Saturday, December 02, 2006
The great and powerful Mark Evanier posted this earlier today- it's the ending of a bizarre film that I have never seen before (even though I'd heard of it for many years): Otto Preminger's Skidoo...which features an unbelieveable cast consisting of Groucho Marx (his last film, sadly), Jackie Gleason, Carol Channing, Frank Gorshin, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith (apparently Julie Newmar and Victor Buono had other commitments), Richard (Eegah!, "Jaws" in some Bond films) Kiel, Michael Constantine of Room 222...and in a cameo role, the great Harry Nilsson, who wrote the songs for the soundtrack with arrangements by George Tipton, who worked with him on his pre-Schmilsson albums. Released in 1968, it's some kind of bizarro counterculture satire involving hippies and prison inmates and acid and...who the heck knows. I haven't seen it! If you'd like a synopsis, visit the Wiki entry. The writer sums it up nicely, and even seems to like the movie. From what I've seen, it looks mighty cringeworthy; the older generation trying to be hip and groovy and appeal to those wacked-out hippie kids. However, my main interest (besides the bittersweet sight of Groucho, and the sight of all the Bat-villains) is in what Nilsson contributed- and the songs I know are a mixed bag. I flat out love the beautiful "I Will Take You There", inexplicably a flop as a single, but the "Garbage Can Ballet" and the title song are a bit on the trite side. Some of the title song's lyrics are kinda embarrassing- or maybe that's just the way Channing sings it. One thing this soundtrack and film are notorious for (in a good way, mostly) is that Harry sang the closing credits. Yep, sang them. And it's a highlight, as far as I can tell!
Anyway, thanks to Mark, I was directed to a new (to me, anyway) video site called Dailymotion.com, where someone has posted not only the ending, but another scene showing Harry as a tripping prison guard that sees a dancing trashcan ballet.
Here's the ending, with apologies to Mark for copying his post, and apologies to you for so much Carol Channing. Please bear with it until about 3/4 through, when Harry does his closing credits singing thing:
Here's the Zappa-esque (well, it reminds me of a scene from 200 Motels, anyway) "Garbage Can Ballet" which also features Nilsson in his prison guard cameo, as well as Peter Lawford, Gleason, Gorshin (freaking out and seeing an angel on acid), Kiel, and others:
This seems like one of those films that you'd want to see once, especially if you're a fan of any of these people- perhaps even own the DVD (if one existed, which it doesn't). But you'd never watch it more than once or twice, I'd bet!