Monday, November 30, 2009


We watched this movie on Saturday. It was really funny, and very 70s. My favorite character was Big Bob (played by Bruce Dern). He plays kind of an asshole, but the kind that you can't help liking. He's annoying but also affable and enthusiastic. I could totally imagine a remake with Will Ferrell in that role.

Melanie Griffith has a small part, as a beauty pageant contestant. She was so sweetly pretty back then:

Smile is a 1975 film directed by American director Michael Ritchie, with a screenplay by Jerry Belson, about a beauty pageant in Santa Rosa, California. It stars Bruce Dern and Barbara Feldon and introduced a number of young actresses who later went on to greater success and recognition, such as Melanie Griffith, Annette O'Toole, Denise Nickerson, and Colleen Camp. The film is a satirical comedy-drama focusing on small-town America and its peculiarities, preoccupations, and hypocrisies. The film was subsequently made into a 1986 Broadway musical with songs by Marvin Hamlisch and Howard Ashman.

The plot revolves around the contestants and people involved with California's Young American Miss Pageant held in Santa Rosa, California. Barbara Feldon starred as Brenda DiCarlo (the pageant's Executive Director), with Nicholas Pryor as Andy DiCarlo (Brenda's husband), Bruce Dern as Big Bob Freelander (the head judge), Geoffrey Lewis as Wilson Shears (pageant producer), and as the contestants, Joan Prather as Robin Gibson, Annette O'Toole as Doria Hudson, and Melanie Griffith as Karen Love. Choreographer Michael Kidd starred as Tommy French, the pageant's stage director. The movie was filmed on location in and around Santa Rosa, with the pageant held at Veteran's Memorial Auditorium.


  1. Has Bruce Dern ever *not* played an asshole?

    Speaking of movies (I know this is not really related, but I'm lazy), have you seen Fantastic Mr. Fox? We saw it on Thanksgiving; it was really good! It was such a typical Wes Anderson film, except animated. Mr Fox was even wearing a typical Wes Anderson suit--corduroy and one or two sizes too small.

  2. Oooh! We've been meaning to see it!! It looks so good, and I love that kind of animation too. Now I feel more motivated to make the effort.

    I guess I'm not very familiar with Bruce Dern's work! I thought he was very funny, so I guess there is a reason he's famous. What else have you seen him in?

  3. He was in a lot of movies in the 70s. Before that, he was on a lot of 60s tv shows that I've seen. In those, he usually plays a weasely low-life, either in a motorcycle gang, or as a cattle rustler.