Month: July 2020

And, For 1973, a Fuel Crisis

Automobiles were not having a good couple of years.  Apart from the idiot regulatory push making cars worse every year and, effectively, dooming the American auto industry and gifting the Japanese ascendancy for the next two decades and more, in 1973, the US was in the middle of a fuel crisis (partly caused by the hasty and not well-thought-out smog regulations).

So you can imagine that the December 1973 issue of any car magazine wasn’t going to be a riot of happiness and joy.  Road & Track was no exception.

Road & Track December 1973.jpeg

The cover was a bright spot, however.  That red car was a Wankel-powered Corvette displayed at the Frankfurt Auto Show.  Mid-engined and looking to the future (Wankels were considered one possible solution to the impossible forthcoming smog laws) this was a dream that wouldn’t come into being until the very late 2010s (the mid-engined Corvette, that is).

But a lot of the rest of the magazine, at least the part about modern cars one could buy, reads like Consumer Reports.  With a lack of any excitement, you end up getting a huge test of auxiliary driving lights, and a big focus on how this new car isn’t quite as bad as they expected, and that new car, despite the smog equipment doesn’t quite guzzle as much gas as one might think.  They were dreary times for automotive scribes trying to find a silver lining.

Fortunately, old cars and race cars come to the rescue.  Any magazine with a report about the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance has to be good… and both Formula 1 and Can-Am were much more interesting in the early seventies than they are today (Can-Am is dead and F1 has decided that letting manufacturers develop their cars is bad, so that if you start the year slow, you will be slow.  God forbid that the upper echelon of motorsport actually show any innovation).

Anyway, this one had a bunch of fun stuff, but the part about cars people could purchase remained very, very grim.  It would be the eighties before cars started getting better again.

And we haven’t even reached the OPEC wars yet.  This fuel crisis was mainly structural, not political!

 

Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer.  His science fiction novel Incursion is perfect for those who enjoyed Starship Troopers.  A space adventure on a grand scale, it shows you how wars will be fought against incomprehensible foes in the far future.  Here is the Amazon link.

Another British Smash

Once again, we’ve come up on a British film in our viewing of the 1001 movies list, and, just like The Lavender Hill Mob, this one benefits from being British as opposed to a Hollywood product.

I won’t tell you the name of the film.  Instead, let’s look at the elements.  It’s essentially a Greek tragedy of a film, which tells you, from the very beginning, that it ends with the death of the major love interests.  It’s written as a melodrama, and one of the characters, a man in love commits suicide five minutes in… and he’s not even one of the two cadavers from the first scene.

So how would Hollywood have treated this one?  If you said with a heavy-handed dose of melodrama, I’d have to agree with you.

And then the British came in.  For some reason, the Brits seem to be able to take pretty much anything they touch, no matter how plodding and melodramatic, imbue it with a dash of humor and fatalistic acceptance and turn it into a delight.  I kid you not.

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman - Ava Gardner and James Mason.jpg

Today’s subject is 1951’s Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, whose plot stretches the ability for making melodrama bearable to the very limits.  And yet, the film is wonderfully watchable, as if the director had studied the challenge, raised an eyebrow and said “I thought you would bring me something difficult” and then went off to produce a masterpiece.

Every moment of this one flows at exactly the perfect pace.  It’s not a caper film or an action blockbuster, but it keeps you entertained by combining elements of mystery, love stories, beautiful scenery, questionable morals, a major car crash and even a bullfight.  And all along, the actors deliver wonderful performances, understated or overwrought as the case may be.

Of course, it isn’t perfect… the name ‘Flying Dutchman’ is applied to a person and not a ship, which causes some head-scratching (especially for a person who writes and reads as much fantasy as I do), and I, for one, don’t like the framing device of knowing they’re going to be dead at the end.  But even with all of that, I watched, entranced, as the magic happened.  The garish color of the era helped as well.

An aside for the performance of James Mason, who we’d already seen in The Reckless Moment.  Before he became a major Hollywood star, he was apparently typecast as a doomed tragic figure which, given his peaceful delivery and world-weary acceptance is utterly perfect.

Anyhow, very much worth watching.  Find it and see it.

 

Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer whose work spans every genre and length. His latest book is, Jungle Lab Terror, a romp through the Darien Gap… with monsters and a mad scientist.  Those who like their 1950’s style b-movie thrills with a dose of 21st century literary quality can learn more here.

The National Book of Argentina

Every culture seems to have its National Writer or National Book.  England has Shakespeare (and the US borrows him as the emblem of writerly perfection, at least until they decide that The Great Gatsby is the Great American Novel and stop dicking around), Italy has Dante (who had Virgil) and so forth.  Moving to the Spanish-speaking world, the situation is similar.  Spain has Cervante’s Don Quixote.  Perú has the wonderful Mario Vargas Llosa and Colombia, García Márquez.

But what about Argentina, my own land?

Ask a foreigner and, if he knows a little about literature, he would say “Borges” without hesitation… but that isn’t necessarily true, even though I wish it were, since Borges represents everything that’s good about Argentine culture.  Hell, they even passed him over for the Nobel Prize for the right reasons despite now being considered an embarrassing error on the part of the committee.

But there is one book that Argentines consider the national book, and it isn’t by Borges.  It’s by a man called José Hernández, and it’s a poem. (Yes, we do poetry here sometimes).

Martin Fierro José Hernández

Yes, the Martin Fierro (always referred to as “the” Martin Fierro, never just Martin Fierro) is the book that Borges pointed to when he said that Argentina has at least one work of great literature.  Everyone else in the country can name it.  It’s the ONLY work of Argentine literature that everyone can name, and would be the very first book most people would name.

Better still, it speaks to the very soul of the country.  Not only to the people from the ranches and farms, whose life int eh mid 19th century it describes so well, but you can also, in the fatalist view and the celebration of suffering as the only real road to becoming a man, see the roots of the art form that most people would associate with the country: tango.

I recently quoted a line that said that only in Buenos Aires can sadness be turned into an art form… but it isn’t exactly true.  Martin Fierro did it half a century earlier.  It’s something I’ve always hated about the national character, that we dwell on the negative so much (I tend to look at positive stuff much more than negative, so I end up in endless arguments).

Other than being a paean to suffering, this book is actually quite good.  Entertaining (he isn’t suffering from imaginary ills and persecutions, but very real ones), true to its time (PC crusaders will need to avert their gazes) and reflecting the politics of its time without bothering to be overtly political or naming names (something the great Dante would have been well advised to do).

It’s been used as a battle flag by everyone including anarchists, but it’s not really that kind of book.  It’s more of an ode to the gaucho life and the kind of men it forms, and even ends on a reasonably hopeful note.  The politics of the day are long gone, but we can still identify with the characters.  And that is timeless.

Finally, a technical note.  The Martin Fierro, like the Quixote (again, if you don’t want to look like an idiot in front of Spanish speakers, remember it’s “the Quixote”) before it, consists of two books.  If you only read the first, you’ll miss a lot of what people are talking about when they mention it.

Anyway, grab a copy and get to know the Argentine soul.

 

Gustavo Bondoni is an Argentine writer who writes about the world, and the things that make everyone similar–as thrown into sharp relief by the things that make us different.  If you like to read about people like you from different parts of the world dealing with problems that wouldn’t happen to you, then his science fiction and fantasy collection Off the Beaten Path will probably make you very happy.  You can have a look at it here.

When Obi-Wan Kenobi Robbed a Bank

Alec Guinness was an important actor, of course.  He was world famous long before he played that hermit, Old Ben, but unlike many of his great films, Star Wars is still a hugely central part of modern culture.  Perhaps it should have been more important to us that he played several weird roles in the wonderful Kind Hearts and Coronets, but to be honest, it was more mind-bending to see Kenobi robbing a bank in The Lavender Hill Mob.

Audrey Hepburn and Obi Wan Kenobi in the Lavender Hill Mob.png

This is a British caper film classic, in the style of The Italian Job, a nice counterpoint to the dense, grim crime films that were being produced in the US as noir disappeared into its own nether regions.  It’s lighthearted and a joy to watch, and I won’t spoil it for you by telling you the plot.  All you need to know, all anyone needs to know is that Kenobi robs a bank.

Half the time, I was expecting him to do the Jedi hand wave or go berserk with a lightsaber, but he stayed in character and used his mind to run the job.  I suppose that was best for the film.

Several actors that went on to great things got their screen debut in this one, but the two that caught my eye were not on their first film, but still hadn’t played the roles that fixed them in my head.

The first, as you can see from the picture above, is Audrey Hepburn, who has a minor part at the very beginning of the film.  She plays a charming young woman, so no real surprise there.

The second, and much more important in my view is Desmond Llewelyn, who played a tiny, uncredited role in this picture, later went on to scale the heights of movie glory.  Why?  Because he played Q in the James Bond films.

There used to be two film franchises that I would go to the movies for: Star Wars and James Bond.  Star Wars lost that distinction after The Last Jedi (I skipped Solo because I hated the preaching, message-filled stupid of TLJ) and James Bond, which is still attractive (although we’ll need to see if the character, so beautifully neanderthal, survives much longer in this day and age.  While he stays true to the original, the producers will get my money).  So Q is an important figure in my movie-watching.

Anyhow, this is one to watch.  Fun without any ifs or buts.

 

Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer.  He is the author of a fast-paced thriller entitled Timeless.  If you enjoy your crime modern, edgy and international, then this one is definitely for you – have a look here.

Gorgeous Inside and Out

I was at WorldCon in Dublin last year and I met the publisher of Fox Spirit Books, to whom I’d recently sold a story for their book American Monsters Part I.  This is part of their FS Monsters series which already included award-winning volumes.  It was an honor to be a part of the anthology, and it was even better to receive the book and look through it quickly.

The thing was gorgeous, a square format, comics, great authors.  Just a wonderfully presented book overall.  I immediately understood why the earlier installments in the series had been so well-received.

After spending a little time with the publisher group in Dublin, who is a very laid-back and funny human being, I told her that I was surprised that they’d produced such a serious series.

Fortunately, they took is well and I count them among friends as opposed to having landed me on the blacklist, but it’s definitely a wonderful feeling to know that awesome art can come from fun people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

American Monsters Part I.jpg

As you know, I’m a sucker for beautiful books, so having a contributor copy of something that looks this good is just wonderful.

But the best part of it all was that I eventually got to read my copy and revel in the amazing job that editor Margrét Helgadóttir (a great writer in her own right) did in compiling, translating and introducing the work in this volume.

Simply put, the content matches the presentation.  Each story is very different, and each explores a chilling expression of Latin American myth, with monsters mostly being  from before colonial times.  The fact that these are most certainly not European monsters adds an unfamiliarity which makes many of them truly chilling.

My favorite story was Christopher Kastenschmidt’s “A Parlous Battle”, both because it’s very well written and because I tend to enjoy adventure fantasy even more than the quieter types.  This one is set in his Elephant and Macaw Banner world which is quite the universe (there’s an RPG and a novel, too).

Honorable mention goes to the comic “Perla del Plata” by Paula Andrade which, as a native of Buenos Aires hit very close to home, especially the phrase “We have made sadness an art form.”  Perfect.

Anyhow, I recommend this entire series.  There are big names in every book, and they look fantastic.

 

Gustavo Bondoni is an Argentine novelist and short story writer.  Those of you who enjoy fantasy and science fiction set outside the usual European and US settings will love his collection Off the Beaten Path.  You can buy it on Amazon.

Of a Type: Henry N. Manney III

The two latest 1970s Road & Tracks I’ve read weren’t particularly memorable.  They dealt mostly with road cars that anyone could afford, and even the Cosworth Vega motor featured on one of the covers was not enough to get my blood racing noticeably.  The 12 small wagons on the other cover even less so (although, admittedly, the article about the wagons was quite good).

Road & Track August 1973.jpg

So I’d like to take a moment to talk about one of the characters on the pages of the magazine in this era, a man called Henry N. Manney III.  Now, Manney died a few months before I picked up my first copy of R&T which meant that I never got to read one of his articles and he was also mentioned by the other writers as a bit of a legend.

Every car magazine has one of these, perhaps the most famous being Motorsport‘s Dennis Jenkinson, a madman who cut his teeth as the passenger on a sidecar and had a passion for speed that his peers just couldn’t match.

A sheer love of the subject like that shines through in the writing, and it’s a lucky magazine that has one of those guys who just shines above the subject matter.  Road & Track actually has two in its history.  We’ve spoken here of Peter Egan, but there is also Manney, and now I’m getting to know him better.

Road & Track October 973

Manney was a man of his time.  Very much in touch with the gestalt of his age, his writing reads like the dialogue from a 1970s cop film.  And you can be certain that any opinion that would be considered controversial on minor things would come from Manney’s pen (on major things, the editor would be involved, which isn’t surprising considering that everyone who liked cars was at war with the Federal government in this particular era).

So, he would call a spade a spade, but he was always ready with a touch of humor and a different perspective, and always ready to jump into the breach and explore something offbeat.  In the October 1973 edition, he was the one who wrote the test of the Vokswagen Thing (and called it, if painted beige with a palm tree a “do-it-yourself-Rommel-kit”).

I’ve always admired a sense of humor that isn’t constrained by society’s shock, so the final picture in that particular article of the two occupants pretending to be an Afrika Corps fire team (complete with goggles) tickled me, although I imagine Nazi imagery likely brought an angry letter or two (ideal to burn in winter in the fireplace).

Other stuff going on?

Well, the Federal government had to be wondering if it screwed up with the smog regulations (we know they did, but we have fifty years of hindsight, so it doesn’t count). The problem?  Well, every car was wasting more fuel than before the regulations because the laws were hurried in by clueless legislators.  That meant that cars worked worse and guzzled fuel (but emitted fewer NOx ppms).  Unfortunately, there was a fuel shortage cause and exacerbated by this tendency.

Other things going on?  Roger Penske.  He has been a fixture in the world of motorsport since well before I was born, and is still the American colossus today.  In fact, one of his cars won the 2019 Indy 500 (2020 is still, as of this writing, uncontested, scheduled for August).  In 1973, he was already a magnate, owning a huge automotive empire which has only grown larger in time.  It’s funny to think that an interviewee of a car mag in 1973 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2019, but Roger Penske is a remarkable human being.

So these are quite relevant to the modern world, which was a bit of a surprise.

Also, I wish I could buy a Kübelwagen here in Argentina.  Those were awesome and Rommel, though fighting for the wrong side, is one of the soldiers I admire most.

I would probably refrain from trying to stage an Afrika Corps photo, though.  Getting beaten to death by humorless onlookers is never fun.

 

Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer whose latest book is entitled Jungle Lab Terror.  If you enjoy a romp in the jungle while pursued by genetically modified monsters, you might want to buy it here.

Tense Start, Brilliant Finish

We’ve done Hitchcock here before (and here and here, and probably in other places I can’t remember off the top of my head).  He pops up with a certain regularity on the 1001 movies list, which is unsurprising.  In fact, the version of the book that I’m using has a still of Psycho on the cover.

Some of the films are extremely well known, and some aren’t.  In my opinion, the subject of today’s post should be much more famous than it is.

Strangers on a Train - Alfred Hitchcock.jpg

Strangers on a Train (1951) deserves to be a household name in motion pictures because of the way it both tangles and untangles the plot.  This is truly a tense film (and that’s not the first time we’ve used that word in the title of a post about a Hitchcock movie) which has the audiences dreading what might happen to the protagonist for most of it.

But the end is so spectacularly well done that it makes the suffering worthwhile.  It’s the best of the Hitchcock endings I’ve seen so far, and it brings the whole movie up as a result.

But it’s not the ending that makes this one a classic, but the setup.  The sheer perverse ideation of the crime in the film makes one admire Patricia Highsmith (of Ripley fame, who originally cooked it up) while, at the same time worrying about her mental state.  This one is really diabolical and worth the price of entry by itself.

A mild spoiler and a word about the murder victim: few times have I been so happy to see a non-antagonist character die in a film.  The little piece of slime who was killed is one of cinema’s truly unpleasant characters, extraordinarily well played by Laura Elliott.

Interesting notes here are that Alfred Hitchcock’s daughter Pat (who is alive as of this writing) played a very convincing role as the love interest’s younger daughter, and there was an Argentinian actor in this, too: Barry Norton.  Always interesting to see my countrymen in American films.

In conclusion, watch this one.  The suspense truly is nail-biting, but it all comes together really well in the end.

 

Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer from Argentina whose own thriller is entitled Timeless.  You can check the book out here.

Truth in Advertising

A lot of times books are very different from what the title, cover or ad copy promises.  I, for example would have hated to be an editor attempting to create a movie tie-in edition of Beowulf.

The publishers of that book had two possible routes: they could be faithful to the movie or to the poem, but not to both.  These seemed to have based the book on a novelization of the screenplay.  If it had been me, I would have sold the poem with the movie artwork… in Old English.  I doubt any of the potential buyers would have made the considerable effort required to read the thing but at least they would have realized (except for those people incapable of any kind of realization) that there was something deeper going on here, a mystery to which they were not privy.

The above is a good way to have a little fun at others’ expense, but it probably isn’t the best way to create a happy customer base.

This is:

Outposts of Beyond.jpeg

Show your readers an alien landscape generating all kinds of questions, and then fill the publication with stories that take place in similar places.  That is the key, and Outposts of Beyond (at least in the January 2019 issue that I recently read) does this beautifully.  It’s a mix of fantasy and science fiction and the quality of the writing is such that it transports you to exotic, wonderful locales.  Every tale sticks in the mind (when I started writing this review, I leafed through them all and realized that I could remember details of them all–that doesn’t always happen).

The story I enjoyed most was “For All These Worlds, a Messiah”, by Mike Morgan.  This one isn’t what you’d call a literary or contemplative piece, but it was fun, an the characters have depth–also, though I am not particularly religious myself, I love reading adventure/spiritual journey stories–if they’re well done, of course.

Like other publications, this one also contains poetry and even an interview (with Adam-Troy Castro), so you get quite a bit of content n a compact package.

A good read (disclaimer – one of my stories is in there).

 

Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer.  Fans of both strange places and short SF and Fantasy will absolutely love his collection Off the Beaten Path which features a dragon on the cover… illustrating a science fiction story.  You can check it out here.

Public Transportation as Art

Some adapted plays become Hollywood sensations, but many often lose their aura of theater.  That simply didn’t happen with A Streetcar Named Desire.  Despite being the film that catapulted Marlon Brando to stardom, Streetcar will, in my head always be a Tennessee Williams play.

A Streetcar Named Desire - Viven Leigh and Marlon Brando.jpg

But then again, I’m more literary than cinematic.  To many people, the film is the ultimate version, with Leigh playing, once again, a Southern Belle–an aging one this time.  I always find it interesting that the woman who did so much to create the genteel, elegiac image of the Old South was British.

Aside from the star-studded cast, the main impression that this one gives is its sheer theatricality.  The censors, even in the watered-down version that was filmed, must have had fits with this one.  The famous rape is toned down, but audiences will have known what was happening.  A lot of other themes skate quite close to stuff the Hays Code had deemed unacceptable.

But they got away with it, and the film is better as a result.  It is a film about adults, with all the twisted realities of their loves and moral grey areas, and it’s a film for adults.  The fact that it was so well received in 1950s America shows that the undercurrents in that rose-tinted decade ran much closer to the surface than what we might suspect looking back at it today.

The sexual tension of the play is definitely present everywhere in the movie, masterfully filmed to deepen the tempestuous, nearly tropical heat of the New Orleans settings.  You can just feel the characters sweating, both from the temperature and their proximity to one another.

The end is as despairing as the theme.  Aging beauty never ends well.  When combined with lost gentility, the bereavement cannot be supported, and something has to break.  It does.  This one might not be popular today because, despite being hyper-progressive–transgressively so–for its era, it still serves as a paean to the loss of the Old South.  Critics who look too closely at it might toss it out because of this.  Of course, you don’t need that to hate it.  There’s something in this film that could offend nearly everyone.

That’s probably what made it so great.

As for interesting notes, there’s a link to Planet of the Apes of all things.  The actress who plays Leigh’s sister, Kim Hunter, also played Zira.  Most of my friends remember the latter and have never seen the former.  And finally, Mickey Kuhn, who was a child in the film, is still alive, so we give him a shout-out if he happens to read this.

This one should be obligatory viewing.  It feels like a play, but is created in a way that only film can really capture.  You feel yourself sweating with the characters, even if you watch it in winter.  Brilliant, if not uplifting.

 

Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer whose own exploration of the depths of human desire and frailties is collected in his book Love and Death.  You can check it out here.

The Greatest Appearance of Penises in Film – A Classically Educated List

Editor’s note: Those who’ve been following along from home know that we at Classically Educated truly believe in keeping things eclectic, which is why, along with out usual book and movie reviews, we have also looked at things like secular faith and stamp collecting.  

We also don’t flinch from slightly er… adult… topics, so I suppose it was only a question of time before someone addressed the thorny issue of penises in film.

As I am not an expert in the topic, this one was written by Violett (who takes a page from our regular columnist Scarlett for her nome de plume).

We hope you enjoy it.

 

I’ve seen all the complaints and read the rivers of words spilled about the objectification of women in popular culture.  Fortunately, this trend seems to be, if not reversing itself, at least becoming more balanced.  Anyone who watched the Marvel Cinematic Universe knows that, while some of the female costumes are tight, if you want to see skin, you need to wait until Thor takes off his shirt (which he does once per film, leaving no dry seats in the house).

But what about when you want to see a little more… Full frontal isn’t just for men, but then again, it hasn’t been for a while.  The porn industry is run by women for a reason: the superstars are the gals, the guys are just there to provide something to stick them with.

But that’s not what we’re talking about here.  We’re talking about penises in film that actually mean something.  Not necessarily as sexual items, but definitely something that makes us smile.  Ranked in ascending order of importance.

5.  El Lado Oscuro del Corazón (The Dark Side of the Heart).  This one is a sleeper, but when the characters spend a decent chunk of a film wheeling an enormous stone penis around one of the world’s larger cities, you have to give them a nod.

Dark side of the Heart Penis.jpeg

Honorable mention in the stone penis category goes to The Naked Gun for the immortal accusation, in a list of charges, of “…assault with a concrete dildo.”

4. American Gigolo.  A young Richard Gere bares all, which is a lovely way to continue this list.  A-list actresses are always showing their stuff, and this one brings some balance to things.  Not much, but for 1980, this is a good one.  Sorry for the incomplete (ahem) pic, but we’re building a list of films, not necessarily doing the reveal of the more interesting stuff here.

Richard Gere in American Gigolo

Honorable mention in the A-List actors being naked in films with the word “American” in the title goes to Amercian Psycho’s Christian Bale.

3. Caligula.  This one declares its intentions from the second scene: to be the first mainstream movie with real actors to also feature sex as it really is (well, that last bit may be a stretch considering the fact that we’re dealing with one of the crazy Roman emperors here), but at least the stuff that is supposed to be erect is erect, and everything is used as various deities demanded.

It’s a classic for a reason.  Probably because it shows the adults in the audience sex the way it really looks and pretty much how it will be once they get home after the dinner and the movie.  It treats adults like adults.  (If you watch this, make sure you see the full-length version as there were a couple of cuts intended for Americans who would have fainted if they saw a real movie with real erections in it).

The ultimate irony of this film, of course, is that Peter O’Toole is the major star in it, and that’s not a porn actor’s stage name (I hear that Helen Mirren also became important and actually learned how to wear clothes in later films).

Caligula 1979 film

Honorable mention has to go to 9 Songs, another mainstream film with unsimulated sex that looks real because it is.

 

2) John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut.  This one probably classifies as the medical miracle of porn films, but it brings balance to people tired of seeing women as the medically enhanced participants in adult entertainment.

For those who don’t know, Bobbitt’s pee-pee was sliced off in a fit of rage by his wife and then reattached in a nine-hour operation (Lorena would have been well-served to use the blender, one thinks).  Acting in a porn film after that probably counts as the greatest cinematic comeback ever.

John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut

Also, best DVD cover blurb ever.

Honorable mention in the straight porn flick category goes to El Satario as, apparently, the first ever pornographic film (some scholars of the medium dispute this claim, but then, if watching a bunch of dirty movies could ever make you a scholar, every guy I know is a post-doctoral genius).

 

1) And the film which puts a penis reveal not only in front of the audience but also puts it at the center of the plot is…

Drumroll for those who haven’t guessed it yet…

The Crying Game, of course.

Now, I’ve been told by the editor of this blog that we can’t give spoilers here, but those of you who know how this movie plays out will know that it earns its place at the top of the list the hard way (no, not that kind of hard.  You are obsessed).

The Crying Game

Honorable mention?  How about any version of Murder on the Orient Express.  They contain no penises (why isn’t it peni?), but they share the limitation that they are movies that can really only be enjoyed, as they then lose any semblance of suspense.

So, that’s my list.  Any suggestions for expanding can be made in the comments – I’ll try to answer quickly!

 

Violett didn’t let us give a real bio of her other than to say she owns a cat and does not, despite rumors to the contrary, collect films featuring penises.  As for the site, the editor is Gustavo Bondoni, a novelist and short story writer who doesn’t collect penises either, but who sometimes allows his protagonists to do so (figuratively if not literally).  Marianne, the main character of his novel timeless knows exactly what to do with one when she gets a hold of it.  Of course, that’s when she’s not being chased by international criminals.  You can check the book out here.