The much anticipated TV showing Friday of the 1971 American International romantic comedy “Bunny O’Hare” will be remembered for Academy award winning actress Bette Davis’ closing statement: “”Eff ‘em. Let’s go to Mexico.” Thus did Ms. Davis comment to another Academy award winner and her co-star in “Catered Affair,” Ernest Borgnine. The closing statement refers to her bank-robbing efforts on behalf of her selfish idiot adult children.
In this later career effort, Davis portrays a widow who has lost her home to a heartless bank and Borgnine is a convicted robber. She seeks revenge. Romance blooms with the senior citizens on the road robbing banks and on a motorcycle.
Esteemed stage actor Jack Cassidy appears in this inept face as a sexist bumbling cop who does a Maxwell Smart shtick. All the leads interact with counter culture hippies who applaud any attempts to undermine capitalism. No doubt this was a script device to draw the young to the drive-in for a romantic movie about wild senior citizens.
Fans of end-of-career movies of talented actors will either weep or snicker at this forgettable film. It had been reported that Davis sued AIP to prevent the release of Bunny and AIP sued Davis. It is rarely shown on TV and is not available on DVD or VHS. I am no fan of romcoms so this may be as good as it gets for that genre, “Admission” included.
When asked about Joan Crawford in Republic’s “Johnny Guitar,” Ms. Davis was reported to comment, “I hear it’s a real stinker.” Some will disagree but there can be little doubt that Crawford in “Trog” and Davis in Bunny are not reminiscent of their Golden Age days at Warner Bros. or RKO in the 1940s.
Fans of romantic bank robbing couples would be well advised to obtain the 1949 Monogram United Artist classic “Gun Crazy,” a title apropro to today’s headlines. Peggy Cummins and John Dahl are the Bonnie and Clyde heroes and spark sexuality in this riveting classic drama directed by Joseph Lewis.
A SAD WEEK FOR FANS with the passing of Annette Funicello and Jonathan Winters. Ms. Annette should have stayed on the beach with Frankie and the rest of the beach party gang making Mr. Avalon jealous by making eyes at John Ashley. A photo of me at the beach where “Beach Blanket Bingo” was filmed appears on Facebook, that dysfunctional mess.
Mr. Winters is best remember for his campy Grandma Maude Fricke routine with many suggestive double entendres on the Tonight Show with Jack Parr. Many a night I stayed up for the Grandma. Winters stole the show in the 60s black comedy “The Loved One” in dual roles.