Monday, February 27, 2017
Film Classics of the 20th Century
In this ongoing series on film classics of the last century, we've looked at NEVER BEEN KISSED, BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER, TEA WITH MUSSOLINI, THE LATE SHOW, SUMMER STOCK, THE FULLER BRUSH GIRL, The Net, Your Friends & Neighbors, Shampoo, The Player, Dick Tracy, How To Marry A Millionaire, Blow Out, You Only Live Twice, Sleeper, Diamonds Are Forever, Sleepless In Seattle, My Little Chickadee, Tootsie, After Hours, Edward Scissorhands, Christmas in Connecticut, Desk Set, When Harry Met Sally . . ., Who Done It?, That Darn Cat!, Cactus Flower, Family Plot, House Sitter, and Outrageous Fortune. Film classics are the films that grab you, even on repeat viewings, especially on repeat viewings.
A film can be a classic based on something as simple as the hardest of all all to achieve: chemistry.
Take the 1976 offering that teamed Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Goldie Hawn and Golden Globe winner George Segel.
Segel plays a card shark who isn't the successful cheat he wishes he was.
This lack of success leads to the repeated need to flee.
Blackjack is the name of the Dirtwater Fox's horse.
Segel shows the comedy chops and charms that few actors ever achieve.
Cary Grant made it look so natural but others have struggled repeatedly.
Not Segel who managed to create chemistry with Goldie in this film, Jane Fonda in FUN WITH DICK & JANE, Barbra Streisand in THE OWL & PUSSYCAT, Glenda Jackson in A TOUCH OF CLASS and Jacqueline Bisset in WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE?
The Dirtwater Fox is a con man. The Duchess is a dance hall girl played by Goldie.
She's tired of bumping and grinding.
And a wealthy Mormon with many children and several wives gives her an idea.
One day on, six days off.
That's her dream.
And they're looking for a governess for the children.
She needs to get a new wardrobe.
The easiest way is to hit up a mark, Segel.
But there's a problem.
"You never paid for it and I never gave it away," she says.
So she drugs him and makes off with his cash.
She charms the Mormon family while singing a dance hall tune passed off as a children's song. She also explains, "I have several specialties but I don't think I could teach them to the kids."
A stage coach crashes, they hide at a Jewish wedding, take a trip downstream, get caught and staked to the ground in the desert to die and much more.
It's a caper film and one that leaves a lasting impression due to the charm and chemistry Goldie and George serve up.