Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Essential Cinema - 19

Lord Love A Duck

Roddy McDowall
Tuesday Weld
Lola Albright
Martin West
Ruth Gordon
Harvey Korman

George Axelrod

George Axelrod
Al Hine (from his novel)

Daniel L. Fapp

A shallow high school sweater girl wishes for anything and everything while a spurned psychotic boyfriend grants her every wish. A 'Clockwork Orange' meets 'Beach Blanket Bingo'.

Youth learns to be cynical and manipulative. The 60s started out all sweetness and light but grew into something very dark.

As the film progresses it continues to get more surreal and unbelievable. Roddy McDowall in the title role of Alan Musgrave comes across as creepy and very manipulative. Tuesday Weld in the role of Barbara Ann is good looking and shallow. Most of the acting in the film is over the top, possibly to cover up the rather plain dialog.

There are various plot and sub-plots in the film, but the primary one appears to be Alan's willingness to grant Barbara Ann's wishes because he is in love with her. The adolescent dreams of a young girl are dangerous things to grant and McDowell's character seems to understand this, but is willing to let the poor girl fail miserably in all she desires, knowing that in the end she will come running back to him for comfort.

This film appears to document the 'end' of the 1960s teen movie genre. Where fun loving surfers and high schoolers become the cynical and manipulative young adults of the 1970s. The story line becomes muddled when Mary Ann weds her 'dreamboat' and Alan plots to kill her new husband for the remainder of the film, which is a plot line that takes up far to much time on screen.

This is a very twisted and disturbing film, that pokes a satirical fork in the side of 60s culture, in a similar way as the "The Loved One" did to the funeral business. An interesting film from a documentary aspect, but not a very good film in the theatrical sense.