Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another set of briefs

It's been over two years since I recommended the movie For Pete's Sake. It's getting another showing today at 3:30 PM. Streisand for once doesn't sing and isn't particularly irritating.

Tonight's Essentials Jr. selection is Fred Astaire in The Band Wagon, at 8:00 PM. Perhaps it's just me projecting my views onto the movie, but I wonder how many children are going to like Fred Astaire in those MGM musicals of the early 1950s. Sure, they're well made, and I think there's even less that could be objectionable to the parents than in The Great Escape. But I wonder about its appeal to the younger set, which I thought was supposed to be the point of Essentials, Jr.

In recent years it seems to be a trend in Hollywood to take popular TV series and make a movie out of them. Well, actually, I think that trend had its peak a couple of years ago, with the current trend being to make effects-laden films from comic book stories. The funny thing is, the comic-book trend is nothing new. The serials of the 1930s and 1940s were often based on the funny pages, and feature-length films based on comics were also made. Just look at this past Friday's TCM prime time lineup of Dick Tracy movies. As for the movies imitating TV, there was a movie version of Dragnet back in 1954, although that might be a bit of an outlier. Back then TV would have been more likely to cannibalize ideas from the big screen. But I only bring any of this up because TCM is showing The Fugitive in the wee hours of the morning at 4:00 AM. There's no Richard Kimble or one-armed man here. (And note that the TV series was made into a movie back in the early 1990s.) It's just one of many titles which are common enough that you'd have several different works having nothing in common save the title. There was a movie in the early 1950s called Dallas; I mentioned Jeopardy (minus the exclamation point!) when it aired again last week, and even one from the 1930s called Taxi! (with the exclamation point!) starring James Cagney as the taxi driver.

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