Wednesday, October 8, 2014
a show like "Dallas" starring me
Some people in a hot tub, water up to their necks, is the setting of the second scene of the film, Charlie Wilson's War.
Tom Hanks, portraying Congressman Charlie Wilson, is in the hot tub, along with aspiring actress Crystal Lee, her agent/whatever, Paul Brown, and two young ladies named Stacy and Kelly, who are -- doing something with their fingers, fluttering a little bit around their faces, then passing a finger across their front teeth and giggling.
It's 1979; music swoops in and down, carrying us into the scene -- the music is funky-disco-related, with an airy, feminine, sighing sound suggesting "smarm."
Paul Brown and Crystal are conversing, in the water.
-- It'd be like Dallas.
Crystal -- That's right.
-- You know what I'm saying?
-- Like Dallas but set in Washington.
-- And you should say it just like that.
-- When I pitch it.
-- You should say it just...
-- [oh this is great...]
Crystal -- You should say it just like that. Dallas set in Washington D.C. You know, with the intrigue and the power plays, and the overt natural sex.
-- It's #%^*-ing Dallas.
-- Or Falcon Crest.
-- That's set in Washington.
-- Say it to Charlie like that.
These people -- these crazy people have it in mind to get a congressman to help them get a TV show on the air, starring Crystal. It's funny, because you can kind of relate -- sometimes when you want to try something that is a long shot, you imagine that someone who has some power and consequence in one area, is going to somehow be able to help you with your dream, or goal, in another area.
It's an idea born of desperation, ignorance of the industry, and total lack of clout.
And they seem unclear in their goal -- are they trying to get Congressman Wilson to somehow use his political power in -- Hollywood? Or get him to invest in the thing? (A little later, they do try to get him to invest...he tells them, I take home about 700 dollars a week and I pay alimony, so the idea that I got 29,000 dollars in the bank is pretty hysterical. ...)
While they're spinning their gossamer-web of television-showbusiness dreams, Charlie's watching the news. He calls out to a guy by the TV, "Could you turn that up?"
"W-uh -- I'm completely high."
"Yeah. Could you just -- reach over -- the knob -- turn it up...?"
Paul Brown: Charlie, are we gonna do business?
Charlie (focused on the television) -- Dan Rather is wearing a turban, Paul. Don't you want to know why?
Afghan rebels, 1980
Afghan rebels, 1985