Thursday, September 23, 2010

Katharine Ross and Sam Elliot in The Legacy (1978)

Retro Active Critique #21

I love watching good 60's/70's-era Katharine Ross -- she is an inspiration. And my husband loves Sam Elliot's mustache (of course, I have to agree with that one, too.) So I've anointed these real-life marrieds our 'favorite celebrity couple' today, and ventured to see their film pairing, via Netflix. Katharine Ross and Sam Elliot first appeared together in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" in which Sam Elliot had a bit part. Years later, they starred together in this 1970's 'horror' film, which led to their decades-long marriage. So I had to see the film for myself.

For a mystery/thriller in the vein of an Agatha Christie story that also veers into the occult, featuring a British eccentric who happens to be passing on his Satanic legacy throughout the film, as well as a massive English estate with a nurse who morphs into a white cat unbeknownst to anyone, and the odd inclusion of Roger Daltry (who meets his bitter end by way of choking on a chicken bone) -- not to mention the many (awesome) scowling looks of Sam Elliot, throughout... Even for all of that, "The Legacy" is actually not half bad. If you're in the mood, it's pretty okay.
Speaking of Mr. Elliot, he really does have that single look down: scowling suspiciously at everyone. Between the mustache and those bushy eyebrows lives a perma-scowl of mockery and skepticism. You practically expect him to break out of character and say, "Are you kidding me? Do I really have to respond to this hokey line, or even be in this asinine story? Dang it all to heck." And then walk right out. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's all he does in this and many other films. But like everyone on the planet, I love him and that profound mustache of his. He can appear in every movie as far as I'm concerned. There can never be too much Sam Elliot.
Ms. Ross, on the other hand, is a tad disappointing with her recycled acting in this. Everything she does in "The Legacy" seems borrowed from her "The Stepford Wives" role as Joanna Eberhart. But one can certainly excuse her for sitting back on cruise control here since there isn't much for her to do in terms of character development. She looks good (although not as good as in "The Stepford Wives") and that's all I had wanted from this Katharine Ross experience, anyway: for her to look pretty, sweet and bewildered. She's very good at those things and I am eternally a fan.
Another amusing aspect of the film (as pretty much everything in it is amusing) is the style of clothes they wear. If you've been out shopping at all recently -- whether at Bergdorf, H&M or anywhere in between -- you will see these clothes. The folks in "The Legacy" are very autumn-friendly and comfortable, wearing motorcycle and riding boots. So I've noticed we are currently in 1978, trend-wise. I suppose if you were to catch this post a few months from now –– this, too, will have passed. 

I'm just glad the wonderful real-life pairing of Ross and Elliot has endured, long after "The Legacy". 
And the photo and video, below, offer a brief look at those styles I mentioned.

1 comment:

  1. I just love this and agree, they are my favorite couple too! Thank you! <3