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ST

Has anybody seen this movie? Its about a bachelor (Jack Lemmon) who rents out apartments in his block to single girls only. Apparently his apartment is the very icon of 50's bachelor living (afro - and possibly tiki - sculptures everywhere, easy listening music on tap). It sounds a hoot, but I haven't seen it yet.

Jack Lemmon with an afro? A must see!

Just kidding. That sounds like prime material to us Tiki folk. Any reviews?

Trader Woody

K

I've seen it. It's simply one of the most fun movies of all time. IMDB.COM has a good review.

K
Kim posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2003 6:46 PM

Whoo-hoo!

I know what we're renting tonight!

Jack Lemmon AND tiki-swank bachelor living from the 50's?! What girl could resist?

Got it! Welcome to the Sin Bin!

[ Edited by: Kim on 2003-03-28 21:13 ]

ST

so Kim, any reviews for us?

For your reading (and possibly buying?) pleasure while waiting for TC reviews:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/630432894X/qid=1049123896/sr=8-7/ref=sr_8_7/102-2929639-3575369?v=glance&s=video&n=507846

MovieCaddyDaddy

K
Kim posted on Mon, Mar 31, 2003 10:26 AM

Give me a moment to collect my thoughts, and I'll post a review very shortly!

K
Kim posted on Mon, Mar 31, 2003 12:14 PM

Under the Yum-Yum Tree—Welcome to the Sin Bin!

Classic 60’s silliness! (But be warned, the tiki-content is scant at best!)

Jack Lemmon, who we all know and love from his many wonderful (and frequently absurd—How to Murder Your Wife, for example! A good choice for Lemmon fans!) movies, is the delightfully sleazy swinging bachelor-landlord of a glorious apartment complex. Lemmon, who is “cursed with too much money” rents the beautiful pads in his building out to attractive single women, and proceeds to charm (or sleaze, depending on your interpretation) his way into their—ahem—“apartments”. (This is 1963, so sex is implied, not explicitly admitted.)

Mr. Hogan (Jack Lemmon), who urges his tenants to call him “Hogan” (though the three recurring tenants—the single-lady-with-the-cat, the attractive-gymnast, and the woman-who-is-always-just-stepping-out-of-the-shower-or-going-to-bed—all call him “Hogie”) has just ended an affair with a recently-divorced college professor (Irene Wilson, played by Edie Adams). Ms. Wilson’s perky young niece, Robin Austin (played by Carol Lynley), discovers that her aunt is giving up her “dreamy apartment”, and rushes over to secure the place for herself. The catch (and source of the central comic dilemma) is this—Robin wants the apartment to conduct a “non-conjugal cohabitation” experiment with her fiancé, Dave Manning (Dean Jones, of, among other things, The Love Bug fame!), to determine if they have “true compatibility” before she agrees to get married (and start conjugal cohabitation!). “Too many young people these days are carried away by their hormones!”—Robin

Hogan agrees to rent the vacant apartment to Robin and her “roommate”, under the impression that the “roommate” is another young lady. When Hogan discovers that Robin’s roommate is, in fact, a young man who is not amused by Hogan’s frequent unannounced visits and abundance of “charm”, classic 60’s misadventure ensues. Hogan employs a number of ill-advised ruses to estrange Dave and Robin, and seduce the “sweet young thing”. (Hogan refers to Robin almost exclusively as “you sweet young thing”, rather than using her name—a prime example of the classic 50’s-60’s social convention of avuncular sexism. If you’re inclined to get your panties on a knot over things like that, this movie might not be for you—it’s pretty-well peppered with it, along with references to “woman’s work” and traditional gender roles. If you can take it in the “harmless fun” spirit that it was probably meant in, however, it’s amusingly-awful!)

The prime tiki-enticement of this movie is the setting. Disappointingly, Hogan’s bachelor pad, while definitely sleazy-60’s cool, is not especially tikified. Lush red walls, a remote-controlled fireplace and bedside wall sconces, and automated violins make Hogan’s apartment a wonderfully-ridiculous Seduction Central, but the single psuedo-Africana sculpture does not, in my opinion, make the place tiki. Hogan’s apartment is solidly cool, though, as is Robin’s apartment. (I’d move in in a flash, especially for $75 a month!) The building—the Centaur Apartments—provides a lovely setting, and the plant-filled courtyard is generally tropical—though, again, without being especially tiki.

Overall, I’d say if you’re a Lemmon fan, it’s worth watching. It’s a movie in which Jack Lemmon’s character doesn’t really have any redeeming characteristics—he’s just a charming sleaze-ball, which is fun to see (if you’re like me, you’re used to Lemmon being a truly good guy, even if it’s underneath the sleaze, in most movies). If you’re just looking for tiki, though, you might want to look elsewhere. There are some nice settings, but nothing spectacular, and if tiki is all you want, you’ll be disappointed. But for silly 60’s fun starring a wonderfully-goofy actor, order a pizza, make a Mai Tai, and rent it!

[ Edited by: Kim on 2003-03-31 13:49 ]

Great review, Kim!

And for you Jack Lemmon fans out there, a couple of his films I've always particularly enjoyed are "Good Neighbor Sam" (which features 50s-era location footage in SF jazz clubs, not tiki but very cool nonetheless), and "Bell Book and Candle," in which he plays witch Kim Novak's warlock brother! Totally delightful.

ST

Thanks for that review Kim. I needed it from a tikiphile's perspective!

K
Kim posted on Tue, Apr 1, 2003 8:57 AM

Tikivixen, you're completely right, the Kim Novak Bell Book and Candle with Jack Lemmon (Jimmy Stewart as Shep, the straight-man love interest and Elsa Lancaster as the witchy aunt) is great. The Zodiac Club is nice, and Gillian's shop (in its original incarnation) has some very interesting Africana stuff. In fact, Gillian's whole apartment is great! There are some good minimalist-mod Christmas decorating ideas!

C
Chacha posted on Tue, Apr 1, 2003 1:16 PM

Thanks tikivixen for mentioning "Good Neighbor Sam" and "Bell, Book and Candle". Isn't there a scene in "Good Neighbor Sam" where they're cooking and drinking and dancing to "steak cha-cha-cha!"
Ever since I saw Bell Book and Candle I wanted to open up my own Zodiac Club.

Can't believe I found some Bell, Book and Candle mentions!

A longtime favorite film I just got on DVD. So great.

Made in 1958, the same year as her more famous pairing with Jimmy Stewart in Virtigo, B,B&C is a comedy starring Kim Novak as sexy Beatnik witch Gillian 'Gil' Holroyd who owns a shop that sells "African & Oceanic Art" and Jimmy Stewart as her publisher neighbor and love interest. The Zodiac Club scenes complete with bongo-jazz are great fun, a nightclub for witches! Novak's carving filled store/apartment has sleek mid-century furnishings and Novak herself has never been more mesmerising with her cropped blonde hair, black petal pushers, black scoop turtleneck, bare feet and of course those eyebrows!!! I'd forgotten, at the end of the film her shop has transformed to a nautical theme including a glass float or two! Check it out.

T

I'm so sad. Under the Yum Yum Tree in not available on DVD (even if it does rhyme!). I will put it into my TIVO wish list and hope for the best.

Tolovana (who notes that if you search for "under the yum yum tree" on google, and click on the snopes link, you get a very different kind of picture.)

Bell, Book and Candle is truly gem, at times it is like a Shag painting come to life, especially in those scenes with Jack Lemmon as Kim Novak's bongo-beating Beatnik brother.

I am thrilled that my publisher acquired the rights for this photo, so it will be in Tiki Modern!:

I believe Kim's character was modeled after Peggy Guggenheim, though the TV series that followed this movie, "Bewitched", had nothing of the lead's sophisticated primitive art urbanite character left, going all suburban instead.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2007-01-18 18:12 ]

do you know of any other movies from the '40's - '60's that feature vintage tiki bars? i saw a robert mitchum film noir on tcm, 'where danger lives,' and although the movie wasn't great -- no 'out of the past' -- there was a good scene where he rendezous with the femme fatale (faith domergue) at a tiki bar. was this a real bar or just a movie set? since rko was a fairly low-budget studio, i figured they used an actual bar. know of any others?

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