May 28, 2007
When Time Ran Out... (1980) (part 3 of 8)
Back in Bob’s office, Shelby commends Bob on his efforts to bring the island into the 20th century, considering that Bob’s father tried his whole life to keep it a private sugar cane plantation. Shelby says that as a fellow son of a famous and successful father, he knows what it’s like trying to come out from under that shadow and be successful in his own right. “The problem is, he wasn’t around to see it. And it makes the whole triumph… empty.” Seriously, where’s the Love Boat horn section at? Shouldn’t they be blaring away so we can sense the pathos of the moment?
Bob disagrees with Shelby. He says the triumph isn’t empty, it’s “sweet”. Get it? Sweet? Sugar? Huh? Oh, forget it. Shelby shrugs off Bob’s answer, making the whole conversation pretty much pointless, unless anybody needed a reminder of Bob’s desire for success. Cause that was a little muddy before.
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Shelby then asks for permission to tell the bank in Switzerland about the oil well. Bob gets this totally worried look on his face for some reason. Shelby explains the bank didn’t think Bob would come up with his half of the construction loan payment on time, so this would ease their minds. None of this matters at all, except to establish that Bob is ambitious, and apparently short on money, but the scene takes too long proving that short (and ultimately unimportant) point.
Kay walks back in and Shelby asks if she got everything straightened out with Hank. She says she didn’t, then asks Bob to come look at her ad ideas. And she flubs the line! Is it that hard to retake one line? She goes off on a quick, boring overview of her ad campaign, which is centered around the fact that this resort has a real volcano. She says she’s stressing the fact that it’s live, but not dangerous. “That’s valid, right?”
Bob lyingly smiles. “Without question!” So, what, Bob, are you going to stand in front of the volcano if it erupts? “It’s not erupting! It’s just welcoming you to the Kalaleu Gilmore!”
Outside, a middle aged guy is getting tennis instructions. Here’s a poser. Which is whiter? His socks or his legs?
Ernest Borgnine sits at a café table watching him miss, and laughs. The tennis player sees him, grabs his hat and towel and walks off the court. His instructor asks, “What’s wrong, Mr. Findly?” Findly (played by Red Buttons) stares intently at Ernest Borgnine and says he gets nervous when people “audit [his] game.” Findly walks towards Borgnine (Seven’s dad?), staring straight ahead like he’s going to walk right past him. At the last second, Findly stops. “Are you a cop?” he asks.
“Thomas Conti,” Borgnine says. “Sergeant of Detectives, New York Police Department.” Findly says Conti’s been following him for three weeks and he’s wasting his time. Conti tells him his time is paid for by the taxpayers of New York. Plus, he’s got five years ’til retirement (uh oh!), and he has all five of those years to work on catching Findly. Geez! I’m glad I don’t pay taxes in New York!
Conti tells Findly to “give the bonds back”. Findly just stares at him and Conti stares back, then he takes a drink. Which reminds me, everyone ready for a new bottle?
Hank takes off in his helicopter as the Valdezes watch him leave from a terrace. Mrs. Valdez finds it all so exciting and thanks her husband for the vacation. A waitress delivers two mixed drinks, and Mr. Valdez asks for a glass of water as he fumbles around for some medication. His wife asks if they can skip it for just one day, but he insists she must take it. Just as we must watch the rest of this film.
He gives her three pills. Mixed with a sip of water and a daiquiri the size of her head. Now, I’m no medical expert, but let’s just say you had, oh, a heart problem. And you were anciently old. And weighed maybe 90 pounds. Should you mix three different medications and a huge drink?
As she takes them, she says, “I’ll never understand… how each one… knows where to go.” He laughs. I only mention this because these two sort of steal the show. They do a really good job playing an old couple on vacation and making it real. Much better than say, Fred Astaire and Jennifer Jones in The Towering Inferno.
Anyway, Mrs. Valdez again thanks her husband profusely for the wonderful vacation, while he gets this sad look on his face like this is the last one. But he brightens again and plays along. Cut to commercial. No? Oh, that fade to black was tailor-made for a commercial break.
Suddenly, we’re in France at Monet’s lily pond bridge. Or, at least, that’s what it looks like to me. A car drives into the shot. Bob gets out and it seems his hot ride is Clark Griswold’s Family Truckster. Really stylish, Bob! Goes great with the disco fever suit!
So it turns out this is where Iolani lives, and she and Bob are having an affair. Bob, by the way, is now looking a bit like Chuck Heston in The Big Country. Bob tells Iolani they won’t have to hide their affair much longer because of the new oil well. He says he’s free now. That’s a weird divorce law, but okay.
Well, he says, he’s “almost free”, but at least he won’t have to depend on Nikki’s money and connections any longer. Here’s a couple problems I have with this. One, wasn’t Bob’s dad wealthy anyway? So why would he need Nikki’s money? And if he threw Nikki over, wouldn’t Shelby pull out of the hotel deal? My point is, I don’t think Bob’s plans would have worked out even if the volcano didn’t erupt. Bob says this magical oil well of divorce makes Iolani free as well, and they needn’t hide any longer. He takes off his wooden surfer necklace and places it over Iolani’s head.
“No, no, no!” Iolani says. “The high priest himself placed this around your neck when you were a child. The loa gods protect you when you wear them.”
Bob says, “And now I ask the loa gods to protect you.” Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Whoop! Whoop! That’s right, folks! Someone just sealed their fate! Bob is now officially a dead man. Bye, Bob! Say hi to the loa gods for me! Then they start making out. (By the way, it seems “loa gods” are really African voodoo gods. So, Messrs. Siliphant and Foreman, why didn’t you use Polynesian gods? Because I notice there’s quite a dearth of people of African descent on this island. Perhaps the screenwriters thought “continuity” was a large land mass.)