Movie Suggestion: What a Way to Go!
Director: J. Lee Thompson (The Guns of Navarone, Cape Fear)
Plot: Via IMDB: “A four-time widow discusses her four marriages, in which all of her husbands became incredibly rich and died prematurely because of their drive to be rich.”
Writers: Gwen Davis (Story), Betty Comden (Screenplay), Adolph Green (Screenplay)
Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, Gene Kelly, Dick Van Dyke
Costume Design: Edith Head
Why Watch: The exclamation mark in the title is well deserved in this one. From the incredible cast to Edith Head’s costumes (she won a record eight Academy Awards for costume design over her illustrious career), What a Way to Go! is a movie lover’s dream. The script is witty and unpretentious, allowing the cast to take their silliness way too seriously, which leads to even more silliness. For instance, Paul Newman, who plays “starving artist” Larry Flint, pokes fun at his reputation as a serious actor as he praises the artistic genius of local chimp that paints.
I had the privilege of seeing this gem at the New Beverly Theater, owned by Quentin Tarantino, alongside an enthusiastic crowd. Movies like this are meant to be seen on a big screen, which is why it’s such a damn shame I’ve had to watch most of them on a computer.
Gene Kelly’s dance sequence, Dean Martin plowing a field while reading Thoreau, Dick Van Dyke and Shirl Maclaine’s stab at a silent film. I could list about a 100 more reasons to watch this movie, but I think it’s easiest if you just watched What a Way to Go!