Friday, January 30, 2009

Heaven Help Us, not a political statement, but one of my all time favorite (and hence most underrated) movies from back in the day. I've had the vhs tape for about 20 years, and have checked periodically to see if it ever made it to dvd.

It did!

The movie is set at a Catholic boys' high school in mid '60s Brooklyn. As one might expect, it's full of juvenile [phallic] boy humor and casts a critical - but not necessarily offensive - eye on the Church at that time, (i.e., there are scenes that deal with rather harsh and unjust corporal punishment, but there's nothing blatantly anti-Catholic).* It would be a much different story if it were re-made today.

Every former Catholic school boy I know, from my Dad who went to Jesuit boarding school in the '50s to my best law school buddy who went to Crespi HS in LA followed by TAC in Santa Paula, to a certain 17 y/o Athlete (and his sporty of-age compatriots, who borrowed it along with Vision Quest), and of course my Beloved and untold numbers of his Marines, has laughed themselves sick watching it.

There are a number of familiar young faces in this movie - Kevin Dillon, Andrew McCarthy, Patrick Dempsey, John Heard, Donald Sutherland and one of my absolute favorite character actors, Wallace ("In-con-sthee-vable!") Shawn:

The best scenes are posted on YouTube, of course, but if you're interested in the movie, don't watch them yet! If you've got about $8 to spare you can pick it up on Amazon, but if you are easily offended, well....don't. Definitely not for the underage crowd, although I saw it in HS and thought it was hysterical at the time.

*Its R-rating is for language, sophomoric sexual humor, non-sexual nudity (butt shots at swimming pool in gym class) and the brief punishment scenes. It has a lesser, Catholic school version of "Animal House" feel to it, if that helps. Somehow I see Digi enjoying it immensely...


Interstate Catholic said...

I saw it at the movie theatre. "Animal House" meets the Catholic Church. Not as funny as "Animal House" but still a good movie.

I haven't seen the movie in quite some time, but I still remember that benediction scene. It still cracks me up because I can remember when "the clicker" was used by the nuns at mass.

The Digital Hairshirt said...

The "Virgin Martyr Girls!" ROFLMAO!!!!!

A few weeks ago, I actually found at Target a $5 copy of "The Trouble With Angels" I will have to pick this one up for a matched set.

Now that I am on Facebook, I have found folks from my high school (Cardinal Spellman, Class of '78) and it is good fun to remember the shananigans of being a Catholic teen growing up in the Bronx of the 70's, as well as amazing that things never really change from previous years. And I bet girls at Spellman are still "rolling" the waistbands of their skirts to turn them into "ultra-minis," only to unroll them when the Dean of Students comes walking down the hallways.

Kit said...

To this day, we call any recalcitrant child around here a "FILTHY BEEAAATHST!"