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The Movie Stars Look Like They're Applying For A Job Cleaning Out Your Garage
And the accountants look like movie stars.

MissNumbers.jpg

She was an accountant or the accountant on the picture "3:10 to Yuma," which was based on the Glenn Ford/Van Heflin movie "3:10 to Yuma," which was based on one of Elmore Leonard's pulp westerns. And she was a rare visual treat in a sea of slobs at the premiere.

trainticket.jpg

I haven't seen the original 3:10, but I do recommend the one and only Valdez Is Coming, with Burt Lancaster, which we saw on a big screen at the Noir In festival in Italy last winter.

As for the current 3:10, it was exciting, engaging and fun...until the end, when it got...less engaging. Now, I have an incredible ability to suspend disbelief, but, at the end, they ended up stretching it so far it snapped.

I won't tell too much, but I'll just say a man with a vintage 1800s prosthetic leg jumping around like it's "Die Hard" without the elevators probably isn't going to be believable for you either. The silliest moment at the end (save for the fact that the two of them didn't get killed by one of any number of ricocheting bullets) was watching as the gimp with the vintage prosethesis leapt from roof to roof.

Gregg, of course, was bothered by historical gaffes; some of which I caught. Now, I don't have the "S" section, only the volumes A-G and H-O of the amazing Historical Dictionary of American Slang, which Random House is no longer publishing. (They ran out of money before they could do the last volume, but it's being rescued/published by Oxford University Press...sigh...just not soon enough.)

Anyway, not having the "S" section, I couldn't look up "You don't know shit!" which I believe a kid actually said. Beyond whether kids back then spoke that way to their dads without being caned within inches of their lives...I dunno, that sounds pretty 20th century lingo to me! The same goes for "Listen up!" which Ben Foster, who stole the movie (although Russell Crowe, Peter Fonda, and Bale were great) yelled to get the attention of the people in town.

And no, these things aren't a big deal. Most people probably won't notice them. And all in all I did like the movie. Of course, I'm not an Apache -- the Indians seen in the movie attacking at night. In real life they never did, Gregg said, because they believed if they were killed at night their souls would wander forever. (If you see any ghostly Apaches hitchhiking along the 10 freeway...)

Last but not least, one more shot from the premiere -- Peter Fonda on the red carpet. And no, I'm not going all star-struck on you. Truth be told, I shot it, in large part, for the leather jacket.

FondaRedCarpet.jpg

And no, even though he's wearing jeans, I don't consider him one of the garage cleaners...but the girl in the man-pants jeans in the back sure is giving the illegals standing out in front of Home Depot a run for their money!

Posted by aalkon at August 22, 2007 11:39 AM

Comments

If anachronistic slang bothers you, do not watch Deadwood.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at August 22, 2007 3:26 AM

Heh heh...actually, when we were talking about this, Gregg referred to it as "the Deadwoodization of the movies."

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 22, 2007 6:00 AM

I get bothered by anachronistic slang, too. Then I remind myself that playwrights (and often other authors) usually give contemporary language to their characters. In his history plays, for example, Shakespeare didn't try to mimic 14th-15th Century English.

In fact, an author who irritates me is Spenser, who did. His line of reasoning apparently was: "Chaucer was a great poet. Chaucer wrote funny. If I write funny, I will be a great author too." My opinion? Skewing his style toward old-fashioned speech is the very thing that kept him from greatness.

Even after reminding myself of all this, I *still* get bothered by anachronistic slang in modern films, just like Gregg.

And I have to admit that an author who successfully captures old-fashioned style can be a whole lot of fun. Remember John Barth's _The Sotweed Factor_? And much of the amusement in _Connecticut Yankee_ comes from Twain's parody of Malory"s style.

If you haven't read Twain's _1601_, about a conversation at Queen Elizabeth's court, try to get hold of it. The university I went to had a copy of a surreptitiously-printed edition that looked exactly like an Elizabethan book--typeface, handmade paper, vellum binding, the works. Extremely rare and valuable. When I read it in the rare book room, I caused a minor stir by guffawing.

I wonder if a scriptwriter who could capture old-fashioned speech that well (spoken by skillful actors) would get the same response from movie audiences.


P.S. Let's hope Oxford finishes publication of that slang dictionary soon. My two volumes look just as lonely on the shelf as yours do, Amy.

Posted by: Axman at August 22, 2007 7:30 AM

I know the woman in the yellow dress isn't a movie star because she's not posing in front of a "premiere wall" emblazoned with ugly ads for EVIAN and JUICY and ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK.

Can you imagine someone like Ava Gardner in her prime spending hours turning herself into a movie star (which is, I think, part of the job) and then being expected to stick her gorgeous corpus in front of an ad for VIRGIN MOBILE?

Posted by: Kevin at August 22, 2007 9:18 AM

Mark Twain's "1601" can be seen here for free! (go to the middle of the whole screen)

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3190/3190.txt

Personally, it gives me a headache trying to read it for more than 10 minutes.

PS- Amy, that yellow dress is hideous. Beautiful woman, reminds me of Dyan Cannon, but the dress looks like a frilly potato sack. She should have stuck to "the little black dress".

Posted by: eric at August 22, 2007 9:21 AM

As somebody who is right now going through Dev Singh's study, "Body Weight, Waist-to Hip Ratio, Breasts, and Hips: Role in Judgments of Female Attractiveness and Desirability for Relationships," I am, of course, a promoter of dresses that reveal a woman's waist.

That aside, she's elegant, looks like a lady, speaks and carries herself like one, and looks beautiful in the color.

She was beyond compare at this premiere.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 22, 2007 11:18 AM

OOps- I thought I meant Diane Carroll, but actually I meant Gail Fisher, the secretary from the old TV show Mannix. I had a real crush on her way back when.

Posted by: eric at August 22, 2007 11:33 AM

And no, even though he's wearing jeans, I don't consider him one of the garage cleaners

Indeed. Peter Fonda without jeans is like Helen Thomas without the red dress.

Posted by: Doobie at August 22, 2007 7:17 PM

I'm willing to go star-struck: did you get to see Crowe and Bale, and what were they wearing?

Posted by: Rebecca at August 22, 2007 8:46 PM

The lady in the first picture is a stunningly beautiful woman.

I hope she knows that's true.

Posted by: Curtis at August 22, 2007 10:43 PM

Crowe looked like shit...or, should I say..shitfaced?

http://www.elmoreleonard.com/index.php?/weblog/crowe_and_bale_at_yuma_premiere/

Curtis: She told me she's from Zimbabwe and was truly an elegant person, and spoke beautifully.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 23, 2007 2:21 AM

Ha! That's the Russell we know and love. Christian, as always, looks classy. Why can't more male movie stars wear suits to formal events? Enough with the blue jeans.

Posted by: Rebecca at August 23, 2007 6:20 AM

> I hope she knows that's true.

I'm gonna guess somebody's told her by now. She's probably not as lonely as she looks in that photo.

Posted by: Crid at August 23, 2007 6:34 AM

Curtis: She told me she's from Zimbabwe and was truly an elegant person, and spoke beautifully.

In that case, I hope any relatives she has there are doing okay. It's hard to tell, from the US/UK-based press, whether life chez Mugabe is truly that wretched or whether people are still able to go about their business with the occasional political or economic hiccup.

Posted by: Jessica at August 23, 2007 8:39 AM

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