Out of the blue and into the black describes the descent of a wildly dysfunctional family in this rambling, nihilistic film by Dennis Hopper. Don, a degenerate convict, pulses with Hopper’s dark charisma, devouring everything in his path. Kathy, his wife, numbs herself from the chaos with drugs and sex, leaving Cebe, their daughter, on her own to deal with the fallout. It doesn’t end well. Cebe, played by Linda Manz, seems to sneer at the brutal cards handed to her, but under that tough facade is a bruised child who craves the comfort and love that’s been absent in her life. Tragically, her signature walk, that strident march, leads her nowhere.
Oh wow, Marilyn. The Misfits is a peculiar film, dropping a sensitive and melancholy idealist into the crucible of crumbling western masculinity. Gay, Perce, and Guido would do almost anything for Roslyn, yet they resent her power over them. Their traumas are skillfully revealed, the emotional weight carried by Roslyn from which she cries, “Help.” Roslyn, too, has become disillusioned by her own troubles but somehow clings to a fading idea of love. Perhaps she’s resigned to the idea that as a woman, this is as good as it’s gets. Thank goodness for Thelma Ritter’s comic relief, but sadly she disappears after the first half. The Misfits is a little wobbly at times, but it never bucks you off. The stellar star power binds it together making for an intense and heartbreaking ride.