HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
   
 
  Lucky Lady Rum Doings
Year: 1975
Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Gene Hackman, Liza Minnelli, Burt Reynolds, Geoffrey Lewis, John Hillerman, Robby Benson, Michael Hordern, Anthony Holland, John McLiam, Val Avery, Louis Guss, William Bassett, Janit Baldwin, Roger Cudney, Joe Estevez, Emilio Fernández, Basil Hoffman
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Claire (Liza Minnelli) and her boyfriend Walker Ellis (Burt Reynolds) are in Mexico where they are visiting the grave of her recently late husband. He left her some money, but the couple are seeking to make more, and to that end have arranged to assist some illegal immigrants across the border to the United States, so while she takes care of her night job as a singer in a club, Walker sets off for a truck he will drive to the agreed point. Most of the illegals are Mexicans, but he notes one is an actual American (Gene Hackman) who doesn't say much until they reach the border and are greeted by the unwelcome sight of the masses of U.S. patrolmen and their vehicles with the lights on full beam. When they open fire, Walker wonders if there isn't a better way to make a living...

Once they had penned American Graffiti for George Lucas, Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz were much in demand, but aside from having newly-powerful pals in Hollywood, they didn't have the luck that you might have expected in their screenwriting careers, and Lucky Lady was the perfect, sad example of that. By all accounts their dream tale of a trio of rum-runners in 1930’s America (or off its South-West coast at any rate) turned into a nightmare when it reached the shooting stage, which was in evidence when you witnessed how the tone was so wayward and wavering that you never knew if you were watching a comedy or a drama or even an action thriller. It was a total mess, and a disjointed one plotwise at that.

Hackman, for example, was brought on with barely a week of preparation, such was the short notice the studio were asking, giving him a huge paycheque to sweeten the deal of which he was not entirely sure he wanted a part of in the first place. Sure enough, his instincts were correct with many of those involved coming away from the production speaking of it in traumatised terms as the worst experience of their professional lives, and the blame was placed squarely at the feet of director Stanley Donen rather than Huyck and Katz, whose source material was reportedly unfaithfully transferred onto celluloid by Donen. Fair enough, if you had a director who didn't know what to do, it did tend to upset the cinematic applecart.

And yet there are scenes here where you can kind of see where this would have succeeded, if not as justifying the astonishing amount of cash wasted on it, then on its own terms as a dark-hearted caper with a more mature take on relationships that the seventies was exploring in its pop culture. That last was important, because the three-way affair between Hackman, Minnelli and Reynolds' characters appeared to be informing the lighter elements Donen seemed more comfortable with, if not something that would be obvious for family fare when the kids might be asking awkward questions about why the two men and the lady were in bed together. Actually, the three leads did have a chemistry together that had you wishing they had been placed in a more accomplished picture than the one we were offered.

Quite what would have been more appropriate, well, your guess is as good as mine, but from a film where the sole quotable line of dialogue was Minnelli's "It's so quiet you could hear a fish fart" then there surely must have been more promising candidates. That trio of talent left the movie grumbling to anyone within earshot about it, and as one of the post-The Sting period-set efforts that mostly disappointed in their tries at recreating that magic Robert Redford and Paul Newman conveyed with deceptive ease it was one of the least impressive. The plot had the threesome indulging in smuggling alcohol to Prohibition-era California, which in reality was a very dangerous thing to do, reflected in the manner in which there were crunching gear changes between the daffy sequences and the sudden eruptions of brutal violence: that it was going to end in an even less sunny manner until there were hasty reshoots ordered tells you all you need to know about the experience of watching it. And yet, every so often there would be a bit of business that made you think, this needed more work, but there was an inkling of a good idea here. Music by Ralph Burns.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1870 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: