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Monday, May 09, 2005


Mae West's last film. Oh my good lord.

She was apparently 97 million billion years old when she agreed to star in it, in a self-congratulating story about the actress Marlo Manners who is about to embark on her honeymoon with a very young, and very British Timothy Dalton. And I was finally pressured into watching it by some 'concerned' friends this very weekend... and loved every moment. For one, for the first couple of minutes, I believed there was something wrong with my DVD copy. Every time Mae West came on screen, the crisp DVD transfer seems to be shot through a Vaseline-coated sock.

But not just that - it's a musical! Joy upon joys! With high-kicking and swirling and everything! Well, by all but the leading lady naturally, as her semi-autonomous corpse is lead around from scene to scene by poor Timothy Dalton, mustering as much dignity as he can manage. The opening number, a homage to 'Hooray for Hollywood', has a succession of overly-gay baggage dancers whirling around the leading lady as she's escorted through the scene to her hotel room in the manner of gran being lead from the dance floor before she wets herself.

At all other times, she stands there with her dentures almost sliding out of her mouth, idling away like a Model T Ford as if her artificial hip is attached to a cam shaft. Indeed, that hip doesn't stop going up and down for the whole film, with a wig appearing to be infested with nits as she can?t keep her hand off it.

Every song is stuffed to the rafters with poor rhymes ('Marlo' linked, incredibly, by 'Apollo' and 'Venus De... Milo') and every line is a double entendre. And while we're not going to be the first to throw stones in that greenhouse, it does all lead to the fact that this film is centred on Marlo being a virile, sexual being who's on her honeymoon. To which we just go 'eeeew!'

So, while her hip's going ten to the dozen and she's getting ready to pounce on poor Timothy, downstairs is - get this - a very important peace conference, of which the fate of the world rests! And on top of that, Marlo turns out to be a secret agent working for the US! And on top of that, Marlo's memoirs, recorded on one of those magic cassettes that plays exactly the right part when the play button is hit, is currently travelling around the grounds of the hotel thanks to a dog, a cake, a javelin and a trampoline (complete with swanny-whistle) and contain incriminating evidence of each member of the conference.

And all this is (thankfully) all contrived to stop Marlo getting to the honeymoon part. Which we blissfully never see, despite several promises before her hip gives out.

But enough of my prattling, we here at Glitter for Brains can't urge you enough to see this film! It is jaw-dropping in all senses. And if that doesn't sway you, here's Five Reasons!

1) Mae West trying to navigate herself down a corridor, press a lift button and deliver a line. She veers around like a jacknifed BigTrak and just about manages to do it before the end of the film!

2) Upon watching her all-incriminating memoirs bounce out of the skylight with the aforementioned 'swooah!' of a swanny-whistle, the hip starts up and Mae states, "Aohh, aohh! Everything goes up for Marlo!"

3) Every bottle of champagne is flat!

4) Alice Cooper is in it! Alice Cooper! And I'm not sure what accent Ringo Starr (Ringo Starr!) is doing, but I want to visit there!

5) It finishes with Marlo in bed with Timothy slowly sliding towards her ("cut the film! CUT THE FILM!" cries the audience)! Yet still under the bedclothes, that hip's still going and the hands are in her hair as she exclaims, "Aohh! Aohh! The British are coming!"


1 comment:

Sparky said...

One of the really magnificent aspects of the flick (and I'm amazed you could even narrow them down as much as you did -- what about the number with the Olympic team?) is the looks on Timothy Dalton's face every time he has to go in for a kiss or a cuddle. Sheer terror!