Separate Tables

I heard the news on the radio that the Raiders had secured a huge loan for their plan for the Las Vegas stadium, which seems to indicate the end of their days in Oakland.  I just questioned why these banks didn’t come forward to provide the money for the Oakland stadium.  I prepared for my class and gave my lecture, which lasted only one hour, and then I went home to watch “Separate Tables.”  It had a good cast with Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, David Niven, and Burt Lancaster.  The Hotel Beauregard attracts these misfits who have difficulties with human contact.  I liked these actors when they had less to say.  This movie felt like it came from a play because almost all of it takes place within a small space.  I had a hard time believing that Deborah Kerr could be such an inhibited young girl.  I thought her acting was especially self-conscious.  I couldn’t watch Rita Hayworth without thinking about the Alzheimer’s that was taking over her life.  She still has life in her face and eyes, but I had better memories of her in movies up until “Pal Joey.”  Her character does have a moment when he reminds Lancaster that human behavior isn’t so neatly explained.  Lancaster is an alcoholic who had a past with Hayworth.  He had more energy and life than the rest of the characters combined.  It made me wonder if he was a stand-in for Terence Rattigan, the playwright and screenwriter.  David Niven won a Best Actor Oscar for this film, although the role doesn’t fit our image of him.  In this role, he’s someone who inflates the importance of his past, and he bores everything with his tendency to talk too much.  I remember him for “Around the World in 80 Days.”  There is a lot of sexual repression among the characters in this story.  There is a bit of Eugene O’Neill in this atmosphere.  It’s hard to believe that this move was released in a time when rock and roll was popular.  It feels like it came from an era that is long past.  Rod Taylor had a small part, having much the same persona as he did in “The Birds.”  The director was Delbert Mann, who also directed “Marty,” “That Touch of Mink,” and “Fitzwilly.”  He died of pneumonia in 2007 at age 87.  Some people really admire “Separate Tables.”  I am rather lukewarm about it.  Some of the people who died on March 9 include Robert Mapplethorpe (1989), Charles Bukowski (1994), Fernando Rey (1994), and George Burns (1996).  Today is a birthday for Linda Fiorentino (59).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for March 9, the last of twelve episodes of the variety show “The Jacksons” aired on CBS with guests Tim Conway and David Letterman in 1977.  In 1984, “Splash,” starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, was released.  In 1990, Joe Versus the Volcano,” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, was released.

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