Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ice Station Zebra

Have you heard of it? Directed by John Sturges 1968, with Rock Hudson and Ernest Borgnine.

Most of the movie happens on a submarine, but before the MGM Lion roars, the film is preceded with a musical overture, accompanied by the big all caps word OVERTURE written across the screen. Maybe this created undue excitement and high expectations. The well designed stage sets do create a good sense of the close confinements inside a submarine. So Rock Hudson gets in this submarine with a lot of goodlooking guys in army and navy outfits, they even get wet, but at no time do they ever take off their shirts, and we never get a chance to see any good backside shots of Hudson. Instead, the plot involves someone supposedly sabotaging the submarine because it is trying to rescue some people or something. But then there is an INTERMISSION, with Intermission Music, and then, there is an ENTR'ACTE, with Music for that, too. I began to get excited again. But not only was there no skin in this movie there weren't any musical numbers, either. I don't know what to make of it. Rock Hudson is weird.


Jeffrey Hill said...

Zebra is peculiar because it's long, yet moves pretty well, but nothing really important happens in it. The movie's pleasant and, boy does it like to show the sub dive with full orchestra score - there must've been four or five such scenes!

So Farm Boy: would Ernest Borgnine be a welcome presence on such a voyage?

Wagstaff said...

I agree that not much happens in this movie, which is a little unusal for it being based on a Alistair MacLean novel. I heard somewhere that this was Howard Hughs' favorite movie. I'm still trying to figure that one out. Could it be because it's clean? There is probably not a speck of dirt or filth in the entire movie.

Charlie Parsley said...

Interesting that you would comment upon the film being 'clean'.

I had thought to mention that as well. None of the guys ever make rude noises such as one might expect from sailors. As they are all such well groomed men, one would expect the submarine to smell lovely.

Ernest Borgnine did help make the movie interesting, but it wasn't any Poseidon Adventure. The story was lacking a certain something that would really capture the viewer. So the overture and intermission music are like Auto Zone accessories on a Toyota.