Triple Feature05 Aug 2003
This Saturday, we invited our friend Matt over for Steak and Potato Date Night round two. This was because we had leftovers from the previous Steak and Potato Date Night, the night before. Steak and Potato Date Night is pretty much what it sounds like. We get steak. We get potatoes. We get wine. We cook, and we eat. There’s some snuggling involved, but for round two (and Matt), we left this part out. Mostly. It turned into quite the movie watching marathon.
It all started when Amanda popped in Roman Holiday, just as something to watch while we made dinner. Turns out, Matt had never seen it, so we watched the whole thing. There’s not much you can say about this movie that hasn’t already been said. It’s one of the greatest movies of all time. It was Amanda’s favorite long before I ever saw it, and she turned me on to it.
Audrey Hepburn is as cute and charming and ever, and Gregory Peck, as Joe Bradley, is the quintessential slick American reporter. The things I really love about this movie, though, are the little things. I love the interaction between Bradley and Irving (Eddie Albert, who was actually pretty good looking in his pre-“Green Acres” days). I love the scene at the Mouth of Truth (which evidently was totally improvised by Peck on the spot to scare the living bejezus out of Hepburn, and, by the looks of it, worked pretty well). My favorite, though, is the end. Best ending ever.
We got to talking, and I asked if Matt had ever seen Swingers, and he responded with a blank stare. Mouth agape, I informed him that we simply must watch this movie. I then realized that the DVD (along with most of them) were still at my parents’ place from when we went to Florida. Not to be outdone, I realized I had the VHS tape, and went to grab the VCR from the basement. (Our VCR was long ago relegated to exercise-tape duty). This movie pretty much summarizes my high school/college experience. It’s hardly a work of cinematic masterpiece, but if you can relate to this movie in any way, you’ll find it hilarious. I have, however, shown it to people that obviously just Didn’t Get It. I tried to subject my little brother and his friend to it while we were in Florida and they were bored and gone within 10 minutes. Check it out sometime.
Now, some of the shots of the interior of the palace in Roman Holiday really reminded me of some shots in one of my favorite movies of all time, The Haunting. Despite the fact that it was already like 3:30AM, we (I?) decided it would be a good idea to watch it. The two 12-packs of beer we had gone through at this point didn’t hurt in this decision-making process. Amanda bailed, though, as I think she is determined to never watch this movie, just to spite me! Or, maybe because it was 3:30AM. Whichever.
I first encountered this movie when I was no older than 10, when a teacher at “Encore” (classes of mostly worthless mental exercises for “gifted” children, and an excuse to get out of class) showed it to us as a specimen of truly great black & white cinematic artwork. Its impression stuck with me for years, and I finally found a copy on VHS. (I understand it’s out on DVD, now, and I’ve added it to my Amazon Wishlist. Hint hint.)
This movie is the ultimate understated, psychological scary movie. This is the movie you want to bring up to your friends after seeing Freddy Vs. Jason to demonstrate what a fancy-pants film snob you are, and that you remember a time when blood and gore weren’t necessary to create a truly scary effect, etc etc. Filmed in all black & white, the plot revolves around the investigation of a haunted house. Pretty straightforward stuff – no frills. I recommend renting this movie around halloween, turning down the lights and cranking up the sound. Warning: the recent remake of this movie is absolutely horrible, despite a somewhat promising cast. Stick with the original.