Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Flyers have fallen before.

I'm not a big Charlton Heston fan, and not just because of the whole NRA thing. Sure, I loved anything to do with Planet of the Apes as a kid, and like everybody else, I'm not above saying the famous Soylent Green line for a laugh. And, as I've become more aware of movie history, I know enough to say, and believe, that Touch of Evil is the Best Charlton Heston movie (even though it's an Orson Welles Movie).

The title of this post comes from one of my favorite bad movies: Cecil B. de Mille's The Greatest Show on Earth. A star-studded, melodramatic, over the bigtop circus story. It's Heston's circus, see, and he runs it with his trusty fedora and bomber jacket (he once panics when he can't find his hat) long before Indiana Jones co-opted the look. The flick is chockablock with plot and subplot and and cameos and real circus folk doing real circus things. One subplot is Jimmy Stewart as a doctor on the run hiding out as a clown. Gourmet cheese. And the main plot is a love triangle betwixt Heston, Cornel Wilde, and Betty Hutton. Wilde is the Great Sebastian, trapeze artist extraordinaire and lothario with his sights on Heston's gal, fellow trapezer Hutton.

Sebastian falls one night when he's working without a net. As they carry him out on a stretcher, past a blubbery Hutton hanging on Heston's shoulder, she looks to the stoic leader for some comfort. There is none. This circus boss has seen it all. Steely resolve written all over his face, he says, in perfect Heston angry, defiant voice: "Flyers have fallen before."

What a jerk. Always cracks my sister and me up, man.... When you say it, you really have to sell the "f's." FFlyers have ffallen beffore....

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