Sunday, August 4, 2019

Only now does it occur to me... THE BLACK WINDMILL

Only now does it occur to me... that while THE BLACK WINDMILL is known for being a much-maligned Don Siegel flick featuring a bored Michael Caine as a British secret service agent who is (supposedly) acting with urgency to rescue his kidnapped son:

"I have a particular set of skills....skills I have acquired over a very long career... skills that make me a nightmare for people like you... but if you want to see them in action, you'll have to give me a better motive than kidnapping my dumb son"

 that while it is known for co-starring a malevolent John Vernon (in a rare non-school principal role):

that while it is known for an azz-kickin', trumpet-funk '70s soundtrack by Roy Budd, and that while it is known for wasting as much wine as Stanley Kubrick wasted fake blood on the elevator scene from THE SHINING:

REDRUM.... TOLREM

...it really ought to be known as the premiere venue for Donald Pleasence to fondle a fake mustache with impunity.


He just can't 


keep his hands  


off the damn thing 


it's practically pathological, and,

  
in reacting to it, I think Michael Caine affords it more acting headspace than the concept of his kidnapped son. 

 
The only time Donald's not touching it is when he has a broken arm and both hands are fully preoccupied.

Also, I guess it bears mentioning that there's a scene near the end set at a windmill. But the windmill's not black, and there's nothing particularly meaningful about it.

It'd be like if Don Siegel called DIRTY HARRY "THE OLD QUARRY" or INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS "THE HIGHWAY OVERPASS."

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