The Wackiest Ship in the Army

The Wackiest Ship in the Army.
Columbia Pictures 1960.

Before watching the movie:

Every time I see this title, I get a little disappointed it’s not The Ship with the Flat Tire, which apparently didn’t amount to much of anything outside of the enjoyment of the few who read it and has probably been out of print since the 60s.

This looks like a pretty standard farce with a misfit crew and a leaky boat, but Jack Lemmon will probably give it a good turn. What will make it distinctive is how colorful the eccentric characters are.

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Cinderfella

Cinderfella Paramount Pictures 1960.

Before watching the movie:

It seems a natural fit that a comedian who often plays meek nice guys would eventually land in a genderbent fairytale. If Jerry Lewis has a specialty in stories, it may well be nebbish men’s wish fulfilment fantasies, and few stories are more wish fulfilment than Cinderella.

In an era where we’re taking our traditionally white male role model character roles and trying to be conscious about putting more women and people of color there, it may seem a little backward to turn one of the canon fairytale princesses into Jerry Lewis, but I think the reason I’m not too discomforted by it is that Cinderella is a pretty classical feminine role type, and it’s not a position one would expect to find a fictional man who is the protagonist in. So it’s an underutilized permutation that stands exploring in media.

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Make Mine Mink

Make Mine Mink. The Rank Organization 1960.
Make Mine Mink. The Rank Organization 1960.

Before watching the movie:

The synopsis I saw sounds straightforward enough: a band of crooks pretty much have all they need, but enjoy stealing things too much to give it up, so they use what they steal to help the poor. Sounds like Robin Hood as done by eccentric genteel Terry-Thomas. And then the poster complicates things. Is the gang seducing young women out of their fur coats and then running off with them? That’s the best interpretation I can make of it. It’s entirely likely that the artist and marketing manager got carried away with “Terry-Thomas looking like a scoundrel, but with something sexy to catch the eye”.

Still, this looks like it has the potential to be a very different Terry-Thomas from the type I know him to play.

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Ocean’s Eleven

Ocean's Eleven. Dorchester 1960.
Ocean’s Eleven. Warner Brothers Pictures 1960.

Before watching the movie:

Well, Christmas is over. Hope everybody got their Christmas paraphernalia put away and locked up by 12:01 AM on the 26th.

So, this is probably the quintessential heist movie. Even though I’ve seen it (or rather, the remake and its sequels) parodied endlessly, the main thing I’m curious about is whether this is a romp or a drama. Not that humor and suspense are incompatible.

I wouldn’t be surprised when I get to the remake to find that this movie has better chemistry than the new one, since I’m pretty sure this includes the entire Rat Pack. I don’t think I’ve seen any Rat Pack films before, but I know their reputation.

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