Actor Rod Taylor passed away earlier in the day at the age of 84. Let’s get it straight…

I have not watched many movies starring Rod Taylor, yet I write this because of the only film I have seen of his – Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds.’ The other movie, Sunday in New York with Jane Fonda and The Time Machine, is pending, and I hope to watch them sooner than I thought I would.

Coming back to the Birds, yes, the movie was all about Tippi Hedren and those ‘birds’ – zillion of them gone crazy. However, playing a lawyer, Rod Taylor as ‘Mitch Brenner’ enacted well, protecting the ladies despite the birds taking the limelight.

The fascinating part of the movie was that it had no real motive at the end of it all. This was a movie that showcased what birds, lots of them can achieve if they go bonkers. I will write another post on ‘Birds’ and what I felt about it; for now, it is time to bid goodbye to the life of this talented Australian actor who could have achieved much more and was last seen playing the role of Winston Churchill in Inglorious Bastards. 

Irma La Douce (1963)

As a follow up to my earlier view on The Apartment, I must admit this movie is one of my all-time favorites—Irma La Douce (Irma the sweetest).

Jack Lemmon is remembered for his portrayal of Nestor Patou, an honest police officer who finds a street full of prostitutes in one of the popular areas in Paris one day on duty. He reports all the ladies to the police station in front of his senior officers. Aware of the activities, Nestor finds himself in false charges of bribe and hence thrown out of service by his old men who indulge in infixes.

He becomes close to Chez Moustache (Lou Jacobi), a local bar owner. While he is drunk, a bizarre sequence of events ends Pastor being the new pimp boyfriend for Irma as she dumps the previous guy. Pastor moves in with Irma.

He is in love with Irma and cannot digest the fact of being with other men; he comes up with a master plan of disguising himself as an old English guy (Lord X). Lord X offers Irma good money so that she can entertain only him.

To earn money, Pastor works for a meat processing industry during the night and early hours; hence most of the time, he ends up in bed tired. With time, this upsets Irma, and consequently, she finds solace by talking out her problems with Lord X.

Jealous ensures Irma’s ex-boyfriend kill Lord X. Pastor again becomes a victim.

Rest is all about how he manages to escape from prison and how he manages to convince Irma that he loves her more than anyone. One of the best comedies in Hollywood, Irma La Douce, was released in 1963 and was directed by Billy Wilder.

One of the fascinating things about Lord X is his strut and his comic timing. His ‘cheeribye’ is very catchy.

In a way, I wouldn’t like to describe much about this movie, as I would recommend everyone movie lovers to watch and enjoy.

Marilyn Monroe was touted to play the role of Irma; instead, Shirley Maclaine was chosen, as Monroe was dead by the time the production of this film started. Bollywood made a movie based on Irma La Douce, Manoranjan, starring Sanjeev Kumar, with Zeenat Aman and Shammi Kapoor playing the other lead roles.

I shall end the post with some of the memorable dialogues,
“Who wants to be a stray dog? You got to belong to someone, even if he kicks you once in a while.”

“Life is total war, my friend… nobody has a right to be a conscientious objector.”

“Shows you the kind of world we live in. Love is illegal – but not hate that you can do anywhere, anytime, to anybody. But if you want a little warmth, a little tenderness, a shoulder to cry on, a smile to cuddle up with, you have to hide in dark corners, like a criminal.”

“To be overly honest in a dishonest world is like plucking a chicken against the wind… you’ll only wind up with a mouth full of feathers.”


Charade (1963)

A viewer’s delight. This movie had two of the great movie stars seen on screen, which marked the first time they starred together. This is Stanley Donen’s romantic-suspense drama ‘Charade.’ A movie that could have been a Hitchcock thriller or a James Bond movie.

The first time when I heard about this movie was in a local quiz competition. Our team didn’t get the answer to the introduction scene of this movie. The movie title always fascinated me. That was just one of many reasons to watch this movie. Little did I know then, it would star Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn?

Cary Grant was 59 and hence wasn’t convinced about romancing Audrey Hepburn, who was just 33 at that time. He did refuse the offers made to him because of the age difference.

Finally, Cary Grant did agree because of Peter Stone’s script’s specific change, the writer. It was decided that Audrey Hepburn would be pursuing him, and promptly the romantically aggressive lines were shifted to Audrey Hepburn’s character.

This film also reiterated the fact of Cary Grant playing action roles with ease. He refused James Bond owing to age. Apart from these legendary actors, Walter Matthau plays a pivotal character.

Audrey Hepburn plays the character of Regina Lampert, who would lose her husband through murder. Many of his friends would come to take the money, which was stolen in gold from US Government during WW II. She is ignorant about his past, and the plot continues when three of her husband’s ex-partners in crime, the US Government, all chase her in search of money. The screen name of Cary Grant changes every 20-minutes in the movie, who has a protective and selfish motive in the film. The film is shot mainly in Paris and Switzerland.

This movie, made in 1963, was a box office hit, and this movie happened to be the only time Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn appeared together on screen. Cary Grant had refused ‘Roman Holiday’ earlier, which ended up being listed in Time’s 100 Greatest Movies.

Apart from Audrey Hepburn’s lines, I love the last scene where Cary Grant chases Audrey Hepburn. Why does he pursue? Watch the movie and find it out yourself.