Sunday, September 19, 2010
Directed by John Huston
Written by James Helvick (book), Truman Capote
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollabrigida, Robert Morley, Peter Lorre
Humphrey Bogart plays a top-notch (but down-on-his-luck) con man. Two different groups of people want the same thing from him, and some other individual people want some other things from him. There are also some boat rides and a love rectangle.
this was not great. at all. didn't like it. couldn't follow it. didn't care to understand what the heck was going on. humphrey bogart played his usual sarcastic self, with his one liners, and that usually works for me, but crap, this was boooooring.
I thought this was entertaining. Bogart is an attractive man, and neither of the women was tough on the eyes, either. This is a classic notion, one dude playing a bunch of parties against each other and for himself, and unlike a lot of the "classics" we watch around here I don't think this is one of those things which was much newer in 1950. Capote really fills in the little spaces with humor, including a drunk ship's captain and some nifty little puns. And the rest of the acting is on par for the era.
Our Truman is no enemy of the bon mot or cute notion, but the important elements of the plot were needlessly obfuscated. If this was an attempt to show the complexity of the situation that Bogey was managing, it fell flat. Also, I know it was 1950 but I think we're expected to believe that people who have not only just met but who haven't shared even an on-screen peck to have fucked. This caused more than one double-take on our couch.
But while the experience was entertaining, the execution could have been enhanced. I'm on the bubble between 2 and 3 here, which means that Leila's 2 will win.