The Ben Gazzarra Memorial Barn

You can still visit this barn, although I believe by now the lettering is quite faded.

Yes, we watched A RAGE TO LIVE, from the novel by John O’Hara. Suzanne Pleshette is the principle reason for watching, as she’s so damn watchable, but Bradford Dillman and the Gazz are also very good. But this film seems to have no reason to be. It’s dull soap opera and the story demonstrates nothing. Director Walter Grauman is best known for LADY IN A CAGE, which at least is memorably nasty, but equally pointless. Both stories seem like carefully designed torture devices to make their heroines suffer, only this one is a melodrama and the other is a home invasion horror piece.

This also suffers from being 1965’s idea of “racy” — an idea that would rapidly be overtaken just a year or so later when Hollywood discovered that costumes could actually be detached from actors. Still, whoever so carefully positioned the titles did a fine job — usually only Saul Bass fits his lettering so neatly within the compositions.

2 Responses to “The Ben Gazzarra Memorial Barn”

  1. I don’t have anything to say on this film, but the past month+ I’ve been watching late episodes of Columbo on TV, and it’s often a reunion, with Falk and Cassavettes acting, and Gazzara directing a couple.

  2. For my birthday I was given the book Flesh and Fantasy, which features a list of Hollywood rumours, most of which are just an excuse to publish scurrilous gossip under the excuse of “We don’t say it’s true, it’s just a persistent rumour” but one of them is “John Cassavetes and Ben Gazzara are the same person.”

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