Two nights ago and for the sixth or seventh time, I re-watched ‘s Moonlighting (’82). Not on Bluray but on the Criterion Channel. Excellent HD. I regard this 41 year-old film as a total comfort watch. It gives me just as much pleasure as, say, the first 45 minutes of The Guns of Navarone, which I never watch beyond the 45-minute mark, or past the point of the team scaling the 200-foot cliff in the driving rain + Anthony Quayle breaking his leg + Anthony Quinn saying “one bullet now — better for him, better for us.”
Four years ago (4.16.19): Moonlighting (’82) is a finely chiselled, dead brilliant drama about four Polish guys (led by Jeremy Irons‘ “Nowak”) renovating their boss’s London flat during the time of the Solidarity crackdown in Poland.
Very matter of fact, very specific and situational but at the same time a political allegory that sticks the landing. As perfectly made as this kind of thing can be.
I love that moment when Jeremy Irons is lying on his bed and staring at a photo of his girlfriend / wife (Jenny Seagrove) and suddenly she seems to come alive within the frame, very slightly and somewhat erotically.
In a four-year-old riff I repeated the old saw about the world being divided into two camps — those who hear Moonlighting and think of Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd, and those who think of Skolimowski and Irons and Jenny Seagrove and that ending with those shopping carts crashing and sliding downhill.
There were 31 comments from the HE community; 27 were about how cool the TV show was. I rest my case.
“Cultural Divide,” posted on 5.11.22:
“There are basically two kinds of people,” critic Harlan Jacobson observed in the mid ‘80s. “Those who think of Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd when they hear Moonlighting, and those who think of Jeremy Irons and Jerzy Skolimowski.”
Last night a Wilton friendo said, “Oh, I saw that. The other one.”
HE: “The Jeremy Irons? It opened 40 years ago.”
Friendo: “The one I saw was five or six years ago. A black kid…”
HE: “That was Moonlight. (beat) Whadja think of that?”
Friendo: “Ehh. Didn’t like the ending.”