Year 9, Day 54 - 2/23/17 - Movie #2,554
BEFORE: There's now under 24 hours left in this Kickstarter campaign that I'm working on, for an independent animated feature about how biology and neuroscience affect people's ability to fall in love and decide to get married - and it's been a few solid days of tweeting and messaging people, trying to get them to retweet the links. In a way, those of us on the social media team are like the showgirls in "Pal Joey" - we'll exchange a tweet for a tweet, we'll post funny photos or creative hashtags if we think it will get the campaign more attention. If you want us to do the striptease number, hey, we'll consider it - as long as you retweet for us.
While I cue up another classic Sinatra film, here's what's coming up tomorrow in TCM's "31 Days of Oscar" line-up:
6:00 AM The Sheepman (1958)
7:30 AM Shenandoah (1965)
9:30 AM Show Boat (1951)
11:30 AM The Silver Chalice (1954)
2:00 PM Singin' in the Rain (1952)
3:45 PM The Slipper and the Rose (1976)
6:15 PM Small Town Girl (1953)
8:00 PM Some Like It Hot (1959)
10:15 PM Spartacus (1960)
1:45 AM Speedy (1928)
3:30 AM The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)
Another 11 films, and I've seen 4 of them - "Singin' in the Rain", "Some Like It Hot", "Spartacus" and "The Spirit of St. Louis", bringing me up to 100 seen out of 267. Just another 7 days to go!
THE PLOT: The alcoholic and bitter veteran and former writer Dave Hirsch returns to his hometown in Indiana, followed by a vulgar and easy woman with whom he spent his last night in Chicago. Dave is also attracted to the beautiful daughter of his former professor, who idolizes his work as a writer.
AFTER: Now I'm wondering how many times Frank Sinatra played a louse of a man, torn between two women - because this is the third time I've seen that in a week. And I'm doubly sorry I didn't schedule "Can-Can", because I could have had Shirley MacLaine carry over from that film along with Sinatra.
And once again, Frank's at the focal point of a love triangle - last night he had to decide between the rich former showgirl and the poor current showgirl (some would say that's a nice problem to have...) and tonight it's a choice between the educated woman who seems afraid (or incapable) of loving him back, and the uneducated woman who loves him unconditionally. OK, so that's more of a poser - should he marry for intellectual stimulation, or, umm, physical stimulation? Maybe that's putting too fine a point on it.
The situation may be similar, but there are no songs for Frank to sing here, or opportunities to get up on stage. Instead he plays poker with a guy named Bama, and keeps getting into various forms of trouble that get the whole town talking. And everything he does gets under the skin of his older brother, even when his older brother is found having an affair with his secretary, somehow the older brother can't admit that he's at fault in that situation. And when the brother's daughter finds out about her father's affair, she dumps her steady boyfriend and runs off to Terre Haute to get into trouble. But Frank's character happens to be there and puts her on a bus back to Parkman. And STILL he doesn't get credit for his good deed.
As I've seen before in other films with love triangles, whichever woman he chooses, he's always going to wonder what would have happened with the other. But at least he realizes at some point that it's better to put your love energy toward the woman that loves you back, rather than the one who can't seem to display something close to interest. That's about as close to a moral lesson as we're going to find here, I think. Oh, and maybe don't drink a full fifth of whiskey every day.
Also starring Dean Martin (last seen in "Artists and Models"), Shirley Maclaine (last seen in "Bernie"), Martha Hyer (last seen in "The Chase"), Arthur Kennedy (last seen in "Elmer Gantry"), Nancy Gates (last seen in "The Magnificent Ambersons"), Leora Dana, Betty Lou Kelm, Larry Gates, Connie Gilchrist (last seen in "Song of the Thin Man").
RATING: 5 out of 10 Greyhound buses