Mid Summer and I can’t believe it. It is so hot that we are getting close to 40C which is nuts. Our A/C went kaput and we needed a new motor..it was hell for 2 days. I never want to be without air again. Well, we all need air but you know what I mean. This week it is all about the male buddies on film and there is so much to choose from. Wandering through the Shelves picked another great week. There are some who show great on screen but didn’t like each other off screen and others who do the job and they go on their merry way. There are other male buddies who made great movies and were great friends off screen so this is my theme within a theme and here are my 3...
1. SONS OF THE DESERT-1933
Laurel and Hardy are one of the best comedy screen teams ever and it is a shame many people, today, don’t know who they are. Many actors/comedians, today, still imitate some of the things these 2 created. This film is so funny and it reminds me of a Fred Flintstone episode. The 2 are married( to women not themselves, remember it was 1933) but they belong to some men’s club of which they attend regularly. The club has decided they will be going to Chicago to have a fun meeting. Laurel doesn’t want to oppose his wife but Hardy talks him into it. When they get home, Hardy has forgotten that he was to take his wife to the mountains. He claims illness and that he and Laurel must go on a ship to Hawaii. Somehow, the women believe them and are stunned when the ship they were on sinks. The men are horrified too because they were whooping it up in Chicago. Now they must do their best to try to get out of this fine mess. This is so funny and, I think, one of their best. These 2 men were life long friends and so close that Laurel was devastated when Hardy passed away in 1957. Laurel said he lost his best friend(which he did) and that part of him was lost. Stan Laurel died in 1965.
2. THE CHEYENNE SOCIAL CLUB-1970
This is a very funny western starring James Stewart and Henry Fonda. These 2 met in the early '30s in a theatre group that also had Joshua Logan and Margaret Sullivan in the mix. Henry Fonda married Sullivan and Stewart loved her from afar. Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda went to Hollywood and were roommates and had a lot of fun during this time. They were so different, from their politics to their love life but, except for one time, where they argued over politics that almost ended their friendship, they remained devoted friends. I think they made 5 films ( Joel you can correct me on this) and this is one of the best. These 2 are cowboys on the range when Stewart’s character gets a letter saying his brother died and left him this club. Thinking he can start a bed and breakfast type place, he and his best friend go to this club only to find out it is a whore house run by the wonderful Shirley Jones. Now Hank takes full advantage of the wonders of this establishment but Jimmy is none too happy. It is a fun film that you can watch more than once. When Henry Fonda died in 1982, Jimmy Stewart was bereft. The great James Stewart died in 1997.
3. OUT TO SEA-1997
Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were another great team, on and off the screen. They met when they made "The Fortune Cookie" and stayed friend until Matthau died in 2000. Jack Lemmon died, almost to the day, one year later. They made a total of 10 films together not counting Kotch where Matthau starred and Lemmon directed. You can Youtube these 2 and listen to their shenanigans while on different talk shows of the day. I love Grumpy Old Men and the sequel as well as the others but I felt this film was closest to them being buddies rather than adversaries. Lemmon plays a widow who doesn't do much in his life since her death. His Brother in Law, played by Matthau, gets into constant schemes. Matthau convinces Lemmon to take a cruise with him not knowing that they are actually working on the ship as dancers for the lonely women who would like to dance. The scumbag who lords over them is played by Data, er, I mean Brent Spiner who is funny in this and tries to outwit Matthau which he doesn't do. It is a nice romance between older people ...rarely seen, where each meet women on this ship. Lemmon meets a lovely widow, played by Gloria DeHaven and Dyan Cannon is the love for Matthau... who loves her money. Little does he know he is being scammed himself. Hal Lindon, Rue McLanahan and Donald O'Connor round out the rest. This was the last film role for Donald O'Connor, Edward Mulhare and Gloria DeHaven. If you want a very nice film that makes you laugh and forget a couple of hours, then watch this.
Which 3 would you choose?