Monday, August 9, 2010


I watched The Prince of Tides last night.

That’s the Barbra Streisand/Nick Nolte film that was big at the Box Office when it debuted in 1991. Linda Richmond on Saturday Night Live Fame (Scarborough’s Mike Meyers) said Streisand was- “like buddah”.
She was.

Blythe Danner who is Tom’s (Nolte) wife, was Will’s Mum on Will & Grace. Kate Nelligan- Legendary Canadian Stage & Film Actor played his Mother while Streisand’s own son- Jason Gould (Yes, his Daddy was Elliott Gould), also appeared in the film as her “movie son”.

I seem to remember that I really liked the movie when it came out in ‘91. Almost 20 years ago. I wouldn’t have guessed it was that ancient- except for the “outdated” long silver antennas on the remote phones.
The smoking.
The lack of computers.
The absence of cell phones. Nolte actually calls home to his wife (Blythe Danner) on a pay phone from along the boardwalk in NYC.
The Twin Towers of New York City in the opening shot, dates the movie, as well as the fashions- although Barbra Streisand looks totally up to date. That’s because she’s a “classic” and costumed herself accordingly as her Doctor role- Dr. Lowenstein, allowed.

I liked her hair “straight” and not with the little “frizzie” curls she adopted part-way through the movie. She must have liked the style too because when Nolte and her go out for dinner one night, her hair is back to the “straight” look that gently frames her face.
Then, in the scene following the dinner, she goes back to the “frizzies” when she meets Nick and Bernard (Jason) in the park and like a true Jewish Mother, she brings sandwiches.
Oh yes, her hair colour is great too and those nails- absolute Barbra!
There are at least a half-dozen things I can think of that she couldn’t do when wearing those nails- but like her nose, it’s a trademark.

Nick Nolte, as her co-star, did a terrific job of acting in some scenes-especially when he tells Dr. Lowenstein he was raped as a young boy. In other scenes, he absolutely sucked the big one! He was quite handsome actually, a real summer blonde. His hair shone like the moon reflecting on a calm Muskoka lake.

I don’t remember how I felt about his acting in ’91 but boy, did he overact when he tried to be angry. He attempted to be a “Southern Boy”- he was born in Nebraska- but I noticed Streisand’s eyes fluttering as she played opposite him in some scenes.
As Director, I am sure she was thinking- “What the hell have I done casting this guy!”
As I watched the film after almost two decades, I believe that Nolte should have stayed in roles more suited to his acting abilities- like “brain-dead” footballers or army guys.

Nolte’s ass in tight slacks was memorable, however, as was Streisand’s legs- in heels and hose. Her “gams” were prominently displayed in many scenes.
They are truly fabulous- “like buttah”.
If my legs looked as good, I’d wear heels too!

Also starring in the movie was the “late” George Carlin who played a 90’s ‘gay” man- a friend of Nolte’s Tom- as well as his twin sister. Carlin is as close to a 90’s Gay Man that Hollywood would allow back in 1991.

Interesting too, that the name of Nolte’s character was “Tom Wingo”- almost “wingnut”, who travels to New York because his sister is ill and meets Babs- who’s screen name is Susan Lowenstein. Nick was paid 4 million dollars to do the role.
I know.
The mind boggles.

In real life, he drank- a lot, until 1990 at least and was on the straight and narrow for this film. Katherine Hepburn had once accused him of being drunk in every gutter in New York City.
Nolte replied saying- “I still have a few to go!”

I watched The Prince of Tides in Hi-Def. The colours were clear and brilliant not muddy like my DVD version. Over all, it was worth the viewing.
During the film, I kept waiting to see who had played Streisand’s Mum. I couldn’t remember. I was also writing this Blog as I watched.
Was it-
Anne Bancroft,
Lauren Bacal,
Eileen Heckart,
or none of the above?

The answer: No wonder I couldn’t remember! I was thinking of “The Mirror has Two Faces” where she starred alongside Jeff Bridges. She also Directed. Lauren Bacall played Mum. The correct answer- “none of the above”

Favourite moment in the film?
Streisand’s husband is called a “Possum-breathed C***sucker by Nolte’s character as he dangles a priceless Stradivarius over a New York City balcony a couple of dozen flights up. He dangles the fiddle to make Dr. Lowenstein’s husband apologize over some rude remarks he made over dinner!

Maybe you should re-visit The Prince of Tides. Next, I have to have a peek at “The Mirror has Two Faces”. I want to see “Betty” Bacall as Barbra's Mum.

Have a good one.