September 21, 2013

"The only thing I ever walked out of was ‘Dr. Doolittle’ with Eddie Murphy. It’s remarkable what I’ll sit through — it really is."

Said David Sedaris, in this article that collects his comments on his favorite movies. One is "Planet of the Apes," about which he said (making me laugh out loud):
Charlton Heston has been in that pod for however many years — a long time — and he’s got a cigar stub in his mouth. They land on this new planet, and he lights this cigar stub. They’re walking through the desert, and it looks like the entire planet is going to be like this — a horrible desert. Someone calls to him, and says, “Quick, come here!” and he throws the cigar butt on the ground. And I thought: if that’s your last cigar — and he’s got like a good two inches left — are you really going to throw it out just because someone called your name? I got so hung up on that. I thought about it for the rest of the movie. I couldn’t believe anyone had let that pass. If someone had said, “Come here!” and they were holding a box of cigars, I could understand him throwing it down. But they weren’t.


St. George said...

He didn't need a cigar. He needed a drink of water.

A good movie for Hollywood to remake...Ben Hur.

Ann Althouse said...

Wow, thanks St. George.

I have never seen that movie, and I've never seen that scene picked out, but that was wonderful.

How great is Charlton Heston! It's hammy, but the whole movie is in a hambone style, so it's what's called for.

That man is able to project great emotion through his face. It's larger than life, but that's the idea.


TheCrankyProfessor said...

David Sedaris may be entirely superficial, but he is often correct. As he is in this example!

ken in sc said...

Which one are you talking about, planet of the apes or Ben Hur?

Ben Hur is a classic Easter Movie for much of the world. Not even the English speaking world. The World.

rcocean said...

Maybe it was his week to quit smoking

betamax3000 said...

1974 Maybe. Jerry Lewis Cinema in Sacramento. Yes: Jerry Lewis Had a Theatre Chain. Hirschfield-Style Penned Profile on the Marquee. I Was a Child: Jerry Lewis Was Ronald McDonald, a Guy About a Place. Don't Need the Details.

Two Screens. Weekends Had Children Matinees: Old Films, Double Features. Forbidden Planet, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Truly: That Was a Double-Bill. Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head, Bicycle, Shoot-Out, Theramin.

One Seventies Summer: Ape-A-Thon. Three Planet of the Apes Films (1, 3, and 5 for Those Who Know): This Was The Summer of Westworld and Live and Let Die. Yul Brenner Taking Off His Face to Show the Robot Beneath: Bestest Movie Poster Ever.

Parents Using the Ape-A-Thon as a Reason For Children To Be Good in A Summer Santa Kind of Way, Us Kids Never Realizing That Having Us Away, Safe and Air-Conditioned, For a Saturday Afternoon Was a Gift for Them. Possibly Siblings Were Conceived.

Planet of The Apes: Saw it on TV Before. Beneath The Planet of the Apes: Charlton Heston Nukes the World? Am I Meant to Grow Into a Nihilist? As A Nihilist Will I Grow That Chest Hair?

James Franciscus. He Was There, George Lazenby Without Sean Connery Ever Quite Leaving the Screen. Less Chest Hair Than Both.


Planet of the Apes:

Beneath the Planet of the Apes is Underrated. Plus the Back-Drop for 'Hello Dolly' Was Coated in Foam for the Apocalypse Subway: Seventies New York Accurate. Drawback: the Only Planet of the Apes Film Without Roddy McDowell. Really. Ape Make-Up Did Not Hide the Loss.

Film Five: Battle of the Planet of the Apes. The Least in the Series, But Ape Shall Not Kill Ape, So There.

Film Four: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes: a Socialist World Works If You Have Apes as Slaves. Also; Ricardo Montalban.

An Aside for Film Four: at the End -- Flames Behind Him --When Roddy McDowell Preaches Peace Notice That it is a Close-Up From His Nose Upwards, Grainy and Magnified. The Ending Was Changed From Him Leading the Ape Rebellion to Its Natural Conclusion. This Is More Than Enough For Another Post, Ann.

The Television Show of the Planet of the Apes Had Good Trading Cards: That's About It. The Same Applies to Logan's Run.

Although: in the Movie Logan's Run the Society Age of Death Was Cheated to Thirty. In the Book It Was(Jeopardy Question).

Farrah Fawcett was in the Film Logan's Run, Before She Was a Majors. Do Not Get Me Started on the Six-Million-Dollar Man.

And: Jenny Agutter. Walkabout: Nicolas Roeg's Best Movie. Not Quite Apocalyptic, But Australian: Close Enough.

My Theory: Any Movie Can Be Remade -- No Change to Script -- as a Planet of the Apes Movie:

Gone With the Wind on the Planet of the Apes.

Casablanca On the Planet of the Apes.

The Bride of Frankenstein on the Planet of the Apes.

Driving Miss Daisy on the Planet of the Apes.

Deep Throat on the Planet of the Apes.

I Think You Get the Picture.

Finally: I Think I Bought Ice Cream Bon-Bons for Ann in the Lobby of the Jerry Lewis Cinema. She Looked Like a Young Tuesday Weld, But That is Another Story.

Gahrie said...

So, he's just another Leftist obsessing over irrelevancies and totally missing the point?

Ambrose said...

If I had to fly like Charlton Heston to a new - but strangely familiar - world without Eddie Murphy or a world without David Sedaris, guess where I would go?

St. George said...

Ah, Professor, but this may be the greatest scene of all...and it involves water, too.

"Mother! Papa! She knows!"

You're not a human being if this doesn't make you cry and the hair on your arms stand up.

Terry said...

I saw Sleepy Hollow the other night. It's a new series. The idea is that the Headless Horseman (HH)and Ichabod Crane have been transported to the modern world and are (of course) arch-enemies.
Several times, as the evil headless horseman attacks people, they shoot him, in the chest.
Why? So the idea is to stop his heart from pumping oxygenated blood through his body? He doesn't have a head, or anything to breathe with, or any brain to get his heart to beat.
The show played it dead serious. If it was tongue in cheek, I could have accepted the heart-shot to HH. I couldn't stand it, every time someone shot HH in the heart I'd bust out laughing.

Jeff said...

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

betamax3001 said...

An Addendum to My Larger Post: the Beloved Jerry Lewis Cinema in Sacramento Shared the Same Expansive Parking Lot as the Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor. In 1972 a Jet at an Air Show at Executive Airport Crashed into the Farrell's.

From Wiki:

On September 24, 1972, a privately owned F-86 Sabre jet piloted by Richard Bingham failed to take off while leaving the Golden West Sport Aviation Air Show at Sacramento, California's Executive Airport. The jet went through a chain link fence at the end of the runway, across Freeport Boulevard, crushing a parked car and crashed into a local Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour. The ice cream parlour was occupied in part by the Sacramento 49ers "Little League" football team. Twenty-two people were killed, including twelve children and two people in the parked car. An eight-year-old survivor of the accident lost nine family members including both parents, two brothers, a sister, two grandparents and two cousins. A family of four was also killed in the accident and immediately after the crash an elderly couple trying to cross the street to the crash site were struck by a vehicle, killing the wife.

In My Memory the Crash Happened After the Ape-A-Thon, But Dates Show It Happened Two Years Before. As Such: I Am Not a Reliable Child Witness.

It Was Still Ann and the Bon Bons, Though.

betamax3001 said...

Regarding My Aside to Film Four (Conquest of the Planet of the Apes)...

From ""

"Contrary to many rumors the unrated ending is not longer. The ending has been extended for the theatrical version. The original ending was a lot darker und violent. Governor Breck was not pardoned but instead beat to death by apes and Caesar didn't put the victory over mankind in perspective by adding more words. Due to the PG rating the ending had to be toned down. Violent scenes had been removed and Caesar's speech extended. This part was dubbed in post-production - not reshot. Deleted scenes were used in reverse (e.g. the apes not lifting their rifle butts but lowering them) and close-ups of Caesar had been avoided (so nobody would notice it's not synchronous to the movement of his lips)."

I Noticed a Lot of Things In the Seventies, and Some Are Even Accurate.

I am Pining.

betamax3001 said...

While We're At It: Logan's Run is My First Memory of Reading a Book and Thinking "That's Different Than the Movie." Number One: No Jenny Agutter.

Is Logan's Run the Natural Progression of ObamaCare? Everyone Can Be Taken Care Of as Long as We Put the Old (and the Less Old) to Death?

Sorry Grandma: Jenny Agutter Says You Have to "ReNew".

betamax3001 said...

From Wiki:

"In the world of 2116, a person's maximum age is strictly legislated: twenty one years, to the day. When people reach this Lastday they report to a Sleepshop in which they are willingly executed via a pleasure-inducing toxic gas."

On the Plus Side, Insurance Premiums Were Reasonable.

betamax3001 said...

From Ann's Earlier "Montage of Last Moments" Post:

"Stanley Kubrick originally intended that when the film does its famous match-cut from prehistoric bone-weapon to orbiting satellite that the latter and the 3 additional satellites seen would be established as orbiting nuclear weapons by a voice-over narrator talking about nuclear stalemate. Further, Kubrick intended that the Star Child at the end of the film would detonate the weapons at the end of the film."

2001: 1968.

Planet of the Apes: 1968.

1967: Logan's Run (novel): a Year Before 1968, So -- Ahead of its Time, Proving the Point: We Are Living at The Beginning of the End That the Seventies Predicted.

Everyone Knows 1968 Was Really the Start of the Seventies. We Also Know That The Seventies Are the Start of the End of the World. This Obviously Includes:

A. Jimmy Carter.

B. "Carter Country' (1877-1978): "The comic exploits of a redneck sheriff and his educated black deputy in a small Georgia town."

"The ice age is coming, the sun's of an end
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running but I have no fear
Cos London is drownin' I... live by the river"

Fade Out to:

"I never felt so much a-like ..."

As Far as the Seventies Go: We Have Finally Made it to 1984.

I Heard That.

betamax3001 said...

1979: Bob Dylan's "Slow Train Coming".

Perhaps I Am Belaboring the Point.

zefal said...

What didn't make sense to me is that he and the other crew members go into suspended sleep. They will only be traveling for a few months their time while traveling near they speed of light. If they did it so they didn't have to bring along the food needed then it makes sense. I Didn't think of that until now!

EDH said...

And I thought: if that’s your last cigar — and he’s got like a good two inches left — are you really going to throw it out just because someone called your name?

"...out of my cold dead hands!" and all.

If only Jesus could have stared-down Michael Moore on behalf of Charlton Heston.

One Eye said...

He didn't think it through. Taylor's connection to home was the cigar. Problem is, the astronauts were in suspended animation a long time and by the time they woke up - the cigar sucked. Taylor still clung to it as a memory of home, until enough was enough and he threw it away.

Some people should not critique classic movies.