getting a seal of approval from the Church"? and released "The Moon Is Blue" without one...and, of course, made a fortune since the Church's disapproval of the material naturally enflamed moviegoers everywhere). Even his last, crapped out attempts at movies (the atrocious "Rosebud" has been turning up on cable of late and it truly must be seen to be believed) had to be admired for their vigorous globe-trotting, their far-reaching logistical ambitions for a filmmaker in his seventies. The book has made me want to re-see a few late Preminger's that I either haven't seen in years--"Such Good Friends" with Dyan Cannon I remember enjoying when I saw it cut up on tv in the early eighties but I haven't seen it turn up of late--or a few that I never saw to begin with. "Hurry Sundown" sounds like a good, square, late sixties historical epic and "Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon" may well be quite underrated-Preminger seemed extremely proud of it even though it was a mega-flop when originally released. The wondrously strange "Skidoo" has been turning up at film festivals of late and a couple of clips of this meringue-flavored, "Laugh-In" era quasi musical comedy have been posted on youtube. Although I've always liked "Bojour Tristesse", I've never seen his "Saint Joan", his first outing with Jean Seberg. How lousy could it be? The black and white stills look awfully enticing and it's by George Bernard Shaw, for goddsake. But it doesn't seem to have any cable life at all.
Lets look at this very interesting interview with Preminger, shot in 1971, which incorporates some behind the scenes footage from "Such Good Friends" as well as a little interview footage of the great James Coco. This appears to be dailies for a projected television piece on Preminger. Was it ever made? Is there more raw footage of this nature? It's a great find and a one of kind look at this bizarre, riveting man.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
It seems inconcievable to me that this little blog has been chugging along for upwards of four months without a proper entry on Laurel and Hardy, my first favorite comedy team and, forty years after I first saw them, the ones that have truly stood the test of time. Perhaps there is too much to say. And perhaps I haven't really anything in particular to add--they haven't exactly been ignored by filmgoers and critics in the years since their demise.
Let's keep it simple and begin with two clips from one of their earliest sound movies, "Men O' War." (In retrospect, it seems odd to imagine that there were silent L&H movies--their voices were so much a part of their characters and the pacing of their films seems antithetical to the silent comedy ethos). Yet there exist a number of silents L&H's--none of which, I have to confess, I find satisfactory, precisely because the pacing is too fast and I miss the voices. When talkies took over, many theaters were not yet equipped to play them, so alternate versions--sound and silent--were produced for the first batch of "crossover" films. "Men O' War" has a silent version which I've never seen--neither of the routines below could possibly make much sense as silent scenes, but there you go. For entirely different reasons, the first clip (the "bloomers" routine) couldn't possibly have been filmed only about three years after they shot this. Naughty, naughty, as the bicycle rider says...
"Men O'War" isn't even particularly good L&H. It's plot and gags are much looser and the pacing is very uncertain. The big climax of the film--a disastrous boat ride on the lake that I haven't been able to find on youtube (yet)--isn't funny at all as the cameras are too far from the action and the gags themselves are much more loose and improvised than later L&H situations. But what I find charming (and haunting in its own way) about the film is the meta-film within, namely the act of going out to the park and shooting a two-reel comedy. (See my 10/26 post on the Three Stooges "Three Little Beers"--same basic thing). The park where this was photographed, Hollenbeck Park, is on S. St Louis Street in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles. It's still there--lake, bridge and all--though the Santa Ana Freeway now cuts rather agressively across the outer edges of it. The background extras are, in my opinion, not extras at all--too many of them seem to stop and stare at the actors and, presumably, the bulky camera equipment photographing them. What you're seeing is a day in 1929 in Los Angeles, when a little movie company (see above still photo) showed up in the park to shoot a two-reel slapstick comedy. There is nothing controlled or planned going on here. The day, lost to history except for this film, looked much as it does to us now, almost eighty years after it was commemorated.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Some enterprising youtuber has posted the entire movie "Gilda" in ten or so parts. (And the producers think that the writers are crazy for suggesting that soon we'll all be watching tv and movies on the internet?) Below, I've posted a chunk--part eight, it is. Since the plot of "Gilda" makes little sense, you don't need to know anything in particular about what leads up to this section in order to understand it and, happily, there are no "spoilers" possible since the ending of the film doesn't follow logically from anything that proceeded it. This doesn't prevent the movie from being anything less than entertaining at any moment. Indeed, the below section contains three of my favorite scenes; the post-new years eve nightclub murder--it's the conversation between Macready as the mysterious Ballan Munson and Glenn Ford in Munson's private suite above the nightclub--complete with lunatic mentions of Munson's plans to "rule the world"--that I particularly relish; then Ford's humiliation as he's forced to wait for Gilda outside the hotel in which (as he's all too aware) she's bedded yet another in a long line of admirers (dig Hayworth's "oops, I was a bad girl again" look at Ford); and finally the superb seduction scene back at Munson's house (quite a set as you'll see). I particularly like the tight, soft focus over-the-shoulder favoring Hayworth as she utters the immortal "I hate you so much I think I could die from it" lines and the way the shot turns into a two-shot as Ford turns, panicked, as he realizes they've been seen by Munson. (The narration that preceeds the seduction scene is typical of the way "Gilda's" best moments are undercut by silly one's--the scene would have played perfectly if left silent).
The first time I saw "Gilda" was at a revival house called the Vagabond Theater on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. This would have been in the spring of 1980 and the occasion was memorable because of a very odd thing that happened that I still have trouble believing really happend; just before the movie began (and the theater was quite full) the manager stood in front of the audience and said, "I have an annoucement to make. Tonight, at this screening of "Gilda", we're honored to be joined by the films star, Rita Hayworth." A gasp went through the room. And then, in the center of the room, a hand raised itself tentatively and waived. She didn't stand up but the rest of the audience did and gave her an ovation. She was surrounded, it seemed, by "handlers"--later it became clear that she was already deep into the Alzheimer's that had descended upon her at a young age and the people with her were likely caregivers. Watching the film and knowing that the woman on screen was in the room was an astonishing experience for me--I'm not sure a viewing of any movie has ever felt quite so kinetic. The whole scenario might sound a little ghoulishly "Sunset Blvd"-esque, but I prefer to think that it may have been, on her caregivers part, an effort to revive Hayworth's former self in her mind, and to retrieve something from her past--her greatest screen performance--that she had every reason to be immensely proud of.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The years of the second world war have been remembered most recently as the years of the "greatest generation". (My father is one of them, I'm proud to note. He was a pilot and flew troop carrier missions). And every red-blooded, armied or navied-up young man had a picture of a starlet in his kitbag to remind him of "what he was fighting for". Of all the girlfriend's of the greatest generation era, Rita Hayworth was probably the most prized, the most desired, the most universally loved. Was it because of her delectable looks? Her immense dancing abilities? Her raven-haired temptresiosity-ness? Perhaps. Yet I think it also had something to do with her vulnerability. What I see in Hayworth--and I think others did too--is her frailty, her own discomfort with her bombshell persona, the sense of a beautiful girl who desires and requires protection from a world bent on picking her to pieces.
This is largely due to the fact that that's exactly who she was. Born Marguarite Casino to a Spanish father who who had a dance act with her mother, a former Ziegfield girl, she early on became part of the family act, replacing her mother as her father's sole partner when she was in her very early teens. Because she matured physically early, Daddy used to pretend to audiences that young Margaurite was his wife. And the idea apparently appealed to him, as it wasn't long until he began sleeping with his daughter. I don't think it's exaggerating to say that the trauma of the sexually abused girl is thinly veiled at best in Hayworth's persona. Though she became a living symbol of sexual decadence, she is--I think--at her least convincing as "Carmen" (she played the role in 1948) and at her most truthful when, for instance, she gets that look on her face after Glenn Ford slaps her at the end of the below clip. Her sweetness and lost-ness resonate more truthfully for me in "Cover Girl" than does her scheming, icy-blonde turn in her soon-to-be ex-husband Orson Welles's "Lady From Shanghai". Typical too was the sad outcome of her international celebrity--bad marriages to cold powerful men (after Welles the playboy Aly Khan and then the quite seriously f-d up singer Dick Haymes) followed by early-onset Alzheimer's (cruelly, the press photographed her haggard later self as often as they could find her and proudly published what had become of the former pin-up girl. Thanks, fellas.)
The below clip is from "Gilda", directed by "Cover GIrls" Charles Vidor. "Gilda" is a terrifically watchable, albeit silly, fusion of film noir, musical and morality play. The story feels improvised--as if the writer, Marion Parsonette (how's that for a period monicker?), was holed up churning out the pages while the shooting was going down elsewhere on the Columbia lot , having not quite figured out where he was headed as he typed each new scene. (Actually, quite a few movies of the time went into production without a completed script so there is some likelihood that this was the case. See John Houseman's account of the making of "The Blue Dahlia" in his memoir "Run Through"). There is a wonderful performance by George Macready as Gilda's husband--a spooky "professional" gambler, and a stiff one from Glenn Ford as the man who he hires to "watch" his insatiable wife--and who had a previous relationship with her. Some of the dialogue is memorably nasty--the reocurring motif ("I hate you. Hate is a very exciting emotion. I hate you so much, I might die from it" followed, naturally, by a deep and sensuous kiss) rates very high in the nasty noir verbal pantheon. Vidor shoots the interiors of Macready's house (it's supposed to be in Buenos Aires--by way of Gower of course) in a very moody, expressive way--the set clearly was vast and he was much less stiff then many of the periods directors when confronted with real space to work with. And in spite of the film's shortcomings (a terrible happy ending prevents the film from being thought seriously of as noir--it really ought to have ended in gunfire and lustful embraces) it remains, for me, the performance of Hayworth's that is most expressive of her peculiar blend of lust-provoking siren and damaged little girl.
This is the justly famous "striptease" scene--the song is "Put The Blame On Mame"--and it truly is the cinematic equivalent of a viagra overdose. You'll see. But watch that look on her face at the end of the clip and see who Hayworth--I mean "Gilda" truly is. As she once mournfully observed about herself, "Men go to bed with Gilda, but they wake up with me."
Monday, November 5, 2007
Check out this number from "Cover Girl" (it's called "Make Way For Tomorrow") and tell me that this isn't, in fact, a first draft of Kelly and Donen's sublime solo song and dance of "Singing In The Rain" from the film of the same name (which you may have heard of...) The backlot urban street, the use of the sidewalk and gutter, the lightpole, the disapproving cop. Nice as this number is, it's not socko. But clearly Kelly and Donen liked the elements and revisited them eight years later, to immortal effect.
Another nugget on Donen, re: Kelly, and my DGA oral history interview of Donen. I asked Donen one too many questions about his films with Kelly and he waived it off and said: "I was co-directing. There's no such thing as co-directing!" Having just finished a movie where the star was also the producer and, thus, my co-director I was all to aware of his pain and irritation. So--case closed. Later I read a quote of Donen's, when asked about Kelly: "I owe him a lot, but I paid that debt a long time ago." Clearly no love lost, and how typical of movies (of show-biz in general); the greatest work is often tied to the least lovely memories. And they say that the films that are the most "fun" to make are usually the least fun to watch...
Friday, November 2, 2007
Film critic and historian Arthur Knight considered "Cover Girl" the second best musical ever made after "Singing In The Rain". Frankly, he may have a point. ("The Bandwagon" is, for my money, the only other serious contender). Though not often shown on the usual cable suspects (can't imagine why but the Columbia library seems to me quite seriously underplayed), "Cover Girl" remains vivid in my memory for a number of reasons, cheif among them that it is the first musical in which Kelly was given some creative control over his material and it shows. The results, of course, were immesurably better than his first few MGM outings and when he returned from this loan-out, Louis B. Mayer has the good sense to allow Kelly considerably more creative leeway than any other actor/performer on the lot had ever had.
"Cover GIrl" co-stars Rita Hayworth at her lovliest and a pre-Bilko Phil Silvers. The lovely songs are by Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin ("Long Ago And Far Away" was the hit but "Sure Thing" is my favorite) and it was directed by Charles Vidor, a director who has never stood out from the crowd but who, astonishingly, has three superb credits--all of which still hold up beautifully. (The others beside "CG" are "Gilda" and the excellent James Cagney/Doris Day Ruth Etting biopic "Love Me Or Leave Me". There are many more famous directors than Vidor who can't quite match that many high quality well-remembered credits.) Having said that, Vidor did not handle the musical numbers in "Cover Girl"--which puts him a little bit in the William Wyler "Ben-Hur" bin (Wyler shot everything BUT the chariot race, the only actual reason to see the picture.) For the musical sequences, Kelly brought on the very young Stanley Donen, who would later co-direct with Kelly "On The Town", "Singing In The Rain" and the lovely and mournful "It's Always Fair Weather". Below is the astonishing "Alter Ego" number--certainly a first in terms of marrying special effects and dance.
I had the good fortune to be asked to interview Donen for the Directors Guild's Oral History program and naturally I asked him how the hell this number was done. He launched into an explaination--and Donen is nothing if not an articulate and engaging speaker--but, as soon as he did, the cameraman recording the interview started making nervous gestures to another techie as if to indicate that something was wrong. I kept glancing over to see if we needed to halt things as Donen kept describing the complicated process of planning and filming this number. In my fear that we weren't getting this on tape, I lost focus and nodded absently, pretending to listen, all the while glancing over to make sure we were getting it. In the end, there was no problem and, once Donen was finished, I lied with gusto and said "Fascinating!" or somesuch. For reasons known only to them, the Directors Guild keeps the Special Projects interview tapes locked in a dark vault, inaccessible to just about everybody. So, despite being the official DGA sanctioned interviewer of Stanley Donen, I still can't tell you how they accomplished the below bit of genius. Maybe it ultimately doesn't really matter.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
One of the unfortunate side effects of the camping up of Judy Garland by her 'followers' is that we've lost sight of her as the truly luscious, sexually alluring female star that she was in her heyday. Judy as bombshell simply sounds perverse now--either we think of her as Dorothy in pigtails (or whatever her hair was in "Wizard") or we think of the later, stage-bound, cigarette and vodka drag-queen idol. But in her youthful maturity (1942-50) Judy was also just a helluva hot dame. Minelli, her second (or third?) husband was clearly in love with her through a lens--it's in "Meet Me In St. Louis", "The Clock" and "The Pirate" (all of which he directed) that the camera gazes at her the most lovingly. And she, in turn, gets naked in these movies in a way she simply doesn't when being directed by Charles Walters.
This past summer, I had the opportunity (briefly) to work on a pitch for a movie about Judy's life--her best biographer, Gerald Clarke, also wrote the Truman Capote bio that "Capote" was based on and the idea was to take a thread from his Judy bio and fashion a similar sort of bio-pic. I spent a lot of time studying her life, her movies etc. and thought of writing a movie based solely on her marriage to the great thug, Sid Luft--the man who produced her finest movie "A Star Is Born" and who, one way or another, helped resurrect her career from mothballs after MGM fired her in 1950. (This bang-up idea--wouldn't you like to see such a movie starring, say, Hilary Swank as Judy and Vince Vaughn as Luft?--died stillborn as ABSOLUTELY NO COMPANY IN HOLLYWOOD EVINCED THE SLIGHTEST INTEREST IN EVEN HEARING SUCH A PITCH. Eyes rolled, calls went unreturned. We do, alas, live in the era of "Spiderman 3"). In any event, I had the pleasure of speaking with Gerald Clarke on the phone and he said something that I found very true and very haunting. "Everybody thinks they own Judy. Everyone thinks she belongs to them." I dont know another star who you can say something quite that broad--and yet accurate--about.
Below is my favorite number from "The Pirate", "Mack the Black". The nice youtuber who posted it graciously left in the long but necessary lead in--the number begins almost four minutes into this eight minute clip. Judy is electric in this, pulsating with desire and sexual energy...and the kiss with Kelly at the end reaches well past the usual boundries of MGM family entertainment of the time. I don't think the word "Macoco" got nearly as much play again until last year when that unfortunate Senator used it to insult a dark-skinned journalist and was promptly retired from public life as a result. What was that Senator's name, anyhow?...