January 25, 2006

Lady in Cement, part III

When last we left Tony Rome, he was chasing down a trail of clues in a case involving a lady (with spectacular breasts) in cement. After leaving a testy interview with two of the most offensive stereotypes in cinema history (don't quote me on that), a duo of mean gay men/tough homosexuals (more on that later), Rome ends up at the home of wealthy and lovely Kit Forrest (Raquel Welch).

Rome visits another mansion straight out of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Evidence of Rome's gambling debts.

Welch's first appearance in the film, and her character says:

"Well, should I scream rape now or phone in a complaint?"

I guess that was supposed to be funny back in 1968, but it just seems strange today. The emphasis on "in" is hers. It was as if the public would just take it for granted that Sinatra was a lecherous dog, or something, and no female was completely safe in his presence.

Rome drinks in her beauty. Undoubtedly, he's thinking seriously about raping her (what else could he, or any man, possibly do in this situation?).

She invites him inside (her house) where Rome reveals his appreciation for art. The camera pans down, but why?

Ah yes, the great Arnie Sherwin. He's like a poor man's Leroy Neiman.

Rome takes what he learns from Welch's character and seeks out an undercover cop who might know what to make of her information. The cop is undercover as a call girl, unfortunately. I guess police departments once had men pose as women, undercover, but based on this, it probably wasn't too effective.

Highlights of the awkwardness:

The guy who was washing his hands at the beginning of that clip is Jilly Rizzo, Sinatra's best friend until he (Jilly) died.

Speaking of Jilly, Rome returns to the ficticious Jilly's South, transformed for the movie into a sleazy Boschian den of sin.

Rome must confront the shocking gay stereotypes from the previous post. Again, my words and screen captures just don't do it any better than the actual thing, so:

"I wanna hear him bounce!"

That just seems very odd to me--the fact stuff like that was included in major studio releases, but again, the year was 1968.

The second half of that occurs when Rome takes the Raquel Welch character to a mortuary for some inexplicable reason. I also don't know why they're shooting dice. Could be because this was made in 1968? Possibly.

After the mortuary visit, Welch's character takes Rome to a "family pool hall" (they actually exist?) she is bankrolling. The Cuban immigrant owner complains to her about the artwork a particular artist named Arnie Sherwin has painted.

What's the prob? The guy obviously doesn't recognize great art when he's seen it. Lighten up, baby! It's 1968. Let your freak flag fly!!

After their exciting evening of mortuary hopping, Rome and Kit Forrest end up at Rome's houseboat. You can tell there is ZERO chemistry between Sinatra and Welch. I'm sure it looked very "hot" on paper, but it just doesn't work. She clearly despises him, and bristles in his presence, unlike his costar in Tony Rome. And I don't think it's just part of the method she applied to the role.

Pull my finger?
Here, Rome tells her he "used to know a broad who collected bullfighters". That's a dig at the gal who got away, Ava Gardner.

If you're still with me on this one, here's what coming up in the last act:

Whiney Jayne Mansfield-wannabe, artist models

Shots of Sinatra's best costar in this one, Miami Miami Beach.

and more!!!!


Anonymous said...

Sorry Chris....but this is NOT Miami...It is 41st Street in Miami

Chris said...

Oopsy. Thanks for the tip! Changes will be made.