On Sunday I went, for the very first time, to the Museum of the Moving Image at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, one of the first movie studies in the world. They were having a screening of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and since I love that movie, I couldn’t resist. I was with a friend who had, incredibly, never seen it, which made the whole idea of watching it in the museum’s gigantic screening room even more fun. It’s the story of a wild and crazy chase to find stolen loot.
I had to refrain from doing my imitation of Jimmy Durante saying, “There’s this big double-ya, see? There’s this big double-ya,” until after the movie was over, so as not to spoil it for my friend, which wasn’t easy, but I prevailed. Meanwhile, we got there early enough to eat lunch at a cantina and then see the exhibits in the museum before the show started.
Well, I got one of the most pleasant surprises ever! One of my favorite movies of all time is Chicago with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, John C. Reilly and Queen Latifah. Know how much I loved it? I saw it 27 times! It was playing across the street from my old job. I would go from work to the theater, eat a hot dog and a soda for dinner, and watch Chicago regularly on my way home. Without even trying, I have that whole movie memorized from start to finish, as a result. I think arguably the best musical number in motion picture history is “All That Jazz.” That said, there’s no such thing as a number in Chicago that isn’t wonderful, including “Razzle Dazzle” and “When You’re Good To Mama.” Kander and Ebb outdid themselves with their fine and tuneful score. I’ve also occasionally, whenever attitude is called for, put on the same air of boldness combined with insouciance as Catherine Zeta-Jones exhibited during the “Hot Honey Rag.” It’s especially effective to bring to mind whenever you have to give some “worthy recipient” the cold shoulder – trust me there, tee hee!
I adore that movie on more levels than there is room for here. Four out of the five main characters are completely, totally, 100% full of bullshit, and not only that, but they’re proud of it, which makes the movie more true to life than most others!
Getting back to the museum, at the costume exhibit, a suit trimmed with men’s sequins and a gold gown drew my eye. The rest of me followed, like a magnet. Both of those costumes looked like they were from the 1920s, my favorite era, and also looked familiar…well, what to my wondering eyes should appear but the signs saying they were worn in Chicago by Richard Gere and Queen Latifah!
Of course they’re familiar! I saw the movie 27 times!
How could I resist taking that happy selfie in front of them?
Watch Richard Gere giving them the old “Razzle Dazzle” here:
Queen Latifah in the gold gown sings “When You’re Good to Mama” here:
Catherine Zeta-Jones struts her stuff in “All That Jazz” here:
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger perform “The Hot Honey Rag” here. If you ever need to snub somebody, just think of Catherine’s ‘tude in this one!
Oh, and last but certainly not least, here’s the trailer from It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Enjoy!