Monday, October 21, 2013

Do You Know Who Burt Lancaster Is? Survey No.2

At a friend's 50th birthday, I took the opportunity to ask the 50-some guests, mostly middle-aged, if they knew who Burt Lancaster was.

 "He wrote all that schlocky movie music," one guest replied, before catching herself. 
"No. Wait. I'm thinking of Burt Bacharach. Burt Lancaster was a movie star, right?"

Most people did know he was, indeed, a movie star, in the era after WWII. They didn't  always get the right one though. 
"Sure, he's Spartacus!" (that was Kirk Douglas); 
or, "that horrible shill for the NRA" (Charlton Heston).  

You can see how the confusion arose.
The bare chests. The surf.

If they knew who he was, I asked, Do you associate him with any particular movie or scene? 

"Not really," was the most common answer, followed closely by, "The beach! The beach!" 

The birthday girl's 80-year-old father nailed it. Almost.
"From Here to Eternity, making love with Deborah Kerr on the beach."
He added he also liked "that movie he was in with Frank Sinatra."

"You mean, From Here to Eternity?"

"Oh, yeah, that was the same movie, wasn't it..."

The wait staff who worked the party shook their heads at Burt's name, apologetically.
"No idea."

I describe the famous kiss.
"No, sorry." 

Results of the first survey (same question) in comments here


Zhoen said...

Never seen FHTE. I have only oblique awareness of BL. He wasn't so much of a Personality, more of a character actor that got starring roles.

Michael Leddy said...

From Here to Eternity, yes. But also Brute Force, The Killers, The Rose Tattoo, and Sweet Smell of Success, esp. the last of these.

Fresca said...

ZHOEN: Even people who know the beach scene often haven't actually seen the movie!

MICHAEL: BINGO! Oddly, no one else has mentioned "Sweet Smell" to me yet, tho' it's one of those films that makes the Top 100 lists.