Friday, June 6, 2008

The Singer Not the Song (Roy Ward Baker, 1961) D

The Singer Not the Song starts off interestingly, with a classic good versus evil plotline between a moralistic priest (John Mills) and the murderous leader of a small Mexican village (Dirk Bogarde). Mills tries to stop Bogarde's alphabetical killings, but Bogarde pretty much laughs in his face and tries twice to kill him. The tension mounts for an hour until circumstance arise in which Bogarde shoots one of his own men to stop him from killing Mills, but, even after the priest protests, the sheriff runs Bogarde out of town. Then, for the next hour, we are introduced to this ridiculous love triangle that involves Bogarde, Mills and a beautiful villager. It wouldn't be so bad if this had been hinted at at some point in the first hour, but it seems almost tacked on to make this film feature length. Needless to say, the rest of the film is a complete mess, nearly dropping the original good vs. evil plot to cater to the melodramatic love story. My pretend boyfriend Dirk Bogarde, however, rises above this crap and delivers a performance that's totally boss. Ben Foster must have been taking notes on this film when preparing for 3:10 to Yuma, because there are a lot of similarities between the two performances: the rock star clothing and swagger, generally badass line deliveries and, above all, the homoeroticism. Bogarde is the only thing that keeps The Singer Not the Song moving long after I've finished giving a crap about it.

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