“Patrick Swayze boxing in white pants. Lots of explodey stuff. Deep profound talk about a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, which is apparently fight with GAY GAY GAY Shaolin monk dudes wielding the Pool Cue of Doom. The bad guy calls the good guy’s friend a ‘draft dodger’ and wears a hat, whereas the good guys let their 80s locks flow free in the breeze. It must be… Roadhouse!
I like “guy” movies, but Roadhouse doesn’t live up to its average-Joe billing as second greatest movie ever made, the first apparently being The Shawshank Redemption. (All bunkum: the greatest movie ever made is actually Delta Force…)
Looks like Andrea spent Saturday the same way I did, stuck on AMC, except I watched Rope again. “Do you deserve justice?” asks Jimmy Stewart playfully, still blissfully unaware that two of his former students (well, one and a half of them) have taken his Nietzschean bull-session teasing to its logical, murderous conclusion.
I prefer Rope to any number of more famous and popular Hitchcock movies, perhaps not surprisingly. I don’t suffer fools gladly either — although I like to give myself a little credit for not making them suffer, at least not physically.
And I like Hitchcock’s mannered, totally pointless conceit of filming in long takes, just because he could. I enjoy “chilliness” and “claustrophobia” on film. The only thing better than Rope would be Rope directed by Alex Colville. Although I don’t find this movie as cold as many commentators do. David’s father’s reaction to Stewart’s theories, and his subsequent concerns about his son’s whereabouts, were quite affecting.
Much of Rope is spoiled now that we can’t watch anything without seeing “gay subtext”, the way our recent ancestors were obliged to “see” Freudian symbolism everywhere.
Stewart’s repudiation speech at the end is weak, undercutting the intended “lesson” of the film, and the “lesson” of Leopold & Loeb: that “superman” theories lead to murder, either with a single victim or six million.
However, repeated viewing has its rewards. For the first time I caught all the dialog along the lines of “I must be stupid, but…” “How could I be so foolish?” — fitting in a film about presumably “superior” and “inferior” minds. Despite Brandon’s description, none of his guests are “stupid” except for the silly, blousy astrology woman. Had they been, the film might have been more affecting, although not in the way the playwright would have approved of, because a smart audience would have found itself sympathizing with the two murderers in spite of itself. The audience could have struggled with that instead of just getting a no-brainer lecture about how “murder is bad”.
PS: I haven’t been able to sit through a Woody Allen movie since Husbands and Wives came out during the step daughter thing. Is that “tennis” movie he did any good, and did anyone detect any nods to Stranger on a Train in it? Because if there are any, then I’d make myself watch it.