Thursday, May 31, 2012

Who Killed Teddy Bear



I simply cannot understand what the fascination is in Facebook, and it is obviously universally fascinating as it is worth billions. Life is short enough without wasting time with messages like “someone has pasted a photograph of something or other on Facebook.” or “so-and-so likes the photograph of so-and- so.” Who cares? Someone you’ve never heard of about someone else you’ve never heard of. Can anyone explain to me please just what the fascination is? Is this to be the whole future of social intercourse? Facebook, Twitter, and Texting? Sounds like a firm of solicitors.
Watched a 1965 movie titled ‘Who Killed Teddy Bear?’ And watched it all the way through despite it being probably one of the worst films ever made. Little wonder it was never released but is now out on DVD and Chris bought it. Why, you ask, would we sit through an entire 1965 black and white never released bad bad movie and not give up after the first ten minutes? Well the answer is quite simple; it stars our friend Sal Mineo. In the first place the title was meaningless. Our sadistic pervert, stalking a girl, ripped open the head of a teddy bear and left it on her bed but that is hardly killing Teddy is it? And why would he do it anyway? I tell you the script had more holes in it than a dozen colanders. Of course one never saw the pervert, only parts of him, an arm reaching out to dial the girl’s phone number, a cigarette being lit, (everyone did an awful lot of smoking in those early movies), a large pair of binoculars as he peeps at her from his window. She lives just over the way and is always removing articles of clothing with curtains open, the lighting very dark, the music sinister but you knew all along who the pervert was. Oh, boy, it really was a movie of its time but unfortunately not a good one. Badly directed with lots of jiggy dancing in the club where the pervert and the girl worked, she as a DJ, these scenes going on forever, much too long in fact; and endless running at night down the streets of New York. The director was obviously into disco dancing and had a thing about running down streets. More moody shots I suppose. At one point the wonderful Elaine Stritch indicates she has lesbian tendencies and is unceremoniously and violently rebuffed by our heroine before the scene can get too juicy. She leaves the building and, surprise surprise, our pervert just happens to be lurking close by. He has spent the last few hours walking (not running you understand, these shots have to be lingered over for full effect) the streets of New York looking into sex-shops, browsing through porn magazines (he doesn’t actually buy any) and bringing himself on by gazing at saucy lingerie in shop windows. He calls her name, ‘Laura!’ and, for some reason she starts to run. The question is a big fat - why? She hears her name called, she knows the guy, they all work in the club together, he’s a personable young man, so surely if she was scared of being out in the streets of New York alone at night she would welcome him being there to walk her safely home. But, no, she panics and runs through the streets of New York and he follows, eventually after quite a chase (building the tension you see) catching up and killing her. Dark moody lighting so you didn’t actually see how – throttled her I presume. ‘Nother question? Why does he kill her? Silly me! Because he’s a sexual pervert of course and at some point he has to arrive at the point of no return and become a murderer. So goes the screenwriter’s thinking. Meanwhile our tough tight-lipped macho detective who is the paradigm of every clich├ęd Hollywood detective has naturally taken a personal interest in the girl (don’t they always?) but is too thick to ask why Laura, when she was killed, was wearing the girl’s distinctive fur coat, and the next night in the club it’s all jolly hockey sticks time despite their associate Laura’s untimely death. Anyway to cut a bad story short, it ends up rather lamely with our pervert raping our heroine and running away down the streets of New York for his very life only to be gunned down by New York’s bravest. Boy, what a load of crap! Sal was okay though.
Also watched/listened to Sondheim’s 80th birthday concert; a tribute performed by the New York Phil and a host of Broadway stars. Our lovely Elaine Stritch climaxed the show with “I’m Still Here.” What a trooper! What a performer! What an event!

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