If you’re a fan of Turner Classic Movies, you shouldn’t miss HAIL CAESAR, a comedy set during the last years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
In HAIL CAESAR, filmmaker brothers Joel and Ethan Coen recreate Hollywood in 1951 when the studio system was still going strong.
Their behind-the-scenes look at the lives of Hollywood people in that era is clever and amusing, but what really makes HAIL CAESAR worth seeing are short scenes from several movies the studio is making.
Production Head: An army of technicians and actors and top notch artistic people are working hard to bring to the screen our biggest release of the year. HAIL CAESAR is a prestige pictures with one of the biggest stars in the world: Baird Whitlock.
Baird as Caesar: A truth that we could see if he had but….if we had…
Baird: faith (shakes his head in self-disgust for blowing his line)
That’s George Clooney as the bumbling movie star.
And Channing Tatum gets to make like Gene Kelly in a song and dance number called “No Dames.”
Tatum signing: Oh, we’ll see a lot of fish but we’ll never clock a dish. We ain’t gonna see no dames.
Scarlett Johansson gets an Esther Williams type part as a swimmer in a huge Busby Berkeley like water ballet.
And newcomer Alden Ehrenreich is terrific as a cowboy star who gets borrowed for a drawing room comedy that doesn’t match his talents at all…
Cowboy star (in a southern accent): Would that it t’were so simple.
much to the dismay of his director played by Ralph Fiennes.
But the main character in the film is Josh Brolin as Eddie Mannix, the head of production, whose job is to handle all the problems that come up—from a star pregnant out of wedlock to the kidnapping of Baird Whitlock.
Eddie reading a note from the kidnappers: “We have your movie star. Gather 100,000 dollars and await instructions. Who are we? The future.”
Eddie also must deal with twin gossip columnists, each played by Tilda Swinton. Both are always trying to dig up dirt on stars Eddie is trying to keep clean,
It’s a thankless job that keeps Eddie working 20 hours a day, but he can’t help himself; he’s addicted to working in the Hollywood dream factory.
And this silly valentine to old Hollywood should be a treat for anyone with fond memories of that bygone era.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now. firstname.lastname@example.org