A Movie A Day: Quint sees Newman as Billy The Kid in THE LEFT HANDED GUN (1958) I… can’t… read!
Published at: June 28, 2008, 3:04 a.m. CST by quint
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day.
[For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge. My DVD collection is thousands strong, many of them films I haven’t seen yet, but picked up as I scoured used DVD stores. Each day I’ll pull a previously unseen film from my collection and discuss it here. Each movie will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.]
Today’s movie is THE LEFT HANDED GUN starring Paul Newman as Billy The Kid. This is notable for being Arthur Penn’s first film based on a Gore Vidal play and that’s about it.
I don’t know what the hell Paul Newman was drinking/smoking/injecting throughout the filming of this picture, but he gives perhaps the most off-note performance I’ve ever seen. Of course, that’s still Paul Newman giving the performance so there’s still a level of charm to it (as compared with his buddies in the movie who just overact to a ridiculous extreme).
Everybody knows the story of Billy The Kid and Pat Garrett, but this is perhaps the dullest version of that story I’ve ever seen.
It got so bad that my buddy Rav and I ended up switching the dialogue track to French and turning on the English subtitles… and it made a huge difference. Suddenly the overacting was gone and the story became much more interesting, the performances playing so much better in my mind.
So, I might not be able to claim a legitimate viewing of this film, but damn it… I still watched it from beginning to end, all 102 long, long, long minutes of it.
The schedule for the next 7 days is:
Saturday, June 28th: CALIGULA (1980)
Sunday, June 29th: THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980)
Monday, June 30th: THE GOOD FATHER (1987)
Tuesday, July 1st: SHOCK TREATMENT (1981)
Wednesday, July 2nd: FLASHBACK (1990)
Thursday, July 3rd: KLUTE (1971)
Friday, July 4th: ON GOLDEN POND (1982)
Tomorrow we jump to a completely different movie, written by the originator of the play THE LEFT HANDED GUN was based on, the infamous debauchery-ridden CALIGULA. See you folks then.