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.


Michael Turton said...

Hey! Saw your comments on my blog about your brother and his wife in Taichung. Thanks! Did you check out my Teaching English in Taiwan website? It has pictures everywhere, and several nice galleries. Also, my aunt and uncle just came from the US, and we saw a few Taichung sites on the tour. Good luck!


goddessphaedra said...

I think you have the count wrong. The official count was 88. Not that it makes a difference. We made the Guinness World Record. Woo Hoo! If I could leave everyone with one thought, it would be that these are beautiful vehicles and should not just be associated with death.

-C.- said...

I have to agree with you around the whole Hitchcock thing... with two exceptions: North By Northwest is worth watching for Cary Grant's timeless sophistication (why does the word urbane keep coming to mind?) and James Mason, just because he's James Mason. Spellbound also makes my day, not because of the silly plot, but because anyone who has Salvador Dali do his dream sequence is nervy and fun.

Scott Roeben said...

Dang. I was going to impress you with knowing that was "Saboteur." I love the Internets.

Scott Roeben said...

And come to think of it, why in the HELL would somebody go to the trouble of getting a crop duster to try and kill someone. That's so stupid. If you can get your hands on a crop duster, and a pilot willing to try and kill someone with the crop duster, you can probably just get a gun. I hear they can kill people, too.

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