Monday, January 20, 2014

Truner* (for Turner*)

Music in the Sixties was hip, boss, cool, fab, and groovy, to say the least, but the culture vultures out in Hollywood seem to have struggled uneasily with the times. Movies about that decade's rebellious youth tend to come off as particularly peculiar, menacing, one might even say fey. (Hey, did I use that word correctly? It's kind of hard to say. I always have to look it up and I can pretty much guarantee you it doesn't quite mean what a lot of you probably think it does.) In any case, The Big Cube, released in 1969, has got to be one of the trippiest hippie movies of all time: it's almost like the film is both about and on drugs. Though it definitely isn't a celebration of them. Sample dialogue after a fey/gay cross-dresser (played by Mexican actress Regina Torné) makes the scene: "Who's that girl? / She's known as the Queen Bee / That's one of her drones she's dragging along / But who is she? / She's the last stop on the line. Once you get down to her, there's no place else to go / Oh yes, but she's a drag doll. Poison, the end, suicide!") Lana Turner plays a stage actress who plans to quit the theater after a successful Broadway swan song. By contrast, this far-out freak-out flick was apparently Turner's "ugly ducking ditty," if you will, much like the aforeblogged Trog was Crawford's. Truner* turned up three times in OhioLINK today, and 85 times in WorldCat.

(The Big Cube poster containing the words: "Johnny was a medical student who did it all with his chemistry set. And the things he did weren't very nice... weren't very nice ... weren't very nice... weren't very nice." Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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