Midnight ramblers

“You know you really dated yourself, Jen, by that comment about Matlock Police. Even I can hardly remember that one. Now who did it star again? Michael what’s-his-name?”

“Pate.”

“That’s right, Michael Pate. He carved out an entire career playing a red indian in Hollywood movies and TV series.”

The King and I was a really great musical, you know. Etcetera etcetera etcetera. There was a time when Yul Brynner and Charlton Heston were my very favourite actors. I lusted deeply after both of them.”

“You must really have had fascistic tendencies if you had the hots for Charlton Heston.”

“What do you mean fascistic. I’ll have you know he was Michelangelo. And … and … you know … that charioteer … ?”

“Ben Hur?”

Yes, Ben Hur. Now what the fuck’s fascistic about him, I’d like to know?

Anyway, it was Yul Brynner I really lusted after. All those rippling pecs and biceps. I once sewed up several pairs of shepherd’s pants so I could dress to be in Taras Bulba every day.”

“I can’t see Yul Brynner now without visualising those anti-smoking ads he made just before he died of lung cancer. You know: ‘Don’t smoke! Just don’t smoke!‘ It would’ve been better if it was AIDS really.”

“But Yul didn’t take it up the arse, did he? No, don’t tell me that.”

“Not as far as I know. That was Rock Hudson.”

“He was always suspect to my way of thinking ever since he wouldn’t kiss Doris Day.”

“I wouldn’t kiss Doris Day either. She was far too pure and wholesome. She needed to be defiled in some way, like, by coming on her face or something.”

“You’re sick, Parish. The King and I was really a great musical though. Etcetera etcetera etcetera. Not like that heap of shit, you know (sings): “When I take you out in the surrey …” What was it?

“Oklahoma.”

“The only good bit of that movie was where they tizzied up the old wooden shack with ribbons and lace and everything and made it beautiful and magical …”

“There were a few other good bits, I reckon. I liked (sings):

Poor Jud is dead, poor Jud Fry is dead
He’s looking oh so peaceful and serene.
He’s all laid out to rest with his hands across his chest
His fingernails have never bin so clean …”

“I remember when I first met you and I mentioned you to Jessica. She said “Which one is Ken?” And I said: “He was the one at Suzy’s christmas party who knew the words to all the old Bob Dylan songs and sang them really loudly …” “

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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anthony
2021 years ago

Charlton Heston – Planet of the Apes, the Omega Man, and Soylent Green. Finest dystopic actor ever.

Amanda
2021 years ago

Random fact: there is a Yul Brenner museum in Vladivostock.

Gaby
Gaby
2021 years ago

Great fact Amanda. Why Vladivostock?

“I knew her before she became a virgin”. Oscar Levant on Doris Day

Amanda
2021 years ago

He was born there.

jen
jen
2021 years ago

It wasn’t lust Parish I didn’t even notice Yul Brynner’s abs until the other night – THAT was the point I made – you daft bastard.
I thought they were good looking and interesting when everyone around me was squealing for Lief Garrett and the Bay City Rollers. Sheesh there’s no privacy or even accuraCY AROUND HERE!

jen
jen
2021 years ago

And he did so kiss Doris Day – Pillow Talk?

And it was Calamity Jane not Oklahoma that had the shack and the PAINT AND THE GINGHAM.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2021 years ago

Thanks to almost Dr Bahnisch I can say:
the best movie Chuck was in was The Big Country which is the best western ever made.
He was completely out acted by Gregory Peck however it was this role that led him to get the role of Ben Hur.

Oklahoma was far better than the King and I.
So was south Pacific.

There was a Western that Chuck and Michael was in.

Major Dundee

harry
harry
2021 years ago

I thought it was because Vladivostock is the northernmost ice free port, and because Yul Brenner was the baldest ice free actor.

You lern something new everyday.

..Sheesh. l-e-a-r-n.

Make that two things.

Rob
Rob
2021 years ago

Let’s not overlook Heston in ‘Khartoum’. He might have been out-acted by Gregory Peck but for my money in ‘Khartoum’ he out-acted Lawrence Olivier, who was done up in boot polish with an unconvincing accent as the jihadist Mahdi with an unconvincing accent. And with an unconvincing accent. Charlton, on the other hand, had a very convincing acccent and just the right steely profile.

David Tiley
2021 years ago

Major Dundee was a Peckinpah picture. Now, there was a talent.

jen
jen
2021 years ago

The Good the Bad and the Ugly and High Noon. Yes yes classics but really. 70’s angst in the former and homemade apple pie and honor in the second. Art imitates life and social values regarding time and place emerge so clearly in the film industry, more clearly I think than in any other medium.
That’s what bothers me about award winners like Somersault – lacks imagination, perspective – another pretty Aussie film … another one. I have to give it to them the snowing scenes were yar!

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2021 years ago

rob, agree on Khartoum.

Rob
Rob
2021 years ago

Homer, it’s not popular with the critics but I always thought khartoum was a cracking film. Some say it’s too wordy for an action film but I think the screenplay – by Robert Ardrey, no less – is one of the best in the business.

Rob
Rob
2021 years ago

Homer, it’s not popular with the critics but I always thought khartoum was a cracking film. Some say it’s too wordy for an action film but I think the screenplay – by Robert Ardrey, no less – is one of the best in the business.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2021 years ago

I agree Rob.

The first time I saw it was at the Drive-in when I was young with all the family.

It was the first of two movies that night.
I have always enjoyed since although I found to my distress the history was less than accurate.

Rob
Rob
2021 years ago

The drive-in, yes – those were the days.

I first saw it in one of lovely lovely old suburban theatres built in the ‘forties or ‘fifties, way down in Croydon (suburb of Melbourne). It was a great experience and I think accounts for at least some of my affection for the film.

Yes, Gordon never did meet the Mahdi in actual fact but I thought the fictional encounters were very well scripted. I particularly liked Gordon’s line: ‘If I should die of your miracle, Mohammed Ahmed, then you will surely die of mine.’ True for both of them, in the end.

Nabakov
Nabakov
2021 years ago

The late, lamented Tony (“The Wicker Man”

Rob
Rob
2021 years ago

And wasn’t ‘The Wicker Man’ just about the best bloody thing ever? Love that film. I’ve got both versions – the long and the short, although I believe a complete print no longer exists. Dark rumour has it that it’s buried under a motorway somewhere becuase the studio had to move premises in a hurry to get out of the way of the construction teams. Way OT – sorry.

Rob
Rob
2021 years ago

Also, on Gordon’s sexuality, I loved this line from the film. Questioned by Colonel Stuart on why he had allowed the government to talk him into going to Khartoum, Gordon (well, CH) replied:

“Colonel, I believe it’s well known that I am a religious man, but I belong to no church. I am a competent soldier, but I command no army. I could add that I have been introduced to hundreds of women, but I’ve never married. In other words, Colonel, nobody has ever talked me into anything.”

I’ve read Gordon’s diary of his days in Khartoum, and although he comes across as a bit of a drunk with something of a mother (or was it sister?) fixation, I didn’t find anything that struck me as suppressed or sublimated homosexuality. Not, I hasten to add, that there would have been anything to criticise even if I had.

And, Troppo, can’t you incorporate a spell checker in your comments facility?

Nabakov
Nabakov
2021 years ago

Yes the master print and negatives of The Wicker Man are buried under a roadway in England, accidentally (on purpose?)thrown out and carried off for road fill during contractual disputes that were as devious and convoluted as anything the film business has even seen.

“Inside The Wicker Man – The Morbid Ingenuities” by Allan Brown is a great book about what went on before, during and after the making of the film. And I heard a few eyebrow raising stories from Tony himself.

One person who emerges with great credit from the whole thing is Christopher Lee, who apparently regards the “The Wicker Man” as the best film he’s ever worked on and has spent a lot of his own money and time promoting it at the time and then agitating for re-releases.

(Whaddya mean OT? This is meant to be a rambling post isn’t it?)

Nabakov
Nabakov
2021 years ago

Also I didn’t say Gordon was gay. I just insinuated he may have been associated with the sublimination of same-sex program-related activities.

There is a difference you know.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2021 years ago

“Whaddya mean OT? This is meant to be a rambling post isn’t it?”

Yes, the post title is a dead giveaway really. So feel free to meander where the spirit takes you, on old movie trivia and movie stars anyway. You’re both well and truly on topic, by my standards anyway.