Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ice Station Zebra

My friend Ivan has referred to Ice Station Zebra as the manliest movie ever made because it stars Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine and Patrick McGoohan. (It also helps that there are only two women in the movie, and they're both extras far in the background of scenes that don't last thirty seconds near the beginning of the movie and you wouldn't even notice they're there at all unless you're specifically looking for them, which I was).
I have to say, I didn't understand a lick of it. Something about something going wrong at a military base in the North Pole and planes not being able to rescue them due to inclement weather (blizzarding!) so having to get there by submarine.
There was a lot of submarine jargon, military jargon and Cold War jargon and I couldn't follow any of it because those are areas in which I have no expertise.
On the other hand I enjoyed the movie on a shallow level because there were plenty of shots of Patrick McGoohan smoking cigarettes, standing around, being stoic, shouting, explaining things, trying to save a guy from drowning, getting hit in the face with a crowbar, hugging Ernest Borgnine, breaking stuff, wearing a giant furry coat, trying to keep Rock Hudson from asking too many questions and just generally looking foxy. And that's all I really rented the movie to see.
Now I'm off to figure out when the hell the term "foxy" entered my vocabulary. (My guess: It's Rob Zombie's fault, 'cause the second I typed it the song Foxy Foxy started running through my head.)

End of line.


JustinCase said...

Ice Station Zebra was zillionaire loony Howard Hughes' favourite film. Just thought I should mention it.

Moor Larkin said...

I daresday Davy Jones was wearing an Arctic Foxy anorak.

The same guy gave a plot summary at one point: "The Russians put our camera, made by our German scientists, and your film, made by your German scientists into their satellite, made by their German scientists, and up it went, whizzing round and round........"

Mo Fuzz said...

Well, I'm a lover of jargon, balderdash and doublespeak, so I can't understand how this movie flew under my radar.

Seriously though, I've heard about this film for a long time and never had any interest in seeing it. Your review, though affecting and thoughtful, hasn't changed my feelings.

I'm mainly bothered by the fact that it took no less than four people to write the story. One person goes uncredited.

Hmmm, didn't want anyone to know he wrote it? Not even his mother? If W.R. Burnett felt that much shame over his work then I can't be expected to champion it.

Really, Mr. Burnett (if that is in fact your real name) I pity the ground you walk on.

But in the end, it sounds like Ice Station Zebra left you cold.

(Yeah, had to say it.)