Now With More Than 3600 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


The cult reputation for this cautionary Behind-the-Scenes/Hollywood saga would have surprised its makers. They knew a stinker when they saw one; and had the post-production wounds to prove it. (Note the obfuscating film poster.) Scripting off his own novel, Gavin Lambert’s moved his junior league A STAR IS BORN from the ‘50s to the ‘30s. So, the tone feels all wrong right from the start, with weak period flavor and too many story-grabs from the famous Judy Garland/George Cukor pic of ‘54*. And not only story points got lifted. As the teen singing sensation who rebels against studio head Christopher Plummer, a game, but over-parted Natalie Wood is given Garland’s gamine look from STAR’s ‘Lose That Long Face.’ Heaps of interference on this Alan Pakula/Robert Mulligan collaboration left the too-much-too-soon storyline as a series of unconnected dots, but it’s hard to imagine it working at any length. Only at the very end, during a black-comedy suicide attempt, do you get a sense of what must have drawn so much talent to the project. We’re left with a few tasty crumbs: Ruth Gordon’s looney gargoyle of a mom; a blast of erotic authority from Chris Plummer; the impossibly glam young Bob Redford; and a couple of pastiche musical numbers from Herbert Ross that show some spirit in spite of Wood’s leaden skipping & inability to lip-synch.

READ ALL ABOUT IT: *Apparently, Cukor didn’t mind all the story ‘lifts,’ sitting down with Lambert for a series of career interviews, published as ON CUKOR. Much later, Lambert would also write a bio of Wood both intimate & sympathetic.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Roddy McDowall’s major-domo to studio chief Plummer is one of those Hollywood Fix-It guys who know where all the bodies are buried, but would never tell. Much like the real McDowall. Even today, many believe a long awaited Tell-All memoir was only waylaid by the fast-moving cancer that killed him.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Cukor’s first go at the STAR IS BORN story was called WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD/’32, and it remains an overlooked beauty.

No comments: