Bus Stop

I didn’t want to go to work because my shoulder was sore.  I did, though, and I stopped for a burger on the way home.  I skipped the bookstore.  Back at home, I watched the Blu-day disc of “Bus Stop” that I bought a while ago.  The movie was in CinemaScope, and the color looked bright.  This picture was kind of interesting among the Marilyn Monroe films because she tries different things.  She talks with an unusual Southern accent, and her makeup makes her look white as an albino.  She is Cherie, a saloon singer hustling drinks and trying to earn enough to make it to Hollywood.  Don Murray is Bo, naïve and off the ranch in town for the rodeo.  He knows nothing about women, but is looking for an angel for his bride, and naturally it’s Cherie.  In some ways, Bo is the flip side of Joe Buck, Jon Voight’s character in “Midnight Cowboy,” and in other ways, the two are exactly alike.  Don Murray seems to overdo the green cowboy bit, but I guess realism isn’t part of this comedy, which has love at first sight as its key.  Arthur O’Connell is Bo’s friend.  He’s the voice of reason that gets pushed aside.  This was years before “The Poseidon Adventure” or toothpaste commercials.  This was Hope Lange’s first movie.  I remembered her from the TV series The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, so it’s still a little surprising to see her so young in this film.  Her part is nothing really notable, though.  She has a scene on the bus where she gives a sympathetic ear to Cherie.  Marilyn has a song that she is supposed to sing badly, and that it “That Old Black Magic.”  I didn’t think that Marilyn’s accent was completely convincing in this movie.  Bo was funny in his oblivious way, although he edged towards the annoying, which is inevitable when you rope a woman and try to drag her to the ranch for a wedding.  When I think of “Picnic,” I wondered how William Inge could come up with “Bus Stop.”  I could see how this movie was successful where “The Wayward Bus” wasn’t.  This one has the comedy, the music, the color, and the stars, especially Marilyn.  It even has a fight scene.  Since Bo was able to stay on the bucking bronco and win the other events at the rodeo, I didn’t think that the bus driver would be able to fight him.  The relationships generally didn’t seem plausible.  I don’t think a woman like Cherie would want to stay on a ranch in Montana.  The movie wraps up in only 94 minutes, which I appreciated when I think about the current movies which go on past two hours and wear you down.  Marilyn had the sex appeal in 1956, and movie fans bought tickets to see her.  Murray said that Marilyn acted as though the world revolved around her and she was constantly late for filming.  I found it rather hard to believe that she would live for only six years after this movie.  The only extras on the disc were trailers of various Marilyn Monroe films.  The most interesting were “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” and “The Seven Year Itch.”  This week’s edition of the East Bay Express has a review of the food trucks at the A’s games at the Coliseum.  I saw Vin Scully on an episode of Laugh-In from 1972 a couple of days ago, and I was surprised at the lines he had.  Some of the people who died on June 29 include Fatty Arbuckle (1933), Jayne Mansfield (1967), Tim Buckley (1975), Bob Crane (1978), Lana Turner (1995), Rosemary Clooney (2002), Katharine Hepburn (2003), and Joel Siegel (2007).  Today is a birthday for Gary Busey (73).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 29, Peter Frampton was involved in an auto accident in 1978 in which he suffered a broken arm and cracked ribs.  In 1984, “Conan the Destroyer,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Grace Jones, and Wilt Chamberlain, was released.  Also in 1984, Tom Hanks’ “Bachelor Party” was released.  Also in 1984, “Cannonball Run II,” featuring Burt Reynolds and many stars, including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Frank Sinatra, was released.

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