Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jinxed! (1982)

Bette saves the movie!

Gambler Harold (Rip Torn) and his girlfriend Bonita (Bette Midler) follow blackjack dealer Willie (Ken Wahl) where ever he works. It seems Harold is a jinx to Willie--Harold always wins big when Willie deals. Willie and Bonita meet and fall for each other and plot to kill Harold for all his money.

This movie was plagued with problems. Wahl and Midler hated each other and were always fighting and arguing--at one point Wahl likened kissing Midler to kissing his dog! Unfortunately director Don Siegel also hated Midler and it comes through loud and clear. This movie was being called a disaster before it even came out! I remember seeing it opening night in Boston in a nearly empty theatre. It's not a good movie but it's not a disaster either.

Wahl is pretty terrible in his role. Handsome but blank. Siegel's usually good direction seems off (I think on purpose). The plot is more drama then comedy--despite Midler's performance in "The Rose" she was much better and more comfortable doing comedy. Still, she's the only reason to see this. Despite all the problems she was having while filming this she's full of life and energy. She's especially good while doing a stage number and interrupting it to plot with Wahl how to kill Torn. Torn is good but he's hardly in the movie.

All these years later look at who's still popular. Siegel died in 1991 and Wahl's career died quickly in the mid 1980s. Midler is still going strong. So I liked it but I'll never say it's a GOOD movie. For Midler fans this is a must.

"I'll never walk again."
By Wayne Malin


Jinxed! - Original Theatrical Trailer

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