Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rooney! Quine! Together!

The Mick, going all crazy as the scat-talking MSgt. Yancy Skibo in Quine's deliriously funny "Operation Mad Ball" and doing the jive (below) with fellow cut-ups Dick York and Jack Lemmon.
The unsinkable Mickey Rooney - exactly how long has he been in movies anyway? - has been Turner's highlighted star this month and among the neat discoveries of this invaluable 70-title retrospective is the fact that Rooney made four films with the wonderful Richard Quine, a filmmaker largely know for his appealing output with Jack Lemmon.

Three of the titles will air on 23 December - "All Ashore" (1953), a bit of singing-sailor silliness at 7:30 a.m. (est.); "Sound Off" (1952), at 10:30 a.m., in which Rooney plays a song-and-dance man drafted into the Army, and "Operation Mad Ball" (1957), an antic farce that predated Altman's "M*A*S*H" in gleefully deflating the military. It screens at noon. And at 7:30 a.m. on 30 December, don't miss the vivid "Dricve a Crooked Road" (1954), with Kevin McCarthy and Diane Foster backing up the Mick.

You can't go wrong with Quine. Particularly when Rooney is in tow.


Glenn said...

I always thought of Quine as an anti-stylist - which I love about his work - and as a house director who did great work with house actors, such as Lemmon and Novak at Columbia. But his spate of films with Rooney is new to me. Thanks for the heads-up.

Larry Frost said...

I liked Ritt’s gritty directorial debut Pushover. Great noir.

joe baltake said...

Actually, Larry, Quine made several other films before "Pushover," but I agree, it's pretty damn good.