Saturday, November 15, 2008

I name this ship 'Repulsion'

My hopes were raised this summer, when the IMDb message board for 'The Wrong Box' lit up with rumours that the long-awaited dvd of this movie would be available by the end of the year. Alas, it looks like we've been disappointed again. However, I've discovered that a few more clips of the movie have been posted on YouTube, mostly by a Dudley Moore fan, so they focus on his scenes.

I decided to post the opening, which introduces The Tontine, and pretty much sets the tone for the whole movie. After we see the room full of little boys who are the original members of the Tontine, we travel down the decades, with a good overview of The Victorian Way Of Death.

The bodies really pile up during this sequence.  I guess everyone has his favourite, but mine is the duel. Something about the silhouettes of the figures, and the fact that it's all entirely silent, just makes me laugh every time. And we never really know WHY this is happening, so we are free to imagine just what sort of a bastard the victim must have been to bring this about.

Some favourite lines occur in this clip too, which we have incorporated into our household conversation at the Kraal:
Ebenezer Hackett. Went to school with him. An unpleasant name for a dirty little boy and an even dirtier old man - died of the pox, no doubt.

"Oh yes, I see, Sir." "Do you, Sir? Do you? I doubt it! I doubt it! But we're not concerned with YOU, are we, eh? We're concerned with ME! MY thoughts and feelings!" (Pretty much sums up life today, in the Age of Offended Minorities)

Nothing will upset me more than not winning the Tontine, and leaving you with a mountain of debts and a doubtful future as an idiot in a profession of rogues and charlatans. (That's the medical profession, by the way, for Dr. Alice's benefit!)
And of course, the greatest last words ever spoken by an idiot:
Not yet, Toomba! You must learn the white man's code! It is not sporting - it is not done - to fire at rhino until he's actually charging!
Of course, rhino's been charging for about the last 5 minutes. I hope Toomba got away in time.

I pointed out the Dr. Pratt clips in an earlier post, but here are the more recent ones, with Peter Cook (Cousin Morris) and Dudley Moore (Cousin John). All very funny as well:

This introduces the two villains - Morris with his obsession for collecting eggs, and John with his uncontrollable libido. Also Uncle Joseph (Ralph Richardson), who has spent his life collecting facts, with which he proceeds to bore the entire world. Did you know that the word "whip" occurs 174 times in the Old Testament? Well, now you know.

Then there's this one:
Peter Cook is great in this, but the scene is stolen by the choleric colonel, who utters the immortal line:
Sir. I didn't lose my right eye in the Indian Mutiny to have my left eye offended by the youth of England standing around with their asses hanging out. Dress yourself, Sir! Dress yourself! One of the most disgusting sights I've ever seen! Dress yourself, Sir!"

And our other favourite lines:
'Is he dead?' 'What's left of him is very dead indeed.'

'He's not dead until I SAY he's dead!'

'Morris, I beg of you - let's have done with this! Let's get an undertaker. He won't be too expensive, and he'll do a professional job!'

'Crate him in a box? What kind of box?' 'Something of suitable size and robustness for a man in that condition!'

Ah, well, maybe next year will bring us better news regarding the dvd.


Blogger Dr. Alice said...

I am still dying to see this. And yes, "rogues and charlatans" just about describes my profession. Arrr.

Let's hope it is released in 2009.

3:55 pm  

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