2.16.2006

Living in a matriarchy

Wow. That last post sure drew a lot of comments. I should post more surveys! That is, if I wrote a blog purely to get comments. Since I do not, I will stick to my normally scheduled program.

Since I've been too tired to read at night, and TV keeps me awake too long, I've taken to watching old movies. I can watch for 20 minutes or so until I'm really tired and then drop off to sleep. It's a lot of fun. It takes me a week or longer to see each movie, but they're usually movies I've seen before, so I don't care. The first movie I did this with was The Court Jester (1956), which was much funnier than I remember it being when I last saw it as a little kid. The movie I watched most recently was It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), lent to me by my darling brother.

The following lines reminded me why I enjoy old movies so much:

J. Algernon Hawthorne: I must say that if I had the grievous misfortune to be a citizen of this benighted country, I should be the most hesitant of offering any criticism whatever of any other.
J. Russell Finch: Wait a minute, are you knocking this country? Are you saying something against America?
J. Algernon Hawthorne: Against it? I should be positively astounded to hear anything that could be said for it. Why the whole bloody place is the most unspeakable matriarchy in the whole history of civilization! Look at yourself! The way your wife and her strumpet of a mother push you through the hoop! As far as I can see, American men have been totally emasculated--they're like slaves! They die like flies from coronary thrombosis while their women sit under hairdryers eating chocolates and arranging for every second Tuesday to be some sort of Mother's Day! And this infantile preoccupation with bosoms. In all time in this Godforsaken country, the one thing that has appalled me most of all this preposterous preoccupation with bosoms. Don't you realize they have become the dominant theme in American culture: in literature, advertising and all fields of entertainment and everything. I'll wager you anything you like that if American women stopped wearing brassieres, your whole national economy would collapse overnight.


I just don't think they write 'em like that these days. I'm not even quite sure why I found that cinematic exchange quite so hilarious, but I did. (Thanks to IMDB and Google for saving me from watching that clip over and over again until I got all the words typed out. All I had to do was Google "mad mad mad world matriarchy" and, viola!)

Next up: Re-viewing Adam's Rib (1949; one of my all-time favorite movies), Pat and Mike (1952), and Desk Set (1957). (Do you sense a trend here?) If anyone local wants to join me, I would consider watching them in fewer than five installments and at a time other than between 11:30 pm and midnight!

2 comments:

Avi said...

I forgot how funny that movie was. I should watch it again sometime.

Daddy said...

I'm glad you appreciate "The Court Jester" now. I thought it was hilarious when I saw it as a kid (but maybe I was a little older when I first saw it than you were), and when I saw it again when you were a kid. Another Danny Kaye movie that I remember thinking was very funny when I saw it (in 1958, when it came out) was "Merry Andrew." It only got 2.5 stars, though, so it might not hold up if I were to see it again. And "The Slowest Gun in the West" was a 1960 made for TV movie (available on VHS and DVD), starring Phil Silvers and Jack Benny, that I think of as similar to "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," though again, I haven't seen it since 1960, so maybe it isn't as funny.
You should identify the characters in the dialogue you quoted by the names of the actors. Who remembers what the characters were called? Though it was obvious from context that J. Algernon Hawthorne was Terry Thomas. If you think Terry Thomas is funny, you might also like "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines," (1965, 3 stars).