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THE BEST MAN


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Good film, but why did they have to name the Fonda character "Bill Russell"? The basketballer was at the height of his fame when this movie was made, and the name was a distraction whenever it was said. They should have just gone ahead and named the Robertson character "Wilt Chamberlain".

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Good film, but whydids they have to name the Fonda character "Bill Russell"? The basketballer was at the height of his fame when this movie was made, and the name was a distraction whenever it was said. They should have just gone ahead and named the Robertson character "Wilt Chamberlain".

Incidentally, the Shelley Berman character was the best one in the film. And Lee Tracy had his first major film role after being blackballed for 30 years because of the p***ing incident.

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FWIW the Gene Raymond character does not appear in the play, but was invented by Vidal for the film. This may have been done simply to make exposition easier, giving Robertson someone to confide in.

 

But I wonder if it could have been done for the brother dynamic, to make the pair resemble the Kennedys. In the play the Cantwell (great choice of name) character is clearly a combination of McCarthy (about whom various personal rumors were already circulating in the '50s) and Nixon. But the casting of Robertson, who'd played JFK the previous year, inevitably raises the question of whether he is supposed to represent Bobby Kennedy.

 

Vidal was a confidante of JFK -- he was related to Jackie by marriage, which got him in the inner circle. When Vidal ran for Congress in 1960, JFK actually took time off from his own presidential campaign to appear with Vidal. After the election Vidal was comfortably ensconced as a friend of the POTUS until he ran afoul of Bobby. Just what happened between them is disputed, but it resulted in a bitter blood feud that would last until RFK's death.

 

So  a number of commentators have seen Robertson/Cantwell as Vidal's revenge against Bobby Kennedy.

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Incidentally, the Shelley Berman character was the best one in the film. And Lee Tracy had his first major film role after being blackballed for 30 years because of the p***ing incident.

"p***ing"?

 

Please fill in the blanking asterisks, Down.

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Good film, but why did they have to name the Fonda character "Bill Russell"? The basketballer was at the height of his fame when this movie was made, and the name was a distraction whenever it was said. They should have just gone ahead and named the Robertson character "Wilt Chamberlain".

 

Think THAT'S kind'a weird do ya, DGF?!

 

Then I betcha you didn't know that the political character Richard Arlen plays in this thing was originally named Senator Nate Thurmond in Vidal's first draft!

 

(...yeah, yeah...his name came to my mind for use here because as I'm sure you've heard, the old SF/Golden State Warrior Hall of Famer just passed away the other day)

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"p***ing"?

 

Please fill in the blanking asterisks, Down.

For anyone who has been living in a cave, Tracy was filming VIVA VILLA in Mexico, when he, while drunk, went out on his hotel balcony and urinated over the railing into the street. Unfortunately, the Mexican Army was parading by. It caused international embarrassment.

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For anyone who has been living in a cave, Tracy was filming VIVA VILLA in Mexico, when he, while drunk, went out on his hotel balcony and urinated over the railing into the street. Unfortunately, the Mexican Army was parading by. It caused international embarrassment.

 

And irreparably damaged Viva Villa. To replace Tracy as the fast talking reporter MGM inexplicably cast Stu Erwin, perhaps the slowest talking actor in Hollywood.

 

Tracy appeared in at least one major Hollywood production after the Mexican scandal, as Edward Arnold's sidekick in Sutter's Gold (1936), the film that bankrupted Universal.

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And irreparably damaged Viva Villa. To replace Tracy as the fast talking reporter MGM inexplicably cast Stu Erwin, perhaps the slowest talking actor in Hollywood.

 

Tracy appeared in at least one major Hollywood production after the Mexican scandal, as Edward Arnold's sidekick in Sutter's Gold (1936), the film that bankrupted Universal.

 

AND of course all this COULD have been avoided if only the plumbing of the El Rancho Hotel hadn't been on the fritz that one fateful day!

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AND of course all this COULD have been avoided if only the plumbing of the El Rancho Hotel hadn't been on the fritz that one fateful day!

Not necessarily. In an interview, Tracy said that he regularly **** over balcony railings. It gave him a thrilling sense of freedom.

Edited by TCMModerator1
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Not necessarily. In an interview, Tracy said that he regularly **** over balcony railings. It gave him a thrilling sense of freedom.

 

And which unfortunately in Tracy's case was never codified within Mexico's Constitution. 

Edited by TCMModerator1
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