The 60’s-est, Campiest, Funnest Movie Ever: “What a Way to Go!”

Famous 1960’s Hollywood people! Vivid colors! Costumes! A, if you want a 60’s descriptive word, “zany” plot!

People hit up other 1960’s movies as the 60’s-est of them. Pooh! No, disagreed. After viewing this again on TV the other day as that one weirdo under 97 years of age who really DVRs retro films, this is like a living time capsule.

Shirley MacLaine plays a gold digger. Really. Based in Manhattan, or in those days they’d call it New York City all three words. As uncomfortable as that is stereotyping all women in old film roles, you know you’re in a 1960’s movie when you see that she’s a gold digger. Marilyn Monroe was not alone being stereotyped. All actresses dealt with it.  And who cares?!? The character is quirky-fun.

The pink on pink scene where her one husband gets trampled by humans like a herd of elephants and dies, have any of you not seen that or remember it? Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was not the first nor last of its kind doing the pre-Wes Anderson days color themed aesthetic. Pink on pink on pink. 

You get a bunch of other 60’s “let’s throw away all our funding for this tackyness” cinematic viewing entertainment throughout it. No spoilers from me. Deal? 

The sound effects in this movie and plot points are super 1960’s cheeseball. How this isn’t more famous...who knows.  When I said he gets run over by a crowd like elephants, the filmmakers threw in elephant FX. Classic. You’ll find this on The Muensters  and other 60’s entertainment.

A big dance number for no reason! Oh so 60’s! 

Paul Newman, Dick Van Dyke,  Dean Martin, Jean Kelly .... this was like the Love Actually  ensemble cast of its time before ensembles were a thang.

IMDb explains this plot nicely, and whatever(!), I’m copying it: “A four-time widow discusses her four marriages, in which all of her husbands became incredibly rich and died prematurely because of their drive to be rich.”

Tell me that’s not 1960’s enough for you!  The AV Club review called it “gaudy” like a bad thing and I feel like slapping whoever penned that shouting, “Isn’t this the whole point?! Do you not appreciate silly, dated yet ridiculous retro cinema?!?” In the same article, the writer compares it to Steven Spielberg’s 1941 which while a flop in its time isn’t like, you know, an Adam Sandler movie in its douchebaggy-ness levels, and yet, if it were, it’s not like sitting atop Adam Sandler’s bank account from that movie he consistently remakes playing himself is a bad thing. Or Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob fortune. :0 3LW needs to reissue that song, “Haters gon hate-hate. Ballahs they gon ball. Critics they gon critique and kill all the fun out of guilty pleasure retro cinema.”

For anyone who wants to see what $20 million burned in 1960’s campy filmmaking looks like, stream thee What A Way to Go!  How can anyone hate a movie with an exclamation mark in the title? Exclamation marks, like grilled cheese, make the world a better place. 

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