January 30, 2006
Lady in Cement finale
The case of the lady in cement brings Tony Rome to bohemia and a visit with artist/hack Arnie Sherwin.
Arnie Sherwin is portrayed by Richard Deacon, better known as Melvin "Mel" Cooley from The Dick Van Dyke Show. I'm guessing he hoped this part would allow him to break out of the "Mel" roles for which he was forever typecast.
This lovely thing is going for the whole Jayne Mansfield/Marilyn Monroe look about a decade too late. Her lines for Lady in Cement are comprised of:
"Arnie--can I go to the john?" and "Arnie, I gotta go to the john!" (Arnie bellows a terse "No!" after the second request).
Rome finds a link between Sherwin and the lady in cement.
Why this is important, I really couldn't tell you. The plot of this one is as convoluted and twisting as any detective novel, and I'd lost interest in it (the plot) by this point.
Lady in Cement has a car chase that must have seemed pathetically tame in light of Bullit, which was released just the month before, in October 1968. The car chase footage does retain a historical value, in that there are nice, extended shots of Miami Beach.
The chase ends up on foot, with Rome being pursued through the grounds of the 60s retro hotel, The Fountainbleau. Tony Rome also featured it.
The chase cuts right through and disrupts what appears to be a ballroom dancing lesson....
...or is it??
WTF? Do you suppose the director told those two gentlemen to remove their shirts? And it is two different guys. Could it have been that hot on the day of this particular shoot? Could it be because the status quo was turned in on itself and placed on its head during the insanity of 1968? That's my version.
Rome eludes his pursuers by ducking into an unattended cabana. The TV display explains why sometimes Lady in Cement is listed among Fess Parker's movie roles.
This case has lead Tony Rome to seedy bars, strip clubs, X-Rated movie theaters, and a mortuary, so why not(?), a massage parlor:
It's a cameo by Joe E. Lewis, a comedian Sinatra portrayed in 1957's The Jocker's Wild. Joe E. Lewis was known for his foul-mouth and rough living. Sinatra loved him.
There's a happy ending in the works.
Rome solves the case, and gets the girl, even if she was repulsed by him in real life.
Is that a