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THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS


HoldenIsHere
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I'm looking forward to seeing THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS, which is airing tonight on TCM as part of the spotlight on Neil Simon movies.

 

I'm not a big Jack Lemmon fan but I've wanted to see the movie for years because of Sandy Dennis.

I know some people find her annoying, but I love her.

 

I never saw the remake with Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin.

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It's visitors Jack and Sandy versus the New York of the early 70's.

 

A terrific movie - Sandy is very funny. You'll be hearing her voice saying "oh, my God" for hours afterward.

This movie, along with THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE, feature Lemmon at his most stridently over-the-top ( and that's a GOOD thing). I've appropriated his technique from this movie into my personal life. I am always asking employees for the name of their supervisor.

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I always get a kick out  that film, but I remember that when ABC showed it on TV , the network censors made them cut out the final gag of the picture. I won't say what it was so not spoil it for anybody who hasn't seen it. Once you see it, you'll know what I'm taling about.

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This was indeed a very good movie.

What I especially liked about it was that none of it was played for laughs.

A few years ago I read or watched an interview with Neil Simon where he expressed his exasperation at seeing productions of his work that were played for the "jokes" rather than being played "for real."

All of Jack Lemmon's and Sandy Dennis's reactions in THE OUT OF TOWNERS to the mishaps that befell them were completely in the realm of "the real." I have seen many people behave exactly like Lemmon did in similar situations (taking down names, demanding to see the manager, threatening to sue). Even the part where Lemmon is screaming in the streets of New York  ("I have all your names!") is completely believable.

 

It was interesting that the movie had very little musical underscoring, which made the events seem all the more real. While I could see that the movie was a comedy, I never laughed out loud once when I watched it last night. Perhaps it was because I was watching the movie alone, but I think the actual reason was that I was caught up in the plight of the Kellermans and didn't want to laugh at them. Jack Lemmon, Sandy Dennis, director Arthur Hiller and Neil Simon created something very real (more real than any so-called "reality" TV show).

 

Some of my favorite moments: Sandy Dennis covering her eye to hide her lost eyelash, the struggle with the dog for the box of Cracker Jack found in Central Park, the mugger in the black cape, Jack Lemmon giving his address to the cab driver in Boston to send his change for the $20, Ben Stiller's mother (I mean Anne Meara) reporting her stolen handbag at the police station and, of course, every single one of Sandy Dennis's  utterances of "Oh my God." 

 

I loved this movie!

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I really liked this movie.  I'm a big fan of Jack Lemmon and I hadn't seen this film before it aired last night as part of the Friday Night Spotlight.  I like Neil Simon's films.  His comedic situations don't seem contrived.  While some of the situations in The Out of Towners were definitely absurd, they came about in a realistic fashion.  It is believable that a couple, from an environment much different than NYC, could find themselves victims of crime, unware of city politics (like the transit and garbage strike) due to naivety and plain annoyance that seemingly simple things (like checking into a hotel, that you had reservations for) are so difficult.  Of course, Lemmon's stubborness exacerbated many of their problems.  If it were me, and the plane was fogged in at Boston, I would have taken the room and tried to catch the 7am flight.  If I was crazy enough to try and get to NYC at night on the crowded train, then I would have waited in the hotel lobby until 7am when I would have been given a room.  On the flipside though, we wouldn't have had a very long film if Lemmon had taken the most realistic option. 

 

For whatever reason, I was upset that he turned his dream job down.  I feel that after all that they went through to get to that interview and all the perks that his job offered, I personally would have taken it if I were Lemmon's character.  However, I can understand why they chose their Ohio life over the hectic NYC life.  The mugging, kidnapping and being chased through Central Park by a mounted police officer would be traumatizing. 

 

The end of the film was interesting.  It almost seems like it could have set up a sequel.  They end up in Havana and have to figure out how to get home.

 

While I'm a big fan of Lemmon, I am on the fence about Sandy Dennis.  I was only introduced to her last month in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? On one hand, I found Dennis kind of annoying in 'Virginia Woolf' but kind of funny at the same time.  I had the same impression of her in this film.  Her teeth bother me, I don't know why.  It's a rather shallow thing to be irritated by.  I also found it interesting that her accent seemed to change throughout the film.  I know she's American, but at times in The Out of Towners, she sounded British!

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While I'm a big fan of Lemmon, I am on the fence about Sandy Dennis.  I was only introduced to her last month in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? On one hand, I found Dennis kind of annoying in 'Virginia Woolf' but kind of funny at the same time.  I had the same impression of her in this film.  Her teeth bother me, I don't know why.  It's a rather shallow thing to be irritated by.  I also found it interesting that her accent seemed to change throughout the film.  I know she's American, but at times in The Out of Towners, she sounded British!

 

Are you sure it was her voice that gave you this impression, Speedy, OR maybe those TEETH of hers you brought up here that subconsciously gave you this impression about her somehow being or acting British???

 

(...'cause one of the old ongoing jokes about those folks over there on that little island off the coast of mainland Europe where they use that superfluous letter 'u' HAS always been somethin' about their TEETH, ya know, and even though word LATELY is that they've made GREAT strides in the field of Orthodontics over there these last few decades!!!) LOL

 

;)

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I'm looking forward to seeing THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS, which is airing tonight on TCM as part of the spotlight on Neil Simon movies.

 

I'm not a big Jack Lemmon fan but I've wanted to see the movie for years because of Sandy Dennis.

I know some people find her annoying, but I love her.

 

I never saw the remake with Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin.

I liked your write-up after you had seen the movie, Holden. I'm a Sandy Dennis fan, too, and wish she had been a bigger star/made more films, etc. 

 

I remember seeing the remake of THE OUT OF TOWNERS in 1999 when it was in theatres. It was one of Goldie Hawn's last films, and she and Steve Martin had previously worked together on HOUSE SITTER. I thought it was good but nowhere near as charming as this original version.

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Are you sure it was her voice that gave you this impression, Speedy, OR maybe those TEETH of hers you brought up here that subconsciously gave you this impression about her somehow being or acting British???

 

(...'cause one of the old ongoing jokes about those folks over there on that little island off the coast of mainland Europe where they use that superfluous letter 'u' HAS always been somethin' about their TEETH, ya know, and even though word LATELY is that they've made GREAT strides in the field of Orthodontics over there these last few decades!!!) LOL

 

;)

Lol.  Perhaps her teeth played a role in it.  Except, I don't think her teeth are bad persay, they're just really long? If that makes sense. 

 

I just could have sworn that she sounded one way at the beginning of the film and by the end, when she's yelling at Jack Lemmon after he gets mad at her for giving his watch to the bum, she suddenly sounded like she had a British accent, or at least one of those Mid-Atlantic accents like Grace Kelly has. 

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The ending of The Out-of-Towners reminds me of an incident involving one of our recently deceased politicians.  His wife and he were supposedly on a plane that was hijacked to Cuba which back then was a nearly everyday occurrence. The media reported they were aboard only to get a call from the wife, who was safe at home, asking how she could be in two places at one time.  The "Wife" in Cuba was his secretary.  She eventually got the job after the current one took the Senator to court but later threw him back as well.  One hopes the Kellermans eventually got back to Ohio.    

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The ending of The Out-of-Towners reminds me of an incident involving one of our recently deceased politicians.  His wife and he were supposedly on a plane that was hijacked to Cuba which back then was a nearly everyday occurrence.

 

So I guess the plane hijacking at the end is the part that markfp2 said was cut when the movie aired on network TV.

 

I always get a kick out  that film, but I remember that when ABC showed it on TV , the network censors made them cut out the final gag of the picture. I won't say what it was so not spoil it for anybody who hasn't seen it. Once you see it, you'll know what I'm taling about.

 

The one overly sentimental part of the movie is where the Kellermans (Sandy Dennis and Jack Lemmon) both say they don't want to live in a big city after all and want to live out the rest of their lives in their Ohio town.

But then Neil Simon counteracts this sentimentality by having their plane hijacked on their return flight to Ohio.

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So I guess the plane hijacking at the end is the part that markfp2 said was cut when the movie aired on network TV.

 

Yup. That was it. Of course, those were fairly common events back then and I guess the network didn't want to make light of it. Of course, all the broadcast networks were pretty conservitive in those days.

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So I guess the plane hijacking at the end is the part that markfp2 said was cut when the movie aired on network TV.

 

 

The one overly sentimental part of the movie is where the Kellermans (Sandy Dennis and Jack Lemmon) both say they don't want to live in a big city after all and want to live out the rest of their lives in their Ohio town.

But then Neil Simon counteracts this sentimentality by having their plane hijacked on their return flight to Ohio.

He lulls us with the sentimentality, and then goes for the jugular. That's WELL done.

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There are 3 genres of english language movies.  Hollywood, New York & London.  Hollywood tried to destroy the New York genre due to their inability to control them.  So every New York movie was made with great difficulty.  Hollywood wanted location shots - then interiors filmed in Hollywood which was silly.  A New York movie is way different from Hollywood as it should be.  Finally Hollywood shut New York down entirely in 1984. 

New York had a great run from 68-80 and Out-Of-Towners is one of them.  I have a great collection of New York movies being born there.

The city became unlivable & in 1975 75,000 people moved out.  me included.  I kept going back on vacation but even that became unfeasable. & finally had to kiss New York goodbye for the city I grew up in no longer existed.  Somebody should post a list of NY movies..... :)

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There are 3 genres of english language movies.  Hollywood, New York & London.  Hollywood tried to destroy the New York genre due to their inability to control them.  So every New York movie was made with great difficulty.  Hollywood wanted location shots - then interiors filmed in Hollywood which was silly.  A New York movie is way different from Hollywood as it should be.  Finally Hollywood shut New York down entirely in 1984. 

New York had a great run from 68-80 and Out-Of-Towners is one of them.  I have a great collection of New York movies being born there.

The city became unlivable & in 1975 75,000 people moved out.  me included.  I kept going back on vacation but even that became unfeasable. & finally had to kiss New York goodbye for the city I grew up in no longer existed.  Somebody should post a list of NY movies..... :)

I moved there in early '77, right at the start of NYC's most memorable year everr. (Son of Sam, blackout, Reggie's 3 home runs, etc.)etc

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I'm not sure just WHEN all that was done.  I first saw this movie on Network TV, and the highjacking scene was shown.  I've NEVER seen this movie WITHOUT it!

 

So, it may have been when it FIRST aired on network TV, and THAT'S the time I didn't see the movie...

 

Sepiatone

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New York used to be a small town.  all the parents knew each other.  But the UN killed that.  Then entire neighborhoods were destroyed to provide luxury housing.  All of a sudden there were no kids left and schools started closing.  It might be livable to those who went there.  But being born there and seeing the destruction first hand is too much to bear.  in 1972 I left everything I owned and got on a plane not telling anybody.  I hated everything.  The people were unhealthy.  mentally physically & spiritually.  I had already been gone & back twice.  But I came back again like a fool then left for good in 1975.

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Neil Simon was a great leader in getting films made in New York.  New York actors had a style all their own & wanted to place themselves on the map.  Hollywood was doing everything it could to prevent New York from its dream.  but it was huge hits like French Connection which put them over.

Out-of-towners was an original screenplay.

Hollywood is selling a reality that our country is all Leave it to beaver reality which is pitiful.  They held back movie realism for 30 years.

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Maybe because all I know about New York is what I saw over the years in MOVIES could be why I think it sounds like you have too big a CHIP on your shoulder for some reason.

 

I didn't see ANY of what you're suggesting.---

 

It wasn't HOLLYWOOD that forwarded the "Leave it to Beaver" image of America,  it was TELEVISION.  YOU may try to claim it's all in the same, but it wasn't, really.

 

I never saw THE OUT OF TOWNERS as a movie which gave New York a bad rap image-wise....more of a combination "Murphy's law/Fish out of water" type story.  AND done pretty well by the main cast members(Lemmon and Dennis).  These people could have encountered an equal amount of misfortune if the "big city" had been Chicago or Detroit( at the time).

 

 

Sepiatone

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Neil Simon was a great leader in getting films made in New York.  New York actors had a style all their own & wanted to place themselves on the map.  Hollywood was doing everything it could to prevent New York from its dream.  but it was huge hits like French Connection which put them over.

Out-of-towners was an original screenplay.

Hollywood is selling a reality that our country is all Leave it to beaver reality which is pitiful.  They held back movie realism for 30 years.

then why has everything always been SoCal? by all means give the eastern part of our country it's due...

 

but you don't have to trash middle america to do it. :D

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Maybe because all I know about New York is what I saw over the years in MOVIES could be why I think it sounds like you have too big a CHIP on your shoulder for some reason.

 

I didn't see ANY of what you're suggesting.---

 

It wasn't HOLLYWOOD that forwarded the "Leave it to Beaver" image of America,  it was TELEVISION.  YOU may try to claim it's all in the same, but it wasn't, really.

 

I never saw THE OUT OF TOWNERS as a movie which gave New York a bad rap image-wise....more of a combination "Murphy's law/Fish out of water" type story.  AND done pretty well by the main cast members(Lemmon and Dennis).  These people could have encountered an equal amount of misfortune if the "big city" had been Chicago or Detroit( at the time).

 

 

Sepiatone

Simon's greatest weakness is coming up with a comic premise in a film or play and beating it to death. In this film, it works.

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