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  Texas : Features : Humor : Column - "A Balloon In Cactus"

Movies

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand
"Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets and then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again." That's a movie review from a Marin County, California, newspaper. The movie it described was "The Wizard of Oz."

Such a description certainly ranks above the two dumb thumbs stuck in the air by a pair of well-paid, commercially popular film reviewers. Anyway, everybody knows that if the films they're talking about were any good, they'd have all four thumbs up, right?


Read on and see if you can guess which movies are summarized in one sentence (answers at the end) --
  • Dirty old rich man dumps wife and family for young, blonde filly with a speech impediment, who drinks herself into a stupor and ends up gone.
  • WW II draft dodging, gin-swilling, Fedora-wearing dude flees U.S., is spurned by a sentimental Parisian woman who's really from Sweden, dumps her, then vanishes into the night with another man.
  • Intimidating New York control freak with hanging jowels helps his friends by utilizing guns, lawyers and long-distance animal abuse.
  • Dixie buttercup achieves riches and finds love by flaunting her beauty, betraying friends, and smacking servants upside they haids, while others lose their lives in her behalf.
  • British Officer becomes enchanted fighting for freedom in foreign land, sucks up to royalty, and becomes famous for wearing a dress.
  • College boy wants girl, compromises by dating her mother until a yellow bus carries him off to a future of probable poverty with vascillating trophy girl bride.
  • Two brothers start out together in life but arrive at separate destinations, one smashed up yet victorious, the other just hanging out.
  • A greedy and vain Slav factory owner decides he'd rather be loved than rich and is given posthumous worldwide recognition as a hero by a Hollywood producer.
  • A dripping guy does a one-footed stomp in the gutter while his silly friend runs into a brick wall and the female love interest earns a living by talking.
  • A man whose business is failing meets a dead geezer and hallucinates his way to happiness.


    ANSWERS BELOW --
    Dirty old rich man dumps wife and family for young, blonde filly with a speech impediment, who drinks herself silly and ends up gone.
    Answer: Citizen Kane (1941)

    WW II draft dodging, gin-swilling, Fedora-wearing dude flees U.S., is spurned by a sentimental Parisian woman who's really from Sweden, dumps her, then vanishes into the night with another man.
    Answer: Casablanca (1942)

    Intimidating New York control freak with hanging jowels helps his friends by utilizing guns, lawyers and long-distance animal abuse.
    Answer: The Godfather (1972)

    Dixie buttercup achieves riches and finds love by flaunting her beauty, betraying friends, and smacking servants upside they haids, while others lose their lives in her behalf.
    Answer: Gone With the Wind (1939)

    British Officer becomes enchanted fighting for freedom in foreign land, sucks up to royalty, and becomes famous for wearing a dress.
    Answer: Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

    College boy wants girl, compromises by dating her mother until a yellow bus carries him off to a future of probable poverty with vascillating trophy girl bride.
    Answer: The Graduate (1967)

    Two brothers start out together in life but arrive at separate destinations, one smashed up yet victorious, the other just hanging out.
    Answer: On The Waterfront (1954)

    A greedy and vain Slav factory owner decides he'd rather be loved than rich and is given posthumous worldwide recognition as a hero by a Hollywood producer.
    Answer: Schindler's List (1993)

    A dripping man does a one-footed stomp in a gutter while his silly friend runs into a brick wall and the female love interest earns a living by talking.
    Answer: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

    A man whose business is failing meets a dead geezer and hallucinates his way to happiness.
    Answer: It's a Wonderful Life (1946)


    These are the top ten pictures of all time, as voted by the American Film Institute, in addition to The Wizard of Oz which came in at #6.


    Copyright Maggie Van Ostrand

    "A Balloon In Cactus"
    October 10, 2005 column
    Email:
    maggie@maggievanostrand.com
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