Sunday, November 27, 2005

I Am Just a Simple Paperboy, No Romance Do I Seek

For those who are interested in sweaty atmospherics, as well as a case study of what had to be changed in order to bring an "adult" play to the screen in the '50s, there's a Tennessee Williams Film Collection coming next March. The films are The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Night of the Iguana, and two-disc special editions of A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Baby Doll.

Baby Doll would have to be my favorite of the bunch; the sheer trashiness of it is exhilarating, because it's not often you see such trashy material brought off with such style and skill in all departments. It's a great companion piece to Elia Kazan's similarly over-the-top, unsubtle movie of the following year, A Face in the Crowd, which also used a mostly unknown cast, and which also flopped. I think I like Kazan's flops a lot better than his hits.

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