A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards by Sam Wasson

By Sam Wasson

With one of many longest and so much arguable careers in Hollywood background, Blake Edwards is a phoenix of motion picture administrators, filled with hubris, ambition, and raving comedian chutzpah. His rambunctious filmography continues to be an inventive strength on par with Hollywood's maximum comedian administrators: Lubitsch, Sturges, Wilder. Like Wilder, Edwards's propensity for hilarity is double-helixed with ache, and in motion pictures like Breakfast at Tiffany's, Days of Wine and Roses, or even The purple Panther, we will be able to listen him off-screen, guffawing at midnight. And but, regardless of these huge, immense successes, he used to be at one time thought of a Hollywood villain. After his marriage to Julie Andrews, Edwards's Darling Lili approximately sunk the either one of them and taken Paramount Studios to its knees. nearly in a single day, Blake grew to become an pariah, which satirically fortified his experience of satire, as he concurrently fought the Hollywood tide and rode it. utilizing prepared visible research, meticulous study, and troves of interviews and creation documents, Sam Wasson promises the 1st whole account of 1 of the maddest figures Hollywood has ever identified.

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Character. In these films, Blake's best, slapstick becomes essential not only to Edwardian ideology and individual psyches, but to the very fabric of the story. , for instance, and the film's events become unmotivated and incomprehensible (unlike certai n Marx Brothers' pictures). What results is an inimitable equation between physi· cal derangement and narrative gesticulation, such that gag+ x = story. In these films, slapstick attains the highest degree of dramaturgical muscle in American film since Chaplin, and is presented with the greatest of stylistic sophistication.

Therewasj some Jndian blood apparent in his chiseled features. with strong cheekbones and jawline. He \\tatches his weight. and he has always been lean. He is deliberate in his movements and always very direct, not circumspect, always knowing where he is going. He wore his hair on the short side . m 22 A SPLURCH IN TH E KISSER I went to see a Western with Gary Cooper, with a friend of mine [John Champion). When we left we played a game of miniature golf and talked about it. " Somehow we decided that we'd collaborate and write a Western.

Now here comes The Perject Furlounh to make one regret that Blake Edwards did not write the script himself, as be did for Mister Cory. Given a Tony Curtis in good form, Edwards could surely have made something more out of this banal comedy concerning the Parisian misadventures of a NATO soldier. ,. Godard goes on to call the wine vat episode "a gag worthy of Buster Keaton," and concludes that Furlou,gh is all in all, "A very small film ... aves one with o ne's confidence in Blake Edwards intact.

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