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The Last of the Mobile Hotshots

The Last of the Mobile Hotshots(1970)

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  • mobile hot shots

    • kevin sellers
    • 11/20/15

    I'm a big Sidney Lumet fan and a HUGE Tennessee Williams fan (This poet laureate of Gulf Coast decadence shoulda won the Nobel, in my humble) so I'll very generously give this mess of a movie a C plus. Let's just say that Gore Vidal's (of whom I'm also a fan) adaptation of Williams' play, with its injection of racial/sexual politics, was not an improvement. And the play, with its three characters, (Williams was better when working on a larger canvas) stuck in an old plantation house, while a too symbolic storm brews outside, is, shall we say? a bit on the heavy handed side and more than a little claustrophobic. Also, the flashbacks contribute very little, most of them repetitive stuff about the lead character's impotence, and Lynn Redgrave's screechy, faux Southern accent gets old ten minutes into the film. About the only reason to watch the damn thing is James Coburn's expert delineation of yet another of Williams' doomed, fragile Southerners. Jeb Thornton (called Lot in the play) may not be as memorably fallen as Blanche or Chance Wayne or Karen Stone, but he's their next door neighbor. And it's always nice when Coburn decides to pull himself together and practice his craft, instead of phoning it in, a la "The Carey Treatment" or the Flint films. Robert Hooks, as Chicken, (who was Caucasian in the play) does the best he can with the liberal, 60s Hollywood stereotype of the sexually powerful black man. And Redgrave, as previously alluded to, should not have been in the film at all. Wonder why Lumet cast her? For a challenge, maybe? Or did all the usual suspects, like Ann Margaret, or Angie Dickinson, or Janice Rule, in a mass outbreak of prescience, turn it down?

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