26 reds and a bottle of wine

His Kind of Woman stars Robert Mitchum as this fuckin’ Robert Mitchum-looking loser who just came back from doing a brief stint at a prison farm for the crime of doing “nothing”. This is probably like a wink to the audience because a couple years back, Mitchum had to do the prison farm thing for the crime of smokin’ Mary Jane like a fuckin’ champ. Crazy how people thought that shit made you turn into a werewolf or something, committing some evil shit, and that was back when weed wasn’t even that strong. Folks, the most evil shit I’ve done while high is make some questionable food combinations once the munchies set in. Like, most recently I ate homemade French Toast followed up by that Green Hornet Chicken Tenders combo at Carl’s Jr. Fuck man, every morning (or night) when I look at my fat belly in the mirror before hosing off my disgusting body, I never look at it with surprise — on the contrary, I’m like, Of Course I’m A Fat Fuck.

You know, I look at myself now and think what the fuck happened? It’s not like I was a fuckin’ Adonis with Brad Pitt’s face back in the day but at least I wasn’t betrayed by my metabolism yet, at least I had that going for me. Apparently, I had it going on enough that I once got a letter in the seventh grade from this chick in my math class, it was this handwritten letter she gave to me with a smile and when I read it, I was like Holy Shit because she actually wrote down “I want to fuck you so bad”.  She then went on to write that all her friends thought she was desperate but that she wasn’t, she really wanted to get with me. I ended up turning her down because I was a combination of Cowardly and Gay back then, and plus I think her popular reputation of being a seventh-grade whore who always wore torn stockings, biker boots and too much eye-shadow skeeved me out, believe it or not. I actually had this weird bullshit thing some people call “standards”. What an asshole. Anyway, a year later, she got pregnant from this other dude who, like me, was an unattractive piece-of-shit, so I guess I dodged a bullet with her even though I carried the same Sheik condom for 3 years in my wallet, so maybe I‘d have been more careful about it. I ended up burning that letter for some nonsensical reason; an act I later regretted in high school, when I would’ve needed it the most on those lonely Friday nights.

But yeah, this Mitchum, he hooked up with this broad named Lila Leeds and they were gonna fuckin’ straight-up sesh with some friends and I guess it might’ve been a set-up because the cops came in around that time, or after, I don’t know, and then he went to jail. That was a big deal back then, a celebrity going to jail; nowadays, that’s what a motherfucker does on his way to coming back hard as the box-office-smash star of the Iron Man movies or on his way down as the former box-office-smash star of the Blade movies. While he did his time, motherfuckers like Don Fuckin’ Siegel would visit him and sneak in candy bars and shit because it was Howard Hughes’ idea that the candy bars would help keep Mitchum’s strength/energy up, and because it was Hughes saying that shit, it probably sounded like this:

“Give Mitchum some candy bars. Give Mitchum some candy bars. Some candy bars. Some candy bars. Some candy bars. Some candy bars.”

Poor bastard. At least DiCaprio played him in the movie of his life. I could only be so lucky.

So yeah, Mitchum is back in L.A. and he’s both broke and in debt to the kind of guys you don’t want to be in debt to. Poor schmuck tells all this to a black dude at a diner (working behind the counter, natch), and all I could think about was how it must have sucked to be a black actor back then. You have Robert Mitchum doing a scene with you, acting all chummy with you, but then I bet right after “Cut!”, the motherfucker was probably all “Outta my way, spade!”. I think of that every time I watch an old movie, I think about whether or not some of these much-loved movie stars were racists or not.

I mean, at the very least, even when being respectful they probably called the black actors “Negroes” or “Colored”, that’s as good as it would get for them. And even if a black dude was considered OK enough to hang with a white motherfucker, they probably still had to put up with a lot of jokes, kinda like Sammy Davis Jr. put up with all of the other Rat Pack making colored/Jew jokes. That’s the best you could hope for back then, I guess. Hey bro, I love your music and we can jam together, but don’t forget your place, either. I know Hollywood was still liberal enough to be accused of harboring dirty evil Commies, but still, they probably had a separate craft service table for my brothers.

So Mitchum’s luck looks to be changing for the better, because some other shady dudes come up to him with the offer of $50,000 for traveling over to some nice Mexican resort and chill while waiting for…who knows what. He goes over there and he meets up with Jane Russell. Man, what a hot piece-of-ass Jane Russell was! I don’t know if she still is, but even then, she’s probably more of a Helen Mirren type. Mirren’s the cat’s pajamas and all, but I never totally got the HOLY SHIT I WANT TO FUCK OLD HELEN MIRREN vibe that apparently many do. I mean, if I was in my 60’s, then fuck yeah, I could only be so lucky to have a similarly-aged lady in that kind of shape. OK, I take it back, I shouldn’t be acting like I’m in a position to turn down a senior citizen; I could only be so lucky to have Helen Mirren point at me and go “Tonight, you”, I understand. Seriously, though, I watched this movie after watching Jane Greer in Out of the Past and all I could think was Goddamn, I don’t know what ladies did back then, but I wish they were still doing it.

Anyway, she and Mitchum do the whole flirty thing, even though she’s not currently available to him because she’s busy trying to hook up with a famous movie star, played by famous movie star Vincent Price. Price’s character starts out as this pampered celebrity who plays badass asskickers in the movies, and you think he’s going to be some kind of fake, but he isn’t. I mean, he goes around on hunting expeditions all the time, shooting deer and fowl like he was fuckin’ Ted Nugent in this bitch, and you think that’s good enough for him, but it isn’t. He not-so-secretly harbors a desire to be as badass in real life as he is in the movies and I got a kick how that played out in this movie.

Man, what an awesome guy Vincent Price is (was); I’ve always dug that dude and now that I think of it, he’d be one of those living-or-dead people I’d like to have dinner with. People always pick dudes like John Lennon or Jesus Christ but I never understood that. I mean, I love Lennon’s work but that guy could be an insufferable wife-beating prick (unless your name is Yoko Ono, then you can do no wrong in his eyes) and if I had dinner with Jesus Christ, I’d probably make it uncomfortable because I’d just be staring at Him the whole time, angrily, waiting for Him to explain Himself and His father for all of this bullshit. You got a lot to answer for, J.C. But Vincent Price? Holy shit, that guy would probably be all fuckin’ charming and shit and have a bunch of stories to tell. Plus, the guy’s a gourmet chef, he’d probably cook the fuckin’ meal and I bet it’d be really delicious.

This resort, I think it was called Morro’s Lodge and goddamn that was a nice-looking place! It’s introduced in a long tracking shot that starts outside at the beach and then through the pool area and then inside the bar and then finally it ends on Mitchum ordering a ginger ale (his character quirk, I guess, is that he doesn’t drink booze). It’s even cooler because this was all done on a soundstage in Los Angeles, because that’s what they did back then, they weren’t traveling to faraway lands for real just to impress us assholes, they didn’t have to yet. But then, for another 40 or 50 years, they would shoot this kind of film at a real Mexican beach, and that would be a big deal in the ads, you know, something like “Shot in the beautiful Mexican resort of Buenavaca!” or some shit (because back then, Hollywood still had the Good Neighbor policy going on, they wanted to give audiences the impression that South America was an awesome place to be at. Once that shit ended, filmmakers went from trumpeting movies set South Of The Border as being “shot in the beautiful South American jungles” to “A film that could only be made in South America, where life is CHEAP!”. It was like these Yankee cocksuckers resented having to be P.C. and were storing up all the hate).

But somewhere along the way, they went the other way — they would go back to the soundstages but stop trying to build a real-looking beach like they did for this movie. Now it would all be CGI. Think about that — if they made Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure today, that Warner Bros. studio chase scene would be super-fuckin-boring because it would consist of Pee Wee riding his bike through stage after stage of green screens & people wearing unitards with ping-pong balls all over. They’d have to work in a bit where Pee Wee rides through a bunch of cubicles in the CGI building, disrupting all the nerds trying to make Godzilla look photo-realistic on a computer monitor. Not quite the same effect as fucking it up for some poor Japanese grip trying to hold on to the ropes controlling Ghidorah.

In addition to Vincent Price and Jane Russell, Mitchum also runs into Thurston Howell from Gilligan’s Island, basically playing Thurston Howell minus Lovey. I don’t remember much about Mr. Howell in this movie, or what purpose he served, other than be kind of a douche. The story goes that Howard Hughes (who was running RKO Studios at the time, pretty much making him Mitchum’s massa) ordered the fuck out of reshoots, rewrites, and recasts for this movie, because that’s what motherfuckers like Hughes did (you saw The Aviator, you know how he rolled). Maybe in the original version, Mr. Howell had more to do. I don’t know.

Damn man, to think that they used to junk most of this footage. Too bad they didn’t have DVD back then; it makes you wonder how much of this fabled lost footage for these flicks we could’ve seen. The fuckin’ Magnificent Ambersons, for example, probably woulda had a special edition with Welles’ original cut on it, except they’d release that shit a year after the theatrical cut and then everyone would bitch on the Internet about “double-dipping” and that it isn’t presented in “uncompressed PCM” (whatever the fuck that is) but since the Internet didn’t exist yet, they’d be bitching about it, on, I don’t know, short-wave radio or something.

Didn’t expect this movie to be as double-dipped in Good Times as it was; the dialogue is endlessly quotable in the way most movies of the time were, and the performances are a lot of fun. Mitchum does the whole I’m A Cool Motherfucker thing he does and Russell is not only hot but she’s kind of a Cool Cat herself during the proceedings. They look really good together and I liked how for the most part, she never plays it like she needs this fuckin’ guy like a fish needs water. I mean, I think most guys like watching the female co-stars get all weak-kneed & googly-eyed towards their male counterparts, but to me, that shit is kinda tired. Plus, I don’t think you could buy Jane Russell being needy, she can take care of herself, thank you very much.

I swear, it probably took an hour or so before the actual plot kicked in; it’s like the first 15 minutes are plot-heavy setup, and then they just decided to chill for the next 45, before continuing with some ridiculous shit involving Nazi anesthetic and Mexican cops taking orders from American civilians. I found it funny that in one scene, Russell’s character critiques a 90-minute movie she just watched as being too long, when this movie is 120 minutes long. Was that moment — like Mitchum’s character’s backstory — an inside joke, maybe one that was added late in production when they realized the length of this caper?

Whatever the case, those 45 minutes or so don’t kill the movie at all because it was entertaining all the same — particularly the stuff involving Price’s character. This motherfucker is hosting a screening of his latest film at the resort, and you can tell he digs watching himself kick ass Errol Flynn style; at one point he gets so caught up in his own on-screen shenanigans that he busts out into applause, then realizes what he’s done, looking all embarrassed and shit. Later on, when he gets into The Shit, he starts fuckin’ quoting Shakespeare while loading up his guns and telling women to stand aside because this is “man’s work”, I was like This Motherfucker Is Stealing The Fuckin’ Movie And I Love Him For It.

In conclusion, if you like Robert Mitchum acting like he doesn’t give a fuck, nervous black actors, Vincent Price being totally in on the joke, hot chicks with big tits, or Raymond Burr playing a sweaty eye-tie, then I don’t know, His Kind of Woman maybe?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: