Film Review of Bus Stop: A Beautiful Angel of a Hillbilly, a Handsome Cowboy, and The Old Black Magic of Snow-Obstructed Bus Travel
People favor making their own choices in love. But what happens when a handsome cowboy chooses a beautiful singer whose life is headed on a straight line from Arkansas to Hollywood? It will take strong persuasive powers to get the beauty to accept Montana’s starry skies over Hollywood’s star-studded appeal in the movie "Bus Stop".
Bus Stop is described as a dramatic film even though it includes one musical interlude and many more humorous moments.
Films sometimes evidence classic formulas regarding sexual attractions. A typical formula has boy and girl meet, have a falling out, and get back together … or not. Such indeed is the formula in Bus Stop, written by George Axelrod and William Inge; produced by Buddy Adler; and directed by Joshua Logan. The cinematographer was Milton R. Krasner. The editor was William H. Reynolds. The music was by Ken Darby, Cyril J. Mockridge, Alfred Newman, and Lionel Newman.
The film is based upon Bus Stop and People in the Wind by playwright William Motter Inge (1913-1973). It lasts 90+ minutes. It was distributed by 20th Century Fox, with release on August 31, 1956. It was Oscar-nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
The movie begins with two cowboys bussing from Timber Hill, Montana to Phoenix, Arizona. Beauregard Decker (played by Don Murray) believes that people can be handled like cattle. Friend Virgil Blessing (played by Arthur O’Connell) demurs. Bo is convinced that he will recognize his “angel” and cattle-rope her home.
The two cowboys check into their rooms. Bo gets caught up bathing. Virge is impatient to leave once singer Chérie (played by Marilyn Monroe) sits in the window across the way.
Chérie is under orders to get customers to buy drinks. Virge initially reacts enthusiastically to buying drink rounds. He ultimately realizes that Chérie drinks tea when he pays for alcohol.
Bo comes in while Chérie sings a rousing “That Old Black Magic”. He immediately recognizes his angel. He refuses to hear anything about Virge’s less than angelic experience.
Chérie carries a map which graphs her straight-line travels from the Arkansan Ozarks to Phoenix and hopefully Hollywood. She is hilarious about bending over in a Life Magazine photo op (by Max Showalter). But Bo opposes Chérie’s plans. He puts her on the Montana-headed bus after lassoing her from the Los Angeles-headed line.
The passengers dislike Bo. Chérie likewise gains the clientele’s support at Grace’s Diner, where the bus stops because of snow-delayed traffic. Bo ultimately realizes that cattle and girl-chasing are different matters.
Bo apologizes. Chérie is charmed by Bo’s insistence that emotional experience and inexperience cancel each other out. She leaves with Bo while Virge remains with the Diner’s Grace (played by Betty Field).
Bus Stop offers exciting, unexpected emotional arcs and learning curves for viewers who seek adventure, complications, fun, and happy endings.
Copyright: Friday, June 29, 2012 by Derdriu.