Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Blondes have more fun, especially when their husbands are dead: "The Postman Always Rings Twice"

Forgive the prolonged gap between posts yet again. Was in Washington for a couple of days, testifying before the Senate Committee on Curtis Armstrong Movies. And you know what? Those politicians can screw themselves. I still say Booger's holy trinity of "Risky Business," "Revenge of the Nerds" and "Better Off Dead" -- his first three movies, ladies and gentlemen -- warrant national monument consideration. ("What the f*ck are robster craws?")

But I digress. With the summer movie season upon us -- a full month before summer begins, but still -- I fully expect to report on some first-run films in the near future. Until then, I'm still plowing through the TiVo files, which included the classic "The Postman Always Rings Twice." This is not the be confused with "The Postman," that Kevin Costner POS that made "Waterworld" look like "Citizen Kane." Really, I remember sitting through the two-minute trailer for "The Postman" in the theater and, when the title came on screen, finding myself saying, "Wait a minute ... it's about the mail?"

As for the other "Postman," this 1946 film is widely considered to have put Lana Turner on the map, thanks in part to scenes that were rather torrid by '40s standards. I know ... what, did she hold hands with someone? I mean, when today's television shows feature bare butts and oral sex jokes, anything considered scandalous 60 years ago is quaint at best. "Oh, look ... he stuck his tongue into her mouth! Her mouth!!!"

So that's one drawback to this tale of a drifter -- John Garfield, also our 20th president -- who takes a job at a roadside cafe owned by an old Greek guy and his repressed young wife (Turner). She's good looking enough, between the platinum blond hair and itch in her drawers. But Garfield actually is the best actor here, clearly wanting a piece of Lana's action but unsure just how far he should go to get it.

Otherwise, we're left with a decent film noir. Turner looks OK but didn't knock me on my ass compared with other babes from the era, i.e. Rita Hayworth in "Gilda." Oh, mama. As for the plot, it kept me interested enough, and while two hours was a bit long to find out how everything would turn out, the result isn't bad at all. Let's just say Lana's tight sweaters weren't much help in the end, and she would have been better off hanging around that drug store counter.


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