Metro Serves One Rare
Confidentially Connie (1953) Makes Us Ravenous For Rib-Eye
This modest Metro from 1953 really got the razz from reviewers at IMDB, but I chanced a Warner Archive DVD (excellent quality) and it pleased. Going in with expectation is ill-advised with any budget pic from majors in TV-wrought decline. Confidentially Connie and ones similar were made to cover talent overhead and give distribution arms something to ship. The fact most lost money was secondary. A Mogambo or Lili of that year would cushion falls Connie took ($42,000 in the red from a mere $501K negative cost) and prevent hemorrhage to lion ledgers. Confidentially Connie is comedy after mirthless fashion, but interest rises from dated aspect of same, to wit pregnant Janet Leigh giving up precious cigarettes so she and underpaid college prof mate Van Johnson can afford red meat for supper. "Wrong then and wrong now" might be warning label Warners would affix to Confidentially Connie, for this is one-of-a-kind celebration of blood rare beef and how much we crave it. There'd be well-deserved Courage Award for anyone who'd dare remake Confidentially Connie today.
So who dreamed all this up? Turns out it was Max Shulman, of later Dobie Gillis fame, whose social satires were 50's-locked and now-fascinating mirrors of lifestyle radically changed since. Co-writing the concept was Herman Wouk, he of triumph with novels to come. The focus on meat becomes obsessive, Metro having ginned publicity by putting real cuts before a grateful cast during production. Spoilage came in
All this tempest over a mildest, and now forgotten, comedy. But Confidentially Connie did rouse my own crave for cuts, so I'd endorse it at least as antidote to vegans. The '53 controversy illustrates hyper-sensitivity in play where movies were/are concerned. Other points Connie made were better received. Argument that college instructors are underpaid, and deserve more, was applauded by Minneapolis' PTA and Twin Cities college faculty members, to whom invites were extended for a gratis advance screening. With these groups behind it, picture has been doing better than average business during its eight-day run here, said Variety of the