muccamukk: A basket with a seal in it. Text: WTF!? (Politics: Phoque (WTF!?))
[personal profile] muccamukk
Enjoyed Doctor Who 10x02 "Smile." Though it's one of those situations where it's best just to coast on the banter and not really think too hard about the plot. It was one heck of a gorgeous episode in any case, and I do need a Bill icon from it. I'm still loving Bill's practicality and this slightly lighter, bouncier Twelve. Long may it last. They're having fun with not telling about the mystery so far, too (it's Gallifrey). Looking forward to next week.

Nenya and I watched Yellow Sky, which was a competent western staring Gregory Peck and Anne Baxter. It was only slightly rapey and a little bit racist, and had some nice cinematography, so I'm calling it okay for a Western.

We then watched Lust in the Dust Duel in the Sun, which I expected to be basically the same but in technicolor, and boy was it not.

To understand this movie, you have to picture this: The year is 1945, and our hero lies alone in a Florida swamp. He has spent months playing the happiest homesteader in history, despite the fact that his costars are 126 deer, 9 black bears, 37 dogs, 17 buzzards, 1 owl, 83 chickens, 36 pigs, 8 rattlesnakes, 18 squirrels, 4 horses, 17 raccoons and the world's most annoying child actor. Also Jane Wyman. He's not allowed to make out with Jane Wyman. It's a family picture, so the most he can do is put his arm around her shoulders, stare into the matte-painted sunrise, and say things like, "Golly, the Lord sure made a mighty fine day to plant corn on, ain't He?" (The director made them cut the "golly.") In between swatting mosquitoes, our hero writes to the man currently holding his contract. "Dear Mr. Selznick, Next time, please cast me in the opposite of this. Third billing is fine. Yours ever, Gregory."

Let it never be said that David O. Selznick didn't come through on that one!

The best title credit I've ever read:

Our movie opens with a bullshit Comanche folktale, but quickly moves on to our heroine's father, who promptly murders his wife and her lover in front of our heroine, and then goes on to hug our heroine in a way that struck Nenya and myself as distinctly unfatherly. This was not the last time this happened.

Our heroine is then shipped off to live on the RANCH FROM HELL with her dad's ex (played by Lillian Gish!), her dad's ex's incredibly bitter husband (Lionel Barrymore, of course), their Good Son (who cares) and their Bad Son (Mr. Gregory Peck, renowned star of the New York Stage). There's also a black maid, who based on dating probably wasn't a slave, but it was really hard to tell. Oh, our heroine is Mestiza and is played by Jennifer Jones in brownface.

Having been in the RANCH FROM HELL for about twenty minutes, every single person except the maid has either said something profoundly racist to her, slut shamed her, hit on her, or all three. Gregory Peck's character got the hat trick, in case anyone was wondering. "Burn it down and get out!" I yell at the screen. Jennifer Jones does not hear me.

Step mom! If you think that's verging on inappropriate, you should see how the biological parents and children were dirtybadtouching.

There is SO MUCH LEERING. Though none of it is terribly convincing as Gregory Peck at age thirty is not super capable of menace.

Anyway, through an astonishing combination of slut shaming, racism, sexual assault, patronising lectures and possible outright rape, neither of the brother love interests are looking that good (except possibly to each other), and the movie picks up more incest vibes by the scene. "WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS MOVIE!?" we wailed.

Gregory Peck did take his shirt off though:

Time passes, cast members drop like flies, mostly murdered by Peck, except for Lillian Gish who somehow manages to die of consumption. (The combination of Gish, King Vidor directing, and the massive amounts of sex and melodrama gave the whole thing a strong silent-era vibe.)

Peck finally murders his way up to his brother, at which point Jennifer Jones actually literally takes him out back and shoots him. He shoots her. She shoots him again. They die in each other's arms.

They kiss. The music soars. Jennifer Jones barely survives filming. Gregory Peck takes three movies off to play lawyers and reporters who don't shoot at anyone.

Thanks, Mr. Selznick.
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