There was a 1973 movie called THE LAST OF SHEILA. It was a murder mystery written by, of all people, Stephen Sondheim and Tony Perkins. More surprising, Tony was not in the movie and Stephen didn’t do the music. Producers really need to check out writers’ resumes.
Anyway, it was
an intricate whodunit very well received. I didn’t see it. I was too
busy that year watching SWITCHBLADE SISTERS, THEATER OF BLOOD, and Oscar
favorite HELL UP IN HARLEM.
A bunch of
years later I saw that Channel 2 was going to play it at 11:30 that
Saturday night. I had just purchased a VCR so set the timer. This
was in the early days of VCR. They weighed as much as a Kia, tapes were
¾ inch not ½ inch, they only recorded at one speed, and maximum length
of tape was two hours.
But that was no
problem. The movie was scheduled from 11:30 – 1:30. So I taped it
and the next night my wife and I watched the movie and enjoyed it very
Until the end.
Stations dump a lot of extra commercials in the middle of the night. Who cares if a show runs a little long?
Right at the part where they’re just about to reveal the killer – and the tape ends. AAAAAA!!
The next few
days we frantically called around to friends asking if they saw the
movie and remembered who did it? Nobody did. Like I said, it was a
very complicated screenplay. Thank you Stevie and Norman Bates. We
finally gave up.
later we were on vacation at a resort on St. Thomas. It was a rather
rustic resort. Little huts, no phones, no TV’s, not even Wifi. You
walked around at night with flashlights. Your evening entertainment was
finding your hut after leaving the dining hall. I bet every morning
the sun would come up and three couples who had given up were sleeping
on the beach.
So one day we
saw they were having movie night and the featured film was THE LAST OF
SHEILA. We were ecstatic. Finally we were going to learn the murderer.
So we’re the first two people in the Activity Room. Another four sauntered in and the film began. Only one problem.
The film was dubbed into Spanish.
Neither of us
spoke Spanish. Nor did any of the other couples. So they left. We
stayed and tried to decipher what was going on. Not a chance.
And then about nine years ago I was in New York at a play reading and there was Stephen
Sondheim. He sat right next to my daughter Annie. During
intermission I asked her to ask him who killed Sheila. She of course
was mortified and refused. Curses! Thwarted again!
So my point:
People ask me why I bother to maintain a blog, updating it every day,
since it pays me nothing. Well, here’s one reason –
Who the fuck killed Sheila???!!!