Tag Archives: films

Wicked Men


Alexis Zorba: God has a very big heart but there is one sin he will not forgive. [slaps table] If a woman calls a man to her bed and he will not go.


I viewed two films last night. The films are Wicked Woman and Zorba the Greek. They are in general both particularly excellent films. One is a 1950s film noir and the other is a cultural film from the 1960s.

Each film captures a time in history. A snapshot of how things may have been. Characters in both films are believable, realistic while also having a diabolical and magical edge.

As a woman a motif came forward that bumped up against my conscious feminine. Both films are from a winning male psychology. The men can fuck up, screw up, cheat, lie and even kill. They get away with it and so a happy ending for them. The women on the other hand always get the short end of the stick. They get let down, lied to, abandoned, used, and killed.



In the film Wicked Woman Beverly Michaels as Billie Nash is an independent woman who is on the move to find a place to put her roots. Roots within a man and a place in the sun. Billie keeps playing One Night in Acapulco by Buddy Baker, on the jute box. She is tall, smart, and has a graceful walk. Men are after her the whole time. The one time she focuses in on a man he takes her, and they plan a sinister plot that falls through. Richard Egan as Matt Bannister gets off the cheating hook and Billie is blackmailed, seduced and must split on a bus. She must beat it.

She is the Wicked Woman that gets the blame. Billie is smart and helpful, yet the man traps are all around her. As a bar server she is wise with her words as every man tried to get her. She even helps her victim drink all the booze she wants even though her husband says no. This bar did not have mixed drinks only shots and beer. I like Billie’s character and understand her. As a woman I cannot tell you how many times I had to take the short end of the stick and leave on a train or bus for something I did not do. Even if she is guilty so is Matt and his drunk ass wife. Even Matt’s alcoholic wife sides with her husband over her friendship with Billie. I think that the two dames in this film should have been wise by telling Matt to go screw. They could have sold the joint and headed for Mexico. To lie in the sun a little bit, drink and have fun. As Billie said. “They like women with Blonde hair and light skin” in Mexico.



Anthony Quinn as Alexis Zorba is our male Zorba the Greek. The film is a cultural phenomenon. It is what it is in an absurd way with a very excellent soundtrack. The hard edge Greek patriarchy is saturated with tradition. A village that is self-sufficient with a thread of history and honor. Every man in this film is an asshole except the fool. Zorba is a creative natural genius that has a compassion that is appropriate at times. He teaches Sirtaki to Alan Bates as Basil. A wonderful Greek dance which shows how Zorba relieves his pain of living life while confronting death. Charming in a way.

Lola, Madame Hortense, and the Widow are parts of this film if only indirectly put among the friendship between Basil and Zorba. It is correct when Zorba tells Basil that the whole town of men are jealous, and all want the widow. A lovely young thing.  Kind of like all the men wanting Billie in the Film Wicked Woman. In this case the lovely young woman is trapped, stoned and then has her throat cut. Premeditated murder by a whole community of men and their old crone women. They are jealous of her youth and beauty. Madame Hortense dies in this film thinking she is married to Zorba to cover up for his earthy affair with a younger woman named Lola. Regardless of this unbelievable cruelty the men dance away their pain.



These two films are part of the winner male psychology. As a young girl growing up, I had this crap dumped into my sensitive unconscious psyche. This kind of male world. I am glad I am wise to it now. I can enjoy these films for their place in history. Yet, I wanted to affirm they are playing against the feminine rules.

Man, at bar, “How about having a drink with me?”

Billie, “I can’t it’s against the rules.”


The song Alfie

Here’s a song that had me hocked since 1966 at 8 years old. Now a classic Jazz standard. One of those songs that moves through my life and enhances the human experience. Making life lovable in troubling times. The original film Alfie is a sweet film with major dangerous life lesson learned. Michael Caine is beautiful. Shelly Winters’s character is one that I can now relate to more thoroughly in my feminine older years. The song Alfie is a deep and reflective song. Originally song by Cher when she was a rather unknown street singer/ musician. Yes, they, “Sony & Cher,” did hang out with Rodney Bingenheimer. Who cares after all these years.

“The title song, “Alfie”, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, was sung by Cher over the film’s closing credits in the US release. It became a hit for British singer Cilla Black (Millicent Martin sang Alfie on its British release) and for Madeline Eastman and Dionne Warwick. Numerous jazz musicians have covered it and it has become a jazz standard.”

Here is an interesting example or another jazz standard interpretation that I found lovely of the song Alfie.

The Gals and Michael Caine in Alfie (1966)


Alfie (by David K. Mathews featuring Amikaeyla) from DAVID MATTHEWS — Fantasy Vocal Sessions Vol.1 Standards released 2018.

A song for the heart. Always good to hear.

 



https://www.jazzmusicarchives.com/album/david-matthews/fantasy-vocal-sessions-vol1-standards

A “Cinderella Liberty” is Navy jargon for a pass that runs out at midnight…

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John Baggs Jr.: Would you call yourself a “Champagne cocktail-sippin’, cock-teasin’, downtown barroom whore?

Maggie Paul: [bursting into tears] Second generation!

At that time in my life I never looked at the possibility of poverty and prostitution as a way for a woman to be independent

We saw this film in 1973. We applied the usual antics of youth getting into films when we were all under age for an “R” rated film. It was the same year that the Exorcist came out. Most likely we viewed this film at the Fallbrook Theater that still had a large Cinemascope screen. I know it is the same theater where we saw the Exorcist. This is before greed stepped in, before they started butchering the theaters up into multi-viewing-rooms, at least this one.

John Baggs Jr.: We love each other.

Maggie Paul: Love is shit with sugar on it.

Basically, the film is about a sailor, John Baggs Jr., on “Cinderella liberty” due to a boil on his behind. He gets time off and in the process the Navy loses his files. He then goes on patrol street duty. He also does what sailors do he finds a prostitute, Maggie Paul. The film is very entertaining and made a big impression of me at 15. It has a good feel to it.

At that time in my life I never looked at the possibility of poverty and prostitution as a way for a woman to be independent. Also, I learned that the world of a sailor is a tough life. Somehow these two characters find each other and fall in love. There is more to the film though, it is also about Maggie’s child Doug.  Imagine a punk kid, who drinks beer to ease his toothache, winning John’s heart over. It is true and then the three of them forming a family especially in such an unpredictable environment. Who would know such a sweet family would develop?

The sleazy bar scenes, playing pool, and the colorful and cleaver dialogues; are brilliantly married with this film’s soundtrack. It has that ‘70s thing going on…the real deal!!

James Caan and Marsha Mason in Cinderella Liberty (1973)

Honey cooler

Wipe that smile off your mug!

~ Eddie Kagle

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Tony from 1932 Scarface

I just saw Angel On My Shoulder on TMC, (http://www.tcm.com/). starring Paul Muni, Anne Baxter and the infamous Claude Rains. Wow what a winner. The film is based loosely on the motif of Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which is the old story of making a deal with the devil. Romance is a tight theme in this film too and as in Faust it is love that outsmarts the devil once again !

What is so endearing about this film is how Paul Muni’s character Eddie Kagle talks the gangster talk. He has it down. He is an amazing gangster actor to study. I have viewed a few films with Paul Muni over the years, as the 1932 Scarface,  but this one really gets me. Ya, I’m a sucker for them bad boys.  Next to James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart… I prefer Paul Muni!

So sit back with some giggle water and rest your lambs on some Joes or should I say trouble boys… all the way!   This film is well worth your time!

http://www.sagedragonfly.com/sayings/1930s_slang.htm