Almost every day, I am offended by appallingly cliche-ridden, derivative shows proffered as “the next new thing” for us to watch. Designed for an obviously dim-witted audience, these “reality shows” are meant for the mind-dead.
No, I haven’t watched any of the shows. If I become that senile or desperate for entertainment, please shoot me.
From unimaginative scripts to the failure of the writers to do even the most basic research about the subject matter, to the inevitable use of tired old clichés which we hear thousands of times.
“Stay in the car!”
“Be careful out there!”
“You’re off the case and on desk duty!”
To which we all say a weary, “Yeah, right, sure,” because no one stays in the car or remain on desk duty. And wouldn’t you think being careful would not be something of which you needed to remind a police officer who has been on the job for years?
Has anyone really “turned his life around”? Is, as mom said, he’s “really a good boy” when his list of arrests is as thick as the Mueller report?
However, standing out from the crowd of mediocrity is a movie we had never previously seen, even though it has been around for 40 years. Probably that we have not seen it was a sign that there was a good reason for missing it. Perhaps it was an instinctive understanding that it was going to be awful?
Presenting (drumroll) …
WUSA (1970) 115 min – Drama | Romance – 12 March 1971
From the IMDB, a plot summary:
Rheinhardt, a cynical drifter, gets a job as an announcer for right-wing radio station WUSA in New Orleans. Rheinhardt is content to parrot WUSA’s reactionary editorial stance on the air, even if he doesn’t agree with it. Rheinhardt finds his cynical detachment challenged by a lady friend, Geraldine, and by Rainey, a neighbor and troubled idealist who becomes aware of WUSA’s sinister, hidden purpose. And when events start spinning out of control, even Rheinhardt finds he must take a stand.
Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Writers: Robert Stone (screenplay), Robert Stone (novel)
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Perkins and more.
The script starts off slow yet degenerates with each passing minute until it is so stunningly dreadful, so over-the-top hysterical and preachy, you find yourself glued to the screen, mouth hanging open, bits of drool falling from your slack jaw.
If, by some bad juju, this movie is showing on a television near you, save yourself! Find an oldies station and watch an episode of Gilligan’s Island.
There are probably worse movies lurking in the vaults of Turner Classics, although I can’t imagine there are many which are a lot worse. I just hope we have the good sense to never watch them.