Home Culture Late Night On the set of SKIDOO

On the set of SKIDOO

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I suppose this contemporaneous — 1968– set visit report by Roger Ebert must be gospel among SKIDOO afficianados, but it still retains the power to shock:

Carol Channing was supposed to lift Frankie Avalon up in the air, shake him vigorously, and snarl: “Where’s my husband?” Well, Carol is a fairly big girl, and Frankie is about as small as Sal Mineo. But all the same, Carol couldn’t really lift Frankie into the air.

So Otto Preminger called out the carpenters, and they made a seesaw out of a long board and a sawhorse. The idea was that the camera would move in close, the prop men would scamper in on their hands and knees and place the seesaw, Frankie would step on it, and when Carol grabbed his elbows the seesaw would lift him into the air.


Things do not go as planned.

BTW, the above clip of Channing in pirate garb sining the “Theme from Skidoo” includes an unbroken take of nearly a minute which makes the one in ATONEMENT look like a kindergartner with Final Cut.

  1. After watching that clip, I’m torn between really wanting to see it and really wanting to never ever hear that horrible, horrible song ever again.

  2. Y’know, there’s something sad about a bunch of establishment Hollywood over-30s trying to make a happenin’ flick for the young people, and naming it after a catchphrase from the freakin’ Roaring Twenties. It’s a bit like if Richard Gere and Goldie Hawn were to star in fresh hip-pop tweener movie called “Groovy”.

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