No really. I saw SKIDOO, the long suppressed all-star Otto Preminger bacchanal, thanks to Mark Evanier and circumstance, and you must see it to believe the LSD prison Riot of 1968, with Frank Gorshin, Peter Lawford, Burgess Meredith, Michael Constantine, Slim Pickens, Jackie Gleason and Richard Kiel. And Carol Channing in a pirate outfit boarding the yacht of a gangster named “God”, played by Groucho Marx. And then there’s the final shot of Groucho smoking a joint.
And the hippies.
The late Sixties were an odd time in pop culture, as the oldsters attempted to understand and cash in on what the youngsters were doing with their drugs and sex and loud music. (The youngsters have always been into drugs, sex and loud music, of course, but they never really had the leisure time and media exposure to exploit it properly until the 60s.) The “Way to Eden” episode of the original Star Trek was another attempt to deal with ” hippies.” All such attempts were doomed to be very embarassing period pieces.
SKIDOO, directed by a very obviously high Otto Preminger, is a product of that culture clash; but so is THE PRISONER. If you like Rudy Gernreich (inventor of the topless” bathing suit” and hippies and Carol Channing, SKIDOO is a MUST.
Mark Evanier has made getting SKIDOO out on DVD a minor crusade at his blog — the movie is rarely shown since the Preminger Estate thinks that releasing it would be bad for his reputation. Apparently being one of the most notoriously demanding and unpleasant people to work with in Hollywood doesn’t count.
After all this, you might think we would be joining Evanier’s crusade to get SKIDOO out on DVD.
But we’re not.
You see, there need to be some mysteries. Some final doorways; some limits. SKIDOO is shown once every year or so on Turner Classic Movies. That makes it rare, special and vibrant. To be able to watch it whenever you wanted would just make it dumb. And yes of course you can download a bootleg copy right now…but…you get my drift.
Link above; The SKIDOO trailer.