Saturday, March 16, 2013

An Old Gem Has Resurfaced!

I was searching through my DVD library today looking for something to watch that I hadn't seen in a while. After a lot of shuffling cases around, I stumbled upon Cannery Row. It was made about 30 years ago and for those of you not familiar, it is based on a John Steinbeck Novel of the same name. It is my all time number one favorite movie. Yes, even more than Gettysburg or any Civil war or nautical flick. I strongly urge you to rent it, I'm sure you'll find the rental fee well spent.

It is a very poignant, funny, warm film about life in World War Two Monterey, California and all the characters who live there. Nick Nolte and Debra Winger star with a whole cast of terrific supporting characters, I especially loved the Seer and the bums with their relationship to the "Doc". Here are a series of quotes reprinted from the movie site  They will give you a definite flavor of the film.

Narrator: Mack is the elder and leader of a small group of men who have in common no families, no money and no ambition. Beyond the time to discuss matters of interest but little importance.

Hazel: I love Doc! He was a character witness for me, and I ain't got no character.
Suzy: I don't understand it. We get along great when we're not together.

Fauna: The stars say that you are gonna be - oh... that you are gonna be President of the United States!
Mack: I don't believe it.
Hazel: I don't wanna be no President!
Fauna: You got no choice; the stars have spoke. You'll just have to go to Washington.
Hazel: But I don't want to! I don't know nobody there!
Fauna: I'm sorry, Hazel.
Hazel: Ain't there any way I can tell 'em I won't do it?
Fauna: No.
Hazel: [sobbing] A thing like this could ruin my whole life!

Suzy: [Talking about Doc] So he's just hiding out.
Fauna: He ain't hiding out. He just ain't putting his self forward for comment, that's all.

The Seer: [Talking to Doc] It's time I go watch the sunset now. I wouldn't be much of a seer if I didn't do that.I've even come to think that it wouldn't go down without me.

Narrator: [Last lines] The party didn't slow down 'till dawn. The crew of a San Pedro tuna boat showed up about One, and was routed. The police came by at Two, and stayed to join the party. Mack took their squad car to go get more wine. A woman called the police to complain about the noise, and couldn't get anybody. The crew of the tuna boat came back about Three, and was welcomed with open arms. The police reported their own car stolen, and found it later, on the beach. Things were finally back to normal, on Cannery Row. Once more, the world was spinning in greased grooves.

 I love the movie so here's hoping the book measures up to it. I picked up a copy at the local library the other day and will read it soon.

In the process of reading any book. I usually feel that  books are much better than the movie. I'm not finished yet; but, in this case the movie is much richer in my estimation. The novel is very bleak. I've come across three suicides so far. Most of the elements are there such as the party, the Great Frog Round Up, The Bear Flag and of course the Beer Milkshake incident; but overall, the movie is uplifting. A purist might say that the film is not true to the Steinbeck novel, I say that the film maker is just interpreting the book in a more positive light. I need to read Sweet Thursday to complete the arc.

1 comment:

Jane Driver said...

Steinbeck is my favorite author of all time. One of his stories that I especially like is Tortilla Flats. Sometimes it makes me laugh more than others, but it always hits my funny bone.
I saw Cannery Row a long, long time ago so what I remember is about nothing. I'm the same way with books until I read them several times. Especially nowadays, with conditions and medications for them seeming to take away a lot of brain power.
I will let you know if I re-experience the book or movie again. And it was a delight for me to see something about the GREAT STEINBECK (!) on here.