Why Does It Exist?

Podcast #52: Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976)

In Podcasts on April 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm

#17 in Buzzfeed’s listicle ’26 Ways to React to Watching an Instantly-Dated Vaudeville Shitbomb’

In 1973, a little movie called The Sting made a lot of Hollywood fat cats a lot of money. As with most runaway successes, it gave the fat cats a great idea:  replicate that movie’s success by giving the people more of what they had purported to like. Putting silly bowler hats and frilly dresses on the biggest stars of the time and have them cavort in big, expensive sets to jaunty piano music became a disturbing trend at the time and audiences stayed away in droves.

Possibly the most expensive and laborious of those failures is Harry and Walter Go To New York, two hours of family-friendly, old-timey entertainment that nearly sank the studio that made it even though they’re reportedly the ones that cut the jokes out of it. Regardless of who wins the blame game, Harry and Walter Go to New York is the extremely unfunny story of how two mediocre vaudeville performers (played by the notoriously rubber-limbed physical comedians Elliott Gould and James Caan) attempt to beat the world’s most prodigious bank robber (Michael Caine) at his own game with the help of a plucky dame (Diane Keaton). It’s sort of like Lucky Lady without all of the mismatched orgy sequences and the half-hour boat chase.

The result is tedious as all hell, so I am joined by Why Does It Exist?’s crown prince of tedious pedantry, Mickey O’Narey (formerly of Mickey’s Corrections). You can catch Mickey and his band, the Hot Showers, as they launch their latest EP at L’Esco on June 15th.

iTunes

Direct download

Liberated Syndication

Podfeed

Music this week is provided by Bodyshakes.  The song ‘Buoyfriend’ can be found on the RRRAAH EP, available for an amount of your choosing here. You can also see them perform at Gerts Bar in Montreal on May 4th.

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