Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Magic Christian (movie review)

I tried grabbing a screen shot of Yul Brynner in drag. Easier said than done with bitmaps.

I'd not been aware of this interesting spoof, starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. Early (1969) foreshadowing of Bruno, especially in the boxing ring scene.

The film is about the all-corrupting power of money, and the thin veneer of polity (polite company) over fear and longing, with all kinds of cracks and fissures manifest.

But is also a who's who of sorts, an allusion to the ship of fools that is The Magic Christian (an opulent cruise ship). Raquel Welch, of Bedazzled, makes an appearance. The future Monty Python cast is picking up the baton of British comedy. Then there's Ringo himself, with a sound track by Paul.

Sellers is preternaturally good at affecting lots of inane mannerisms and accents. American accents (and attitudes) get spoofed as well. Ringo Starr is the privileged son who gets the view from back stage as it were, with a front row seat on Vice Street goings on (board meetings etc.).

When the practical jokes are as benign as these, having lots of money starts to look like fun. Too bad so many jokers are more like The Joker than like our Being There guy.