I love this film. I love the play which I have never seen but can imagine. I love the scenes of NYC in the wonderful 60's, and I love remembering the CBS Saturday Night Movie announcer "Don Rickles" (?, not the comedian, tho) who I remember assuring me "will be back in a moment" altho I was far too young to care and was not even watching the film. Why I so clearly remember him announcing that is up for grabs. I think that was 1969 or so. I didn't even know who the "Fabulous, Furry Freak Brothers" were. I didn't know anything.
Now, I KNOW I don't know much. Then, I thot I knew.
Oh, the movie;
There are many ways to look at the movie, and I have enjoyed reading the other comments on it here.
A young, impressionable, trying-to-fit-in Sandra Markowitz has earned her PhD and landed a job. Did she meet Albert there at work or knew him in college? Herb Garder took the answer to his grave. Anyway, she falls "instantly" in love with Murry and stands up to Albert. Seems pretty unstable to me, but she's cute.
I never thot Murry was a "slacker" OR a hero. He's (to me) as his brother paints him; someone to feel sorry for because he can see how stupid and pointless the human race is (as it is) and all the potential it is missing and how misguided it is. And yet, for many lowbrows, that's all they really can be. So Murry is smart, but intolerant. He needs a good dose of being around nice, but stupid people. Yet there he is with a "genius" nephew and a sharp brother. Maybe if he hung around "Perrucio" and his junk a while...
Murry should watch "Barney" or "Boohbah" on PBS if he thinks Chuckles the Chipmunk is stupid (and is). Then he'd be proud to write for Leo.
"You don't WANT a job is the whole thing!"
"Maybe if you say 'be happy Chuckles' it'll get un-stuck!"
"This robe fits fine.."
"Hey, Mur, I'll be up in a sec! Don't JUMP!"
Yeah, Gene Saks deserved the Best Supporting Actor award; I can think of three times more quotes his character said than those of Arnold Burns. Was it just the character being more interesting? But Balsam was a bigger star so, you know, like the most popular kid automatically becomes Quarterback no matter how good he is at it, he gets it.
"Hey, Murry. This paper is three days old." "So what? Is it starting to rot or something? Just read me from the paper." "Most of these jobs have probably been filled. I'll just go get another paper" "We don't need another paper! Besides, all the really good jobs stay around."
Murry's nephew unintentionally starts the investigation by writing an essay entitled "The Benefits of Unemployment Insurance". Nick probably wrote that his uncle and he were having a good ol' time seeing sites in NYC and he was getting paid to do NOTHING! I hope he did not also mention the times he has to stay at the ol' lady's apt. when Murry has his "late work" to do.
"Your work left her gloves."
Yes, as another commentator mentions; Albert Amundson was NOT a villain. The way Murry was going, he might have been a hero.
SPOILER comments; I enjoy one other commenter's point that the movie indicates a bittersweet ending; Murry DOES get a job and save the lad, BUT he looses his creativity.
"Neighbors? I really feel I should... Now I really want to tell you that... I'm sorry. I can't think - of anything to say."
This means that Chuckles the Clown is doomed. Murry will write the same schlocky stuff Chuckles already has going. Yet perhaps it was Murry that got him the fame he reached. Then Murry went to that bar and said "Gosh and Golly, yes!" to an olive in his martini, and left the show's staff. And yet, to Leo Herman, Murry will seem to be writing Great Stuff.
"Minnie Mouse! You called her Minnie Mouse! I swear; my life's work must be feeding you straight lines.!" Leo thinks that is so creative and funny and glib.
What the hell kind of furnishings was that?! "I've been attacked by the Ladies Home Journal." I don't know about Murry, but I would NOT like that apartment after Sandra got thru with it. "So it doesn't really fit with the overall design."
"We all got a little carried away, there. Just tussle around with the kid and he'll be fine."
Leo knows kids as good as humor; "a cloudy wonderland, as clear as the blue, blue sky."
"Goodbye, Charlie! Have a wonderful trip!"
"Hey, stick around, Dr. Markowitz! You know; anything can happen above an 'abandoned Chinese restaurant'!"
And so it did.
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