Larry Gelbart Pauline Kael - Essay

Pauline Kael

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Movie Movie is a dum-dum title for a pair of skillful parodies that were written by Larry Gelbart and Sheldon Keller under the provisional title Double Feature. The idea is to stir up our happy memories of early talkies—especially the Warners fight pictures and musicals, with their tenement-born heroes and heroines who conquered the big city…. The lines are stylized, cryptic: the dialogue of the thirties has been compacted into its essential clichés, which the characters innocently mismatch, so that the feelings they express go askew. And the way the characters say each other's names, as if to remind the person they're talking to of who he is, has a ritual quality…. (p. 501)

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(The entire section is 506 words.)