Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Little Bit Of Dickinson

Today is the day for the Angie Dickinson Blog-a-thon. Blogs around the world will be posting a piece on Angie, and people like me will spend a long time reading lots of them. This is my contribution.

As the very idea of a Blog-a-thon requires its participants to show a little imagination, I thought I'd turn that back in on itself, and make you, reading this, be the one to put the effort in. I'm going to give you a list of characters NOT played by Ms. Dickinson, which I think would have been very interesting had she essayed the role. Swing with it, and I'm sure you'll see, a little bit of Dickinson could have gone a long way in making these films something special, sometimes better, and sometimes just very, very different.

An easy one to get you going. What if it had been Angie, and not Anne Bancroft in The Graduate? At the very least it would have lost Shirley Maclaine the Rumor Has It gig.

Actually, while we're at it, how about Angie Dickinson instead of Shirley Maclaine in Rumour Has It? That would have been a curve-ball out of left field, and no mistake.

I would have replaced Tippi Hedren in The Birds with Angie. And Marnie, for what it's worth.

Sorry, Ms. Vitti, but Angie Dickinson is the great Modesty Blaise who never was. And why was Angie never a Bond girl? Put her alongside Connery - perfect. A decent adaptation of Casino Royale with the two of them, written by a Gambit-era Alvin Sargent and directed by Stanley Donen really could have been the genuinely great film the Bond series often threatened, but never delivered.

These days, The Happening is best remembered for a gorgeous, snappy theme tune, but shuffle Faye Dunaway out of the pack and Angie in and, it looks to me, like the whole dynamic would be a little more charged. I'd have given it a go, that's for sure.

Lee Remick was a heroine to many but she never meant much round here. So, out she goes, and in comes Angie Dickinson, straight into the heart of The Omen, The Running Man and Hard Contact - where she'd stand alongside James Coburn, which makes a whole lot of sense to me.

I don't know about the political ramifications, but there is a whole load of Pam Grier roles I'd have loved to see Angie try on for size. She never was directed by Jack Hill, and I guess its not likely she ever will be (only something like Masters of Horror could ever change that now) but in my mind, their pairing has real marquee value.

I've simply been sitting here, all afternoon, going about my business but day dreaming on the side, conjuring up images of Angie Dickinson in one movie after another. There were so many that I forgot virtually as soon as I thought of them, and plenty that simply didn't work, places where Ms. Dickinson just couldn't fit in.

I'm sure, of course, there were also dozens I didn't even come close to. Your suggestions, please.

1 comment:

That Little Round-Headed Boy said...

Fun idea! Angie in THE GRADUATE would have been great. But it might have proved too much. Because there's no way Benjamin would have gone running for Elaine at the end of that. He would have congratulated the bride, grabbed Angie and koo-koo-koo-choo'd right onto that bus with her. But I have to disagree with you on Hedren in MARNIE. I think she is icily erotic in that film, perfectly Hitchcockian. In fact, it's Hedren that makes me watch it over and over. Would have liked to see Angie in THE BIRDS, though. And as much as I love Angie, she's no Pam Grier.