Tall Story (1960)

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There are those actors which have faded and others who haven’t.  One who sadly has, is Anthony Perkins.  Stereotypically most think Perkins was typecast after 1960’s Psycho.  But actually that became true  only towards the end of his life, when the numerous Psycho sequels began coming out.

Prior to that, he maintained a fairly robust variety of work, with starring credits in quite a few light comedies to his name as well.  One of the earlier of these was Tall Story, also ironically enough from 1960 as was Psycho.

His co-star here is Jane Fonda, who even in her first starring role is a commanding presence, with her acting chops already for the most part in place.  However, she probably doesn’t look upon Tall Story as among her finest work, especially given her later activism.

For Tall Story is a rather shallow and at times downright silly comedy which is full of typical conceptions of women which, although accepted as gospel then, have thankfully faded from view- mostly.   Fonda is a young co-ed, June Ryder, who has picked her college not based on academic programs or the like, but because their strong basketball program would provide many tall men from which to choose her husband.  For you see, Ms. Ryder is after only one degree, the “Mrs” one.

For whatever reason, she picks from the entire team Anthony Perkins to set as the target of her amorous charms.  And yes, I don’t see Perkins as the athletic type either but, in his defense none of the other actors portraying players are either, so he fits in.  However, this does dampen the credibility of the ultimate goal, which is for Ray Blent (Perkins) to play in a big exhibition game against the Russian team.

By the end of the movie up is down and left is right as everyone character- and in more than one case- sense of ethics is trampled in order to get him into the game.

Tall Story isn’t a bad movie, though it is unbelievable at its core.  It is a fairly typical light comedy of the era, which today everyone has seen (the type) as numerous sitcoms on television.   It was a good easy entry for Fonda and director Joshua Logan does keep the entire thing running at a good clip.

WAC has just released this in a newly remastered edition, which is available as a MOD disc, or also available for rent or purchase download at wbshop.com.WAC’s remastering to me always seems done at a very high level and, although a definite help to the picture, should not be confused with a full scale restoration.  That being said, the print here is very watchable and enjoyable.

Review copy provided by Warner Bros. Thanks!

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3 thoughts to “Tall Story (1960)”

  1. Watched this recently.
    Seemed a little frantic, but enjoyable for what it was. I couldn’t buy Perkins as an athlete OR a romantic lead, though. Fonda was really selling it, but it fit her character.
    Cool to see Tom Laughlin and Van Williams in small roles.
    Feels like this needed to be in colour, but was shot just a few years too early.

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