Wednesday, January 23, 2008
This is one of Mark and my favorite movies. Actually, I think Mavis and I first saw it at the Film Forum years ago! How on earth can I describe it? Otto Preminger made a film about LSD that stars Jackie Gleason, Carol Channing, Frankie Avalon, Groucho Marx (as crime kingpin "God,"), Mickey Rooney; several of the Batman villians - of which Preminger was one: Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, and Cesar Romero; Arnold Stang (!), Michael Constantine as Gleason's cellmate who proudly declares, "I'm a rapist!" ... Carol Channing doing a striptease on Frankie Avalon's swinger bed while hubby Gleason trips on acid for for the first time, demanding, "Give me a flower!" Watching it demands a group experience: you can't help but blurt out "Norton!" after almost every one of Gleason's lines, such as his grilling of daughter's boyfriend John Philip Law: "What is he, a faggot?" Not only that, Slim Pickens and Harry Nilsson (who sings the film's credits!) are the prison guards. Imagine Slim Pickens on acid.
Here's Nilsson on "Playboy After Dark" promoting the film. Otto Preminger is already there on Hef's couch:
The great thing is that TCM is now showing it, so I don't have to resort to my badly bootlegged copy to show people this unbelievable film.