Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Marty vs. The Geek

Looks like Shemp on a bender...
Hey it's Tuesday. Just like Monday . Go figure.

Last night, after a stimulating exchange of messages on DVD Verdict, I got the urge to watch Nightmare Alley, a great film noir. It's got everything: carneys, con-men, double-crossing dames, a neat morality play and Tyrone Power as a carnival geek. What more could you ask for? It comes Highly Recommended by me. Money in the bank, man.

Anyway, for some reason I don't understand, I ended up watching Marty. A great film, but a 180 from Nightmare Alley. I dunno what happened. Instead of a classic noir full of shady people and morality, I watch a heartwarming tale of a lonely butcher finding love.

I thought about it today, how my mind gravitated toward Marty. I've always loved the story. I also have it on VHS, along with a tape of the original TV production starring Rod Steiger. I've always said that if there's a stage version being done somewhere, I wanna do it. Then it occurred to me I mentioned it on DVD Verdict, as film that deserved a better release on DVD. That, combined with me being alone in the house probably contributed to it.

Thinking a little deeper in my brain (which a lot of times amounts to a Major Dig), I wondered why that story resonated so strongly in me. Probably because that epitomized my dating experiences when I was single (in all it's incarnations). It also seems that I'm not alone in that identification (it did win Best Picture in '55 after all). A lot if guys (and not a few gals) saw themselves in that film, even today. This, IMO, is the meaning of the universality of film. How worldwide, folks like me can see the story for what it is, no matter where it takes place or what time period it is set in. The feelings are real. To me, it meant a reaffirmation of why I like Movies.

So the geek was put on hold. The Bronx Butcher was my hero for the night.

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