7 May 2002 | Spleen
Perfectly ordinary. That's quite a feat.
I know it's hard to believe, but I saw "It Takes All Kinds" at an actual SCREENING - in 2001! I suspect that Screensound (Australia's national film archive) dusted off a randomly chosen obscure title of slight historical interest, a rare foreign production made on Australian soil in the 1960s, starring Vera Miles - and if the faded El Cheapocolour print was in remarkably good condition, that's probably because it hadn't been removed from its canister in over thirty years.
I think it's at best misleading to describe a film as having "dated", unless you mean simply that the quality of the print has decayed. (Ditto novels, plays, and works of music. Arguably, paintings and sculptures DO become dated, as the paint cracks and the surface wears away. But movies - movies themselves, as opposed to prints - do not change with time, and hence cannot become better or worse.) What happens when a movie becomes "dated" is analogous to what happens when a forgery becomes more obviously a forgery. Consider the Cottingly fairy photographs. Even people who are utterly insensitive to the most obvious signs of photographic trickery would not be fooled by these forgeries today - because the fairies look, for all the world, like DRAWINGS of fairies. They always did. But when the transient artistic conventions of the Edwardian era were ubiquitous and unquestioned, nobody realised this. Nobody could tell which aspects of Edwardian drawing made objective sense and which were merely modish. (But Edwardians could easily distinguish genuine value from contemporary zing in the drawings of a hundred years earlier, and if you could smuggle art back through time, they'd probably be BETTER judges of the drawings of today than we ourselves are.)
When movies "date", it's because the unquestioned conventions on which they rely cease to become intuitively obvious - which means that the TRUE value of the movie becomes more obvious. If there's nothing there but fashionable correctness, we'll be able to tell; if there's something other than fashionable correctness, it will become easier to see what it is.
"It Takes All Kinds" is JUST fashionable correctness. It's the most purely mediocre movie from outside my viewing lifetime I have ever seen. It might be the most mediocre such movie I will ever see. The pacing, the choice of camera angles, and the hammy staging of contrived fight sequences, etc. are, I'm sure, correct by the standards of their day; they're also ABSOLUTELY uninspired. The acting is everything a 1969 viewer would have expected and NOTHING else. Did I say this was a work of "slight" historical interest? In its very banality, it's priceless.