Viva Las Vegas (1964)

I’ve owned a box set of Elvis Presley movies for about the past three years, yet as of this weekend I’d only watched ONE of them, and even that (Jailhouse Rock) was only within the past few months–on some weekend I hadn’t rented a musical and needed something for my weekend morning project. I actually may have watched more of them sooner had I not owned them, because I was lulled into the complacency of always having them right there, waiting for me–instead of a rental with a due date or a friend tapping on their wrist waiting for a disc’s speedy return.

Busby Berkeley and the Gold Diggers of 1935

Man, Busby Berkeley really is on another level, isn’t he?  He certainly had an eye for film, which I think really distinguishes him from other choreographers, both of his era and of any time. His most famous set pieces simply can’t be replicated in any other medium–not only are the dancers choreographed, but the cameras as well… and you can’t get one of those great Berkeley overhead geometries seated in a theater.

Cagney as Cohan in The Seven Little Foys

I was trying to think of a new category of posts to write about, since that helps to keep me in line, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to put together the fact that I’ve named my film blogging site The Vintage Cameo and that maybe, hmm, I don’t know, I can perhaps highlight some literal vintage cameos? To be fair, I didn’t even really “come up” with it–I was just watching The Seven Little Foys and was surprised by the sudden James Cagney appearance.

Mommie Dearest

I became supremely excited as Mommie Dearest neared on my watch-schedule, because even though a lot of its fame comes from being so over-the-top, it’s a movie that’s definitely been absorbed into the collective pop culture unconscious. I’m always fascinated by movies like this, where I already know most of the plot, the famous scenes, lines, could probably identify it in a police lineup, etc., and yet I haven’t ever seen it. Someone makes a “wire hangers” joke here, a Simpsons spoof episode there, and over time I’ve unwittingly absorbed half the movie.