Stone Cast

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Last night, Easter Eve, I watched movies by myself, Jan’s daughter visiting for part of Saturday / Sunday. I’m on a biblical movie kick: The Robe, The Story of Ruth, the Book of Esther … this, that, and the other gospel … Mid-Esther I was ODing on low budget Old Testament, everything seemed to have the same stage set, the same cast, you know, the court of Xerxes in your back yard, what I let bubble up my list seemed a nice bit of entertainment dreck, Eraser. Ponder the cast and you may see what I mean, whether or not you recall Eraser:

Eraser Arnold Schwarzenegger
James Caan
Vanessa L. Williams
James Coburn
James Cromwell

Is my point making itself so far?
One female in the mix, does that help?
I go just a bit further:

Robert Pastorelli
Danny Nucci
Andy Romano
Joe Viterelli
Olek Krupa

But just the first tier should suffice: they’re all, at least the males, character actors.
Assemble such a cast, mix in somebody who can handle a camera, paint a set, cut and splice film, read a light meter … The movie makes itself!

I watched Eraser last night and my jaw dropped. So great! James Caan as the fool-everybody patriot-villain: breaker-of-trusts.
James Coburn: half a century of male posing.
Well, who better to pose with than Arnold Schwarzenegger? He practically invented male posing! Take Hollywood, add Arnold … Hollywood taught Reagan how to pose … but then Arnold taught Hollywood how to be Hollywood!

Arnold is more Arnold after half a century of memorizing every millimeter of his jaw, his cheek, his buttock, his biceps … despite that ghastly non-English! Don’t try to fake it, he can’t learn, just accept it, the one glaring fault, too absurd to fake.

In the mid-1970s I was peddling Gail Bruce serigraphs around the US, inventing her. I placed one in a gallery on Bleeker Street, A Clean Well-Lighted Place, run by a nice queer. Clean is right, straight lines. Not only was the Gail Bruce soon framed in the window, soon retailed and missing from the window, but a life-size grayscale pic of Arnold stood in your way if you entered.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
thanx shreddedphysique

It was one of those Arnold pix we’ve each seen a million times, black and white … How many of those did A Clean Well-Lighted Place sell each and every day? In Greenwich Village? with that homosexual-tolerant population base? I bet it almost covered the nut: the rest (almost) would be gravy.
I know how many of that particular Gail Bruce A Clean Well-Lighted Place sold because they only came from me. When A Clean Well-Lighted Place’s sales slowed down I sold them to a competitor over on Sixth Avenue: we saturated that neighborhood (and Chicago, and LA … Fishermans Warf …

So I knew Arnold from those days, 1975. And I would have been ready to hail him as The Terminator any time around then. Fine. Still, I didn’t expect that he would have gotten quite so under my skin as last night’s viewing proved.

But there’s something else I gotta say first, related, I guess, in a half-perverted way:
Vanessa Williams is I guess her own icon, of sorts, but till last hight, I never saw her! I guess I was reacting against her being shoved up our nose: like I’ve never bought a single issue of Playboy, I’ve never bought a single issue of National Inquirer

My loss! What a beautiful girl! What great color.
No, I’m not punning. Never mind Arnold, or Caan, or Coburn: put Vanessa in a room with a minimally competent cinematographic crew and you’ll have something memorable.
One or two moments in the film were a little vulgar, but what they hay.

Making Your Nut
2016 04 06 Above I speculated that the gallery A Clean Well-Lighted Place may have sold enough copies of that one Arnold Schwarzenegger poster to cover its expenses: rent, power … Payroll was just the one guy so in a pinch he could skip his own salary. The consideration I neglected to mention was that the gallery was also a frame shop: like most galleries. Framing is priced such that a a shop which does its own framing can practically give the art work away and still make out like a bandit. If the painting is valued in the millions you can practically give away the frame no matter how much gold gilt and fancy tooling the frame displays. But if you have a good deal with the frame manufacturer, you can practically give the art work away.

When I was in college I could buy a poster of a Cézanne or a Picasso at a buck each. By 1975 $1 had became $5 or $10. Say the Arnold muscle picture retailed to $10. Say your paid $5 for it wholesale. Not too many businesses can run for $5 a day. But don’t forget the frame! Even the cheapest extruded aluminum frmae molding is going to retail at a buck a foot: Arnold nearly life sized: that’s going to come to $60: or $100. Lots of businesses can get by on a gross income of $100 a day. $10 for the pic? one that sells? You’re grossing $100, $110 a day, easy. Anything else you sell is gravy.

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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