Earlier than ‘Babylon,’ Raquel Welch’s ‘Wild Occasion’ 1975

Raquel Welch & Perry King make such a reasonably pair in 1975’s “The Wild Occasion.”


The ’70s nostalgia
craze resulted in a flurry of movies set within the early 20th century,
particularly golden period Hollywood. By the mid-70s, sufficient of those productions had
bombed to chill the development. For each Chinatown
or The Sting, there have been extra motion pictures
like At Lengthy Final Love, Gable and Lombard, W.C. Fields and Me, Nickelodeon,
The Day of the Locust, The Nice
, and Gained Ton Ton, The Canine Who
Saved Hollywood
. One of many latter class was1975’s The Wild Occasion, a story of the debauched silent film period, earlier than
sound and censorship got here in and cleaned home.

“The Wild Occasion” was a part of the ’70s nostalgia craze.

At present’s movie followers
is perhaps stunned on the number of debauchery offered on this ‘70s film.
Certainly one of a number of large issues is that The
Wild Occasion
itself isn’t offered till close to the tip of the film—in contrast to Babylon, which devotes practically half-hour
of its working time to a celebration/orgy, earlier than
the opening credit!

James Coco was excellent because the laughing on the surface/yelling on the surface
silent movie comic Jolly Grimm in 1975’s “The Wild Occasion.”

James Coco is well-cast
as Jolly Grimm and offers a superb dramatic efficiency because the Jekyll and Hyde
comic, whose profession is on the skids. The
Wild Occasion
is loosely taken from a novel-length poem by Joseph Moncure March, that chronicles the
fall of a once-great vaudeville comedian, taking stored girl Queenie down with him.
The story was transplanted to Hollywood to echo the infamous finish of silent
film star Fatty Arbuckle’s profession.

Raquel Welch because the stored starlet in “The Wild Occasion.” Drawback with that’s Jolly
discovered the ravenous starlet as a teen and Raquel was 34 because the grownup Queenie!

Jolly Grimm throws a
large social gathering to entice necessary movie folks to a sneak preview of his movie
comeback. Coco’s recreations of Jolly Grimm in “silents” are plausible, however typical
of latter day movies, it’s a hybrid of silent film fashion proven via a contemporary
lens. For his “return,” Jolly cajoles and pulls strings, additionally promising booze
and broads, as commerce for his artwork.

The story of “The Wild Occasion” is informed by Jolly’s author, Jimmy Morrison,
who observes the downfall of Grimm and Queenie. He is performed by David Dukes.

Coco’s character
berates Queenie for all his issues and but bemoans to others that he is dropping
her. This conduct isn’t unusual for failing males towards their girls,
particularly in Hollywood. And Coco captures it fairly effectively, even when it isn’t
at all times nice to observe. What Jolly and Queenie want one another for would not
come throughout as genuine. The massive drawback is that Coco’s Jolly is emanating
real flop sweat and Raquel’s undulating and sashaying round like Gilda.

“Occasion! Occasion! Occasion!” The enjoyable couple the morning of “The Wild Occasion.”

The Wild Occasion was an early Ismail Service provider and James Ivory movie.
Sadly, they have been at first of their illustrious profession and the movie
obtained larger financing solely as a result of Raquel Welch selected to star. The producer/director
duo’s relatively valuable imaginative and prescient of the silent period’s twilight clashed with
Raquel’s, whose star was on the rise. After surviving 1970’s notorious Myra Breckinridge, Welch was a part of two
1973 all-star tasks, The Final of
and The Three Musketeers—the latter’s sequel, The 4 Musketeers, was additionally filmed at
the identical time. The primary was a crucial hit and the latter two have been field workplace
hits. Welch took this as a mandate to be taken critically, and never as her
technology’s Jane Russell.

As Queenie, Raquel Welch wakes up after a tough evening in “The Wild Occasion.”
As you possibly can see, Raquel sheds glamour for authenticity in her dramatic function.

The completed product manifestly
reveals the contrasting scenes. The filmmakers’ stylized presentation of
scandalous silent movie stars conflict with star Welch, as she swans about exhibiting
off her fab type and immaculate glamour.

When Welch tries to
emote as weak starlet Queenie, empathy isn’t her sturdy level. And Raquel’s
singing and dancing appears like a business for her ‘70s Vegas act. What factors
up Welch’s lack of real expertise, heat or charisma, is when “rusty” Raquel
sings and dances as “Singapore Sally.” As Queenie, she’s speculated to
wow the crowd, together with male characters Tex, Jimmy, and Dale. They
are all unabashedly adoring—after which it cuts again to Raquel doing her damnedest simply
to remain afloat. 

“Triple risk” Raquel Welch sings, dances, and acts dramatic as stored Queenie
in 1975’s “The Wild Occasion.”

Certainly one of Hollywood’s
largest clichés is casting 30-something “title” actresses as “starlets”: Lana
Turner in Imitation of Life, Kim
Novak in Lylah Clare, and the celebrities
from all variations of A Star is Born! At
34, Welch was a decade too outdated to play the starlet who’s stored, rescued as a
struggling teen by comedian star Jolly Grimm. A disgrace, because the character may have
been touching. The curvy, toned, and shellacked Raquel doesn’t counsel a
silent starlet within the least, whereas her breathy “espresso, tea, or me” voice makes
you would like this have been a silent image.

Raquel Welch as Queenie in full-drag for no obvious purpose the morning of
“The Wild Occasion.” That faint mark on her cheek is a bruise from Jolly’s abuse!

As putting as Raquel
Welch is bodily, she jogs my memory of a kind of trendy stars doing a spoof
of a bygone period. There’s little authenticity in her efficiency. The identical
12 months, Karen Black performed a much more practical no-talent golden period starlet in The Day of the Locust. Although Goldie
Hawn was solely 5 years youthful than Raquel, I may see Goldie taking part in this
weak and nonetheless girlish starlet. And round this time Hawn was exhibiting her
real performing chops in The Sugarland
and Shampoo.

David Dukes, earnest as the great man unable to cease the tragedy of “The Wild Occasion.”

David Dukes earnestly
performs a showbiz model of Gatsby’s
Nick Carraway on this movie, as James “Jimmy” Morrison, the rational observer of
the wealthy and reckless. Queenie may very well be thought-about type of a Myrtle Wilson, a
good-hearted broad who simply desires extra out of life, however not as performed by the
vacuous Raquel. Myrtle was really performed the 12 months earlier than by, but once more, Karen

Tiffany Bolling as Queenie’s pal Kate, who’s sorry that she introduced date matinee idol Dale Sword (Perry King) to “The Wild Occasion.” Sure, he is Raquel!

Perry King is
completely forged as a silent film coronary heart throb with a porn title, Dale Sword. What
a disgrace Perry’s nice seems to be have been out of favor within the practical ‘70s. King’s
aristocratic options, blue eyes, blonde hair, and athletic physique are a shocking
package deal. And Perry offers a superb efficiency, too. In his quiet scenes with
Raquel’s Queenie, he’s completely pure, in contrast to Welch, who appears like she’s
doing an audition learn.

Perry King was rattling handsome and a superb actor, in 1975’s “The Wild Occasion.”

Royal Dano as Jolly’s
aspect kick Tex is strong. Dano was a well-known film and tv face,
with these piercing blue eyes and his Abraham Lincoln-esque visage. Tiffany
Bolling as fellow starlet Kate out-acts and out-sings Raquel Welch with out even
making an attempt, and within the fraction of the display screen time. The younger woman who quickly
takes Jolly out of his Grimm-ness is Chris Gilmore. Her precocious efficiency
as Nadine, the teenager star wannabe, is a bit excessive, however offers the film
some vitality.

Chris Gilmore as precocious Nadine in “The Wild Occasion” makes essentially the most of her function.

Because the movie unreels,
Jolly’s new image flops and his friends present their very own leisure. By
the final reel, Jolly’s alienated Queenie, and now sloppy drunk. The movie’s suggestion
of Grimm making a transfer on younger Nadine units off the deadly climax. Apart from
Jolly, the characters are cardboard, so it is exhausting to shed any tears—which has additionally
been a criticism of the characters/archetypes of Babylon.

James Coco as Jolly Grimm, close to the tip of his rope, as Royal Dano & David Dukes
 look on, as his entourage.

Critics of the time
and later on-line reviewers have ripped this film aside on each degree. I’m no
skilled, however I assumed the interval element regarded practical and it was filmed at
the historic Mission Inn, in Riverside, CA. Ron Talsky’s costumes for Raquel
Welch look gorgeous and the supporting forged costumes have been good, too. Ralph
Lauren supplied the male stars’ garments. Contemplating this movie was made for
low-budget American Worldwide Footage for beneath one million {dollars}, it regarded
fairly swell to me. There was speak of filming The Wild Occasion as a musical, however that concept was scrapped, although
there are songs curiously commenting on the motion within the movie rating. Patricia
Birch was the choreographer. Sarcastically, the story was later successful Broadway
musical. The movie was additionally made in simply over a month, which is fairly wonderful,
contemplating the turmoil.

Ron Talsky, Raquel Welch’s boyfriend on the time, designed a
glam wardrobe for the star in “The Wild Occasion.”

The unhealthy publicity
concerning Raquel Welch’s diva conduct throughout the manufacturing and the studio re-cutting
the movie a few occasions to make it extra business precipitated the critics to
come down exhausting. The Wild Occasion was a
crucial and business flop. Welch would star in only one extra hit film, Mom, Jugs, and Velocity, the next
12 months. Apart from Welch, The Wild Occasion
has its moments. However like Ann-Margret taking Bus Riley’s Again in City hostage along with her intercourse kitten histrionics,
Raquel’s unconvincing Queenie is an actual drag on this social gathering.

“The Wild Occasion” earlier than, when friends are bored by Jolly Grimm’s movie “return.”

Then the friends determine to make their very own sort of enjoyable in “The Wild Occasion.”