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December 16, 2010


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Awww... no close-up still of Mickey Rooney's character? ;-)


Steve Winer

The perfect choice for a still, Glenn. There's something about that cat, Audrey Hepburn, and that music that gets me every single time. I've spent most of my life defending Edwards against his always very aggressive detractors. I suppose now that he's gone he'll be treated as the master that he was. Glad he got that special Oscar (and the gag he staged with his wheelchair that night actually made the TV frame look like the framing of the sight gags in his movies).
BTW, the NPR reporter reading the copy that referred to Henry Mancini's music pronounced his name "Manchini". I guess because he was Italian, you know. Yeesh. At least she pronounced "Edwards" correctly.


WILD ROVERS was the prototype Western for my childhood - my grandfather, a rancher in the Ben Johnson mold (they traded horses a few times on the rodeo circuit) took me to the very "last picture show" theater in a small town near Texarkana on a Saturday and we sat thru it twice. I must have been seven or eight years old. He told me it was "not as good as Red River" but that he had liked the scenes in the snow. I never forgot that day - and vowed to see this Red River someday.

Later, (jump cut thru the public education system, please) Mr Edwards was the first director I saw in action on location - I had moved to Los Angeles and he was shooting Blind Date in Brentwood not far from my little guesthouse. My career in film was yet to begin, but my path had been set already, years ago in a little movie-house near the Red River, long since torn down.

Jump cut again, past college and on to my return to Texas, only now I was in the capital city, trying to raise the ground floor of the indie film scene by volunteering for the Austin Film Society and hanging out with the late critic George Morris, who dearly loved Blake's films and had a VHS of Ford's SEVEN WOMEN he shared with us young turks. By this time I'd seen at least a dozen of Blake's films and knew enough to credit him for his writing on films like SOLDIER IN THE RAIN and OPERATION MAD BALL, which scored points with Morris. Edwards represented the last of a breed to me, the studio-bred director who could make a film like SUNSET that I knew I could see with someone like my grandfather, and we'd all enjoy it.

Blake Edwards touched my life and brought a thousands laughs to a million people, but to me he will always be someone from Tulsa, Oklahoma (look it up) who made good in the movies, and directed a picture I got to share with my cowboy hero.


The opening sequence of THE PARTY remains one of the funniest pieces of slapstick cinema in sound movies I've ever seen. I can't call him a "master," exactly (for one, I'm not a fan of the Pink Panther movies except for the first one, but more importantly, I haven't seen EXPERIMENT IN TERROR, 10, or S.O.B. yet), but anyone who's made that movie, "Peter Gunn," OPERATION PETTICOAT, DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES, and VICTOR/VICTORIA (if nothing else, for Lesley Ann Warren. To quote Stanley Kauffman, you'd think she had invented the "dumb blonde" character herself) has earned their mark on Hollywood history. R.I.P.


Man, I've been holding it in all day (heard the news when I was at work), but that fucking still just did me. Shit. Gotta go.

Tom Carson

Yeah, damn you for that screen grab, Glenn. What makes you think we come here to get miserably choked up all of a sudden? And thanks.


Thanks for this image, Glenn. I was just thinking about another Edwards film, DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES, when you posted about your wife's aversion to certain songs and films about the plights of the elderly, as ROSES evokes a similar kind of aversion in me-- just the mention of the title is enough to remind me of what a harrowing experience it was. Edwards was very underrated, and a lot of the psychological grip that film creates is due to how well he manipulates the downward mobility of the mise-en-scene as the characters fall into addiction.


I'll be the nitpicker to point out that Tiffany's is actually 1961.

Really liked Edward's run in the 80s -- a lot of American studio comedies seem anonymous or totally star-driven, but his stuff always felt personal.

On a lighter note, here's a fake Criterion cover for SKIN DEEP: http://fakecriterions.tumblr.com/post/2300754456/skin-deep-1989



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