Classic movie site with rare images (no web grabs!), original ads, and behind-the-scenes photos, with informative and insightful commentary. We like to have fun with movies!
Archive and Links
grbrpix@aol.com
Search Index Here




Friday, March 14, 2014

Fox On A Family Odyssey


Madcap Marital Chase Is On in Elopement (1951)

Clifton Webb was doomed mostly to comedy after he made a nation laugh with Sitting Pretty (Fox's biggest profit pic for 1948). He was a funny guy, and Zanuck loved him. CW was socially high-placed and got invites to DFZ and everywhere parties. His became about the only vehicle line after Betty Grable that 20th could count on for profits. Elopement was Webb's follow to Cheaper By The Dozen, which had taken a fantastic two million in profit. All his comic roles were variations on Belvedere, if not Belvedere himself (there were three in that group and would probably have been more if Zanuck could have worked crews and Webb through nights). Elopement is a road saga, Cliff and wife joined by potential in-law family to block runaway couple Anne Francis (his daughter) and William Lundigan, son to Charles Bickford and Evelyn (I just lie there and think about my canning) Varden. Driver habits are unnerving; no seat belts, of course, and speed or pass on hills handed me jitters rather than mirth intended. Who knew mock up cars against process screens could disconcert so? College grad Anne Francis chucks opportunity at industrial designing to marry-in-haste prof Lundigan, a notion I thought ill-advised (why forfeit career promise for such a dullard?), so their rush to altar was at cross-purpose with my preferred outcome. It can sure ruin a movie when it resolves a dead opposite to how you'd like. Available from Fox On-Demand DVD ... quality could be better.

1 Comments:

Blogger John McElwee said...

Donald Benson has some interesting thoughts about movie characters and situations that have fallen out of favor:


When a student abandons her career to elope with her professor, modern audiences are more likely to be creeped out or actually outraged -- fuddy duddy or not. There's been a sort of sea change regarding the whole young-girl-and-"mature"-man thing, even though it dates back to Chaplin's teenaged heroines and continued for many decades with women playing teenagers and actual teenagers playing women, often opposite leading men of obvious mileage.


The double standard on aging is still around; at best it's toned down a bit since Woody Allen and teenage Mariel Hemingway in "Manhattan" and the Dean Martin - Ann Margret pairing in "Murderer's Row". Meanwhile, Emma Thompson took some flack for casting herself opposite Hugh Grant in "Sense and Sensibility" -- the outrage was that she was a hair over one year older than him.


Back in the day it was actually praiseworthy for older men (of certain qualifications) to pair off with younger women; now it's still common but not quite so automatically embraced as an ideal. Today, a safe comedy like "Elopement" would either promote the girl to the faculty or make her groom a fellow student.


Might be interesting to consider other movie notions that have fallen out of favor (or should):
-- The natives in a British Empire story always being childish or dangerous savages.
-- The hero selling his Google-sized idea to a big company for the price of a honeymoon cottage. Better that than be an entrepreneur.
-- Sixties flicks where even a harmless clerk is a symbol of oppression to be savagely mocked to presumed cheers from the audience.
-- Counter-sixties flicks where nonconformists are uniformly filthy and hypocritical, either as comic relief or genuine villains.
-- The "worldly" woman losing out or giving way to the bland young virgin, even if she and the hero have several times as much onscreen chemistry.
-- Characters eagerly putting themselves in their proper place, whether they be happy slaves on the plantation, working-class stiffs who know high-class surroundings ain't their style, or women who abandon high-powered careers.

6:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

grbrpix@aol.com
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • January 2012
  • February 2012
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • July 2012
  • August 2012
  • September 2012
  • October 2012
  • November 2012
  • December 2012
  • January 2013
  • February 2013
  • March 2013
  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013
  • January 2014
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • May 2014
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2014
  • September 2014
  • October 2014
  • November 2014
  • December 2014
  • January 2015
  • February 2015
  • March 2015
  • April 2015
  • May 2015
  • June 2015
  • July 2015
  • August 2015
  • September 2015
  • October 2015
  • November 2015
  • December 2015
  • January 2016
  • February 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016
  • June 2016
  • July 2016
  • August 2016
  • September 2016
  • October 2016
  • November 2016
  • December 2016