Saturday, January 21, 2006

Movies: "School For Scoundrels"

They're remaking "School For Scoundrels, or How To Win Without Actually Cheating!". I don't remember much from the 1960 original, but you can't go wrong with Terry-Thomas, Alastair Sim, and Peter Jones.

The film was based on the slim "Lifemanship" books of Stephen Potter (available from Amazon). The books describe amusing "ploys" to gain "upmanship" on your opponents in sport or life. One example (that I've used myself on occasion) is to ask a fellow-golfer whether he breathes in or out during his downswing. It should have the same effect as asking a centipede how it walks. As Branch Rickey said about baseball, "A full mind is an empty bat."

The new version will star Jon Heder from "Napoleon Dynamite" and Billy Bob Thornton, as well as Sarah Silverman and David Cross, so it might have a chance of being funny. Then again, the director did "Road Trip" and "Starsky & Hutch", so my enthusiasm is curbed, leashed, muzzled and fixed.

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