Monday, March 3, 2008

How to Recognize an Old Movie

Using the movie International House as an example, we can make the following seven totally erroneous assumptions about all old movies in general:

1. Anybody using marijuana will act like he's on cocaine.

2. There will be comedians you have never heard of doing jokes that are not funny and ending with a tag line which is incomprehensible.

3. There will be incredibly famous people whose names are guaranteed punchlines and who are now totally unknown, thank you God.

(Peggy Hopkins who now? Why that would be none other than Peggy Hopkins Joyce, who was Paris Hilton famous in 1933. When I first saw this film at the Brattle in Harvard Square in '68, I had no idea who she was, which is something I look forward to saying about Ms Hilton in 40 years. )

4. There will be at least one moment where you will say "I can't believe I just heard that."

(The guy who sets up Fields is the Patron Saint of Prissy, Franklin Pangborn. He is so totally the reason why the joke works.)

5. There will be an otherwise innocuous word which, coming out of the mouth of WC Fields, will make you think of Raquel Welch and Johnny Carson:

6. The unlikeliest people in the world get top billing. (See the credit sequence in the clip above.)

7. And (see credit sequence again) the movie will serve as the answer to at least one good trivia question such as "What do Gracie Allen and Bela Lugosi have in common?"

1 comment:

The_Dove said...

That kitten gag is depraved.