Remember the hum of the electricity? The crashing of metal? The bright lights? The sudden stops and starts? It's The Bumper Cars!
"Miss Go-Right-ry, I protest!!"
Ah, those silly, buck-toothed Asians, with their funny tempers and hilarious mispronunciations of the simplest english...
Don't get me wrong, I like 1961's "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Delicious Audrey Hepburn changed forever what is sexy to me in a woman. She was enchanting, witty, her speaking voice still gives me the warm fuzzies, and to hear her wistfully sing "Moon River" from a New York City balcony is close to Heaven. But it is not a perfect movie, by any means. Its biggest sin is the perpetuation of the Gook Myth by none other than Mickey Rooney, one of Hollywood's most beloved and respected sons. Wearing enormous false buck teeth (The better to chew the scenery with, my dear) and oversized glasses, he put Anglo-Asian relations back about twenty years.
The film's director is Blake Edwards of "Pink Panther" and "Victor/Victoria" fame. What the hell was he thinking when he cast Rooney in one of the most blatantly racist roles in movie history?' Not since The Shiftless Negro Afraid of His Own Shadow of the 1930's has a group of people been so maligned. Was this another Pearl Harbor payback, Blake? Did a gang of Orientals take your lunch money when you were a kid? I can't explain how a bittersweet comedy/drama that featured a sad, touching performance by Buddy Ebsen in a supporting role also includes the hateful performance by Rooney. It just doesn't fit with the rest of the film.
And it brings me to one of my well-worn, personal-favorite soapboxes: Don't you just love it when Hollywood tries to teach us lessons that they think we need to learn, when it is in fact, HOLLYWOOD who needs the education? Their 'How dare you be prejudiced!' lesson, for example. The same folks who are responsible for Step'nFetchit, that pioneer of white/black understanding, routinely chastise us for our narrow-mindedness when it comes to race relations. The very people responsible for the belittling treatment of women, Indians, the British, and yes, Asians of all persuasions, are outspoken, stalwart defenders of the downtrodden, now that it suits their purposes to do so. For hypocrisy of a high order, dial a number with a Burbank or Beverly Hills prefix. posted by Jay Amicarella