Monday, March 24, 2014

Cult Movie Classic - The Big Cube

Sorry about the delay in posts. I set a schedule for myself to do at least one post a week, then failed. Like all great intentions...oh well. At least I've gotten some good books finished in the meantime, in addition to another column for Dark Eclipse which you might want to check out if you're so inclined.

I've been meaning to throw out a post for a pretty cool movie I saw some weeks back on TCM. It's The Big Cube, from 1969 and stars Lana Turner, Karin Mossberg, George Chakiris, Richard Egan and Daniel O'Herlihy. It was directed by Tito Davison.

Karin Mossberg in The Big Cube
The big names in the flick are clearly Lana Turner and George Chakiris, and both play their roles to the hilt. Well, at least George Chakiris does. Maybe Ms Turner was cashing a check, but still, she is enjoyable to watch. As is Karin Mossberg for reasons which are readily apparent in the photo here.

Lana Turner stars as Adriana, a stage actress who retires from the stage to marry Charles Winthrop, played by Daniel O'Herlihy. Winthrop is one of those wealthy cats who makes his living flying around the world making millions. His daughter Lisa (Karin Mossberg) fresh in from school in Europe, takes an instant dislike to Adriana. Adriana is nothing but kind to Lisa, and fervently hopes the two can get along swimmingly. Instead, Lisa immediately falls into the sordid world of bored rich kids and their squalid kicks. She meets a real charmer named Johnny Allan, who notices the swanky jewels on Lisa's lovely body and decides his ship has finally come to port. Daddy is none too pleased with Lisa's savage friends and makes it loud and clear to her. But Charles Winthrop is quickly jettisoned from the story due to a boating accident. He leaves his fortune to Lisa, naming Adriana as executor of the estate. The only catch is that Lisa is not to marry her boyfriend Johnny. Seems old Winthrop has seen right through slimy Johnny's intentions with Lisa. Johnny (George Chakiris) is a medical student of dubious reputation. When not bedding his new rich girlfriend, he gets his kicks dosing people with LSD. It's all mad fun! Everything is all hunky-dory until he learns of the the condition that Lisa not marry him if she expects to inherit a dime of Daddy's wealth. He quickly convinces Lisa that everything is Adriana's fault. If Adriana had never come into the picture, why Lisa would have her fortune and they could be married. Damn that Adriana, damn her! Only one thing the lovebirds can do. That is, dose Adriana with LSD and drive her batshit. Lisa, bless her pretty (empty) little head, quickly falls into line, and together she and Johnny commence with a campaign of psychological warfare on kind and trusting Adriana.

There are plenty of campy, psychedelic trippy scenes in The Big Cube to enjoy, along with a nifty little strip-tease act by one of Lisa's pals. Karin Mossberg is lovely to look at throughout the movie, but can't really compete in the acting department with the likes of Chakiris and Turner. Still, it's kind of a fun movie to check out. I understand it's available in a camp classic box-set from Warner Bros. I've also seen it pop up on TCM a few times, so it shouldn't be too hard to catch at some point.

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