New Book from Ossurworld

DATELINE: Comedy Tonight! 

When you do movie review blogs for ten years, you soon have quite a backlog of films. Some remain popular year after year. We have never been able to predict which reviews will be favorites of the reading public. 

However, many blogs are read several times during the first week they appear—and thence go into one of those black holes in the center of the galaxy.

We –my tapeworm and I—have decided to gather together some of the lesser read blog reviews under a general heading. We figure out of a pile of thousands, we can find about 100 that are interesting.

So, we began compiling movies according to genre (like suspense, Sherlock Holmes, UFOs,  and the like). 

We were surprised there were a good many comedies. We generally don’t watch those films, or don’t review them. You may not realie that I only print out the films that are largely interesting, well-done, unusual, or seem metaphoric of the era.

When we gathered together Comedy Tonight, it had some of our favorites, and some we had forgotten.  Actually our book on Westerns is selling briskly.  All the reviews are based on some college courses taught years ago in another life as a professor of film studies.

Among the marvelous comedy movies, we found Elaine May’s A New Leaf with Walter Matthau as a fortune hunter going after a millionaire botanist. We recalled The Loved One that featured Liberace and Rod Steiger as funeral directors in a California mortuary. We had forgotten about Follow That Camel  with Phil Silvers playing his alter ego, Sgt. Bilko out in the desert as a foreign legionnaire—or marvelous Peter O’Toole playing a version of Errol Flynn in My Favorite Year.

Oh, yeah, there are a few stinkeroos that we advise you to avoid.

Our reviews always seemed to be in some kind of humor rivalry with the actual film under review. Yet, we think if you want a collection of recommendations, this little volume might do the trick. It’s available, of course, in both e-book and print versions on Amazon.

We prefer the one for smart-readers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bilko Meets Lawrence of Arabia?

DATELINE: Movie Mashup

Bilko

 

Call us astonished when we discovered that there is a movie wherein Sergeant Ernest T. Bilko meets Beau Geste and lands us in an oasis of British comedy about the French Foreign Legion.

Well, it’s something akin to that. It seems when Phil Silvers had his famous Bilko TV series cancelled, he went off to merry old England and made a movie with the Carry On… gang. It was called Follow That Camel and was made in 1967.

In beautiful Technicolor, Silvers shines with his usual schtick. He plays Sgt. Nocker of the French Foreign Legion in 1906. For all purposes, he is Bilko, barking orders the same way he did in his hit show You’ll Never Get Rich.

Oh, his commandant is a German right out of Stalag 17, and there are more belly dancers than you could possibly imagine for Silvers to leer at in the Zig Zag Cafe.

If there was a big difference between the Bilko show and the movie version, it was simply that sexual innuendo was given a free hand. Of course, by today’s standards, Mae West is safe for children. So is Phil Silvers as he sticks his nose into bosoms.

When you dig down deep, there is nothing much to this film except the fun of seeing Phil Silvers continue his personification of a wheeling and dealing con man. He is obsequious to superiors and a shark to others, all hilariously done.

Since Follow That Camel never had a wide distribution to American theaters, we had to find it by accident on Amazon Instant for a nominal fee. Yes, we did feel Bilko had fleeced us by the end of the 90 minutes, but we loved every penny spent.