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Is Spanish Fly an 'enjoyable romp'?

A mid-70s Britcom, with stalwarts Terry-Thomas and Leslie Phillips.
It's the sort of post-Brexit film that pops up on new knackered old channels like Talking Pictures.
It exerts a grim fascination though I've seen worse...
The stars seem to play two salesmen of the kind who get to travel abroad and bed young lovelies half their age by dint of having a car, a blazer and the ability to pay their way.
Phillips - it is a given - will bed all the women thrown his way by the company on his travels, it is odd but then not dissimilar to a plot line in Love, Actually when young Kris Marshall unexpectedly gets to bed all the women thrown at him while abroad. Difference is, perhaps, in the earlier film it's almost 'expected' while in Curtis' film the joke is that it goes against all expectations. It's all in the nuance.
In one scene the Aussie lady gets in the shower and we from the front see her knockers (it's the lingo for the times) in all their bouncy, unabashed glory but of course, really how is that worse than any modern day porn? It isn't, it's quite wholesome. The fact that Phillips is urged to soap her down - her back, anyway - while being bashful and at arms length means it's actually social distancing, so quite in vogue.
Amazingly, Phillips is still going in his 90s, last was heard he married his East European carer - if the cynics thought it would lead to him being knocked off his perch in a year while she copped the money, well, seems it gave him a new lease of life!

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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The Gauntlet

The same year as Roger Moore dodged a helicopter in his white Lotus in The Spy Who Loved Me, Clint Eastwood starred in this low-budget romp about a cop who finds he's being fitted up by his own side AND the mob.
In some ways it anticipates Midnight Run, released just over a decade later, though it's not as funny nor meant to be, and less long-winded I guess.
It turns into a bit of a road film, albeit not a very long road, being set in Arizona and going from one state to another. Eastwood - not as different an actor to Moore as you might think, both have a limited if effective range - is joined by his then partner Sandra Locke whom he has to turn in to bear witness, of course she knows too much.
What is interesting is that Clint plays a cop who is not the sharpest tool and she - a prostitute - has to fill him in on what is going on and how he is being set up. There's some very good dialogue here. 'Welcome to the ranks of the disenchanted!'
It isn't quite as right on as it seems, he doesn't seem too grateful to her.

It's disturbing how straightforward it is that of course cops are bent, I guess it's the same here now but not openly acknowledged as a narrative by the press, same with social services. You have to read between the lines - see Haringey Council and paedophile abuse in today's press - basically a lot of local authorities appear complicit in various paedophile rings but all family court judges have to express 'incomprehension' at all this - but I digress!

The action in The Gauntlet becomes more incredible as it goes on for the kind of film it is, and while it fits the imperialistic idea of the film - the Enemy shooting at our heroes from on high, never from on the ground where they might get a decent shot - it is rather implausible.
The chopper/chopper chase is good fun but a bit implausible.
The mega OTT shoot outs echo the finale of Bonnie and Clyde, as if to make a point.
That said, our hero is no member of the counterculture, as an encounter with a bunch of hippies/hells angels reveals.
I first saw this film as a scout - they showed it in the early 80s on a small portable colour TV - a treat! Looking back, it does seem 'inappropriate' for 11 year olds, lots of raunchy talk and so on. I lobbied for a Bond film to be shown - Live and Let Die to be precise - but I'm not sure it was available on video back then.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

9,828

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I never cared for THE GAUNTLET, and a recent rewatch pretty much confirmed my opinion of the film.  The characters are all completely unappealing, the 'humor' never really works, and the tone is never consistent.  One minute it's a gritty cop thriller, the next it's just shy of high camp.  If it had committed fully to a tone and stuck with it, it probably would have worked much better.

Nice write up, though!

Current rankings:
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Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton

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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

A lavish and outlandish fantasy that delighted me a lot more than I went in expecting it to. The stunning visuals and effects are all the more impressive considering they were made in the pre-digital age, and I suspect that the film might not be as charming were it made with all the modern CGI effects possible today.

I am not well versed in the work of Terry Gilliam apart from his Monty Python contributions, but my experience with Baron Munchausen will certainly encourage me to watch more of his films.

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First up: Gemini Man, with Will Smith as an assassin and his clone.  For about the first hour I wondered what all the bad reviews were about: it seemed a nifty spy thriller with a sci-fi premise.  Then, once Will meets his clone and starts talking to him it becomes a weird family melodrama.  Clive Owen is also aboard as the villain, doing his godawful attempt at an American accent.  There are so many great actors from the UK (and Australia as well) who can do flawless U.S. accents; Owen typically tries to mix up Brooklyn and Chicago accents and then mumble throughout.

Next: Parasite, the South Korean film that surprised everyone by winning the Best Picture Oscar.  What surprised me by this is that it's actually a dark comedy that skewers class relations.  Is it the Best Picture?  Who knows?  Who cares?  I enjoyed it.

Vox clamantis in deserto

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Golrush007 wrote:

I am not well versed in the work of Terry Gilliam apart from his Monty Python contributions, but my experience with Baron Munchausen will certainly encourage me to watch more of his films.

Be sure to watch Brazil,
my personal subjective opinion: it might just be the finest motion picture ever filmed!

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seconded on BRAZIL.  It's an amazing movie.  12 MONKEYS is also very, very good.

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Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton

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Brazil and 12 Monkeys are very good movies.

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Brazil and 12 Monkeys are both on my list to watch in the near future.

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Also be sure to watch The Fisher King, with Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges. its the one that came in between.
12 Monkeys is going to mean something different in these coviddy times. Interesting context to watch it in. No further spoilers on that one!

He's released several films over the last couple decades I didn't even realise had come out.
The most recent one I saw starred Christopher Waltz (he's one of ours) as a sort of mathematician who has delved too deep.
But definitely watch those other three first, especially Brazil.

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Thanks for the advice. I'm looking forward to watching these films.