Friday, November 20, 2009

Birthday Suit (With Bright Yellow Trench)

Today is the 109th anniversary of one Chester Gould the creator of Dick Tracy. Every time Dick Tracy (1990) comes up, I think "you should watch that movie again!" but I never do. I think I'm still mad that Warren Beatty kept cutting away from Madonna's "More" performance... which should've easily been one of the best movie musical numbers of the 90s (sigh). Otherwise I quite like the movie

Trivia Alert! Dick Tracy is one of Oscar's two favorite comic book movies along with The Dark Knight (2008). Their Oscar track was very similar. Dick Tracy had 7 nominations and 3 wins. The Dark Knight had 8 nominations and 2 wins and in mostly the same categories, too.
  • Supporting Actor (both, and the only two comic book performances ever nominated*: Al Pacino and Heath Ledger, winner)
  • Cinematography (both)
  • Art Direction (both)
  • Costume Design (Dick Tracy only)
  • Sound (both)
  • Sound Editing (The Dark Knight only, winner)
  • Original Song (Dick Tracy only, winner)
  • Make-Up (both, Dick Tracy winner)
  • Visual Effects (The Dark Knight only)
Why was there no sequel to 1990's primary-colored hit? Aside from Beatty's periodic Brigadoon-like vanishing it's because the rights are all tied up in legalese. Boo hoo.

Other birthdays for 11/20
1915 Kon Ichikawa, Japanese film director of Oscar nominee The Burmese Harp (1958) and Golden Globe winner Kagi (1959)
1925 Robert F Kennedy, assassinated hero and frequent movie character. I've still never seen Bobby (2006) though, have you?
1927 Estelle Parsons, Oscar winning actress (Bonnie & Clyde). She's still on the road with August: Osage County -- she's in Connecticut right this very second (5 more shows over the next 3 days. Hurry!), DC next month and hits the southwest in January and the midwest in February. I hope you bought your tickets because the show is so worth it. Our post about the casting of the movie is the 2nd most commented on this year (106 comments!). Everybody's got an opinion.
1928 Aleksey Batalov star of Cannes Winner The Cranes Are Flying (1957) -- rent it immediately if you haven't seen it, it's one of the best romantic war dramas ever -- and Oscar winner Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980).
1936 Don DeLillo, amazing novelist

1956 Bo Derek 80s icon, famous in swimsuit for "10", infamous in birthday suit for Tarzan the Ape Man and Bolero (right)
1959 Sean Young 80s actress, wildcard. Best remembered in pop culture as the desperate creature who wandered around in a catsuit trying to convince Tim Burton to cast her in Batman Returns. What's less remembered, unfortunately for Young, is that Burton had actually cast her... as Vicki Vale for the first film before an injury sidelined her and Kim Basinger got the part. Even less remembered and also to Young's credit: she definitely had screen presence. See: Blade Runner and No Way Out for proof.
1989 Cody Linley of Hannah Montana and Dancing with the Stars fame, busy creating a filmography composed entirely of ridiculous character names: "Spit McGee", "Mullet Fingers", "Brownie" and "Tough Boy"

* I may be wrong there. It depends on how you define 'comic-book performances'. More in the comments


mrripley said...

Such a shame about sean young seems some other actresses are going her route brittany murphy & lindsay lohan being 2 of them

mrripley said...

Bobby is long winded but has a great performance from sharon stone and 2 mor ethen competent ones from demi moore and lindsay lohan.

Julian Stark said...

I really liked Dick Tracy. I personally thought Madonna's performance was fantastic.

Kim Basinger's L.A. Confidential performance - eat your heart out!

Andrew K. said...

I think Al Pacino so trumps Heath Ledger...though I love Joe Pesci it would have been cool to see Pacino win. Moving on...I can't think of Dick Tracy without being pissed at Warren Beatty [for hiding Annette, no less].

PS. I hoped you at least liked Brothers. I really, really, do.

PPS. The Chenoweth movie was passable, but despite top billing she hardly has much screentime. It's Jeremy Sisto's movie.

Neel Mehta said...

Supporting Actor (both, and the only two comic book performances ever nominated: Al Pacino and Heath Ledger, winner)

There may be more, depending on how you define the term "comics" or "comic book."

Based on comic strip:
Jackie Cooper for Best Actor in Skippy, 1931
Robert Mitchum for Best Supporting Actor in G.I. Joe, 1945

Based on graphic novel:
Paul Newman for Best Supporting Actor in Road to Perdition, 2002
William Hurt for Best Supporting Actor in A History of Violence, 2005

More on this very subject here and here.

Unknown said...

Do not wast your time watching Bobby... There is only one good scene with Sharon Stone and Demi Moore, and thats all.

Andrew K. said...

Bobby is better than it's given credit for, but Sharon Stone is quite good.

Ed Howard said...

Anyone who likes Tracy should check out the current reprint project of the original Chester Gould comic strip. The movie may have amped up the candy-colored absurdity of the strip, but in fact Gould's masterful art was rough, raw, brutal and often ugly. With Volumes 7 and 8 of the reprint series, it switched to a large format where Gould's wonderfully nasty art looks incredible: the man had an impeccable design sense, a real feel for big areas of blacks as well as the occasional more subtle effect. And his steamroller plotting was always great fun, ricocheting from one inventive set piece to another, constantly introducing a rotating cast of increasingly outlandish villains. It's a great strip and well worth reading for those who only know the character from the movie.


noted Ed. Thanks for that. I have only a vague familiarity with the series but mostly it's through the movie so i will have to look into that.

it has it's own museum!

Paul Outlaw said...

I caught Estelle in August: Osage County here in LA and it was definitely worth it. Great performance in a great play. Hollywood is probably going to do weird things with the ages of the characters and the year the play is set when they cast this.

Three words about Madonna in Dick Tracy: "Sooner or Later". (Oscar for Best Original Song and a rare Madonna live performance of a ballad during this era where she stayed on pitch. Fabulous.)

Cory Rivard said...

Birthday Suit is quickly becoming my favorite place on the interweb to find hot pictures of naked actresses. Tomorrow we get Bjork AND Goldie Hawn. Though that seems too easy. So I challenge you, Nathaniel, to find a naked picture of Harold Ramis!


and by "it's" i obviously meant "its"

Cory --- er, i was trying to be cutesy. i wasn't actually trying to peddle smut ;)

MrW said...

An addition and a half:
Evelyn Keyes (*1916), actress who played Scarlet's sister Suellen in 'Gone With the Wind'.

And according to some sources (including IMDb), today is also the anniversary of director Henri-George Clouzot's birth (*1907), though August 18th is given as his birthday almost as often.

(And I do like Cory's idea for challenges. How about some Geraldine Page nudity for the day after tomorrow?)

Paul Outlaw said...

Mark Ruffalo's birthday suit on Sunday would be...umm...

Walter L. Hollmann said...

I love Bobby. Sharon Stone is solid, I stare in awe each time I watch it. Yeah, most of the acting/storylines are pretty cheesy, but man does it pack an emotional whallop.

Glenn said...

Bobby was... decent. Nothing fantastic, but nothing horrible either. Some nice performances.

Dick Tracy... oh how I love that movie.

Edward L. said...

I love Dick Tracy. Great film. The Academy really got it right there. But I think Al Pacino deserved the Oscar for that role. Joe Pesci was very good (and I was wild about him and GoodFellas in 1991) but Pacino is, I think, flawless as Big Boy Caprice.

And although 'Sooner or Later' won the Oscar, my favourite song is the lovelorn (and very short) 'What Can You Lose?'.