Klaus Kinski thinks sci-fi films are actually made for adult illiterates

I’ll be reviewing Commando Leopard (dir Antonio Margheriti, 1985) shortly but first of all I wanted to review the Making of Commando Leopard, which is available on the Anchor Bay version of the DVD.

The Making of Commando Leopard film reminds me very much of Joseph Cornell’s experimental collage film Rose Hobart (1936), which was just a re-edited version of the movie East of Borneo with 2 pieces of music played over the top of it repeatedly.  When I saw Rose Hobart I laughed so hard that I had tears streaming down my face because the repetition of the music tracks and the re-editing made it all seem so ridiculous.  Similarly when I saw the Making of Commando Leopard I ended up crying from laughing so much; this film is really something and I would definitely recommend it over the main feature.

You may well ask, “What’s so good about Making of Commando Leopard?”  Well, I’ll tell you.  It runs at just under 50 minutes, which is a pretty good length for a making of film but in reality I’d guess it has about 20 to 25 minutes’ worth of usable footage, and that’s tops.  The rest of the film just consists of repeated footage or even re-recorded versions of interviews with essentially the same questions but maybe slightly different answers from the interviewees.  Some bits of footage are repeated 3 times.  Eventually you start thinking you’re going mad.  It’s brilliant!

The people being interviewed are Erwin C Dietrich (producer); Klaus Kinski; Lewis Collins; our old friend Hans Leutenegger (remember how he stole KK’s dessert during the Wer bin ich? interview? If not, see my review of Kinski Talks 1 to refresh your memory); and Peter Baumgartner (cinematographer).  And overall it is a fairly informative film but aside from all the repetition there are also a lot of stupid questions – or “superfluous questions” as Klaus Kinski refers to them; I think it’s fair to say that the interviewer has a lot to learn.

Anyway, let me summarise what I’ve learnt (or not learnt) from this film:

  • Who was responsible for the Making of  Commando Leopard film?  I don’t know.  Maybe no one wanted to take credit for it – the editing is REALLY BAD
  • The interviewer is obsessed with the concept of “Swiss films” vs “international films” – he asks both the producer Erwin C Dietrich and Hans Leutenegger: What are “Swiss films”? Why was Commando Leopard so expensive to make? What does “international film” mean?

  • Apparently Code Name: Wild Geese and Commando Leopard each cost about 15      million Swiss francs to make, which makes them, according to the interviewer, “the most expensive and costly films in the Swiss history of cinema”
  • According to Erwin C Dietrich “international films” need to have special effects; in      case you can’t imagine what kind of special effects might be used in “international      films”, you might like to choose from “airplanes explod[ing]… helicopters flying… bridges cav[ing] in… dam walls cut…”, that kind of thing
  • Klaus Kinski is very particular about his hair and is seen tidying it up several times during this film

  • The interviewer asked Erwin C Dietrich if producers can calculate the costs of a film in advance – to be honest with you, I just can’t remember what the answer to that question was; all I remember is having a KK moment and thinking what a “superfluous question” it was
  • The interviewer also asked the producer how they get ideas for the themes of the films – I now understand why Klaus got so angry with interviewers…
  • Hans Leutenegger (aw!) wanted to “do something new” and that’s why he got into      acting; he felt he was “lucky” that he got along very well with Klaus; he could just as easily play in a love film as an action film (I’d like to see that!); he doesn’t think that playing bad characters would ruin his image in Switzerland; he needs self-affirmation so it’s not enough for him if people say, “Hausi, you are the greatest”; he was 45 years old when he was making Commando Leopard; he is very punctual and disciplined and you can rely on him

  • Lewis Collins wasn’t really lined up to be “the next James Bond”

  • Peter Baumgartner (the cinematographer) didn’t really have any ambition to      become a cameraman but he got the opportunity to work as a trainee on Kurt Früh’s Drei schräge Vögel (1960) and he took it from there

  • The film soundtrack composer Walter Baumgartner is Peter Baumgartner’s uncle
  • Klaus Kinski does not have to “try things”: “I want them to be shot. And I get      impatient when there is too much trying or things are retaken too often.”
  • Klaus Kinski sometimes needs the question repeating because he is “always so      distracted by my beautiful girlfriend”

  • Who is Klaus Kinski’s beautiful girlfriend?  I don’t know, but she’s very cute

  • Klaus Kinski once said he would “never make a film with Kubrick” or he would “give      him a kick in the pants as Kubrick shoots the same scene 80-120 times”
  • For Klaus Kinski discontent is “when it takes too long, okay?”

  • Klaus Kinski had a contract with Alfredo Bini (“one of the best producers”) to direct Paganini
  • Klaus Kinski mostly didn’t watch his own films because he wasn’t interested and “I      know what I did when I have done shooting”

  • Klaus Kinski said if he ever directed a film himself he “would check the rushes,      permanently. In the desert, everywhere, I would get the presenting of rushes done…”
  • According to Erwin C Dietrich, “With Kinski, I think, every actor gets out of his way, or he gets out of each actors way too.”

  • With Code Name: Wild Geese Klaus Kinski had problems with Ernest Borgnine; with Commando Leopard he had problems with Lewis Collins

  • Lewis Collins didn’t have to work in close proximity to Klaus Kinski but he found him “a very interesting if not unusual actor to observe”; he thought a lot of the stories about Klaus were “self-generated”
  • Lewis Collins had no idea if Klaus Kinski liked him or not – “he hasn’t kissed me yet”

  • Who is this lady with the big glasses? I love her

  • Lewis Collins used to be in a band before he was an actor [The Mojos]
  • Lewis Collins seems to think everyone is his girlfriend – he says the lady in the big glasses is his girlfriend and then seconds later he says the actress Cristina Donadio is his girlfriend

  • Lewis Collins asked “Would you like to come with me to the toiletten?” but I’m not sure who he was asking and whether or not they went

  • Lewis Collins does something funny with his tongue/mouth during a conversation      with Antonio Margheriti

  • It doesn’t make any difference to Klaus Kinski whether or not he is filming an action scene or a dramatic scene in a love film: “There is no difference. What should be more difficult? What easier? I don’t understand!”
  • I don’t know how many times Klaus Kinski has played a priest in his life, but apparently it is something he “once just thought about, and I don’t know for what reason”

  • When asked about playing a terrorist in Entebbe and then playing a chief in the      Israeli Secret Service, Klaus Kinski just says “So what?”
  • Klaus Kinski is not permanently in L.A.  He’s not in L.A. at all.  He is in America.  He lives there.  But he’s not going to tell you where!
  • The main thing for Klaus Kinski is that films pay enough
  • If Klaus Kinski stopped someone in the street and asked them to carry his case, they would say “You must be crazy!”

  • Erwin C Dietrich, according to Klaus Kinski, knows that Klaus Kinski will not do      anything without money
  • Erwin C Dietrich likes Klaus Kinski; he runs after Klaus Kinski, he does not get out of his way; he thinks Klaus Kinski is “a quite special actor and a very special character”

  • Who is the actor that is annoying Klaus Kinski when he gets so agitated in the      “behind the scenes” shots? It’s not Louis – “it’s not his fault, but the fault of the other one” – but who is it?
  • According to Klaus Kinski in the movies you cannot cheat – “I’ll show you what he      does wrong. In the front you see all the shit; you see that shit. I saw that shit. You cannot cheat in the movie; it’s impossible. You cannot do that; this you can see is not true.” Erm… what is “that shit”?

  • What is Klaus joking about with his beautiful girlfriend? My guess is he was just laughing at the “superfluous questions” again

  • This is my favourite bit of the Making of Commando Leopard: Klaus Kinski tries to tell us what he thinks about sci-fi films and who they are made for – “Most of the sci-fi films are absolutely idiotic. Made for illiterates. That means, except you enjoy it,      okay? I mean, actually made for adult illiterates.  But they aren’t really made for adults.  They were produced for children and this is okay, isn’t it?”

What I haven’t yet learnt is: who was Commando Leopard made for?  Well, let’s see what I can come up with when I finally finish my review, eh?

A few more pictures to close the review:

I just have to slide in a photograph of Klaus with his hands in his pockets yet again:

And a sequence of pictures of Klaus with the lady with the big glasses – first off she is holding the mirror whilst he sprays his hair with water and tidies himself up; then he makes her raise her hand so the mirror is held higher for him; then he sprays her in the face with his water spray and she has to dry herself off.  She is so good natured she just laughs it all off:

Hans Leutenegger, lovely guy that he is, he just tweaks her chin after she has mopped his brow for him:

And, finally, here is a nice shot of Klaus looking like he’s having fun:

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More Klaus Kinski photos

I have to confess, I’ve been unfaithful to Klaus Kinski lately… I started up a new blog Hero Culte where I could write about other favourites of mine like Serge Gainsbourg and Michel Polnareff.  So to make up for it I am posting some of my new KK acquisitions:

I’m not sure which film this is from and I’m hoping that someone like Konrad of Genius & Disorder will be able to help with this.  In any case, KK looks fabulous here; great teeth, eh?

Another photograph from Piers Haggard’s Venom (1981) – see my review Klaus Kinski Beats Off Oliver Reed’s Trouser Snake for some light-hearted nonsense about this film.  This photo sums up the relationship between KK and Ollie – showdown!

Another great photo, this one from La morte ha sorriso all’assassino aka Death Smiles on a Murderer or  Die Mörderbestien (dir Joe D’Amato, 1973).  I’ll have to review this one soon as I really enjoyed it.

Another photograph from Aaron Lipstadt’s Android (1982), a seriously good sci-fi film which I just have to review soon.  It looks like Klaus has lipstick on in this picture; either that or he has been drinking too much Ribena.

And finally another one I’m not 100% sure on – is it from Five Golden Dragons aka Die Pagode zum fünften Schrecken (dir Jeremy Summers, 1967)? I’m not sure but I know I’ve seen the film.

That’s all for now.  I’m just deciding which film to review next but I hope to be able to post something more substantial shortly.

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Smells like Klaus Kinski

Here’s a few things I thought I should include in an update:

I recently saw a film by Luigi Cozzi called Il tunnel sotto il mondo (Tunnel Under the World) from 1969.  It’s an unusual film, which appears to play with different temporal and spatial schemes by relating a series of events from the various points of view of characters.  Or maybe it doesn’t, it’s difficult to tell!  But it was an interesting early film from Kinski’s co-director on Nosferatu a Venezia (Nosferatu in Venice; Vampire in Venice, 1988) and you should see it if you can track a copy down.  The reason I mention it here is because as I watched it I felt convinced I’d seen Klaus on the screen and had to re-wind the film to check it – no, I wasn’t seeing things, there was a huge poster for 5 per l’inferno (Five for Hell, Gianfranco Parolini, 1969) in one scene:

I realised recently that I had totally forgotten to upload the photos I took of the Hotel Doelen when I went to Amsterdam last year.  Nothing too exciting, except that this was the hotel Klaus used in the film Lifespan (see my review of the film here:  https://dudummesau.com/2011/02/09/klaus-kinski-makes-the-bed/) and where he trampled all over the bed!

Thanks to Leigh Ann for sending information through about the Kinski perfume, which was produced under licence to Kinski Productions last year to mark the 20th anniversary of Klaus’ death.  I must admit it was a bit difficult to find out about the perfume as it’s not very widely available and I purchased mine from Luckyscent in America, who kindly sent through a few sample bottles for me too so I would be able to keep my bottle intact, here it is:

Since purchasing it I have found out that it is now available through Harvey Nichols in the UK, and not a bad price at £86.  I used all my samples up fairly quickly so unless I break into my bottle I won’t be wearing again!  It’s a unisex fragrance which I think smells rather mossy – a bit like Klaus would have smelled after he’d been behind the bushes with some conquest, no doubt.  The perfume was developed by Escentric Molecules who are well-known for their fragrances which mix with your natural pheromones to create an individual scent for you.  The Kinski fragrance is described as “animalic… woody… feral… oceanic…”  I was expecting it to be something like Grenouille’s perfume in Patrick Süskind’s novel Perfume, or at least that it would make me as appealing as Kinski and men would throw themselves at me as both men and women threw themselves at Klaus – but that wasn’t the case!  It’s a very pleasant smell but I must admit that not one person commented on the perfume when I was wearing it, so it’s obviously quite subtle.  If you want to smell like Kinski, though, you need to try it and buy it for yourself.  The packaging is lovely and I am sure the perfume is too but I just can’t bring myself to open my bottle.

Finally, here’s an item about Christian David’s Kinski die biographie (Aufbau, 2008).  Jari wrote in to ask why one sentence in the book had been censored in black pen.  My copy doesn’t have such censoring in it, so I asked Jari to send a photograph of it:

The sentence that was censored reads: “…sie teilten die Erfahrung von Einsamkeit und Selbstzweifel sowie eine geringschätzung des eigenen Körpers, eine Neigung dazu, sich andere zu verkaufen.”  I asked Christian David if he was able to tell me anything about this and he kindly sent the following information:

“Regarding the censored sentence: It is about Minhoi Loanic/Kinski. And it says: “… they (Klaus and Minhoi) shared the experience of loneliness and self-doubt, as well as a contempt of the body, an inclination to sell themselves to others.” After the book came out, someone thought I had been referring only to Minhoi, thus suggesting she had literally sold herself (or her body) to others. So the sentence was “eliminated” by Aufbau in order to avoid any potentially libellous interpretation by a third party. It later became clear that the sentence was in no way incriminating, and it was “restored”. Which makes the censored copies sort of a rare breed.”

Which means that Jari’s copy is fairly unusual!

Thanks to everyone who contributed information for these items.  That’s all for now – I hope to write another review shortly.  Not sure what I’ll tackle yet…

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Klaus Kinski is on the phone

Love and Money (Dir James Toback, 1982)

Basic plot:  Frederic Stockheinz, the owner of Trans Allied Silver, hires a banker, Byron Levin, to work for him to convince the President of Costa Salva (Byron’s former room-mate at Harvard) not to nationalise his country’s silver. But instead Byron embarks on an affair with Catherine Stockheinz, Frederic’s wife, and he doesn’t want to get involved in his old friend Lorenzo’s running of his country – what will happen to Byron when Frederic Stockheinz finds out?

Cast: Frederic Stockheinz – Klaus Kinski; Byron Levin – Ray Sharkey; Catherine Stockheinz – Ornella Muti; Lorenzo Prado – Armand Assante; Walter Klein – King Vidor; Vicky – Susan Heldfond; Blair – Tom McFadden

Filming location: Marina del Rey Hotel, California?

Release date: 12 February 1982

Availability:   This film is available on a Warner Bros Archive Collection DVD although it’s an NTSC region 1 only issue.  There are no extras but it’s not too pricey (you can get a copy for about £10 including postage); it’s not that good either, sorry to say. Buy it for Klaus – because Klaus is worth both your love and money.

The film – *SPOILER ALERT*:

In my previous item about Love and Money I already said that I found the DVD cover misleading.  On the front cover it says: “Only one will win” – I’m not even sure what that means in the context of the film and its conclusion.  But it was the text on the back cover that made me buy the film in the first place and this is even more misleading:

“Byron Levin (Ray Sharkey) has two sides. One is Byron the workaday L.A. banker quick to defend a harassed co-worker. The other is a pent-up employee who’ll say something outrageous to a stranger for shock effect. Increasingly, Byron’s risk-taking nature takes hold. And it becomes a stranglehold when Byron is seduced by the deadly allure of Love and Money in this tantalizing thriller from James Toback (The Pick-up Artist, Bugsy). Byron accepts a million-dollar deal with a global silver magnate (Klaus Kinski). His reason says no but his passions say yes: he’s begun an illicit affair with the tycoon’s exotic wife (Ornella Muti). In return, he must persuade a former college roommate, now a Latin American strongman (Armand Assante), to stop nationalizing the silver mines. And if words fail him, bullets will do.”

Don’t believe it – there’s only one side to Byron Levin and it’s not very nice.  And the bullets thing?  He only touches a gun once (it’s not his, he finds it in a drawer) and even then he has it confiscated before even taking one pot-shot.  Whoever wrote the summary for the film had clearly not seen it; lucky them.

I know I’m shooting myself in the foot here (you see, even reviewing the film I get closer to a gun than Byron does in Love and Money) by saying these bad things about Love and Money – I doubt I’d get an interview with James Toback after slagging the film off this much, would I? – but I don’t care.  I just cannot lie and pretend I’ve enjoyed it; as hard as it is to believe I cannot find any redeeming quality in Love and Money that could make me rustle up some grudging admiration.  And this is despite the fact that Toback wrote the screenplay and directed the film (Fingers) that the rather wonderful De battre mon cœur s’est arrêté (The Beat That My Heart Skipped, dir Jacques Audiard, 2005) was based on.  Toback also wrote the screenplay for the award winning Bugsy (dir Barry Levinson, 1991) and was a creative writing teacher for some time.  But this is so hard to believe when you look at Love and Money.  What went wrong?  From my point of view, it looks like everything.

Anyway, as painful as it may be (for all of us) I am reliving my experience of Love and Money for you:

The first problem for me is Ray Sharkey.  There are no two ways about this: he is an absolutely appalling actor.  He looks like a cross between James Caan and Robert Downey Jr, but a poor man’s version at that; a James Caan’t, if you will.  He can’t help that, I suppose, but what he can help is his rather mannered way of acting.  When Sharkey is acting out the scene where he is meeting Catherine Stockheinz at Casey’s bar, he walks into the bar and immediately is behaving like he does not believe she will turn up.  As soon as he walks in he grabs a stranger’s arm to check the time on her wristwatch; he repeatedly taps his thighs with both hands; he takes another look at the woman’s wristwatch; he calls the hotel to check on Catherine; when Catherine refuses to take his call he stares at the telephone.

Now, I understand that this is all to indicate impatience and nervousness but it’s an acting style that is unacceptable if the viewer is to attempt to suspend their disbelief.  I wonder if Sharkey thought he was being “quirky” but as far as I’m concerned it’s just eye-rollingly embarrassing.  And the less said about his impersonation of Frederic Stockheinz (Klaus), the better – since when did Klaus have an Italian accent?!!

The next things I find problematic with the film are the characters of Vicky (Byron’s girlfriend) and Walter Klein (Byron’s grandfather).  Well, I’ve already illustrated Vicky as just rummaging around piles of books and doing nothing more than this (and I’m not exaggerating on that point at all) in my previous Love and Money article but the eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that I didn’t even bother mentioning Walter Klein in that article.  Why?  Because his character is absolutely superfluous.

The only thing in his favour is that Walter Klein is played by the wonderful film director King Vidor (who directed Marion Davies in Show People and The Patsy, and directed The Big Parade, Stella Dallas, Duel in the Sun and the Kansas sequences in The Wizard of Oz, amongst many other things).  This was King Vidor’s first real acting role and sadly it was a poor choice of films to take part in; really he should have stuck to the directing.

I think Toback included the character of Walter Klein to indicate that Byron is loving and caring, although there are only actually a couple of instances to indicate this (making cream of wheat for Walter; cutting his hair; explaining things to him when he becomes “confused”).  For the most part Byron is just as selfish with Walter as he is with anyone else – he says he won’t ever leave Walter but he does abandon him twice, first when he goes off unannounced to spend a few days with Catherine Stockheinz and then when he goes to Costa Salva with Frederic Stockheinz.  In fact, it is when Byron is sleeping off his visit to Costa Salva that Walter wanders off alone and gets lost in the streets of LA.  None of this indicates that Walter is at the centre of Byron’s world, so why bother with the character at all?  You could totally eliminate the character and it would not affect the narrative one little bit.  Well, it would because if you were to eliminate Walter Klein you could also eliminate Vicky – after all, she herself says: “You are the joy of our lives.  If you weren’t here, I don’t think I would be either.”  Let’s get rid of ’em both then!

The next thing I can’t abide is the singing – for some unknown reason three of the characters in the film feel the need to break out into song at certain points: (i) Walter Klein makes an appalling (and slightly self-referential) joke about Vicky looking like a Biblical beauty, “Delilah… Bathsheba… Marion Davies…” and then he starts singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; (ii) when Byron is trying to concentrate on getting an erection he asks Catherine to recite the lyrics to The Star-Spangled Banner and then he starts singing it in a dissonant fashion; (iii) even though Byron says he does not want to hear it, Lorenzo sings a dirge-like thing that he says is the new national anthem he has written for Costa Salva – it’s awful; (iv) and Lorenzo is a repeat offender, after making out with a lady in the bushes he emerges singing Carlos Puebla’s Hasta Siempre really badly.  All of this singing could be edited out and this would instantly improve the film (a tiny bit).

The next problem though is the big one: the story, the narrative, the dialogue.  We’ll start with the story.  The story is crap and here’s a summary to prove it: Byron Levin was roommates with Lorenzo Prado back at university.

If Ray Sharkey is a poor man’s James Caan, Armand Assante is a poor man’s Paul McCartney

He now works at a bank and shares a flat with his book-dealer girlfriend Vicky and his grandfather who suffers from dementia; meanwhile Lorenzo is President of a country called Costa Salva.

Byron is contacted by the owner of Trans Allied Silver, Frederic Stockheinz, who offers him $1 million to convince Lorenzo not to nationalise Costa Salva’s silver.  Byron is not interested in Stockheinz’s offer of $1 million for one weekend’s work but he is interested in his wife Catherine.  Byron starts to fantasise about Catherine and she seduces him to ensnare him into helping Frederic.  Byron is easily taken in and ends up going to Costa Salva with Frederic Stockheinz just so he can see Catherine again.

He meets up with his former roommate and tells him what Stockheinz has asked him to do.  Lorenzo tells Byron that he has misunderstood what Frederic has asked of him and that he is certain that Frederic means that he will pay $1 million for Byron to kill him not just to convince him about the silver.  Byron is shocked, but not as shocked as when he realises that Lorenzo is as bad as Frederic.  Byron is heartbroken when Catherine says that she only seduced him to get him to help Frederic.

When Stockheinz suspects that there is something going on between his wife and Byron, he orders his assistant Blair to shoot him but Blair turns his gun instead on Frederic Stockheinz.

Byron realises that Lorenzo has paid off one of Frederic’s men to kill Frederic and he fights off Blair and stops him from shooting.  Frederic shoots Blair and leaves Byron at the roadside with the dead body and then he and Catherine flee the scene.

Byron is arrested and is faced with the firing squad.  At the last moment Lorenzo arrives and stops his men from shooting Byron.  But Byron is disappointed in his old friend’s behaviour and says he won’t join Lorenzo and work for him.

He goes back to California and immediately tries to call Catherine Stockheinz but there is no answer.  When he gets home, Vicky is in the middle of packing all her belongings as she has decided to leave Byron.  Byron makes no attempt to make things up or to explain to Vicky (thinking he’s funny, he just tells her that he cut himself shaving) and he simply falls asleep.

When he wakes up she has gone, and so has his grandfather.  Byron runs out into the streets looking for his grandfather and eventually finds him listening to a brass band and wearing a visor  in the street.  He takes him home and they pack up their few belongings to leave the house now that Vicky has gone.  Byron gets into the car and is about to drive off when Catherine arrives and asks if she can come with them.  Byron asks her if she thinks they stand a chance of lasting together and she says no.  Byron does not think they do either but they drive off together anyway.

Of course the story would be far more interesting if Byron really did have two sides as the DVD cover suggests – a film about someone who is absolutely torn between doing what’s right and being seduced into committing immoral acts with the promise of vast amounts of money and a very attractive woman would at the very least allow Byron to be a two-dimensional character rather than the one-dimensional idiot that he is.  But that is all – I doubt Byron could ever be a complex or believable character, not with Ray Sharkey playing him…

If the story is crap, then the dialogue is absolutely dire.  Here are a few of the most appalling low points:

Seconds after meeting Catherine Stockheinz, presumably because he’s fallen in love instantly, Byron says to her:  “If you ever touch [your husband] again, or any other man, I’ll kill ya.”

The whole section where Byron and Catherine are arguing about Byron manhandling her is cringeworthy:

Byron – I’ll never touch you again.  Until you ask me to.
Catherine – You must think I’m as insane as you are.  Answer me!
Byron – What’s the question?
Catherine – What is so special about me that you do all these things that I could have you arrested for?
Byron – Your eyes, yours smile…
Catherine – I didn’t smile at you.
Byron – Okay, I guess it was your eyes then… It’s just that when I saw you, I knew… that God had put his elbow in my ribs.
[Catherine opens car door whilst the car is moving and tries to get out]
Byron – I said if you ever made love to your husband…
Catherine – I did.
[Catherine gets out of the car but leaves the door open as she walks off, Byron reverses the car and continues talking to her]
Byron – Come on! Come aaahnnn!
Catherine – Why?
Byron – Because we’re gonna fall in love and last together.
Catherine – I couldn’t hear what you say.
Byron – I said…
[Catherine makes out she is not getting back into the car but then she does anyway and they drive off together] 

When Byron tries to get it on with Catherine and encounters some problems:  “I can’t believe it, I can’t get a hard-on.  Five minutes ago outside I had a hard-on I coulda hung a towel on it, now…”

When Byron and Catherine argue again, he says to her:  “Don’t say that.  We’re going to be everything to each other… I’m your father; you’re my mother; I’m your husband; you’re my wife; I’m your chauffeur; you’re my car…”

I could go on but I am certain you don’t want me to at this point.  Aside from the dire-logue (Hey! If Toback is going to make bad jokes, I will too), I really have a problem with the lazy method of story-telling that Toback utilises throughout the film.  If you’ve ever read an interview with Toback you’ll understand what I mean but I think he’s full of a large amount of BS, so my guess is he would say that he didn’t want to go for the classical filmmaking style and that he wanted something a bit more punchy, a bit more fast-paced, a bit “different”.  But what we’re left with is, in my opinion, an unsatisfactory narrative discourse – given what story and dialogue there was to work with I guess you could not hope for anything better.

What I object to more than anything is the way Toback provides story information to the viewer by either including long-shots of Byron and Catherine on car rides with what seems to be a voice-over of them chatting to fill in the narrative, or alternatively having them carry out lengthy conversations whilst sitting in their hotel room.  Whole chunks of something resembling their back-stories are provided during these conversations in the most unsubtle way, presumably in order to do away with actually showing things or revealing things in a more natural fashion.  And this always seems to be done with Catherine and Byron either not in shot at all (the long-shots in the car) or with them both facing the camera (and therefore not facing each other) – is this a stylistic device?  I think not as there is no interesting cinematography to speak of in Love and Money.  Further adding to the unnatural method of story-telling Byron and Catherine always carry out what are essentially very intimate conversations without once looking at each other.

That said, Toback includes a couple of scenes that are clearly choreographed – for example, the sequence where Byron arrives at Catherine’s hotel room and appears to force his way in (even though he is actually invited) and then paces dramatically towards Catherine as she paces away from him.  This is closely followed by the sequence in the car park where Byron tries to kiss Catherine and she turns her face away and then they kiss seemingly forever as the camera circles them from above.

What with the lazy story-telling sequences and the numerous telephone calls (I really think Toback was influenced by Herbert Ross/Woody Allen’s Play It Again, Sam in this respect, although the constant telephone calls were used with humour by Ross/Allen) there is hardly any need for any of the characters to look at each other let alone interact in Love and Money.

So what role did Klaus have in this pile of poop?  Well, let’s not pretend that Klaus was ever anything other than familiar with filmic piles of poop, so working on Love and Money would not represent a problem for the great KK.  He was, however, sadly under-used in the film and we only ever seem to see him barking down the telephone, telling his people to “Just do it!”, “Do it!” or “Let’s go!”, or ordering food and wine for his guests.  There is not even a love scene with the lovely Ornella Muti who, unbelievably, for the most part manages to keep her clothes on and is only ever seen naked from behind (Sorry boys! And this despite the fact that Toback filmed lots of nude sex scenes…).  There is the just the one big KK scene with the dinner party where Lorenzo arrives 90 minutes late and then tells a crappy story whilst Klaus wrings a napkin in his hands, rolls his eyes and then demands to know “What is so funny?”  It’s the only scene worth watching in the film and Klaus manages to offend just about everyone around the table by shouting at them all in turn.

Klaus looks great in his stylish suits and the standard issue beige and white he so liked to wear.  He also manages to be a bit cheeky (talking to Catherine in Italian in a section which is not subbed but you know he’s being naughty anyway) and gets to put his hands in his pockets a few times along the way as well.

Look at the guy in the background with the combover.  I didn’t realise Arthur Scargill had a supporting role in the film…

I wish I could say something more favourable about Love and Money but for once I am at a loss.  Toback clearly thinks that playing a bit of Bach over the film somehow makes it arty but he is sadly mistaken.  I enjoy such a wide variety of films and can usually see something good in most of them but this was really hard work and I still cringe now as I recall it.  This one is for the most committed Kinski fans only, I’d say.

Other information about the film: 

Well, there were no extras on the DVD and there seems to be very little out there about this film (possibly with good reason, of course) but I have tried my best to find out more information.

You can always rely on our friend Christian David for a little more information, as ever the source material is Kinski die Biographie (Aufbau, 2008, pp278-279).  Klaus was paid $75,000 for 3 weeks’ filming which Christian David says was relatively low at that time, but he also seems to have been offered a further 5% of the film’s profits which would have been a good thing if the film had been a success but unfortunately that was not to be the case.  Klaus worked from the end of November to the middle of December 1979 on the film.

Other than this, pretty much all I found was a couple of articles about Toback and Love and Money in Film Quarterly, both written by Michael Dempsey (presumably not the bass player who used to be in The Cure, Associates and The Lotus Eaters…) in 1980/1981/1982.

The first article Love and Money, Ecstasy and Death: A Conversation with James Toback (Film Quarterly, Vol 34, No 2, Winter 1980-1981, pp24-35) indicates that the film critic Pauline Kael was going to leave her job at The New Yorker to work on Love and Money with Toback directing and Warren Beatty starring.  This ties in with other reports I have seen of Kael accepting an offer from Beatty in 1979 to act as a consultant at Paramount Pictures, which she initially took up only to leave a few months later to go back to writing reviews.  According to Dempsey, Kael left the project after “differences of opinion” with Toback (p24).  My guess is she told him the film sucked a big fat one and he did not like it; this could also explain why Beatty was no longer attached to the project either.

Dempsey also says that Henry Miller had been Toback’s original choice to play the role of Walter Klein but that he was not well enough to take the role on, so it was offered to Harry Ritz who took the role on but became ill after the first day’s shooting.  At this stage it was offered to King Vidor (p24) who unfortunately for him was not sick enough to turn the role down!

In line with my earlier comments about Toback being full of bull, Dempsey quotes Toback as saying this about directing:  “After a certain point, a film takes its own direction, and what it means to direct it is not just to impose and lead but also to steer.  It’s something mysterious that I don’t quite understand.  But there is a point when you just realize that you’re in the rapids, and the most you can do is kind of guide it around rocks.  And reversing course becomes the analogous mistake to forcing an actor to say lines he can’t say or forcing a scene into the film that doesn’t work in the film or forcing a scene to be shot in light that isn’t suited to it.” (P31)  Somehow I think Toback couldn’t see the rocks for looking…

The most disturbing part of the interview comes when Michael Dempsey asks Toback about the sounds of the punches in the fight between Blair and Byron, which he says sounded strange.  To this Toback says: “They were real punches.  I punched myself in front of a microphone.” (P32)  I can only conclude that Toback realised he deserved to be punched in the face for making such a bad film.

The most interesting thing about this all for me is that in the first article Dempsey seems to give the film a very favourable review for reasons I could not begin to fathom, but in the next issue of Film Quarterly there seemed to be some kind of withdrawal of this in what was described as Postscript on Love and Money (Film Quarterly, Vol 35, No 3, Spring 1982, pp61-63).

The article seems to outline several problems with the film, most prominently that the version he reviewed was not the version finally released or available to us today, aside from anything else the cut reviewed by Dempsey was 90 minutes long (and IMDB states that the film runs 90 minutes) but the version he refers to in his second article and the version on the DVD is just 84 minutes long.

Love and Money, according to Dempsey, was originally to be premiered either late 1980 or early 1981 following the release of two other Ray Sharkey vehicles as (rather misguidedly, I’d say) Sharkey had been tipped for the top, but as both films bombed Love and Money did not get released on schedule.  Then problems followed at the film company and Paramount finally decided to prioritise other films above Love and Money.  It seems that there were many factors at play here and Dempsey outlined another one: “Another story alleged that Frederick Stockheinz, Klaus Kinski’s character in Love and Money, bore an unflattering resemblance to Charles Bluhdorn, the boss of Gulf and Western, which owns Paramount.” (P61)

Even if that sounds unlikely (just because Bluhdorn had a strong Austrian accent and Klaus had a strong German accent?), there were lots of other reasons that the film had to be edited prior to release, according to Dempsey:

“Some Southern California viewers disliked the film, partly because they recognized Los Angeles area locations which had to stand in for Central America because of Toback’s tight $3 million budget and 30-day shooting schedule.” (PP61-62)

But considering the way the film was shot – largely in hotel rooms, otherwise in cars or outside community centres covered in bunting (my guess, not a fact) – and Klaus’ low salary (he was, of course, the star of the show when all’s said and done), a $3 million budget back in 1979 would not exactly have been “tight”.  I’m struggling to work out what Toback spent the budget on if I’m honest.  But little wonder that Klaus did not get his 5% of the profits as Dempsey says that when the film eventually opened over a year late in 1982, it opened “in one New York theatre, the only booking announced at that time and this writing.”

Welcome to Costa Salva?  Welcome to a community centre somewhere in Los Angeles, more likely!

The list of catastrophes continues:

“Moreover, a 1980 preview in Seattle yielded cards indicating that 81% of the audience objected to the ending: a frozen frame of Byron Levin as he runs along an LA street in search of his grandfather, followed by another of Catherine Stockheinz at the instant Byron first saw her.  David Picker, the (now former) Lorimar executive whom Toback credits with letting him make the film in the first place, then stated that it could not be released without a more “upbeat” ending.  Despite the credit “A Film by James Toback”, Toback did not have final cut and so, rather than letting Lorimar recut the film, he returned to the editing room himself.  Now Byron does succeed in locating his grandfather, Catherine does return to him, and they all prepare to drive off together into a new life – one of several possible conclusions that Toback had shot, considered, and discarded.  He also put back several scenes.”  (P62)

Apparently Toback tried to get some money out of Paramount to fix the ending later but did not succeed (p63) so the ending we see now is the one as described in the edited version.  None of this can have helped Love and Money but I doubt that it could have warranted the glowing review Dempsey gave it in his earlier review; no matter how much cross-editing Toback had in the first version, the dialogue and Sharkey would still have been there thus for me the film could hardly have been saved.  However, it seems that the scenes with Klaus had originally been longer so somewhere out there Toback (or Paramount, or Warner Bros) has some deleted scenes which could surface at some point.  Only the promise of more Klaus could get me to watch that film again, I’ve seen it three times now and that’s two times too many already…

One final thing, why does there appear to be purple ink stains on the closing credits photograph?  Shoddy!

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A bunch of Klaus Kinski photos and posters

I spent a small fortune at the weekend picking up a few more Klaus Kinski bits and pieces.  I think I’ve now got 97 films (which means I need to get more reviews done as soon as possible!) and my collection of photos, posters and books is increasing rapidly too.

Here’s a few things I found this weekend:

Klaus Kinski and Alain Delon in Mort d’un pourri (dir Georges Lautner, 1977), which I just recently found with English subs (although I’ve not even watched it yet!).

Here’s Klaus playing with a toy bird and looking slightly demented whilst he’s at it!

Klaus looking a bit moody in his lovely brown leather coat!Klaus in Cobra Verde (dir Werner Herzog, 1987)

That wonderful image of Klaus in the rather brilliant Crawlspace (dir David Schmoeller, 1986)

Klaus with Max 404 in Android (dir Aaron Lipstadt, 1982), which I really must get reviewed soon.  A very enjoyable film.

I love this image of Klaus with Eddi Arent and Anthony Newlands on set of Circus of Fear (dir John Llewellyn Moxey, 1966).  Sorry about the streaky patches on the scan!  I need to add to my review of Circus of Fear as I now have the Blue Underground restored full length version of the film; so much to do to get all these films reviewed…

Klaus in the artwork for La mano che nutre la morte (dir Sergio Garrone, 1974), which is another one for reviewing…

Klaus Kinski in a Hamlet moment, for some reason or other flicking the V!

Klaus looking nice and hot in For a Few Dollars More (dir Sergio Leone, 1965).

Klaus looking world-weary in the wonderful Fruits of Passion (dir Shuji Terayama, 1981) – this is one I started reviewing a little while ago but it needs some serious attention as, for once, there is actually something interesting to say about this film, which can’t be said for the vast majority of Klaus’ films unfortunately.  However enjoyable they are.

You know me, I like Klaus.  I also like men who wear glasses.  Klaus in glasses – yum yum.  This is Klaus with Heinz Drache in Der Rächer (dir Karl Anton, 1960), which I don’t yet have in my collection – must find it soon…

Klaus in the Jack the Ripper (dir Jess Franco, 1976) artwork.  Thank goodness, this is one I have already reviewed on here!

Klaus in Jesus Christus Erlöser (dir Peter Geyer, 2008).  All together now: “Ich will dir nachfolgen, wohin du auch gehst!”

Colour and b/w Nosferatu the Vampyre (dir Werner Herzog, 1979).

A fabulous image of Klaus in Nosferatu a Venezia (dir Klaus Kinski, Augusto Caminito, Luigi Cozzi, Mario Caiano, Maurizio Lucidi, 1988).  Whatever anyone else thinks of this film, I think it’s fabulous – and, o no, I need to review this one as well…

Do I spend most of my time defending Klaus’ films?  I will definitely defend this one, I love Kinski Paganini (dir Klaus Kinski, 1989) and yah boo sucks to Werner Herzog and anyone else who said it would never work!

Klaus looking very handsome.

Klaus Kinski and Stéphane Audran in Pill of Death (dir Jean Delannoy, 1970), the film with many, many names.  I think I may have reviewed it on here under the title Only the Cool, but I can’t swear to it!

Only Klaus could play a gay guy in a film and get a scene where he’s lying naked with a big breasted woman and sucking his thumb! Klaus in the fabulous L’important c’est d’aimer (dir Andrzej Zulawski, 1975), which also needs to be reviewed…

After seeing this image of Klaus, I really wanted to see him in Nella stretta morsa del ragno (dir Antonio Margheriti, 1971).  Not enough Klaus in the film for my liking but he does look rather wonderful as Edgar Allen Poe.  This posting of so many images is just reminding me how many films I have yet to review – will my work here ever be done?!!

No Klaus images here, but some information about Our Man in Marrakesh (dir Don Sharp, 1966) in which he makes a short but sweet appearance.

Another The Little Drummer Girl (dir George Roy Hill, 1984) poster to add to my collection!  I love that this one says Diane Keaton in big letters and yet it has a bigger picture of Klaus on it.  I must watch the film some time…

Look at Klaus’ face in this Code Name: Wild Geese (dir Antonio Margheriti, 1984) poster!

And finally, a lovely little Fitzcarraldo (dir Werner Herzog, 1982) poster to add to the Klausy collection.

That’s all for today, and I haven’t forgotten that I’m supposed to be writing up the Love and Money full film review.  That’s in case any of you are actually waiting for it after the recent photo story posting!

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Love and Money – a story in photos

You should be thanking me for this, I’ve watched James Toback’s Love and Money (1982) three times, so you don’t have to.  If you’ve seen it already, you have my sympathy.  If you’ve not – take my word for it, you do NOT need to see it at all.  Remember how I was mean about Ulli Lommel’s Revenge of the Stolen Stars (1986)?  I take it all back, Revenge of the Stolen Stars is a quality film when compared to Love and Money.

I had high hopes for Love and Money, somehow I imagined it could be one of those good-bad films; a bit trashy but enjoyable.  I was wrong.  I was foolish enough to believe the summary on the WB Archive Collection DVD cover:

“Byron Levin (Ray Sharkey) has two sides. One is Byron the workaday L.A. banker quick to defend a harassed co-worker. The other is a pent-up employee who’ll say something outrageous to a stranger for shock effect. Increasingly, Byron’s risk-taking nature takes hold. And it becomes a stranglehold when Byron is seduced by the deadly allure of Love and Money in this tantalizing thriller from James Toback (The Pick-up Artist, Bugsy). Byron accepts a million-dollar deal with a global silver magnate (Klaus Kinski). His reason says no but his passions say yes: he’s begun an illicit affair with the tycoon’s exotic wife (Ornella Muti). In return, he must persuade a former college roommate, now a Latin American strongman (Armand Assante), to stop nationalizing the silver mines. And if words fail him, bullets will do.”

Don’t believe a word of it.  I imagined that Byron Levin was going to be a torn man and that he would be fighting with his moral sense.  He doesn’t have two sides at all though, he is just a very self-absorbed man who comes out with puerile comments and behaves in a vile way most of the time.  A lot of the time I was cringing through the film because the dialogue was absolutely stinking awful.  And I had to watch the bugger three times!

I decided to do this little photo story of the film before doing my usual all-out full story and background info type review, just because I wanted to make it fun.  You’ll have to indulge me a little; I’m suffering from repeated Love and Money viewings and even the sight of Klaus looking all business-like and dapper is not enough to take the pain away.  Please don’t make me watch it again; I promise to be a good girl from now on…

NB  This is my re-working of the story with photos but even if it’s not the full story as it was intended, at least it will be more true to the film than the DVD summary was!

A guy called Blair makes a call from the ‘phone booth outside the California American Bank – he’s trying to get hold of Byron Levin on behalf of Frederic Stockheinz who runs a company called Trans Allied Silver, but Byron’s not available

Byron arrives at work and Blair calls back and tells him Stockheinz wants to see him at the Bonaventure Hotel

Stockheinz calls his wife Catherine

Then he calls reception

Then an anonymous business colleague calls him

Then he calls reception again – that’s 4 ‘phone calls in less than one minute…

Then Blair calls Stockheinz to give him an update

In the meantime, Byron has left because he’s not interested in Stockheinz’ offer of $1M for a weekend’s work.  Stockheinz tells him: “If you change your mind, call me.”  I doubt he’d be able to get through as the line is always busy.  Klaus must have been told to use Tony Roberts’ role in Play It Again Sam for inspiration when getting into character.

Outside Byron meets Catherine Stockheinz and falls immediately in love and, being the romantic type, tells her: “If you ever touch [Stockheinz] again, or any other man, I’ll kill ya.”  It’s a strange thing to say to someone you’ve just met but she seems to like it.

Back at home, Byron’s girlfriend Vicky (no surname, just a lot of books) tells him: “I got 6 great books today.”  She’s making a book shelf.

A guy called Bob calls to speak to Vicky.  Byron answers and gets a bit jealous about the Bob guy, but then he discovers it’s just about books.  That’s alright then…

Byron fantasises about Catherine Stockheinz.  Byron’s fantasy version of Catherine obviously thinks it’s sexy to stick her tongue out a bit when she’s “doing it”

Catherine calls Byron – she wants to know: “How often do you say to women what you said to me?”  It’s a good question.  He says never and they arrange to meet at a bar called Casey’s, so Byron has to put on an ugly track suit cos presumably he is pretending to go for a run

He arrives at Casey’s, scans the room, acts in a bizarre manner in general and comes to the conclusion that Catherine is not there – he gives her all of ten seconds before he calls her at the Bonaventure Hotel (he knows the number and her room number off by heart, of course).  He gets through but when she realises it is him on the line, she hangs up

Byron calls the Bonaventure Hotel again and says he thinks he was cut off but the receptionist tells him that Catherine has requested a “do not disturb” on the line. 

The next day, when Byron gets home from work Vicky is shelving books again…

The ‘phone rings in the off-screen space and Byron leaves Vicky to her book shelving to answer the call.  We don’t see or hear the call but we know by Byron’s behaviour that it was probably Catherine because when he’s asked who was on the ‘phone he says: “Nobody.  Ah, I’m gonna go for a drive.”  Where?  “I don’t know.” Likely story.

Byron sees Frederic Stockheinz leave as he arrives at the Bonaventure Hotel, so he knows the coast is clear.  I think Frederic is using the car ‘phone as he drives away, but I couldn’t swear to it…

Byron storms into Catherine’s room, pushes her down onto the settee and manhandles her a bit.  She’s not best pleased, but she goes for a drive with him.  He talks lots of crazy talk.  Quite frankly it’s embarrassing:  “…it’s just that when I saw you, I knew… that God had put his elbow in my ribs…”  Catherine tries to get out of the car – maybe she wants to be sick too.  But she’s foolish enough to get back into the car and they head off somewhere together and then we get a two-for-one ‘phone call scene:

Presumably Byron is calling Vicky and Catherine is calling Frederic.  Making their excuses.

Then they drive to Marina Del Rey Hotel and we get the first of many scenes where Catherine faces the camera to make a speech instead of facing Byron.  She tells him how she met Stockheinz.

They fall out – don’t ask, they just have that kind of relationship is all – and she storms off outside.  Byron follows her into the car park and they have an incredibly long shot with the camera circling them as they snog. 

Back inside Byron tells Catherine he “can’t get a hard-on… Five minutes ago outside, I had a hard-on I coulda hung a towel on it…”  She recites the Star Spangled Banner and then he sings it as she heads southwards.  I’m EMBARRASSED!

Byron is surveying Catherine’s “bits” under the bed covers and he’s telling her how much he likes them when she does that “sexy” licking thing again:

Meanwhile, Blair is outside in the car park making a call and he does this really great little gesture, wiping the receiver on his sleeve before using it (it’s a public ‘phone, see?)

 Meanwhile, back in the hotel room Byron and Catherine are still “at it” and she does that “sexy” tongue thing again:

Then Byron decides to show Catherine how talented he is.  Unfortunately he decides to do some impersonations for her and that’s really not his forte, so she gets offended again.  Yet another fall out and some bad make-up sex.  It’s not a healthy relationship, this.

Next thing you know, it’s morning and Byron is rooting through Catherine’s handbag and finds a photograph.  She catches him looking at it and gets angry.  It’s her dad.  Cue yet another scene where she tells her story to camera instead of directly to Byron:

Catherine says she found her dad when he hanged himself: “His penis was sticking out and his feet were blue.”  Shame, Byron will never get to meet him now…

When Byron wakes up the next day, Catherine has gone so he finally decides he ought to go to work.  He calls the Bonaventure Hotel but he gets Frederic rather than Catherine so he hangs up

Byron is fired at work so he decides it’s finally time to go home and face Vicky and the books

Byron asks Vicky what’s wrong – a bit of a daft question when he has been away for days with no word, no explanation, no apology.  And now he’s rocked up at home and he shares the news that he’s been fired.

Byron and Vicky go to bed – Byron can’t sleep because he’s fantasising about Catherine again.  Vicky, however, is sleeping with a book in her arms:

Byron gets up and calls Frederic Stockheinz to let him know he’s changed his mind and wants to work for him.  Byron doesn’t bother telling Vicky what he’s doing but he disturbs her when he’s packing because he accidentally knocks over one of her many piles of books.

Vicky busts out crying – not because Byron is leaving, o no.  She’s upset because Byron knocked over one of her books and broke the binding on it.  That is more upsetting so it’s understandable really.

When Byron arrives on the Trans Allied Silver plane, Frederic is on the ‘phone to someone.

He’s clearly on a roll with this scene as he’s immediately on the ‘phone to the pilot to tell him: “Let’s go!”

And then he’s on the ‘phone to one of his staff to tell them to get Byron some champagne and shrimp.

Byron is mightily keen to get to speak with Catherine but Frederic has eyes like a hawk so he has to wait until he is asleep before he can sneak over to chat with her.  This gives Catherine another opportunity to address her speech to the camera again:

Then Frederic wakes up and makes Catherine give him a massage in front of Byron. Frederic speaks to Catherine in Italian, so we don’t know what he’s saying but it’s obvious he’s being naughty.  Byron is livid.

Finally they arrive in Costa Salva, where Byron’s university room-mate Lorenzo is now president.  It could happen…

Byron and Catherine go to a youth centre with Lorenzo and there is something that looks like a rally taking place – people are bouncing up and down and shaking their fists.  Byron and Catherine look uncomfortable.

Catherine and Frederic can be seen through a window – he is fastening his trousers – and they appear to be falling out a bit.  Maybe he can’t hang a towel off his hard-on at the moment either.

Lorenzo tells Byron he’s not going to get paid $1M to convince him to go along with Stockheinz’ business deals; Lorenzo thinks Stockheinz wants Byron to kill him for the $1M.  Byron says something embarrassing in a stupid voice and accent and then Lorenzo makes matters worse by singing a terrible dirge-like song he claims to have written and wants to be the new national anthem for Costa Salva.  He won’t last long as President if the anthem is anything to go by.  Lorenzo asks Byron if he likes it but he says he prefers The Star Spangled Banner.  I wonder why and then I remember the hard-on / towel incident and I suddenly get it.  Very funny.

Lorenzo sees a stereotypical girl and lusts after her – what’s so stereotypical?  She’s wearing an off-the-shoulder white blouse and a peasant skirt; she’s barefoot; she’s carrying a basket; she’s swinging her hips.  All she needs to do now is sing Hasta Siempre.  Ah! Lorenzo’s doing that.  What a mistake!  It’s so bad that Byron is throwing rocks at him.  I would too.

Byron goes back to find Catherine, but he’s obviously thinking about what Lorenzo says as he stops at the market place to use the telephone.  He’s seen Blair talking to one of Lorenzo’s men and thinks that maybe Blair is trying to get Lorenzo’s guy on his side to help him kill Lorenzo.  Lorenzo tells Byron not to worry about it.  Silly old Byron doesn’t realise what Lorenzo is saying to him.

Byron heads off to see Catherine but he’s upset that she’s not so pleased to see him.  She just wants to know if he has done the job Stockheinz asked him to do.  They have another one of those scenes where she faces the camera to speak:

“Don’t you see?” Byron says, “…this is what what we were made for… obsession… ecstasy… love…”  Bleurk!

Then it’s time for dinner with the President – that’s Lorenzo to you and me – but he’s 90 minutes late and Frederic is VERY annoyed.  So annoyed that one by one he offends pretty much everyone at the table by shouting at them.  When Lorenzo finally turns up he tells a crappy story, which people laugh at presumably out of politeness.  Frederic snaps, “What is so funny?”  Yeah, Lorenzo, what is so funny?!!

Lorenzo and Frederic tussle a bit and then Frederic announces they are leaving – he sends Catherine off to pack.  Like the lovesick puppy dog that he is Byron follows to speak with Catherine, so she does that speaking to the camera thing again for one last time:

Then everything happens very quickly.  Frederic catches Byron and Catherine sharing a look in the car and orders Blair to “Get rid of him.”  Blair pulls out his gun but instead of pointing it at Byron, he points it at Frederic.  That’s right, Lorenzo’s man had convinced Blair to kill Frederic.  But for some unknown reason Byron leaps into action and knocks the gun out of Blair’s hands, effectively saving his mistress’ husband’s life.  I guess he wasn’t thinking…

A fight ensues between Blair and Byron – Blair kicks Byron in the nuts and Frederic grabs the gun and shoots Blair about 5 or 6 times.  He returns Byron’s favour by leaving him in the street next to Blair’s lifeless body and the gun.  Byron is arrested and thrown into jail.  There are 5 of them in jail.  One guy is trying to take a crap, Byron and another guy are holding their heads in their hands and the 2 other guys are shouting at the guards. 

Then they’re all bound and blind-folded and taken away in a truck.  The other 4 guys are shot by Lorenzo’s men but Lorenzo lets Byron go.  For old time’s sake, probably.  Maybe he let him borrow his milk when they were room-mates or something and he feels he owes him.  I dunno.

Somehow Byron gets back to the US and, you guessed it, he gets on the ‘phone straight away to the Bonaventure Hotel:

There’s no response from the Stockheinz’ suite so he goes home.  Vicky is sorting her books out again:

Vicky asks Byron what happened to his face – he says he cut himself shaving.  What an idiot.  He takes a nap and when he wakes up Vicky and her books have all gone and left him.  So he gets the rest of his stuff and prepares to move out of the house.  As he packs the last bag in his car, he hears a voice talking to him.  It’s Catherine asking where he is going.  She wants to go with him.  “Tell me the truth, do you think we have any chance of lasting together?”  No, Catherine says.  Neither does Byron.  Neither do I.  What a ridiculous story and what a ridiculous ending.  That is all.

I’ll write the proper review up shortly – if I can be bothered!

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