The Last Remake of Beau Geste (15-Jul-1977)|
Director: Marty Feldman
Writers: Chris Allen; Sam Bobrick; Marty Feldman
From novel by: Percival Christopher Wren (characters based on)
Keywords: Comedy, Action/Adventure, Foreign Legion, Spoof, Marijuana
||Lurch on The Addams Family
||Eye-gor in Young Frankenstein
||Sheik Ilderim in Ben-Hur
||Matronly British character actor
||Sons and Lovers
|James Earl Jones
||Voice of Darth Vader and CNN
||Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
||Cato in Pink Panther films
||Talk Show Host
||The Tonight Show
||The Goon Show
|Henry Polic II
||Jerry Silver on Webster
||Burns and Schreiber
||British stage actor
Review by James I. Miller (posted on 29-Dec-2007)
In typical Marty Feldman fashion, "The Last Remake of Beau Geste" is such a broad farce that the origonal story is barely recognizable and the sight gags and slapstick action are worthy of Monty Python and the Three Stooges.
It has been some thirty years since I saw this film, but several scenes are forever burned into my memory. We are first introduced to the Sahara Desert by the ever-classic mode of being conducted into a beautifully paneled library, where the host spins a large globe, stopping it with a gentle touch, and placing his finger on north Africa. The camera zooms in ever so tightly until we can actually see the grains of sand making up the desert. Enter a troop of the French Foreign Legion marching in perfect order, falling rank by rank into the hole left by the host's gigantic fingertip.
Another scene, which I was sorely tempted to steal for my novel "The Four Hills of Sealoch," is shot in a great castle. The cold, stone interior is brought to elegance with heavy drapes, mahogany paneling, and huge, frosted windows. The walls are hung with an excessive array of hunting trophies, from wild boar and elephant heads to lions and tigers. The stone floor is elegantly covered with animal hides--polar bear, deer, and a giraffe pelt with its neck extending down a long hallway leading from the room.
Feldman's bug-eyed comedy smashes its way through the vaguely familiar plot with all the elegance of a rhino in an art museum, but with such side-splitting antics that you tend to forget the story line anyway.
This is not Feldman's best performance as a comic actor. It takes someone of Wilder's or Brooks' discipline to bring him into line with a real plot where he can better interact with his fellow characters, but it is certainly worth a couple of hours of your time to see him at his own creative best.
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