Bad Boys for Life
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No llega a los niveles de sus anteriores screenballs, pero Hawks impreme su sello personal en las escenas finales en el rio.
Amazing study in sexual symbolism
Howard Hawks's screwball comedy starring Rock Hudson as a supposed professional expert on sports fishing who actually knows nothing about it, and Paula Prentiss as the woman who helps him get through a fishing contest despite his ignorance, is perhaps the most amazing cinematic study in symbolic sex I can think of, though the symbolism is so naturally integrated into the action that the censors can't touch it.
Almost every scene involves a woman or women getting a man (Rock Hudson) into something he can't get out of.
It begins with Hudson inserting himself into Prentiss's car and almost not getting out of it, incidentally dropping his ID into the car next to her ID (!), and it turns out she's also gotten him into getting a ticket, which he can't get out of.
Then he finds she's gotten him into entering the fishing tournament, which he can't get out of.
Later she makes him fall into the lake, which he can't get out of, and then she tells him to inflate the gaiters, which he does but they inflate up too much (!) and he can't get out of them.
And she puts his arm into a cast which he can't get out of, so he has to walk around with his arm sticking stiffly up (!) until she finally cuts off the cast (yes, there's a lot of castration imagery too.)
And she causes him to sleep on the couch in a sleeping bag, which he subsequently can't get out of, causing him to get in trouble with his fiancee Tex, which he can't get out of.
These are only a few of the more memorable scenes of "female traps male," which are all symbolic of male ambivalence towards the sex act: desire to consummate and dread of being consumed.
I haven't even mentioned the male sexual imagery associated with fish, but if you watch the film with that in mind, you'll see it everywhere. Just one example is the fishing contest, in which men are judged by the size of their "trophies": "Mine is bigger than yours: I'm the better man!"
And there's some fascinating symbolism in the early scenes in the Abercrombie and Fitch offices, where Hudson and the other men are positioned in front of the various antlered hunting trophies on the walls in such a way that they seem to have horns themselves, foreshadowing, I think, the motif of women manipulating men through male "animal impulses."
(I probably can't even explain the symbolism of Hudson getting his tie caught in the zipper of another woman's dress and then being led all around by it without getting this review censored.)
About now many reading this are saying, This is a joke, right? and are preparing to post mocking replies saying "Yeah, sure, and I suppose all those fishing rods are also sex symbols ..." (Well, yes, actually.) My only defense is to remind everyone that Hawks was one of cinema's supreme geniuses: not even Hitchcock makes his sexual symbolism (which is universally agreed to be there) so natural and unobtrusive. The ultimate test will be to watch the movie again with some of these things in mind: even if you're skeptical now, I bet you won't be able to help feeling there's something to this. Meanwhile, feel free to post your scorn.
(And I'm not saying everything in this movie is a sexual symbol. Probably not the credits, for instance ...)
So far as I know, available in region 1 DVD only in the old 2003 Universal standard DVD; this really needs to be remastered and put on Blu-Ray.
What a great movie. Very Funny Classic.
Great show. I want that Honda...
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
Rock Hudson is charming, but there is not much in this film to warrant classic status.
This Movie gets two rotten tomatoes from me and half a star. Definitely unfunny. The heroine is one of those motormouths who interrupts the hero continuously and talks on and on and on. Reminded me a bit of Cary Grant being hounded by his future wife in Every woman should get married. How on Earth does the hero fall for her? Maybe they found the woman's behaviour funny in the 60s but it is not so in the 20s.
Believe it or not, I did not crack a smile throughout the movie and I am considered to be pretty easygoing and tolerant. Hawks fell down on the job here.
Pretty typical 60's comedy here, problem is is that while Rock Hudson is good, Paula Prentiss is certainly no Katherine Hepburn (which the original movie the source material, Bringing Up Baby is from). I haven't seen a lot of the Rock Hudson comedies, and I hope this is a bad example ;)
I'm still filling in my Paula Prentiss viewing with stuff like this, in which she plays a real go-getter who foists a fraud of a sporting goods salesman into a fishing contest that he can't win, then tries desperately to teach him the ropes on the fly. She's charming and fun as always, and I guess this being my first exposure to Rock Hudson was decent enough, though I don't know if I need to run out and track down anything else he's done anytime soon.
Worth a rental.
Fun little Howard Hawks homage to his own classic screwball comedies, along the lines of "Bringing Up Baby". Rock Hudson is good as the fishing expert author who's never actually fished but is forced to compete in a fishing tournament. Although Rock is certainly no Cary Grant, Paula Prentiss is terrific and actually does compare favorably to Katherine Hepburn as the mismatched wakly love interest. It's not a classic, but it's a funny charming little romantic comedy.