First things first, Istanbul was Constantinople, but now it's Istanbul not Constantinople (nailed it). This week's column is about my little movie club's viewing of the 1971 film “They Might Be Giants” (Which is where the band took inspiration for their name). This was the one movie that I was completely unfamiliar with. My only connections to this film was that I had several people over the years recommend it to me.
The film stars George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward. Scott plans a rich judge who has slipped into a world of fantasy following the death of his wife, and now believes that he is Sherlock Holmes. His brother is trying to get him committed, mostly to gain power of attorney and access to his money. The brother takes him to a clinic, where he finds himself talking to Dr. Mildred Watson. Yes, Dr. Watson. “Holmes” leads Watson on a wild hunt around the city, following “clues” that he is convinced will lead him to the final battle with arch nemesis Moriarty.
I always hate to say that a film is disappointing. I see a lot of movies, and most of them I have a sense about before going in. However, “They Might Be Giants” was something of a let down. The movie is charming, to a degree. At the start I was quite liking it, I loved that the therapist was Dr. Watson, and that “Holmes” was leading them on this wild goose chase around New York City. I was enjoying the film wildly, then somewhere around the hour mark, things changed. The whole movie just fell apart some.
The biggest let down of the film, for me and a few others in the club, was the ending. It was too open ended, and didn't really resolve anything. For all intent and purposes, the film makes you think that there's going to be this big confrontation—with one character in particular who “Holmes” sees as Moriarty—but this does not come to pass. This seems to the be how almost everyone who watched the film felt. Twice did I see the reaction of “I'm glad we watched it, but I'll never watch it again.” One viewer was downright angry at how the film just fell apart in the end. “They Might Be Giants”, which held such great promise at the start, quickly turned to meh. I am glad we watched it, but I highly doubt it's a film I'll revisit anytime soon.
Next week, we conclude—for now—the month long run of Andy's Film Club, with a movie that is a genuinely fantastic movie, and one of my favorites. 1963's “Charade” directed by Stanley Donen. A film that has often been called “The best Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never made”. A sentiment that I endorse wholly. I couldn't encourage you more to watch this one, it's on Netflix (as all the films we've been looking at are).
In the weeks to come, things will get to normal—well “normal” being a relative term in this column. However, Andy's Film Club may continue on-line, and might be a reoccurring feature here from time to time. Let me know what you think.