Sunday, June 18, 2006
Movies That Fell Through the Cracks # 10
Well, it’s Fathers’ Day so lets look at a film featuring the father of one of my favorite modern actresses, Jamie Lee Curtis. That father, of course, would be Tony Curtis, himself known for a "father" quote, "Yonda lies da cassel of my fodda!" Perhaps more than any other major star, Tony Curtis has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in his long cinematic career. SOME LIKE IT COOL is most definitely not a high. Also known as CASANOVA AND COMPANY, this 1977 release would at first seem to be an attempt to cash in on Federico Fellini’s opulent CASANOVA of a year earlier. Quite frankly, I don’t recall the reason at this late date but watching the film at the time, I got the impression that it was sitting on the shelf for a few years. In fact, with its comedic tale of mistaken identities, it comes across more as a bawdy remake of Bob Hope’s 1954 CASANOVA’S BIG NIGHT. Obviously, the American title was a play on Curtis’ biggest triumph, SOME LIKE IT HOT, itself a decade and a half in the past at that point. It’s not a horrible picture, just pointless. Curtis is charming in the swashbuckler mode he’d rarely used since the fifties, there are lots of familiar, and occasionally quite naked, international actresses including Britt Ekland (THE WICKER MAN), Marisa Berenson (CABARET) and Marisa Mell (DANGER:DIABOLIK) along with several former PLAYBOY playmates. Clearly, Jamie’s pop must have been having the time of his life. His personal demons began getting to him around this time, however and although he survived and seems to have recovered, I can’t help but wonder if he regrets career choices like SOME LIKE IT COOL…or if he remembers it at all.