Tag Archives: Cyd Charisse

Something’s Got to Give (1962, George Cukor)

I wonder how Something’s Got to Give plays if you haven’t seen My Favorite Wife (Give was a remake). This thirty-seven minute edit of footage of Marilyn Monroe’s last–unfinished–film is a disjointed suggestion of what might have been.

Monroe’s good in her part, though she doesn’t have a lot to do in the footage. There’s a lot with Cyd Charisse as Monroe’s rival, expect Charisse is awful and her character’s a harpy anyway. It’s unbelievable Dean Martin would be interested in her, much less marry her.

Give probably would have been most interesting for Martin. He’s sans ego for the most part, playing a man plagued with insecurity and impotence.

The film appears to be rather well-produced, except Tori Rodman. Rodman compiled the footage decades later, mimicking the era well, but it’s a soulless effort.

John McGiver is hilarious as a judge who spars with Martin.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by George Cukor; screenplay by Arnold Schulman, Nunnally Johnson and Water Bernstein, based on a screenplay by Bella Spewack and Sam Spewack; directors of photography, Franz Planer and Leo Tover; edited by Tori Rodman; music by Johnny Mercer; produced by Henry T. Weinstein; released by Fox Home Video.

Starring Marilyn Monroe (Ellen Wagstaff Arden), Dean Martin (Nick Arden), Cyd Charisse (Bianca Russell Arden), Wally Cox (Shoe Salesman), John McGiver (The Judge), Phil Silvers (Johnson), Tom Tryon (Steven Burkett), Alexandra Heilweil (Lita Arden), Robert Christopher Morley (Timmy Arden), Grady Sutton (The Judge’s Clerk), Eloise Hardt (Miss Worth) and Steve Allen (The Psychiatrist).


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Warlords of Atlantis (1978, Kevin Connor)

If you ever want to see John Ratzenberger fight a giant octopus, Warlords of Atlantis has something to offer you. Actually, it’s hard to completely dislike a film with a giant octopus, especially one attacking a ship. It’s so silly, it can’t help but amuse. I do have to wonder, since there was a giant octopus in the poster for The Land That Time Forgot (Connor’s first film with Doug McClure–Warlords is the last), if the octopus wasn’t a recycled idea. Kind of like Ed Wood’s giant octopus….

Warlords of Atlantis is a bad film, but again, so dumb it’s not particularly offensive. It’s too long–there’s a big difference in a Kevin Connor film between eighty-nine minutes and ninety-six. With Warlords’ ninety-six, he manages to add an additional set piece the film doesn’t need. It’s a mish-mash of a film anyway, borrowing from each of the previous McClure and Connor (and producer John Dark) collaborations. A ship here, a submarine here, a cavernous city here. There’s too many characters for the film to sustain–at least seven the audience is expected to recognize by name–and it’s not interesting. Warlords’ Atlantis, populated by a bunch of soon-to-be-Nazis, isn’t particularly interesting. Discovering a lost world only works if there’s some discovery going on, not a huge population of bad guys to fight.

The special effects–though some of the miniature work is good–are pretty bad. I do like how they have a real monster hand coming up in front of a rear screen projection, an idea I imagine they lifted from John Guillermin’s King Kong. There are a lot of matte paints and cinematographer Alan Hume is BAD at matte paintings. He shot Return of the Jedi, which had a number of awful matte painting shots too, so it’s not a budgetary thing. He just doesn’t do it well. There’s also the bad music… the film just doesn’t work. It’s too clean (on nice film stock) and the story is too silly. While Doug McClure’s in decent leading man form–I realized, watching the film, Doug McClure is the vanilla soft serve of actors–his character is empty. You’re not watching a late nineteenth century American inventor, you’re watching Doug McClure. The film doesn’t even try to convince the viewer otherwise. McClure’s sidekick, Peter Gilmore, is bad. The Atlantians are bad (and have silly hair and outfits). It’s got to be bad if the scantily clad human slave-girl (played by Lea Brodie) gives one of the film’s better performances.

There are also frequent attempts at humor throughout. They fail.

Since Connor’s not a bad director (though he’s got to be the most wildly inconsistent), there are a handful of nice shots. While Warlords is bad, the pacing is what does it in. At the very least, monster movies with bad special effects and bad acting have to move.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Kevin Connor; written by Brian Hayles; director of photography, Alan Hume; edited by Bill Blunden; music by Michael Vickers; produced by John Dark; released by EMI Films.

Starring Doug McClure (Greg Collinson), Peter Gilmore (Charles Aitken), Shane Rimmer (Captain Daniels), Lea Brodie (Delphine), Michael Gothard (Atmir), Hal Galili (Grogan), John Ratzenberger (Fenn), Derry Power (Jacko), Donald Bisset (Professor Aitken), Ashley Knight (Sandy), Robert Brown (Briggs), Cyd Charisse (Atsil) and Daniel Massey (Atraxon).


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