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February 14, 1982 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-02-14

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ARTS
Ti Mchigan Daily Sunday, February 14, 1982 Page 5

'Cannery Row'

attempts comedic touch

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By Richard Campbell
ETRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER tries
to bring back those screwabli
comedies of the '40s with its release of
Sannery Row, loosely based on the
dovel of the' same name and other
stories by John Steinbeck. The movie
will charm you in spots, cause laughter
in others, but-like so many recent
films-it will quickly fade into ob-
scurity.
Nicke Nolte stars as Doc, pillar of the
rather bizarre seaside community of
.Cannery Row, named for the sardine
canneries on the street that have gone
out of business. His friends are the
unemployed drifters who live in cast off

oil drums, the 'girls' at the Bear Flag
Restaurant and the various animals,
sea anemoneas, and octopi that inhabit
his laboratory.
Doc is a marine biologist ekeing out a
simple existence selling aquatic life to
various institutions. Lately, however,
he has been feeling as if he has accom-
I plished nothing. Doc's lazy lifestyle
doesn't seem to be a proper manner of
living for an intelligent human.
To these ends Nolte is a perfectly
adequate Doc. The script doesn't create
more than a sketch of a character,
leaving out most of Doc's personality
and background under the heading of
"mysterious." Understandably, Nolte
can't build much of a performance out
of the vague plotting that underscores
the movie.

The friends of Doc-Mack, Hazel and
others-were a lot more effective in the
book. The film treats them as unstable
characters. Their presence is distur-
bing to the "straight" love story that
forms the basis for the movie. Instead
of the warm, sincere buffoon, charac-
terizations that would have saved the
picture, Cannery Row simply shows
their uncontrolled idiocy.
As in all screwball comedies, the one
ingredient lacking from our hero's life
is love. Debra Winger plays the love in-
terest, Suzy, another ill-defined charac-
ter with hardly any background.
Despite the absence of real people in
the script, there is a definite magic on
the screen whenever Winger and Nolte
get together. Were it not for this, the
film would be an almost total loss.

Scenes with Doc and Suzy work, scenes
without them don't.
It is easy to imagine the novel Can-
nery Row packed with sweet figures
full of humanity. The greatest flaw in
the film is its inability to capture that
spirit of indestructable dignity that the
supporting characters should have.
Cannery Row, a vacuum where no
recognizable people live, removes itself
from any larger statements about love,
or life.
The omiscient, haunting voice of
venerable director John Huston
narrates the film, punctuating the
many humorous moments with wry ob-
servations on the way things work in
this town. Huston's ramblings form an
interesting backdrop for the film, but,
like everything else, are not offset by
enough interesting people to make the
movie pay-off.
Correction
In Friday's review of The Time of
Your Life, playing at the Power Center,
it was incorrectly reported that per-
formances ended last night. The play is
having its last performance tonight,
Feb. 14. The Daily regrets the error.
Help Prevent
Birth Defects -
The Nation's
Number One
Child Health
Problem.
Support the
Marchof
~Dmes
BIRTH DEFECTS
FOUNDATION

Director-writer David Ward has
made a noble effort at making the story
work. The location photography mixes
well with the footagepshot on MGM's old
sets, creating visual effects very
similar to the hilarious comedies of the
'40s. Unfortunately, the resulting film is
not so much like the fun love-stories of
yesteryear, but more like the forget-
table TV movies of today.

737 N. Huron, Ypsi.
SUDS FACTORY 485024
Monday Male Dance Show
SHOW STARTS 9:30
NO COVER WITH THIS AD.. Drink specials.
Ladies only. Men welcome after the show.
Male and Female Legs Contest
(Cash Prize)

Debra Winger and Nick Nolte in 'Cannery Row.

THE

PUZZLE
Have a Ball

By Don Rubin

i

We'd like you to identify as
many of the following auto-
graphs as you can on the line
provided.
1.
2.
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4.
5.
6.
7.
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9.
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13.

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375 N. MAPL.E
in MAPLE VILLAGE SHOPPING CENTER
BARGAIN SHOWS $2.50 Before 6 P Mon-Fri Before 3 PM Sot-Sun

,"Mastefu"
-L.A. Times. Sheila Benson
"Wonderful"
-Newsweek Magazine. Jack Kroll
1:5Lo BEN CROSS
7:0lAN CHARLESON
NIGELHAVERS
CHARIOTSOFFIlE
N O
A i_, D.COMPANYEAND
01 WARNER BROS. RELEASE TU PGES -

Thanks and $10 to Story
Litchfield of Bangor, Maine
for her idea for today's Real
Puzzle.
Fed up with these crazy puzzles?
Would you like to get even with Don
Rubin and win $10 to boot? Then
send your original ideas for The
Puzzle to The Michigan Daily, 420
-Maynard St., Ann Arbor, 48109.
All entries will become the property
of United Feature Syndicate, Inc.
(You only win the big -bucks if we
use your puzzle idea.)y

I

When Charlie Smith went
down to the border,
he found more than
a line between
s ; °< Texas and Mexico.
He found a line
awithin himself. :00
3:05
5:15
7:30
9:45

©

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