Director Nicolas Roeg has an erratic track record, to say the least, occasionally turning to commercial work after some of his more outlandish ideas didn’t exactly turn into box office hits. He started out strong with the haunting 1971 masterpiece WALKABOUT, followed by the equally haunting murder mystery DON’T LOOK NOW (featuring one of cinema’s greatest sex scenes) and the confounding, sci-fi David Bowie vehicle THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH. These films made it clear that for Roeg, ideas came first and the story came second. Certainly this is true for INSIGNIFICANCE, his 1985 swan song of sorts, unless of course you count his adaptation of THE WITCHES (1990) based on the Roald Dahl story of the same name.
When I was a little girl I swooned over Tony Curtis as The Great Leslie in THE GREAT RACE, the 1965 screwball comedy costarring Natalie Wood and Jack Lemmon as competitors in a turn-of-the-century car race from New York to Paris. Older now, I appreciate Jack Lemmon’s contribution to the film more. Actually, he steals the show with one of the best comedic performances of his career, but to a young girl a pretty face and a soft voice somehow makes more of a lasting impact. Curtis had a chance to show his comic abilities six years earlier in SOME LIKE IT HOT, another screwball he starred in opposite Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe. Here, Curtis got to play dress-up as both a woman and as a Cary Grant-inspired millionaire bachelor (see clip above).