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Bunny O'Hare (1971)


FredCDobbs
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I find myself watching this movie this morning, and I find it to be a lot of fun. :)

 

An older Bette Davis and an older Ernest Borgnine dress up like hippies and rob banks

in New Mexico.

 

I'm surprised that they work very well together, they have "cute" parts, and both are good actors. The plot is a little corney, but that's ok. That makes the film more fun.

 

This is probably the only "older Bette Davis movie" I like.

 

Now showing on THIS TV, on my local NBC HD broadcast antenna station. :)

 

tumblr_m3tnz4ko9m1qiwrzoo1_500.jpg

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I just saw the 1983 remake of Breathless on THIS with Richard Gere. It was better than I thought it would be. Richard Gere makes his mook of his character somewhat likeable. I'm slightly embarassed that I haven't seen the Traufault original.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I was going to reply to Fred because I was (also it appears), surprised by his comment about Davis and Borgnine; "I'm surprised that they work very well together".

 

Borgnine was a perfect type of actor to play opposite Davis. e.g. the type of guy that wasn't going to demand the spotlight.

 

 

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>I was going to reply to Fred because I was (also it appears), surprised by his comment about Davis and Borgnine; "I'm surprised that they work very well together".

 

I don't know why you would be surprised.

 

Some actors "work well" together in some films but not in others.

 

For example, in The Catered Affair, Davis and Borgnine aare so boring they put me to sleep by 10 minutes into the film and that's all I've ever watched of it, except for several 30 second excerpts of various parts over the years.

 

Together, they worked, and they made an extremely boring film about nothing.

 

In Bunny O'Hare (1971), they were great together. Borgnine was more agressive, active, and talkative, while Davis was very quiet and subdued. But when Davis spoke, Borgnine stopped talking and paid a lot of attention to everything she said, as if he were fascinated to hear her talk, and in this regard, they worked very well together. They seemed like real people, and they made the entire film very light hearted, interesting, and even exciting. I've never seen Davis so subdued, but it was a clever match with Borgnine. This is a great film. And, they got away with all their bank robberies and fled to Mexico! Yay!

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Ok, now I understand where you were coming from. I also find The Catered Affair slow moving (a nice way of saying boring!), but I don't fault the actors for this. Instead the nature of the entire proceeding is a downer and the director didn't help to add life to the proceedings.

 

Note it is common for me to question when someone says 'they made'. Instead I would say 'they were in', since actors often don't have a lot of control over the final outcome. I.e. to me 'they' really are the producers, screenwriter, editor and of course the director.

 

With Bunny, your take is spot on. Borgnine indeed does a great job of just listening. He was good at that. e.g. in the Dirty Dozen Borgnine doesn't say much but his reaction to what is said between Ryan and Marvin in that meeting early in the film and than later on once the action starts tells the viewer a lot.

 

 

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>I also find The Catered Affair slow moving (a nice way of saying boring!), but I don't fault the actors for this. Instead the nature of the entire proceeding is a downer and the director didn't help to add life to the proceedings.

 

Yes, I agree.

 

A film is a package made up by a lot of different important people.

 

The screenwriter, the director, and the actors are probably the most important.

 

In Bunny O'Hare, the script was just right, and it gave Bette less dialogue than Borgnine. But what Bette said, was generally very important and wise every time she said anything.

 

Borgnine had more words to speak, and he had a very jovial attitude, smiling all the time. He seemed to be delighted to have a new girl friend in Bette, and Bette seemed to like him a lot. So when Bette spoke her few words, Borgnine responded in a positive way, smiled a lot, and they seemed to be perfectly matched for each other.

 

Normally I think of Bette as being the more agressive actor, but in this film, the wise director had her play her part low-key, and had Borgnine play his part up-beat. And this worked out great, especially with the script they were given, which was a clever script.

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_Here is a good review from IMDB:_

 

Funny movie, a must see for any Bette Davis fan., 3 June 2002

 

Author: cstakeland from Orlando, Florida

 

An elderly woman looses her house to the bank of New Mexico and plans to rob the bank to get even. Her path crosses with an escaped bank robber who shows her the ropes of robbing banks and eventually grows to love her. Bunny O' Hare is a very funny movie that is one of Bette Davis's best movies from her later years. There is a great chemistry between Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine.

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I am looking at this film now on Netflix. Gerd Oswald is the director, and he is known primarily for his direction of television shows. In a way, this plays like a TV movie.

 

The film is a little disjointed. The scenes with Davis and Borgnine are one movie and fairly separate of the shtick involving John Astin and the shtick involving Jack Cassidy.

 

Bette sued American International Pictures, since she was rather unhappy with the way the picture turned out. She claimed in her lawsuit that the company changed it from a social commentary into a slapstick comedy and that it damaged her reputation as an actress. Her contract had guaranteed her script approval, and when AIP used John Astin as a creative consultant, this basically altered the script and changed the tone of the material. She was also not pleased with the way the film was edited.

 

Overall, I think it's a failry entertaining story and benefits from extensive on-location filming. But I can see Bette's argument that the scriptwriter's points are played a bit too broadly for any insights about society to be taken seriously.

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>Overall, I think it's a failry entertaining story and benefits from extensive on-location filming. But I can see Bette's argument that the scriptwriter's points are played a bit too broadly for any insights about society to be taken seriously.

 

It's a light-hearted comedy movie. That's why it is fun.

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