Perhaps its the winter weather, but I’ve been really into these old movies that simply reek of scandal with a side of social awareness..and a little fun.
The Great Race is a classic 1960’s flick following the familiar storyline found in the classier Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, and happily pairing Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood, both also of Sex and the Single Girl. Spouting sentiments of Women’s Rights, Natalie Wood’s character does a lovely job of trying to be a hard nosed journalist during the race, only to use her womanly charms every five seconds to get what she really wants.
What does one do when trapped in a snowstorm with Natalie and Tony? Drink- obviously.
“Nothing to worry about, we have a lot more champagne in the car.”
A bonus in this film is the appearance of no good saboteurs Peter Falk ( of Columbo fame) and Jack Lemmon ( Tony Curtis’ partner in Some Like it Hot).
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with Zero Mostel is another favorite that makes me love old hollywood movies all the more. The over the top scenes and hilarious songs often complement the crazy social issues that Hollywood is highlighting. In this film a variety of social injustices are highlighted: children stolen by pirates, Roman Guards claiming virgins from the local brothel for wives, infidelity, slavery, eunichs…need I say more.
The Producers with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder is another classic film from this time that I simply adore. It’s Springtime for Hitler and Germany is always a hit and filled with jaw dropping moments as well as an utter absence of costumes-a nod to the Benny Hill popularity of the day, suggested nudity runs rampant in the sixties classic comedies. While making fun of the burgeoning neurosis coming to light in the sixties, this Mel Brooks directed film, also calls out dirty old women that pay for affection, ethics in Broadway theater production and the flowerchild/ drug culture of the sixties.
In these films we see even more proof of Hollywood’s ability to “talk about” and make fun of history.
I’m excited to see that the Coen brothers do the same thing in present time with Hail, Caesar. Channing Tatum as the resident ” Gene Kelly” would be reason enough to watch this one folks.:)