Monday, June 25, 2012

Cult Movie Night @ Gary's - King Kong + The Searchers

Since I hadn't been to a Cult Night @ Gary's in months; it was time to go. He was showing "King Kong" and "The Searchers".

Confession - I actually had never seen either of these films before. For me, "King Kong' stands the test of time. The scenes on the island with Kong fighting any number of pre-historic creatures were very realistic and gruesome; Fay Wray was simply beautiful. For me, Victor Wong as Charlie the Cook stole the show. Playing a stereotypical  Chinese ship's cook, he bestowed wisdom and insight to deaf White-man ears.  It's Charlie who quickly makes the connection between the Islander's bracelet he finds on deck and the whereabouts of Ann. The scenes of Kong on stage in New York looked pretty darn realistic to me too. His escape route through the city left a swath of destruction.  If this had happened in the present day, Carl Denham would've been sued by the City of New York for all the damage caused by Kong.

Movie #2 was "The Searchers". Filmed in VistaVision widescreen, you really get a sense of the vastness of the desert; lovely 50's postcard-like scenes. John Wayne can act. He plays Ethan, a civil war vet, who returns home to his brother's house. There's weird tension between Ethan and his sister-in-law. We joked about Ethan's quasi-flirting with the way-too-attractive Martin character, played by Jeffery Hunter, who interestingly enough, turns out to be the guy who decided not to film an additional pilot of Star Trek after playing Christopher Pike in "The Cage".  Ethan and the men folk respond to a neighbor's call for help when his cattle are stolen; it turned out to be a trap. People are killed, the house is burned, and a couple of the girls are kidnapped by Comanches. We later learn it's a revenge move by Scar. Ethan vows to find Debbie, the only one left to survive and spends the next several years, with the help of Martin, tracking her down.  Maybe there's a reason he won't give up looking for Debbie that had to do with the tension between his sister-in-law earlier?

This is not a Cowboys and Indian movie. I realize that's sort of what the movie poster would have you believe. There are very well developed, believable characters. John Wayne plays an asshole.  My fav character was Mose Harper, played by Hank Worden.

Both movies stand the test of time. Each is a classic in its own right and should be on everyone's Must See Movies Before You Die list.

I brought a hummus/bean dip concoction. I took a can of garbanzos and a can of white cannellini beans. I added tahini, lemon, garlic, olive oil and threw it in the food processor. I also added jalapeno sauce for some heat.

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