Only now does it occur to me... that when weather this stifling comes around, the only solution is to watch some Southern Fried Sleaze-O-Rama! (As previously documented in my reviews of THE BIG EASY, TIGHTROPE, and THE PAPERBOY.) Today, that meant watching THE LONG, HOT SUMMER, a lurid, golden age melodrama based on three works by William Faulker ("Spotted Horses," "Barn Burning," and THE HAMLET) and featuring sweaty Paul Newman:
well-oiled n' corpulent Orson Welles:
steamy Angela Lansbury (chuggin' all the beers):
moist Joanne Woodward:
clammy Tony Franciosa (best known to me from Argento's TENEBRE!):
and damp Lee Remick:
(among other perspiring members of the Actors Studio).
Directed by Martin Ritt (HUD, HOMBRE, THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD) and set to a sensationalized score by Alex North (SPARTACUS, CLEOPATRA, THE MISFITS), this is a film about handsome strange-uhs and busyin' youh-self with the vapours and the juleps and the pink lemonade, and it contains more Faulknerian sexual entrendres than you can shake a swampy, Bayou-drippin' stick at. In short, I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Also worth mentioning is the DVD cover, which features a pull-quote from a VARIETY review:
"...Strikingly Directed...Steamy With Sex."
Apparently confused by the review's lack of attribution (it's from an uncredited "staff" review) the DVD producers decided to go with the first name they saw: Martin Ritt. And thusly, THE LONG, HOT SUMMER's DVD cover came to feature a rave recommendation seemingly uttered from the lips of its own director!
(And if you dig Faulknerian wordplay, might I direct you toward a piece I wrote for McSweeney's last year called "Winners of the Yoknapatawpha County Spelling Bee, 1929-1940.")