Monday, December 14, 2015

Lloyd Bridges picked the wrong week to quit...

By +Brad Naylor

We all know that Lloyd Bridges picked the wrong week to quit a whole bunch of things in the 1980 movie, 'Airplane', but Abrahams, Zucker, and Zucker may have got their inspiration for the character of Steven McCroskey from one of Bridges' earlier roles, that of Deputy Marshal Harvey Pell.

Gary Cooper in High Noon
Gary Cooper was also in this movie
You should already know the basic story of High Noon, it's a classic and one of the best movies ever made. It won 17 awards including 4 Oscars and 4 Golden Globes. and if you haven't seen it then shame on you; go watch it on Netflix right now. For those of you without Netflix, here is a brief synopsis.

The movie opens with Lee Van Cleef and 2 other bad guys riding into Hadleyville to meet a train carrying pardoned felon, Frank Miller, who is about to take his revenge on the soon to be married and soon to be retired Marshal Will Kane, who put him away years ago.

Kane gets married and runs away, then comes back to face Miller and protect the town. He attempts to deputize the entire male population who cower away from fighting the evil Miller and his henchmen.

With just hours left before Miller's train arrives (at High Noon) Kane realizes that his decision to come back and defend this town full of cowards is probably the last one he will ever make, but he sticks to his guns and waits for the train. The very same train that his newlywed Quaker wife plans to leave on because she abhors violence and doesn't want to see her husband killed before their marriage is even consummated.

The 12 o'clock showdown eventually happens and good triumphs over evil. The newlyweds ride out of Hadleyville, never looking back on the townsfolk who abandoned the Marshal. Roll credits to applause and cheering from the audience.

Back to Lloyd Bridges, who is the topic of our post. He plays Deputy Marshal Pell, a pivotal role in the story since he is the first to abandon Kane, and has his own agenda for wanting Kane out of the way. He believes Kane is obstructing his promotion to Marshal in revenge for Pell now dating Kane's former girlfriend, Helen the Saloon Owner, who also dated Miller prior to all of that.

Bridges spends the entire movie looking regretful, almost as if he had quit something and then realized he had picked the wrong week to do so. He doesn't actually say it, but you can tell from the look on his face. Here are just a few examples from the movie:

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking coffee

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit slutty dames

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit bare knuckle brawling

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking whiskey

It's obvious from these 6 stills why Abrahams, Zucker, and Zucker chose Lloyd Bridges for the role of McCroskey. The look of vacuous contemplation which he does so well was perfect for the addiction fuelled control tower supervisor.

We don't normally make blatant attempts at earning commissions, but here are some links to both movies so that you can contrast and compare for yourselves.


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