Tuesday, October 2, 2007
If you've ever wondered if it was possible to not only desexualize Marilyn Monroe but make it appear that she really had quite desperately small breasts that she needed to make look larger by wearing the weird brassiere you're about to see ,the answer is: YES! Just watch the diabolical handiwork of Darryl Zanuck, Walter Lang, Jack Cole and Irving Berlin in "There's No Business Like Show Business", a 1954 20th Century Fox abortion which takes a bunch of Berlin songs (again poor Oiving!) and positions them, shakily, in such an overheated melange of tasteless technicolor production numbers draped in garish, awful costumes that one wonders how Monroe, Berlin and even the faceless, probably blameless director, Walter Lang, survived. Watching "TNBLSB" is somewhat akin to being force fed an old bag of marshmellows--uncooked, unwanted and indigestible.
And so we come to the infamous "Tropical Heat Wave" number. Urban legend has it that Monroe pokes one of the dancers in the eye and then kisses him to make up for it--can you see this happen? I can't, but maybe I'm made impatient by the horrible setting, the gratutiously bad "sexy tropical" faux-costumes, the boring concept ("Pablo! Chico!" "Mega-Lito!" -- or something--a kind of Hollywood pan-American cat-call that nobody seemed to care about...) As with yesterday's "Putting On The Ritz" clip, they take a surefire Berlin song that any simple-minded two month old dog could make swing, and transform it into a grinding, repetitive, unswinging bore. All right, enough. It's just the movies, it's just a bunch of people trying (quite desperately) to entertain you. AND FAILING UTTERLY TO DO SO AND LOOKING REALLY SILLY IN THE BARGAIN. In closing let's give the first runner up for "most disastrous production number ever filmed" to:
Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 5:53 PM