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Shag, Women Make Movies


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I wonder how much the title had to do with Shag not getting a better reception.  Probably not that many people even today know what it means.  Also, setting it in South Carolina.

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

OK, so I did actually get to watch Shag last night.  And I was not disappointed, it was a fun, entertaining movie, just what I wanted --young women I could root for and relate to,  lots of young people with early '60s clothes and 'dos, dancing, drinking, and generally getting into trouble- But relatively harmless trouble. The most worrying scene is when Bridget Fonda's character has to fight off a near-rape with some goon she's driven off with  (not to victim-blame, but her character is no dummy, and one has to wonder why she put herself in that position, so to speak)  followed by the shellacking (for want of a better word)  the tough girls give her.  Is that whipped cream or shaving cream they douse her with?   However, humiliating and somewhat scary though that is, she's actually not physically harmed at all, and she's rescued by her friend soon after.

Anyway, blah blah....Shag was a lot of fun, it had all  the right ingredients:  a couple of cute love stories,  a wild party,  dancing, young  people misbehaving  (but as I said, not misbehaving too much) , and of course, great music.

I don't know why it isn't more well-known. I'd never heard of it before I saw it promoted on TCM a couple of days ago, and then saw this thread.  It deserves to be just as famous as a "period coming of age" film as American Graffiti and so many others.

I've always liked Bridget Fonda.  Anyone know why she retired from acting at the end of the last century?

 

1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

BRIDGET FONDA was in a string of misfires- Including the infamous flop MONKEYBONE before quitting acting. Besides that there’s any number of reasons I can imagine why she would’ve wanted to step away from the business, and she doesn’t seem to miss it. It’s been about 18 years since her last appearance in anything.

Bridget Fonda also turned down a TV role that would have been big for her had she taken it: the title role on Ally McBeal. I know that since leaving acting behind, she married film music composer Danny Elfman (Edward Scissorhands, Men in Black, Good Will Hunting, etc.) and has had a child.  I do miss her in things; she was so good in both dramatic parts as in A Simple Plan or in lighter roles in It Could Happen to You and Doc Hollywood.

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13 hours ago, ElCid said:

I wonder how much the title had to do with Shag not getting a better reception.  Probably not that many people even today know what it means.  Also, setting it in South Carolina.

I think there’s a strong likelihood it was marketed as another DIRTY DANCING, And that film (which came out two years earlier) seems to have been something of a “lightning in a bottle” incident. It’s MASSIVE success has been attempted to be replicated, many times since, but...nope. 

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I think there’s a strong likelihood it was marketed as another DIRTY DANCING, And that film (which came out two years earlier) seems to have been something of a “lightning in a bottle” incident. It’s MASSIVE success has been attempted to be replicated, many times since, but...nope. 

I like Dirty Dancing and have watched Dirty Dancing, Havana Nights and it just falls flat to me.

Watched Shag last night (recorded it) and enjoyed it again.  Couple of observations.  I thought the use of Guillyard and Ravenel as last names for two male characters was interesting as these are old Charleston names, although Guillyard is spelled differently.  Thomas Ravenel starred on Southern Charm TV series.

One of the girls mentioned going to Edisto for ice cream.  If she was referring to Edisto Island or Edisto Beach, that would have been a six hour round-trip.  Unless of course, there was some restaurant by that name that I never heard of.

In the closing credits, I noticed that the Thigpen couple were credited as shag instructors.  Another old S.C. name from that area.  They also credited cities of Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, Florence and Atlantic Beach.  In 1963, Atlantic Beach was the beach for blacks as they were not allowed on beaches or in restaurants, dance places, etc.  

Characters frequently referred to the big house as a beach house.  Not what we would have called it.  More like a plantation house or other upscale house out in the country.  Lots of those in that area of S.C.   

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5 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

shagstill.jpg

Thought it was interesting that they closed with the alma mater for Spartanburg High School in Spartanburg SC.   Close to Greenville.   In 1963 both were the textile industry hub of S.C. and pretty much the South.  Today they are the hub for Michellin, BMW and S.C.'s automotive industry.

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17 minutes ago, ElCid said:

In the closing credits, I noticed that the Thigpen couple were credited as shag instructors.  Another old S.C. name from that area.  They also credited cities of Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, Florence and Atlantic Beach.

Florence, SC- home to THE THUNDERBIRD CAFE.

(at least I hope it still is!!!)

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EL CID and I should maybe have issued trigger warnings to some of you about how many times THE CONFEDERATE FLAG appears in the movie SHAG. (I haven't watched it yet, but I saw two instances in the trailer.)

Um, this is not a defense, but you guys know how, like MAINE is with LOBSTERS and IOWA is with CORN? SC is just THAT WAY with the ole STARS AND BARS, I went there last winter and, yeah, you don't go five minutes without seein it somewhere. (although to be fair, I WENT TO MYRTLE BEACH, and it is on MANY A BEACH TOWEL hanging in the window of a WINGS BEACHWEAR OUTLET.

Being from NC (and from the southernmost part, the SC border is maybe 60 miles away from where I live) we have a sort of "family" feel with SC, they're like THAT WILD COUSIN who taught you how to SNORT WHIPPETS one summer.

You don't always agree with their life choices, but they're family and you love them and all so, you know... you just kind of move on....and try to explain to your friends that they're cool once you get to know em (just don't talk politics)

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3 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

EL CID and I should maybe have issued trigger warnings to some of you about how many times THE CONFEDERATE FLAG appears in the movie SHAG. (I haven't watched it yet, but I saw two instances in the trailer.)

Um, this is not a defense, but you guys know how, like MAINE is with LOBSTERS and IOWA is with CORN? SC is just THAT WAY with the ole STARS AND BARS, I went there last winter and, yeah, you don't go five minutes without seein it somewhere. (although to be fair, I WENT TO MYRTLE BEACH, and it is on MANY A BEACH TOWEL hanging in the window of a WINGS BEACHWEAR OUTLET.

Being from NC (and from the southernmost part, the SC border is maybe 60 miles away from where I live, we have a sort of "family" feel with SC, they're like THAT WILD COUSIN who taught you how to SNORT WHIPPETS. You don't always agree with their life choices, but they're family so, you know...

I thought about mentioning the flag, but figured most who were going to watch it have already seen it.  Yes, times were different then.  However, I think it most instances it did not symbolize racism so much as just Southern pride or a rebellious, out for a good time, party down nature.  Nothing political.  At least in the context in which the movie used it.

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2 minutes ago, ElCid said:

I thought about mentioning the flag, but figured most who were going to watch it have already seen it.  Yes, times were different then.  However, I think it most instances it did not symbolize racism so much as just Southern pride or a rebellious, out for a good time, party down nature.  Nothing political.  At least in the context in which the movie used it.

i know, all the fun has just been SUCKED RIGHT OUT OF IT.

Judge me if you want, but I wish like Hell they'd bring back THE DUKES OF HAZZARD.

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On 11/15/2020 at 8:15 PM, speedracer5 said:

I've heard of Shag, but didn't really know anything about it.  Seeing that it takes place in 1963 (?) and the synopsis makes it sound like it might be similar to Where the Boys Are (1960) which I love.  I'm definitely recording this movie, it looks right up my alley.

I remember when the film came out in 1989, and it just didn't get me enthused to go out and pay the price of a movie ticket. Nope, in 1989 nobody knew the British use of the word "shag" and it was when Austin Powers came out in 1997 that most Americans became aware of that term. The 1989 ads made it look like a throwback to "Where The Boys Are" and I guess that is why I wasn't that interested. 

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22 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

I remember when it came out originally.  It was released by Hemdale, and had a smaller US release (850 theaters) in the middle of the summer season.  As I recall, it made it to the cable services (HBO, etc) rather quickly, as that's where I first saw it.

For comparison, the big movie that year was Batman, which was released in over 2200 theaters.

Like a lot of films, it got lost in the shuffle.  And back in those dark ages, without social media, word of mouth was truly word of mouth.  If the picture didn't get a lot of publicity in teen magazines, People (and the like) or Entertainment Tonight, it could very easily fly under the radar.

There was also a little movie called When Harry Met Sally that was released a week before Shag, and that might have impacted it as well.

Well, in the summer of 1989 I had a one-year-old baby, plus I was house-hunting.  Lots of stuff going on in my life at that time, and I remember, from about 1989 through to the mid-90s,  much as I love movies, I did not have much time for them, especially not to go to first-run films in a cinema  (I did watch a lot on video , though.)  It felt like I was up to my ears in little kids for a while.  (Saw lots of Disney films, etc.)

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21 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

Likewise, Pheobe Cates, also in the movie, left film behind for the most part after she was married to Kevin Kline. They are still together after about 30 years and have two children.

That's  really nice to hear- it's so rare, with Hollywood couples, for the marriage to last like that.

Coincidentally I did see another coming-of-age film featuring Phoebe Cates a few weeks ago.  Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It, too, was directed by a woman, and it too, largely presented events through the girl's point-of-view.  I think it also is pretty darn good, although it got panned at time of release.

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6 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Well, in the summer of 1989 I had a one-year-old baby, plus I was house-hunting.  Lots of stuff going on in my life at that time, and I remember, from about 1989 through to the mid-90s,  much as I love movies, I did not have much time for them, especially not to go to first-run films in a cinema  (I did watch a lot on video , though.)  It felt like I was up to my ears in little kids for a while.  (Saw lots of Disney films, etc.)

I was 5 in 1989, so alas, this film was probably not on my radar at the time.  I did, however, see The Little Mermaid in the theater.   I don't think my parents would have rented this movie as it doesn't quite seem like the type of film that my dad would have picked up off the shelf. Lol.

I recorded this though. I'm looking forward to watching it! I might watch it tomorrow night.  Seems like a good Friday night movie.

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6 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

That's  really nice to hear- it's so rare, with Hollywood couples, for the marriage to last like that.

Coincidentally I did see another coming-of-age film featuring Phoebe Cates a few weeks ago.  Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It, too, was directed by a woman, and it too, largely presented events through the girl's point-of-view.  I think it also is pretty darn good, although it got panned at time of release.

I love Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  For being a virgin at the beginning of the film, Stacey sure did make up for lost time.  I liked Phoebe Cates in Gremlins

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12 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I love Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  For being a virgin at the beginning of the film, Stacey sure did make up for lost time.  I liked Phoebe Cates in Gremlins

If I remember correctly, wasn't Fast Times originally a story in Playboy?

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1 minute ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

65212_train_lg.gif

I don't like FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH at all. And I have seen it more than once.

I don't really remember it, but don't think I much cared for it the one time I did see it.

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56 minutes ago, ElCid said:

I don't really remember [FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH] , but don't think I much cared for it the one time I did see it.

THERE'S SOME casual homophobia that bothers me and JENNIFER JASON LEIGH has always turned me off as an actress.

It's basically a feature-length AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL with profanity and a good soundtrack.

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31 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

THERE'S SOME casual homophobia that bothers me and JENNIFER JASON LEIGH has always turned me off as an actress.

It's basically a feature-length AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL with profanity and a good soundtrack.

Lorna,  although I like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, I can understand why many don't.  But maybe you can enlighten me as to the homophobic aspects of the film. I usually notice stuff like that, and offhand, I don't remember anything like that.   I can't even recall any gay characters, not even closeted ones.  But I probably just missed it.

As for Jennifer Jason Leigh,  we must "agree to disagree".  I love this actress, I think she's really talented, and I really like most of the films I've seen her in. But ,a  chacon son gout.

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31 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Lorna,  although I like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, I can understand why many don't.  But maybe you can enlighten me as to the homophobic aspects of the film.

Mainly one thing, it occurs soon after .30 seconds into this clip (and SEAN PENN has since apologized for it.)

 

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