Tuesday, 16 March 2010

My favourite moguls!

For no particular reason, I've been looking at videos of my favourite fictional (usually cigar-chomping) movie moguls and I'm sharing them with you here!

The 1986 John Landis comedy, 'The Three Amigos', which stars Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short as the titular Amigos, features on of my all-time favourite fake movie moguls. Joe Mantegna is superb as Harry Flugleman. "Take the Amigo's clothes!" is my favourite line in the entire film and I really like how this scene seems to sum up the way stars were used in the old studio system days. Brilliant.

'Barton Fink', the Coen Brother's 1991 film about an East Coast Jewish, intellectual writer (John Turturro) struggling to write a screenplay in 1940s Hollywood, features another fine fake mogul. Here Michael Lerner is great as Jack Lipnick. I like how the image of the movie mogul in this 40s set film is not too dissimilar to the portrayal of the silent era mogul in 'Three Amigos'.

For some strange reason, I'm not allowed to embed this clip of 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' here. However, go to this link and skip to the 5.35 mark to see Alan Tilvern as R.K. Maroon (pictured), the head of the fictional Maroon Cartoon studios. I love how he sort of looks like Nixon.

'Singing in the Rain' features Millard Mitchell as R.F. Simpson, an altogether different screen mogul from the rest shown here. Simpson (shown briefly in this trailer, heralding the end of silent pictures) is a kindly and withdrawn figure who generally acts in his star's interests and stands by them. I haven't really seen any other sympathetic film studio heads portrayed in the movies.

Finally, here is a clip of Preston Sturges classic 1941 movie 'Sullivan's Travels'. In this wonderful scene, the studio bosses keep insisting that the worthy movie Joel McCrea's character is trying to pitch contain "a little sex". Sturges is a big influence on the Coen Brothers ('The Hudsucker Proxy' is basically a love letter to him and Capra) and so it is interesting to see how this image of the mogul is similar in some ways to that shown in the Coen Brother's film above, especially as this film was made the same year as that one ('Barton Fink') is set. Jack Lipnick is much more brash than the two seen below, but equally crass.

Hope you enjoyed that! I did anyway...

On a seperate note: I have now seen 'Shutter Island' and I am still mulling it over. I'll post a review in the next couple of days...

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