The Only Game in Town (1970) Romantic film based on a failed Broadway play, and boy does it show! Talky and mostly filmed on one set but still cost 11 million dollars thanks to Elizabeth Taylor’s insistence on filming in Paris, despite the story being set in Las Vegas, so she could be closer to Richard Burton. Only really comes to life when we head out to the casinos but even that gets repetitive after awhile and the film’s ending is terrible. Still, Warren Beatty and Taylor sure are both nice to look at, aren’t they?
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) Sequel isn’t half as witty or intelligent as the original but makes up for it by being totally fucking insane. Who cares if the film is a complete mess when you’ve got chimpanzee war protesters and subterranean mutants that worship, and sing hymns to, an atomic bomb! It’s that special kind of insanity that comes when nobody really seems to be giving a fuck if anything makes any logical sense at all but still want to try and make some kind of point. God I love the late 1960’s! Of note: The underground caverns are partially made up of redressed sets from Hello Dolly!
Friday: Cleopatra (1963) Cleopatra is a lot of things: an epic to end all epics, a massive vehicle for the massive ego of Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most infamously troubled productions in film history, one of it’s most expensive films (adjusted for inflation, it cost about 339 million dollars!), and pretty much the final straw that broke the back of the already ailing Hollywood studio system. With all that in mind, you’d think this would be an awful mess, but it’s actually pretty damn good. That comes with a caveat though. The film was originally meant to be two three hour films but was hastily edited into one four hour movie. This has the consequence of several characters and plot points getting really sort shrift, especially anything involving Roddy McDowall and Richard Burton, who are both fantastic. The whole thing would actually benefit from being longer, which isn’t something I thought I’d ever say about something already this bulky. Still, If you’re a fan of old style Hollywood excessiveness and unintentional camp, you kind of need to see this. Preferably with some beers and friends that have the patience for this kind of thing.