Lucy and Desi, Bob and Dorothy Take to Local Screens This Month
June finds us, once again, with all three of our favorite cinematic contributors firing on all cylinders. The Lamorinda Movers, The Classic Film Showcase and the International Film Showcase are all out in force with one intention and that is to keep us entertained.
Before I go any further though, I’d like to take the opportunity to mention several resources that I usually bury somewhere in the middle of this column. I do this mainly because the schedules of both the Orinda Theatre and the Rheem Theatre are fluid, to say the least, and I wouldn’t want you to miss any of the new or non-cinema events that both venues have to offer.
The main resource would be www.lamorindatheatres.com. Through this site you will be provided with an overview of just about everything both theaters are playing or will be playing. Clicking on the “Events” tab will yield even more news. Also, be sure to check out www.internationalshowcase.org for the very best in foreign films. And now, with that out of the way, let’s learn about what we’ll be watching this month.
The Lamorinda Movers start us off with My Favorite Brunette starring Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. Right off the bat, after seeing those two names, one might safely assume this is (a.) a “Road” picture and (b.) a comedy. Now what would you say if I told you that it also features Peter Lorre and Lon Chaney? That would change things a bit, wouldn’t it?
In truth, Brunette is a comedy made about mid-career, but this one is more a solo outing for Hope as he fantasizes about and then becomes a private detective. (His real job is as a child photographer, and a shy one at that.) One of the earmarks of Hope’s shtick is his sarcastic fecklessness and it comes into play here as he’s thrust into one silly, potentially dangerous situation after another with Lamour being the lure and sometimes instigator. Watch for some famous cameos. It will be showing at the Rheem June 12 at 4 p.m.
Next on the agenda is another beloved comedy icon, or more accurately, a legendary comedy duo. Already very well established on the small screen, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz made the leap to the big one with The Long, Long Trailer. Though many might dismiss this film as nothing more than an extended episode of their well-known and long lived TV show I Love Lucy, there is far more to it than that.
For one, it expands very far from the safety and size of the (sometimes) single location soundstage. (There’s even acknowledgement in the credits of how grateful the filmmakers were to the National Park Services for granting permission to film in Yosemite.)
For another, Trailer was directed by none other than Vincente Minnelli. This is not to say that there is not plenty of the familiar here. There is. Ball is still the determinedly headstrong but just as much of a scattershot redhead we all know and love and Arnaz is just as flummoxed (but loving) as usual. Now it’s just on a larger canvas. Happily, the laughs will also be of a greater measure if you make your way to the Orinda Theatre on June 13 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
Along those same lines, we have another film that deals with traveling but the travelers this time are not a newly married couple but four elderly gentlemen who have resigned themselves (mostly) to their diminishing lot in life until…
On Borrowed Time is what you would call one of those high concept or “what if” movies. The ‘what if’ in this case deals with one of the four coming into quite a substantial amount of money. Many reading thus far might already think they know where this is going and, judging by the previews, you might be right. But that does not make the message of this film (You’re only as old as you allow yourself to be.) any less relevant.
It’s also illuminating to see how other parts of the world deal with an ever-increasing aging population and because this film takes place in Dubai, one also gets to see that magnificent city. It will start its two-week run at the Rheem on June 14 and will move to the Orinda Theatre the week after. Keep checking the aforementioned websites for times and tickets.
Meanwhile, July awaits with fireworks inside and out so stay in the dark for that’s where the reel magic lies.