Friday, August 25, 2006

A JOURNEY TO THE TIME WHEN MOVIE THEATERS HAD SMOKING SECTIONS

In my constant effort to entertain you, not to mention having no idea what to write about this morning, I now present the first in what might be a Friday Tradition here in the Neighborhood (Or, it won't. I admit my track record on these "Running Themes" is worse than Bush's track record with the truth). Yes, folks, may I present to you, for your coffee-supping enjoyment, the awkwardly-titled, and even more awkwardly conceived . . . Friday Silly Movie Of My Youth Of The Day.

(And yes, I'm aware that the "Friday . . . Of The Day" construction is completely preposterous, but preposterousness is my goal most of the time).

So, with no further ado, the most-appropriate flick for day one of this inappropriate meme:
Thank God It's Friday
If you've never seen it . . . well, thank god for that fact, and don't do a thing to change it. I haven't seen it in the 28 years since it came out, and I'm planning on keeping that way. I suspect it would fall on the Rocky V side of unwatchable.

But that's not to say I didn't like it when I saw it as a 10 year-old. Cause I did. I actually saw it with my parents, some time in the spring of '78, after the release of Saturday Night Fever, but before Grease. And when I think about it, with Animal House coming that fall, 1978 was a helluva year for me in terms of busting into the "grown-up movie" world.

In retrospect, what the hell were my parents thinking???

I can't remember much about the flick other than lots of disco music, lots of chicks in satiny dresses, and guys with gold chains, leather, poofed-up hair, and all the other accoutrements of that wacky era known as the late-70s. And all I recall in the way of the "plot" was an ingenue played by Donna Summer trying all night to get to the mike to sing her song.

Come to think of it, that's pretty much the whole plot, and the marketing, all wrapped into one. Of course she eventually got the mike, sang Last Dance, and boldly began charting her course to TopOfTheChartsDiscoDiva as the credits rolled.

Finally, check out the credits: The Commodores (including a fully-afro'd Lionel Richie); Debra Winger, fresh off her TV success as Wonder Woman's curvy sister, Drusilla; and Jeff Goldblum, as the owner of the swinging disco where all the fun went down. Still a few years away from breaking into the leading roles he saw in the 80's, I guess it was a step up from the bit parts of the previous years: the guy who "Forgot his mantra" at Tony Lacey's party in Annie Hall, and one of the rapists in the first Death Wish. Oh, the ignominous beginnings of many an actor.

And, oh, the world I grew up to in the 70s: afros, revenge flicks, Lynda Carter in a red, white & blue bikini on a "family show," and Jeff Goldblum trying to remember his mantra at Paul Simon's party in a Woody Allen film. Dazed & Confused, indeed.

And anyway, thank god it's Friday.

4 Comments:

Blogger Alan P. said...

They used to have ashtrays in the churches too. Praise the Lord! Can I get an amen and a light please?

6:03 PM  
Blogger Otto Man said...

Jesus Christ, I saw this same movie in a theater with my parents at about the same age. Unbelievable.

11:32 PM  
Blogger Otto Man said...

Seriously, you just can't beat timeless dialogue like this:

Floyd: Say, brother, you got the wrong idea. I'm workin' for the Commodores.
Trooper: Yeah, brother, and I'm Baretta.


It's like when Mad Magazine keeps sticking it to that Spiro Agnew guy. They don't care who they zing!

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

After I read that quotation, I thought, yup, that was the time when everyone used "turkey" as insult numero uno in TV shows or PG movies.

Tehn I went to the memorable quotations section on IMDB, and this was the first one:

Bobby Speed: Hey listen man. When I, Bobby Speed, promises his audience live music, he delivers.

Voice of Sam: You'd better, turkey, or you'll be back at the supermarket announcin' specials!


Where were George Jefferson & Florence?

7:12 AM  

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