TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
After being released from a sanitarium, has-been screen idol Jack Andrus (Kirk Douglas) takes a small part in a movie being shot in Rome. When the director of that film (Edward G. Robinson) cannot complete the project, Jack takes over. This is his last shot to redeem his fame and career – and also his personal life – but the bitter sting of movies can always catch you off guard.
WHAT I LIKED
With a release date of 1962, “Two Weeks In Another Town” fell in a time of change in Hollywood. The glory days of untouchably pure Hollywood royalty were quickly fading away. Soon to come would be the 70s and 80s, where celebrity status would soon become synonymous with problematic. In retrospect, a film like “Two Weeks In Another Town” shows that industry in that transition, and in that respect, it’s fascinating to watch.
There’s a lot of old-school Hollywood about this film that should appeal to the older generation. There’s a glitz and glamour of the celebrity high-life. You have a film packed with movie stars of a few years before – like Robinson and Douglas, but also Cyd Charisse. You also have some up-and-coming names like George Hamilton, who is only slightly recognizable with his voice and minor tan at this point.
There’s still a playful atmosphere of a film from the 50s, but it’s given a different taste with the darker edge from the 60s, showing celebrities with their careers on the ropes. In this respect, I found “Two Weeks In Another Town” most interesting for its symbol of the greater transition that Hollywood was going through at the time.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I’ve said many times before that I can identify with films of almost every era, except for the 1960s. There’s something about their presentation and sensibilities that just don’t connect with me. So any disconnect I do feel with “Two Weeks In Another Town” is my own fault rather than the fault of the movie.
Because the widescreen format and the rich Metrocolor look of these movies were relatively new, they were often shot more theatrically, keeping a wide shot for much of the scene to allow the audience to enjoy the landscape and background as much as they do the action on screen. Before filmmakers really started to pick up the camera in the 1970s, this gave audiences some beautiful looks but did not always make for dynamic filmmaking.
And considering “Two Weeks In Another Town” was meant to show off locations as well as actors, this took me out of the film. (But that just might be my child of the 80s talking there.)
No features, as is common with the Warner Archive releases.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Anyone who might like a look at the darker side of filmmaking from the perspective of filmmakers.