Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Revisit: The Affairs of Dobie Gillis

An MGM Release 1953
Directed by Don Weis
Screenplay by Max Schulman

Grainbelt University has one attraction for Dobie Gillis (Bobby Van) - women, especially Pansy Hammer (Debbie Reynolds). Pansy's father (Hanley Stafford), however, does not share her affection for Dobie. A plagarized essay which almost revolutionizes English instruction, and Dobie's role in a chemistry lab explosion convinces Mr. Hammer to send broken-hearted Pansy to New York, but with the help of best pal Charlie Trask (Bob Fosse), his girl Lorna (Barbara Ruick), and Happy Stella Kolawski's (Kathleen Freeman) all-girl band, Dobie secures Pansy's return to Grainbelt.

This movie is truly absurd. It's a musical-comedy in the classical sense, but it swipes a lot from rock'n'roll and really reflects the care-free attitude of the era. I don't think I've ever seen a film that reinforces an "no work, all play" attitude so strongly as this. It'd be interesting to see a comparison between Gillis and Frank Tashlin's 1954 film The Girl Can't Help It, as they appear to be rooted in the same material while being polar opposites on almost all levels; one is a simplistic, black and white, classical musical 'updated' for the rock'n'roll age, the other a real rock'n'roll movie with biting satire and bright colors. Both have a certain cartooniness to them as well - the whole chem lab explosion has served as a plot point for almost every modern cartoon I can think of. The performances here are stellar - Debbie Reynolds shines with starry eyes and a sensational singing voice, and Bob Fosse's footwork is impressive as always. Not a must see, but a fun way to kill a quick 90 minutes.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of that time I saw a wolf sucking your Mother's cock. Man he wanted it so bad, like a calf quenching itself on its mom's teat. Nothing like good ol' beastial gangerfucking in the morning dew, right? Anyhow, I just wanted to say that I both hate you and miss you at the same time because I know every day I am away from you your ass is just growing tighter and tighter again. Peace out homie. God I love those wolves who fuck our families when we're not home. GOD SAVE THE WOLVES.

e.banks said...

^

that's hot