« Journey to the neural centers of my CD collection | Main | Comrades, let us seize the time »

November 01, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Peter Nellhaus

Has there been any definite assessment on how much of the final film is Farrow's and how much is Fleischer's? In Fleischer's autobiography he makes it seem like he re-shot the entire movie. The flippant tone of the characters reminds me more of Farrow's "Plunder of the Sun".

Glenn Kenny

That's an interesting question, and had I had more time to put this piece together I'd have consulted the audio commentary on the okay-looking Warner DVD, which snippets I listened to sounded fairly informative. I might revisit it soon in any case...


It's really a peerless turn by Vincent Price, isn't it?

The Siren

Price's finest hour. He steals everything but the wallpaper.

This is a wonderful movie, and I wouldn't call it nonsense at all--except for Howard Hughes and his puerile breast obsession. The way Jane Russell's breakfront is always, but always in frame, in this and every other movie she made that he got his mitts on...gets tiresome, not to mention vulgar. Perhaps, however, this doesn't annoy Glenn or some of his readers as much as me.

Glenn Kenny

Siren, you are superbly amusing. Given my "homina homina homina" reaction to certain of Ms. Russell's ensembles, you still give me the slight benefit of the doubt concerning my perspective on the "breakfront." You know my shame, and you forgive it, implicitly, at least.

Any of you kids out there old enough to remember Russel when she was a bra pitchwoman, talking about the needs of "we full-figured gals?" Wait, don't answer that question...

Also: Yes, this is likely VP's finest hour, a meta-moment he would reprise more ghoulishly in "Theater of Blood." Although I differ with MF; I don't think it's the actor's "only right role." I rather love him in everything I see him in...

Peter Nellhaus

I guess I'll have to squeeze the DVD of HKOW on my Netflix queue. However Hughes chose to feature Russell, it's not quite like "Jet Pilot" where we hear the roar of jets when Janet Leigh takes a big breath.


I haven't seen this yet, though I own the Warners disc, which theoretically should make correcting this mistake pretty easy. Maybe this weekend...?

But really, Price's finest hour? According to at least three people? Two of whom are Glenn and the Siren? If I wasn't already sold on Mitchum and Gardner's boobs, not to mention Price just being in it at all, well, I'm sold now.

Also, Glenn, does Joseph Failla have a blog, or write professionally somewhere, or is he part of some weird pseudonymous game you're playing? I ask only because he always says really interesting things, and I'm curious.


I don't know why I said "Gardner" instead of "Russell".

Glenn Kenny

@ Bill: Joseph Failla absolutely exists, and I've been encouraging him to start his own blog for years. I've known JF since the third grade (back in I'm not even gonna say when) and I had him doing DVD reviews for Premiere while that magazine was still a going concern. His reasons for communicating with this blog as he does are his own, and I do not question them!

When you wrote "I don't know why I said 'Gardner' instead of 'Russell'" I was tempted to respond, "I know why, Daddy, I know why," like that duck in the Looney Tunes cartoon with the "To Have And Have Not" sendup in it...

Michael Adams

Farrow's mean streak and Fleischer's contribution to the wonderful His Kind of Woman are discussed on pp. 208-216 of Lee Server's Mitchum bio. Go to http://books.google.com/books and search for Lee Server to see for free.


Both "His Kind of Woman" and "Macao" are enormous fun in no small part because with their hooded eyes, sleepy voices, inverted-pyramid bodies and oppositional attitudes Mitchum and Russell are male and female incarnations of the archtypal wisenheimer. They're so ridiculously entertaining that who can even look at Vincent Price in "HKOW" or Gloria Grahame in "Macao," even though the supporting players are given all the good lines? Thanks, Glenn. If memory serves, it's "25 Miles to San Berdoo."

Tony Dayoub

Here's a tip: Tomorrow, 11/3 at 6:45pm EST, TCM is rerunning the PRIVATE SCREENINGS episode where Robert Osborne interviews Mitchum and Russell together back in 1996.

If memory serves, I believe they speak about both HKOW and MACAO in that one.

MACAO airs on 11/25 at 10pm EST on TCM.

The Siren

@Glenn: "I rather love him in everything I see him in..."

I couldn't agree more. If Price is always pure ham, pass the bread and mayo.


@The Siren - If you love Price so much, which you are absolutely correct to do, how can you say you don't like horror? Or is it just current horror? In which case, well, I can't entirely blame you.

The Siren

@Bill, I have recently realized it is indeed current horror, bearing in mind of course that for me current = much past 1980. You were wise to counsel me to stick with pre-1960. Years ago I spent many nights watching old Hammer pictures and old Price vehicles on AMC and can't deny the pleasure they gave me.


I have trouble believing that Fleischer reshot most of this film. The scenario is very similar to that of PLUNDER IN THE SUN (as Peter Nellhaus points out), and, more importantly, the style up until the ridiculous drawn-out ending, is pure Farrow--long, long takes with wide two-shots and group shots for dialogue scenes. Compare it to CALIFORNIA, THE BIG CLOCK, or PLUNDER.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Tip Jar

Tip Jar
Blog powered by Typepad