Friday, 5 November 2010

Barefoot In The Park

Hello all, I have just watched Barefoot In The Park, and feel very much comfortable and relaxed. It's not every movie where you get to see Charles Boyer in a kimono and Robert Redford wearing a bin as a hat. I will now explain my madness.

Barefoot In The Park (1967)

Paul and Corie Bratter seem to be the perfect young couple. Bright, enthusiastic, promising futures but when they move into an old leaky apartment, who knows what will happen? They move in, and to start with there are five flights of stairs (not counting the steep front stairs), and whenever they get any deliveries, they have to nurse the deliverers back to health after such an ordeal. Corie's mother lives all alone on the other side of town, and she makes a crazy attempt to set her up with the insane playboy, Victor (Charles Boyer) who lives in their attic. He takes them on a wild journey across New York, on a ferry and to an Albanian restaurant. Hyper and slightly drunk, Corie and Victor run back up the stairs while Corie's mother and Paul struggle up the stairs with nausea. Paul and Corie have a huge fight and decide to get a divorce. Meanwhile her mother is having an "interesting" time getting home with Victor. Will they ever make up?

The Review:
A really, really cute film that reminded me a lot of the Rock Hudson and Doris Day films that they made in the 50s. Robert Redford is so lovely and young in this, and so is Jane Fonda. Did you know (prepare yourself for a long anecdote...) that when Bette Davis and Henry Fonda (Jane's papa) while filming Jezebel (1938) together, he had to leave to go and watch Jane be born, and all of Bette's close ups are to a blank space. She later said to Jane in an interview "Any man who causes me this much trouble and can produce a Jane Fonda I'll do it all over again." The Neil Simon (The Odd Couple) script is yet again genius, and has such funny dialogue as this:
Robert Redford drunk with a bin on his head
Corie: You're very nearly perfect.
Paul: That's a rotten thing to say.
Corie: Before we were married I thought you slept with a tie.
Paul: No, just for very formal sleeps.

Corie: Paul, if the honeymoon doesn't work out lets not get a divorce. Lets kill each other.
Paul: Why not get the waiters to do it, I hear they have great room service at this hotel.
Just a really great film. I can't find any pictures of Charles Boyer in a kimono, but I can find a video! It's quite long, but if you skip to 5:10 that is where the kimono awesomeness starts.

 I just can't get over how cool he looks in a kimono. Although he and Ingrid Bergman or Bette Davis might not have got on so well if he turned up in a kimono.

Ingrid Bergman and Charles in Gaslight
Bette Davis and Charles in All This And Heaven Too
I think Ingrid wins the dramatic Charles Boyer pose competition. All This And Heaven Too is such a good film. I love the way that one of Charles' fictional children calls Bette (She is their governess. Lucky kids or what?) "Mamselle!" Charles I love you. Even if you freak me out.
After Bette has been told she has to leave the ooshkiminooish children because of her "affair" with Charles Boyer, she has an emotional goodbye with them.


P.S. I found these two great Margo Channing photos the other day, enjoy!
Bette Davis' costume test as Margo Channing
Edith Head's design for her cocktail party dress


Libby said...

Strange men in kimonos; you've just made my Saturday! When I saw that first still I immediately thought of Doris and Rock.

Stephanie said...

I watched this after reading your post. What a cute movie. I absolutely LOVE Charles Boyer - must see more of his work. He's also great in Rock Hudson's "A Very Special Favor". Thanks for the recommendation!

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