Tag Archives: Aubrey Morris

The Set of 400: #15 – My Favorite Deformed Popsicle

Today! Because you should come and get one in the yarbles, if you’ve got any yarbles –

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Directed by Stanley Kubrick (x6)

Starring Malcolm McDowell (x2), Aubrey Morris (x3), Patrick Magee, Warren Clarke (x2), Philip Stone (x3), David Prowse (x4), Adrienne Corri, James Marcus, Miriam Karlin, Michael Bates, Carl Duering, Clive Francis, Godfrey Quigley, Sheila Raynor, Michael Tarn, Richard Connaught

Man, you get a pretty warped view of the world when you’re exposed to A Clockwork Orange relatively young, I can tell you that. It holds an odd place as one of the pivotal movies of my life, and not in a completely good way. It didn’t inspire me to a life of crime or a completely amoral outlook on how to behave in society, but it did damage some very early relationships of mine, and I was completely unapologetic about it, because hey, A Clockwork Orange is art! I better explain –

How or why I knew what A Clockwork Orange was is a mystery – I read a lot of books about movies and Leonard Maltin’s Home Video guide and Oscar history and whatnot, so probably there? – but I got a copy of the Anthony Burgess book sometime around 1993, at the King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The book is pretty lurid, but not exactly the X rated mayhem that they filmed. The movie also lops off the last chapter of the story, to pretty solid effect.

One version or another of this book was always within arm’s reach growing up

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The Set of 400: #58 – My Favorite Bicycle Powered Sword Fighting Dummy

Today! Because unless I’m very much mistaken, chaderd is the Egyptian word meaning “to eat fat”! Now we’re getting somewhere!

The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975)

Directed by Gene Wilder

Starring Gene Wilder (x4), Marty Feldman (x2), Madeline Kahn (x7), Leo McKern, Dom DeLuise (x7), Roy Kinnear (x3), John Le Mesurier, Nicholas Smith, Douglas Wilmer, Thorley Walters, John Hollis, Aubrey Morris (x2), Susan Field, Albert Finney (x4), George Silver

This movie was such a bedrock staple of childhood that I was amazed to learn of its relative obscurity as I got older. I mean, it’s not completely unknown, but it certainly isn’t widely discussed or regarded. Information about its general success upon initial release is a little tough to come by – I’ve seen it ranging anywhere from the 24th to 48th highest grossing movie of 1975, and it may or may not have been the #1 film the weekend before Christmas – but it certainly hasn’t had the staying power of the ’70s Mel Brooks films it is clearly patterned after.

Which is a shame, because while it doesn’t function overly well as a Sherlock Holmes parody – à la the more direct take off of #220 Without a Clue, say – it is a pretty solid Sherlock-esque comedy. Lifting an alias Holmes employed in the first Conan Doyle story after the character’s supposed death (“The Adventure of the Empty House”), Wilder plays Sherlock’s bitter younger brother Sigerson, not – as you may have guessed sight unseen – his famously smarter elder brother Mycroft. Sherlock (played by frequent Sherlock, Douglas Wilmer) directs a vitally important case to his brother through Feldman’s Scotland Yard Sergeant Orville Sacker (named very similar to Doyle’s early draft Dr. Watson – Ormond Sacker). Before long they are facing off with a comically volcanic Moriarty (the terrific Leo McKern), a habitually lying chanteuse (you can never go wrong giving Madeline Kahn musical numbers), and a horse-and-carriage chase/fight through the streets of London unlike any ever made.

Thanks for coming through, heavily watermarked stock photo!

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The Set of 400: #107 – My Favorite Portable Plot of Land

Today! Because the key here, I think, is to not think of death as an end, but think of it more as a very effective way of cutting down on your expenses – 

Love and Death (1975)

Directed by Woody Allen (x8)

Starring Woody Allen (x6), Diane Keaton (x2), James Tolkan (x4), Jessica Harper, Harold Gould, Olga Georges-Picot, Beth Porter, Zvee Scooler, Aubrey Morris, Tony Jay, Howard Vernon

In the next short stretch, there’s going to be a ton of Woody Allen movies, and I apologize. As I’ve stated many times on this list, yes, I’ve got some reservations about Woody, but you’ve gotta realize how madly I loved this guy’s movies for most of my life. My greater concern as far as the list goes is how many of his films seemed to land in this general area. In the next month there are fully four films, including this one. That may seem like a lot, but going back to lists from years prior, this more represents a sliding of his films than some dominated bunching. He’s only got one movie in the top 85. It’s a 1992 situation all over again! Lots of films, not a ton populating the top rungs of the evaluation!

Also, the rare white cloak variation on Death!

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