Tag Archives: Eli Wallach

Musings from a Moonspinner

My dear non-fleshie friends Kate and Millie (newly returned from exciting adventures in Sierra Leone!) have been nagging me for a long time to watch the Hayley Mills dream fest The Moonspinners (1964). Well I finally got my chance to see it (thank you so much, Kate!) and boy oh boy were they right about it’s scathing brilliance! I’ll share some of my reactions with you in a lovely picspam.

^the theme: I watched this over again three times before I actually started the film. Such a marvelous song. I was thrilled to find it on YouTube!

^Joan Greenwood and Michael Davis as Aunt Frances and Alexis. I think Michael Davis is a lot like Kate’s brother. Agree or disagree?

^Eli Wallach as the evil Uncle Stratos. A dramatic switch from the last film I saw him in, Babydoll.

^Once of the first good glimpses of Peter McEnery…isn’t he a dish?

^Hayley was SO lucky!

^The famous pink outfit! Kate, Millie & I find it hugely inspiring. I’m already working on a reproduction version of the top in my head.

^Better view of the shirt. See the amazingness? A button front and crazy tie belt. OH, and see who the other lady is? Irene Papas! I only knew her from Zorba the Greek, so I was glad she actually had lines in this film.

^And an amazing swingy back. I bet you are wondering where the belt is! And notice the red canvas shoes…red and pink…hmm. Normally I wouldn’t attempt such a combination, but Hayley really pulls it off.

^Pete is shot in the shoulder of the arm she’s pulling. He’s in huge pain and she pulls his bad arm?! Hayley! What were you thinking?!

^Eli is either really afraid or he’s been running around in the hot Greek sun too much…

^Lovely crazy cats! There are tons of them!

^Well, you’d run too if cats were hissing at you!

^Wow, Hayley Mills with a rifle! She must really love the guy…

^Wolf in sheep’s clothing, maybe?

^This has got to be one of the craziest scenes of all time: Joan Greenwood riding in a hearse with Hayley and Peter in the back, trying to get through a street celebration and being attacked by bizarre revelers!

^EhHEM! Just when did Hayley learn to drive a speedboat?

^Cats are everywhere in this film! Look at this unbelievable cat bed! Lap of luxury for kitty!

^I was so sad when it ended. Did anyone else think it ended rather abruptly?

I highly recommend The Moonspinners, if you get a chance to watch it. It is on DVD (thankfully, and only because it was a Disney movie): Amazon, Half, Ebay.

Happy Thanksgiving darlings! :D

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Filed under Movie Review, Pick-me-ups

Mini Movie Review: Baby Doll (1956)

BabyDollscreendoor

Isn't that purse one of the greatest you've ever seen? Her suit is stunning, too!

**WARNING** – Spoilers ahead! If you haven’t seen this film yet, don’t read on!

Well, I had no idea Eli Wallach was so interesting! I’ve only known him from The Magnificent Seven and How to Steal A Million and never thought much of him. But, I finally watched Baby Doll (1956) for the first time this weekend and was blown away by his performance. I found the beginning of his relationship with Carroll Baker slightly odd, but as the film progressed, I was drawn in by his charms. In the end, I found him remarkably appealing! The turning point for me was when his character defends Carroll Baker’s aunt when Karl Malden is needlessly picking on her. I just love a guy who sticks up for the underdog.

And while we’re on the subject of Karl Malden, what a conflicted character he played! Even though the film paints him in a dreadful light, I found it hard to hate him. Instead, he was quite sympathetic.  I thought his only flaw was being weak and allowing his weakness to overtake him. His greatest mistake was resorting to arson. That was plain dumb. Oh and of course, he allowed himself to become addicted to the bottle. Never helpful to getting your life back on track.

All in all I enjoyed the film a lot. My favorite scene is where Eli Wallach jumps up into the tree to hide from Karl Malden and then helps Carroll Baker up too. It’s almost like the two of them share something so special, nothing Karl Malden can do will effect them in any way. They just sit up in their tree, safe – high above him and his depravity. Quite fascinating.

(Many thanks to Raquelle for making it impossible for me to avoid this film any longer. I’m so glad you prodded me!)

**11/9/09 edit**On DVD links (thanks to judith for reminding me!): Amazon US, Amazon UK, Half.com — These all seem to be Region 1 encoded. It looks like this is the only format Baby Doll has been released in. :(

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Filed under Film Bloggers, Movie Review