Tag Archives: Glenn Ford

The Gazebo

1959

directed by: George Marshall  … again

And we’re really back. Debbie film #23 of 37.   This film was based around the inescapable truth: MURDER can be LIGHTHEARTED & FUNNY. What a sad weird film. I think this was supposed to be a dark comedy. But wow, what a terrible premise to base the film on.  It seemed as everyone in this film never decided how to play their characters, such as scenes where emotions should be scared, confused, hurt, worried, etc.  And that damn pigeon, but I’ll get to that later.

The Gazebo stars Glenn Ford AGAIN (terrible actor – see It Started with a Kiss) and Debbie as husband and wife living their days as a TV producer and Broadway star.  His best friend is a District Attorney played by a young Carl Reiner.  Totally believable up to this point…  Anyways, Ford is a dolt with zero redeeming qualities, no discernible talent at his job or in life, and possibly only saved/likable for his … uh… loyalty to his wife? Maybe? Otherwise, he is manic, paranoid, and irrational. And his REAL best friend is an actual pigeon. Totally the type to be married to Debbie as a Broadway musical star.  She was stunning in the film (they even did a fake musical within the movie scene) but totally hamstrung by the weak characterization and Ford’s “acting”.

The basic rub over the movie is Debbie took some dirty pictures when she was 18 and now (9 years later for some reason – based on her actual age) someone (again for some reason) is trying to blackmail Ford into paying him to keep them out of the papers. …Not that any paper in America would run nude photos in the ’50s or 2017.  So maybe out of Playboy.  Sure let’s run with that.  Okay…  so Ford reacts by trying to sell the house (because he has no savings for some reason).  Here are some other alternatives Glenn:  Fire your housekeeper and start cleaning your own damn house, Take out a loan, Take out a 2nd mortgage, Ask family, Ask friends like your well-to-do DA pal, tell your DA pal about the blackmail, ask your wife if she cares about the pictures.   But no. Debbie loves the house and doesn’t want to move. Okay fine.  Next alternative… obviously kill that motherf’in blackmailer dead in your own home.

In the end, all the blackmailers are dead, the pigeon flies away and they sell the house anyway.  The End.

Oh yeah and that titular Gazebo.  Nothing to do with anything really.

Martin Landau was in this film for a hot second and kidnapped Debbie Reynolds. Probably the most bizarre scene.  But neat to see him working.

Underrated actors: Martin Landau as a goon/thug.

 

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It Started With A Kiss

1959

directed by: George Marshall

Debbie movie #22 of 37.  Woof, this one was hard to watch.

So in the first 10 minutes or so of the movie, it’s established that Debbie is a single dancer, so again, no new careers to mention.  She gets a gig selling raffle tickets for a car at a fancy ball with millionaire types, just the type she’s got her heart set on.  But enter Glenn Ford as an Air Force Sergeant. Ughhh, I don’t even want to write about this movie anymore.  Ford is awful, Ford with Debbie is awful, Ford is 43 at this point in his life and Debbie is 27. So it just …doesn’t work.  So after he woos her for a day, kisses her, she falls for him, Cut to clothes on the bedroom floor (If anything this movie was risque in its imagery/symbolism and Ford actually says “sex”) and she’s already got a ring on (Which was kind of a gag, because it almost showed the aftermath of premarital sex…If only they had, to save her from having to marry the guy in the movie).  Anyways, he gets shipped out to Spain, which apparently needed the US Air Force to have a heavy presence in 1959.  You know, because it’s close to …..  Africa.  Shifty Moroccans.  Note that no actual flying or anything at all related to battles, wars, guns, or planes happens in this movie.   Okay, so She follows him out, and then literally the rest of the movie is about a car.  A CAR.   It was basically the third star of the movie.  To be fair,  it just so happens it’s the car that would eventually become the Batmobile in the 60’s Batman TV Show, but still, no one gives two cents about an Air Force Sergeant with a car problem in Spain.  That would be like if in Goldfinger as soon as the Aston Martin shows up, Bond and Pussy Galore spend the rest of the movie driving around and/or admiring it and courting offers for it in Mexico City.  Ridiculous.

There was also a matador dude and Eva Gabor (who almost got an Underrated Actor nod, but she was a pointless character).  The script was just awful.  Best part of the movie was Debbie’s last dress, which was a turquoise number.  She looked decent enough when I bothered to look up from reading a book about Albrecht Durer.  Yep, so bored with this one that I was perusing a book about a German Renaissance artist.

Underrated Actors: No one.   Not  a single one.