Thursday, August 2, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks #212: Body Switch

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks, the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This time, the theme is "Body switch", which I presume was supposed to mean two characters swapping bodies. However, as I was thinking of the theme, I was having trouble coming up with enough movies. Now, there were some movies I'd like to use, such as The Wrong Box, since one of the boxes supposedly contains a dead body, but I used that in April 2017 for a "Rivals" theme. Then there was Dead Ringer which got taken in May 2017 for a Clones/Dopplegänger theme. Eventually, though, I was able to come up with three movies:

Turnabout (1940). Carole Landis and John Hubbard play a husband and wife who bicker a lot. One evening after hubby returns home from work, the two get into an argument that results in both of them wishing they could have the other's life. Wouldn't you know that they made that wish in front of an enchanted statuette of a Hindu god, and that statuette grants them their wish, which leads to all sorts of comic complications. This was a step up in class for producer Hal Roach, who got Adolphe Menjou to play one of Hubbard's business partners and Mary Astor to play Menjou's wife.

Nora Prentiss (1947). Kent Smith plays a doctor who meets nightclub singer Nora Prentiss (Ann Sheridan) and, as in any good noir, falls in love with her. Of course, he's already married, so what's a guy to do? One day as he's working late at his practice, a patient comes in and drops dead of a heart attack. The not-so-good doctor decides that he can use the dead stranger's body as his own, faking his death and allowing him to go across country to start a new life with Nora. Of course, how was he going to be able to practice medicine with a new identity?

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Kevin McCarthy plays a doctor who returns to his small town in California only to find that people are beginning to act strangely. He and his girlfriend (Dana Wynter) begin to investigate, and discover that some entity is importing pods, leaving them in houses overnight, and the pod entities take the bodies of the people. Can this doctor get the warning out before the pods start spreading beyond the borders of his little town?


joel65913 said...

We match on Turnabout and I have to say that I'm a bit shocked that it's proved to be so popular today since Birgit chose it as well. A very fun little film with a terrific cast.

Great way to go with the theme for your second two. I didn't think of the theme in the aspect it was used in Nora Prentiss but it works well. It a very good film with Ann near her peak, it was one of her last really big hits, and a great noir atmosphere.

I don't think Invasion of the Body Snatcher would have occurred to me in a million years. A deeply creepy film.

I like this sort of film as a rule which made it a bit tough to narrow to three so I jump around and picked from different decades.

Turnabout (1940)-Well-to-do Tim Willows (John Hubbard) is the main operator of his advertising company Manning, Willows, and Claire. His wife Sally (Carole Landis) stays at home and oversees their social life. When together they bicker constantly that the other has it much easier than they do. One day in the heat of an argument they wish they could switch places with each other in the presence of Mr. Ram, an Indian idol they have received as a gift. When they wake up the next morning they have indeed switched places and bodies with each other. Chaos ensues. Sprightly comedy with good performances and a twist ending.

Goodbye Charlie (1964)-Hollywood screenwriter and womanizing reprobate Charlie Sorrel is shot by film producer Sir Leopold Sartori (Walter Matthau) when he catches him with his wife on Sartori’s yacht and falls into the drink. Shortly afterwards Bruce Minton III (Pat Boone) comes to the aid of a dazed woman (Debbie Reynolds-at the height of her blonde beauty) wandering on a beach. She doesn't remember much other than directions to Charlie's residence. The next morning, it all comes back to her: she is Charlie…but in female form. Needing help she convinces her only friend, George Tracy (Tony Curtis), of her identity. Having changed sex, but not his ways the new Charlie now going by Virginia decides to take advantage of the situation, with Tracy's reluctant help. Directed by Vincente Minnelli with a super cast including a young Ellen Burstyn when she was still billed as Ellen McRae. Remade in the 90’s as Switch with Ellen Barkin and Jimmy Smits.

Vice Versa (1988)-While on a buying trip in Thailand for his department store Marshall Seymour (Judge Reinhold) has a cursed Buddhist skull slipped into his shipment by a pair of thieves (Swoosie Kurtz & David Proval). When he returns to the States he finds that he has to take care of his estranged son Charlie (Fred Savage) when his divorced wife goes away for a few days. One morning in the middle of an argument Marshall finds the skull and while both he and Charlie are holding it they wish they had the other’s life and voilà they get there wish. As both first luxuriate and then begin to understand the frustrations the other puts up with the thieves are in hot pursuit trying to get the artifact back. Frantic farce makes good use of Reinhold’s gift for physical comedy.

Sonia Cerca said...

I haven't seen any of these.

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

OMG, someone who's never seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

Joel, before I thought of Nora Prentiss, I actually thought of using Psycho, since Norman Bates switches the body of his mother right out of the casket with something weighted in order that Norman can, well, you know the rest.

Wendell Ottley said...

I've only seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Good stuff. To be honest, though, I prefer the 1978 version.

Birgit said...

We match with Tournabout and so glad it is getting some love. I almost picked Invasion of the Body Snatchers but I think I chosenthat before. I don’t know the Ann Sheridan film but would like to see it. This brings to mind a film I saw this past year where a crook looks exactly like a shrink he sees and he starts to impersonate him. I can’t remember the title right now...bummer

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...


Would it be Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound?

Katie Hogan said...

Wow that Kent guy is a douche bag! I love how its comes down to 'how does practice medicine with a new idenity' but I think I would have liked there to be something with the poor wife he abandoned.