Saturday, October 29, 2005
77 Hearses, All in a Row
(What in the world is the movie that's now playing on Turner Classic Movies? Its got Bob Cummings as an escaped convict with a Betty Grable/Ginger Rogers-type love interest. Its set in the southwest with a blind hermit who plays classical piano, a busload of circus freaks who protect him, communist sabotuers and that's just in the first half hour. )
Anyway, this was the afternoon of the World's Longest Hearse Procession at the Petersen Automotive Museum. More than 70 hearses ranging from the above 1947 Cadillac immaculately restored, to many vehicles who used the procession as a forum for their various Gothic sensibilities, none of which I understood until the procession was over and the live music by The Ghastly Ones started to play their strange mix of Surfer Goth. With an Elvira look-a-like dancing with Frankenstein, and the original Vampira off to the side signing autographs, all on the top floor of the museum's parking structure on Wilshire Blvd., I realized this was about having fun. (Sometimes I'm slow, real slow.)
...and now I've learned that the movie is "Sabotuer " by Alfred Hitchcock, a director who [brace yourself] bores me. Unlike Billy Wilder, John Ford or Howard Hawks, his characters seem thin and his plots contrived. I could sit down right now and watch "The Seven Year Itch", "My Darling Clementine" or "Only Angels Have Wings" for their secondary characters alone. Whereas "Vertigo" seems preposterous, every frame of "Rear Window" is clearly shot on a studio lot and "North By Northwest" is interesting if you don't mind villians who belong in comic books.