Sunday, December 23, 2012
My Christmas Gift to You: Mother Goose A-Go-Go
With Christmas upon us, If I could give you all just one present it would be Mother Goose A-Go-Go (1966) for each of you. For those of you who know about this salient work of cinema, which also goes by the name The Unkissed Bride, enjoy the trailer and be refreshed.
For those of you who have never heard of this gem, Turner Classic Movies provides the most direct synopsis:
"Newlyweds Ted (Tommy Kirk) and Margie (Anne Helm) Hastings immediately begin to have marital problems on their honeymoon at the hotel of Margie's uncle, Jacques Phillipe. Margie, to overcome her nervousness during lovemaking preliminaries, picks up a copy of Mother Goose and begins to read aloud from it, whereupon Ted faints. A secret visit to psychiatrist Dr. Marilyn Richards reveals that Ted has a "Mother Goose" complex. Hotel detective Ernest Sinclair complicates Dr. Richards' treatment (conducted for convenience's sake in the hotel) by his over-zealousness: he believes that Ted, like his employer, Jacques Phillipe, is being unfaithful to his wife. Dr. Richards solves Ted's problem by treating him with an LSD spray while he sleeps, causing him to hallucinate and thus incorporate into reality the fairy tale characters from his fantasies."
Midway through the film, Henny Youngman pops in for a visit and earns a screen credit. Tommy Kirk sang the title song. And because Hollywood loved putting bit players into drag, Robert Ball, who plays the hitel dick, shows up in the cocktail lounge in drag, go go dancing while he keeps tabs on Kirk.
Barbara McNair puts an appearance singing "The Queen of Soul".
The strangest person popping in the film is Joe Pyne, the first confrontational radio and television talk show host (and self appointed fitness nut) who was the Morton Downey Jr. of his day. The chain smoking Pyne plays himself.
The film, which is truly campy, marked the beginning of a career spiral for Kirk, who was once part of the Disney stable of young clean cut talent. In 1964, Kirk was outted to studio executives when the mother of a 15 year old boy alerted Disney that the 24 year old Kirk and engaged in a sexual relationship with her son. Walt Disney personally fired Kirk, only to have to ask him back to film the sequel (The Monkey's Uncle) to 1964's hugely successful Misadventures of Merlin Jones.
Towards the end of the 1960s, Kirk's life was in disarray He was drinking and whoring around, which made his appeal less than desirable to major studios and television production companies. Hollywood is great at finding child talent, but it does a lousy job at preparing those youths for real life and real life problems.
Kirk eventually sought treatment for his drug use, and he came to terms with his homosexuality. He also established a carpet cleaning business that provided him with real continued success that he could control.
Don't look for this one on TV. We've found this on Amazon (Under "The Unkissed Bride")if you would want to buy it, and you do. Because its so bad, its good.