Monday, January 18, 2010


Yesterday we talked about Stephanie's impressive movie mind and collection of Golden Hollywood titles.  I felt like Belle in the library (though I do own nearly all of the Jodie collection on VHS, Stephanie actually keeps her VCR in service, which enabled us to watch Billie.)

She's doing some sort of frug, I think, or the Charlie Brown dance.

You may be familiar with this film; I had never heard of it.  Let me make that clear;  I had never heard of it -- I, who hours before, had named Broadway Melody as an Oscar winner.  I, who had for days enjoyed a spontaneous game we had invented where one turned into Mrs Blandings without notice -- preferably when dealing with waitstaff  "I'd like the green lettuce, but not a regular 'leafy' green, more like a foam green.  Have the chef drive to the Safeway on West Market and take the Specials sign down from above the avacadoes.  It's a darker green than that."  I, who can invoke Patty Duke for an unlimited number of reference points (sudden clarity?  spell W-A-T-E-R!  Need to deny something?  Blame your identical cousin.  Defending your boys?  Quote Neely O'Hara, "Ted Casablanca is NOT a fag... and I'm the dame who can prove it."  Fed up with it all?  Throw the turkey into the alley.)

What were we talking about?
so Billie... never heard of it.  God bless our friends who will remedy these cultural flaws.

Patty (call me Anna) is about 19, playing 15, in a Lance Kerwin hairdo and capri pants.  She's a star athlete all right, but she's all girlShe'll sing about it.  Twice.
Jim Backus and Jane Greer are her parents (they're tearing her apaaaart!).  The rest of the cast - only Dick Sargeant, Ted Bessell, Richard Deacon, Billy DeWolfe, Charles Lane, and WAIT A MINUTE Donna McKechnie as the lead dancer (and asst choreographer).  

Billie is recruited by a forward thinking coach who just wants to win, but her dad is running for Mayor on an "old-fashioned values" platform.  That is not the film's central conflict.  Dad gives into that pretty easily after Billie explains that the pursuit of happiness is her constitutional right.  This seems to sway him, even though that is from the Declaration, not the Bill of Rights.  The central conflict is Billie's weak boyfriend, who is bugged by the way Billie helps the other guys work out by teaching them to hear a groovy 60s beat in their heads and run to that.  what a gas.

Amazon recommends that people often buy Billie with The Trouble with Angels."  I think that tells you everything you need to know.

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