Asphalt Killing

asph

The first Fever Dream Double Feature in Film Club history really deserves its own announcement/reminder, so here it is.

John Huston’s THE ASPHALT JUNGLE and Stanley Kubrick’s THE KILLING are so closely related (and yet their directors are so different!) that it makes sense to look at them together. That’s what I’ll be doing anyway. Participants are invited to watch one or other or both or just drop by with their memories of earlier viewings. Monday.

20 Responses to “Asphalt Killing”

  1. And here I thought you were going to do a mash-up, combining posters for the two films as you’ve been doing a la INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. But that might be getting carried away, and off-topic (from Film Club [semi-] serious to just plain nutty). As I’m sure you’ve surmised, I’m in the door on this one.

  2. The trouble with mashing those two up is the result would look kind of… normal. Like either one, only more so. Although I guess you could have Sterling Hayden punching himself.

    Incidentally, have you, or anyone else, read the novel The Killing’s based on?

  3. Not I. That would be The Clean Break, by Lionel White. I’m wondering just how accessible it is.
    You have a point with the normalcy factor, didn’t think about that.

  4. Christopher Says:

    I’ve not seen either “Killing” nor “Asphalt” in ages…but my moneys always on Huston.his body of work still amazes me..

  5. I’d love to know how things worked when Huston wasn’t around. Seems like he’d get bored with most of his movies and take time off, stop turning up, and the movies still got shot. Mike Nichols saw him on the phone to his bookie, outside the stage where The Kremlin Letter was being shot. “And the red light was on! They were shooting his movie. He was… totally relaxed.”

    Clean Break seems to be in print and on Amazon. No time to read it though! Another good reason to make Film Club monthly!

  6. Started watching ASPHALT JUNGLE this evening. The nuances of dialogue (very quotable) and character have me thinking I should be taking notes. Part of me thinks Marilyn never looked better than she does in this film. Hagen’s Doll breaks your heart (love when she pulls off her false eyelash, this is AFTER her makeup starts running), I can almost imagine Shelley Winters in this role (though I’m glad it’s Hagen). Okay, that’s enough, I’ll restrain myself and save the rest for Monday.

  7. Just watched it myself and agree 100%. Will try and run Killing tomorrow while it’s fresh in my mind for maximum resonance.

  8. Christopher Says:

    Huston was one of the few directors that thought Marilyn Monroe could be more than just Marilyn..Was watching Prizzi’s Honor the other night and had forgotten Huston directed THAT too..I remember all the hoopla over Angelica Huston’s performance..wonder if he saw Jack nicholson as a goofy buck tooth Bogart..as I did..

  9. Nicholson patterned his performance on William Hickey, playing his foddah. Interesting that Angelica was slated for A Walk With Love and Death — which she’s superb in. Then made a comeback YEARS later in Prizzi’s and everyone loved her.

    Among the things movie reviewers tend not to be very good at: assessing performances.

  10. Arthur S. Says:

    John Huston blamed the failure of AWWL&D on Anjelica. Fathers aren’t that good either. I loved Anjelica Huston in THE DEAD, especially the scene where she listens to “The Lass of Aughrim”, the crucial scene in the Joyce. She’s become a truly great performer, doing the Huston name proud.

  11. I wish Hollywood could find more and better things to do with her.

    Huston can’t entirely be blamed — all the reviewers told him he’d made a terrible mistake casting her (“Face of a gnu and a body of no determinable shape” – John Simon) so he was almost bound to accept that. If he made an unpopular film, he generally decided it was no good, like most Hollywood directors of his time.

    Angelica didn’t want to make AWWL&D in the first place, she was aiming to get the lead in Zeffirelli’s Romeo & Juliet. Huston suddenly got a case of fatherly concern and wanted to make a star of her himself.

  12. Arthur S. Says:

    Wes Anderson likes her a lot and she’s terrific in THE ROYAL TENNENBAUMS. A performance apparently based on Anderson’s mother.

  13. She’s part of Anderson’s re company. I love it in The Life Aquatic when she sidles up to Jeff Goildblum, twaks the decorative medal on his coat and sasy “Hi skinny. New Merit Badge?”

    Father and daughter had a very stormy relationship at the start that finally settled into Real Love and respect. A Walk With Love and Death is really quite lovely (Positif was crazy about it when it was released) but never scored with audiences or most critics. So she went back to being Jack’s Girlfriend.

    Far more than John Huston’s Daughter she was Jack’s Girlfriend as far as Hollywood was concerned for a great many years. I’ll never forget her turn in The Last Tycoon. DeNiro shows up at the house to pick-up Ingrid Boulting for a date just as Anjelica’s leaving, and it was all I coudl do to keep from screaming “YOU’RE DATING THE WRONG GIRL!!!!!!”

    Prizzi’s Honor was of course a triumph in too many ways to mention. A late period masterpiece for Dad and an Oscar for Anjelica. The “O Mio Bambino Caro” scene alone is Oscar-worthy. And who can forget “Let’s do it — right here on the Oriental!”

    William Hickey was quite a character. Do seek out the original cast recording of Ben Bagley’s “The Decline and Fall of The Entire World As Seen Through The Eyes of Cole Porter” where he does the definitive version of “I’m a Gigolo.”

  14. Hickey first came to my attention back in 1980 when I saw WISE BLOOD for the first time, as that wretched character that Ned Beatty concocts to compete with Brad Dourif’s street preacher Hazel Motes. He was unforgettable in that small part, when I saw PRIZZI’S HONOR a few years later I recognized him immediately. According to IMDB he’s well-remembered for his time spent as an acting teacher, which I knew only because a friend of mine has a brother who studied under him.
    I’d like to join the chorus of those singing the praises of Anjelica Huston. She first came to my attention as the lion-tamer who shares a brief tryst with Jack in THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE. And she really is wonderful in THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, her exchanges with co-star Hackman pricelessly funny. A real class act.

  15. Those Addams Family movies aren’t exactly great, but Angelica and Raoul Julia were terrific together. I’ve never seen any of her films as director (or any of Danny Huston’s). I wonder if this impressive dynasty has spawned any more generations of talent?

  16. Haven’t seen any of Danny’s directorial efforts, but I thought he was outstanding as the heavy in Australian director John Hillcoat’s THE PROPOSITION. He keeps pretty busy as an actor, perhaps a bit less so as a director.

  17. She’s directed three movies so far. Bastard Out of Carolina is the best of them — and the most important. Not sure if directing is more than a sideline with her, however.

  18. I often wonder that with actors who direct. Alex Cox is fighting a rear-guard action against actors by acting himself whenever he can. Of course it’s easier to pick up acting work, especially when you already have a great reputation like hers, so I can’t fault her for concentrating on that. Danny seems to be acting a lot more than directing these days too, and he’s very good.

  19. Christopher Says:

    Kathleen Turner is no slouch in Prizzi’s Honor …was reminded of what unique hunk of walking talking sex appeal she was..Saw her briefly in Marley and Me awhile back….not lookin’ quite the same there..heh..

  20. Time, though known as the great healer, will eventually kick the crap out of all of us.

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