Thursday, June 25, 2015

Old Movie Review - "The Last of Sheila" (1973)

Earlier this week, Turner Classic Movies showed the 1973 all-star cast whodunit, "The Last of Sheila".  I remember seeing this back when Marilyn and I were dating and remember enjoying it a lot then.  I do not believe that I have ever seen it since, so I was wondering how  it would hold up after all these years, and I have to say that it holds up very well.  About the only thing that didn't hold up was that bad '70's mustache sported by Richard Benjamin.  Still a good mystery story with an attractive cast, and wonderfully filmed and directed by Herbert Ross.  A fun movie, although very early in the movie, one of the characters does something that will deeply incriminate him/her at a point later in the movie, and, for better or worse, I remembered it as soon as I saw it happen when watching last night.   Oh, well, that may have spoiled the surprise, but it didn't spoil the movie for me last night.

Before and after the movie, TCM host Robert Osborne and Guest Programmer  (by the way, I would love to have that gig sometime), film maker Edgar Wright, discussed a lot of inside stuff about the movie, such as....

  • The screenplay was by composer Stephen Sondheim and actor Anthony Perkins.  It was the only screenplay that either of them would ever write.
  • There was a lot of "inside Hollywood" stuff included in the script.  For example, the James Mason character was really Orson Welles, the Richard Benjamin character was really Anthony Perkins, the Dyan Cannon Character was  really Hollywood super agent Sue Mengers, and the Raquel Welch character was really, well, Raquel Welch!
My own observations are as follows....

Man, what a set of teeth God gave James Coburn.

Raquel Welch was undeniably gorgeous, 

but Dyan Cannon looked pretty damn good in a bikini back in '73 as well.

Also, it was hinted that one of the characters had a history of child molestation. This was brushed off as bit of a harmless peccadillo, something that would never be done in a movie made in 2015.

Both Osborne and Wright hinted that this movie has acquired a bit of a cult status, and that was news to me, since, as I said, I can never remember having the opportunity to see it since it was released forty-two years ago, and this showing marked its TCM debut.
Very entertaining movie, and well worth seeing whenever you have the opportunity.

Oh, and here's a shot of Richard Benjamin in the movie.  See what I mean about that mustache?

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