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HAIRSPRAY (1988) on TCM at 8pm est tonight!


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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I wonder if Bette’s husband had something to do with it, I think at the time she had just recently married a German performance artist (to whom she is still married.)

Her husband and a partner were The Kipper Kids, doing really off-the-wall performance pieces. She showcased them in her HBO special Mondo Beyondo, where they wore pointy-chin masks like the ones in the Oh, Industry! number, so I wonder if he may have been in Beaches.

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9 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Interesting. I didn't know about those things. Hairspray is funny at times, but to me it doesn't quite work as

a whole. Debbie's part in the movie is pretty small and it's really just a lark. I still prefer Blondie. 

John Waters seems to have cast a lot of his actors as a lark, making him probably the stunt casting genius of all time.  I'm sure Debbie had no illusions about her skills and knew music was her meal ticket, but still I crack up every time she runs Amber through her paces for the big dance contest: "Now Pony!...Faster!" Waters liked people with celebrity or notoriety, no matter how they got it, to fill out the ranks in his films. Supposedly he caught Liz Renay (former mob moll) doing a mother/daughter strip act in Vegas and cast her in Desperate Living. He loved Patty Hearst and used her several times. He liked putting oddball couple together, like Ric Ocasek and Pia Zadora in Hairspray, and reached a pinnacle of sorts in Cry-Baby, where he put together couples consisting of Iggy Pop and Susan Tyrell, David Nelson and Patty Hearst, Joey Heatherton and Joe Dallesandro, and Troy Donahue and Mink Stole. (And let's not forget Jerry Stiller and Divine in Hairspray.) So Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono are part of a great tradition, actual acting talent be damned!

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59 minutes ago, DougieB said:

Her husband and a partner were The Kipper Kids, doing really off-the-wall performance pieces. She showcased them in her HBO special Mondo Beyondo, where they wore pointy-chin masks like the ones in the Oh, Industry! number, so I wonder if he may have been in Beaches.

i remember seeing brief footage of one of their bits (maybe from the HBO special), where one hit the other in the face with a kipper (fish.)

it's the sort of thing you don't forget.

ever.

no matter how hard you try.

so, good going fellas!

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31 minutes ago, DougieB said:

John Waters seems to have cast a lot of his actors as a lark, making him probably the stunt casting genius of all time.  I'm sure Debbie had no illusions about her skills and knew music was her meal ticket, but still I crack up every time she runs Amber through her paces for the big dance contest: "Now Pony!...Faster!" Waters liked people with celebrity or notoriety, no matter how they got it, to fill out the ranks in his films. Supposedly he caught Liz Renay (former mob moll) doing a mother/daughter strip act in Vegas and cast her in Desperate Living. He loved Patty Hearst and used her several times. He liked putting oddball couple together, like Ric Ocasek and Pia Zadora in Hairspray, and reached a pinnacle of sorts in Cry-Baby, where he put together couples consisting of Iggy Pop and Susan Tyrell, David Nelson and Patty Hearst, Joey Heatherton and Joe Dallesandro, and Troy Donahue and Mink Stole. (And let's not forget Jerry Stiller and Divine in Hairspray.) So Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono are part of a great tradition, actual acting talent be damned!

i think DEBBIE HARRY gives a wonderfully bad performance in HAIRSPRAY, she's "in on it."

I especially enjoy the part where she BARKS at Amber do "The Mashed Potato" like a Stalag guard.

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Debbie was obviously playing it for High Camp and knew what was what.  High Camp.  As in one of my favorite bits.

"For all we know that girl could be high yellow!"

God, I love that line.

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4 hours ago, DougieB said:

in Cry-Baby

It's hard to top any film that incorporates Oderama technology but IMHO Cry-Baby is his best. 

Traci Lords plays a mean triangle in the Cry-Baby band, but the most memorable moment is when Hatchetface's mother gets wheeled into the courtroom in her iron lung which then suffers a flat tire.

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9 hours ago, DougieB said:

John Waters seems to have cast a lot of his actors as a lark, making him probably the stunt casting genius of all time.  I'm sure Debbie had no illusions about her skills and knew music was her meal ticket, but still I crack up every time she runs Amber through her paces for the big dance contest: "Now Pony!...Faster!" Waters liked people with celebrity or notoriety, no matter how they got it, to fill out the ranks in his films. Supposedly he caught Liz Renay (former mob moll) doing a mother/daughter strip act in Vegas and cast her in Desperate Living. He loved Patty Hearst and used her several times. He liked putting oddball couple together, like Ric Ocasek and Pia Zadora in Hairspray, and reached a pinnacle of sorts in Cry-Baby, where he put together couples consisting of Iggy Pop and Susan Tyrell, David Nelson and Patty Hearst, Joey Heatherton and Joe Dallesandro, and Troy Donahue and Mink Stole. (And let's not forget Jerry Stiller and Divine in Hairspray.) So Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono are part of a great tradition, actual acting talent be damned!

I'm sure that anybody who came out of the NYC punk scene wouldn't have much trouble getting into

Waters' type of movie making. Sonny Bono.....if you can't say anything nice about a person. I can't help

but think that Waters, after feeling sorry for Sonny's passing, had a slight grin on his face over the 

manner of Bono's death. I wouldn't know Pia Zadora from a broomstick and Ric Ocasek had so little

screen time that I didn't really think about him until after the movie was over and then it clicked in.

I thought Waters was funny as the head doctor with the optical illusion tool that he kept shoving at

Ricki Lake. 

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Pia Zadora was exactly the kind of faux celebrity Waters adored. Her rich husband bought her billboards and print ads (a-la Angelyne in L.A.) to make her a recognizable name.  She was basically a joke, but had the last laugh when it turned out she had a respectable singing voice and eventually sang with civic orchestras around the country. 

Waters loved to skewer mental health "experts", gravely intoning that "The road to mental health is just around the corner." in an early movie

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23 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

BETTE MIDLER has that WEIRD EXPERIMENTAL MUSICAL THEATER NUMBER “OH INDUSTRY!” that has a sort of METROPOLIS look to the set and there is also the set for the OTTO TITSLING number and the FLORIDA DANCE HALL WITH THE FLAMINGOS too!
 

LOL! I forgot about her musical numbers. Even so I was struck at the time and still am about the nomination.

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10 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i remember seeing brief footage of one of their bits (maybe from the HBO special), where one hit the other in the face with a kipper (fish.)

it's the sort of thing you don't forget.

ever.

no matter how hard you try.I

so, good going fellas!

I remember that special but little about it.

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I miss John Waters. He hasn't made a film in many years. I guess he's retired and living on his Hairspray residuals (the musical) It made him rich. I remember his comments some years ago, that it was hard to come up with material because the public wasn't shocked anymore. He'd become almost mainstream.

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1 hour ago, DougieB said:

Pia Zadora was exactly the kind of faux celebrity Waters adored. Her rich husband bought her billboards and print ads (a-la Angelyne in L.A.) to make her a recognizable name.  She was basically a joke, but had the last laugh when it turned out she had a respectable singing voice and eventually sang with civic orchestras around the country. 

Waters loved to skewer mental health "experts", gravely intoning that "The road to mental health is just around the corner." in an early movie

Pia Zadora actually got her start as a youth on Broadway, so she has some talent.  She became something of a joke when she got the Golden Globe for a film that was nearly universally panned, "winning" a Razzie for the same role which garnered her the New Star of the Year Globe award.  There were rumors her husband paid for her Golden Globe award as part of the film's publicity campaign.

She's also in another cult classic: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, as a Martian child.

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7 minutes ago, hamradio said:

Still trying to figure out what does hairspray have to do with the plot.

1200px-Hairspray.JPG

(is there a sequel in the works...."Ozone Killer"? :P

 

LOL.  I never knew they created a product tie-in to the musical version (Ultra Clutch hairspray).

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On 5/7/2021 at 7:37 PM, Hibi said:

I miss John Waters. He hasn't made a film in many years. I guess he's retired and living on his Hairspray residuals (the musical) It made him rich. I remember his comments some years ago, that it was hard to come up with material because the public wasn't shocked anymore. He'd become almost mainstream.

He tried for years to get a Christmas movie called Fruitcake made. He had the script ready but had trouble with financing, of course. Too bad, because in both P*ecker and A Dirty Shame he was still on his game, in my opinion. Both are great examples of how he was able to mix name actors with exotic misfits he found God knows where. **** had Mary Kay Place, Lili Taylor, Edmund Furlong, Martha Plimpton and Bess Armstrong, but ****'s skateboarding, shoplifting friend and his grandmother with a "talking" statue of Mary just about stole the movie. Tracey Ullman fit seamlessly into Waters World in A Dirty Shame, along with Selma Blair, Johnny Knoxville and Chris Isaak, but a supporting actress playing the local know-it-all Big Ethel owned every scene she was in. But A Dirty Shame flopped, which John says is why his career has gone south. (You're only as good as your last....blah blah blah.) I miss him too. 

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On 5/7/2021 at 7:37 PM, Hibi said:

I remember his comments some years ago, that it was hard to come up with material because the public wasn't shocked anymore. He'd become almost mainstream.

Waters unique blend takes glee in shocking some while winking to others in the know. After the last four years we've just endured I agree, John Waters must feel mainstream.

I read his cross country hitchhiking memoir- just couldn't imagine him doing anything so dangerous!  He mixed writing fantasy with reality and I found it more silly & confusing than entertaining.

What I love most about John Waters is his ties with Baltimore, one of my favorite cities. He reflects what's unique about the City and just like Waters himself, our cities have evolved into "mainstream" meaning homogenous, looking all the same.

Case in point: Baltimore demolished the vintage Diner used in the movie DINER for a parking lot in their "tourist boutique" section.  The great Art Deco Vitrolite storefront of THE HEFTY HIDEAWAY was removed for 90's fabric awnings over new plate glass windows.

Thank goodness the vintage Senator Theater remains unique Baltimore with their Graumann style sidewalk art commemorating festivals & premieres:

2009-05-16-sidewalkpaint-04.jpg?w=700&h=

(I loved Fly Away Home)

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14 hours ago, DougieB said:

He tried for years to get a Christmas movie called Fruitcake made. He had the script ready but had trouble with financing, of course. Too bad, because in both P*ecker and A Dirty Shame he was still on his game, in my opinion. Both are great examples of how he was able to mix name actors with exotic misfits he found God knows where. **** had Mary Kay Place, Lili Taylor, Edmund Furlong, Martha Plimpton and Bess Armstrong, but ****'s skateboarding, shoplifting friend and his grandmother with a "talking" statue of Mary just about stole the movie. Tracey Ullman fit seamlessly into Waters World in A Dirty Shame, along with Selma Blair, Johnny Knoxville and Chris Isaak, but a supporting actress playing the local know-it-all Big Ethel owned every scene she was in. But A Dirty Shame flopped, which John says is why his career has gone south. (You're only as good as your last....blah blah blah.) I miss him too. 

I saw Dirty Shame and enjoyed it, but missed P-cker. I hadn't heard  about Fruitcake. Too bad.

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