Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Rowing in the Movies
By coincidence, two blogs I like have featured rowing in films in the last few days. Goran Buckhorn at Hear the Boat Sing links to a the surprisingly good MGM comedy A Yank at Oxford, in which Robert Taylor wins the boat race. Well worth a watch, not least because it features Maureen O'Sullivan and Vivien Leigh in bustles and bonnets.
Ben at The Invisible Workshop has posted the famous clip from Ben Hur where Jack Hawkins orders Charlton Heston and his fellow galley slaves up to ramming speed. It is truly amazing how much space they had on those Roman galleys, and the way they could let go of the oar handles without getting smashed in the face as the blades trail in the water is truly remarkable.
Above is my contribution. It is Gerard Depardieu as the Count of Monte Cristo taking Ornella Muti as Mercedes for a gentle scull on the Seine. It is a lovely, sunny, soft-focus scene with lots of flaneurs in top hats and ladies twirling parasols. Unfortunately, the scene does not feature in the book. In fact, the whole film has little to do with the book, even featuring a happy ending with the Count and Mercedes reunited. It is the worst adaptation of a classic novel I have ever sat through.