Talking with Lance Mannion

Popeye the Sailor    Time Magazine Cover featuring John Maynard Keynes



I spoke early this morning with Mr. Mannion who is currently revisiting the films of the late director Robert Altman. We laughed about one of Altman’s oddest flicks, his film adaptation of the comic strip “Popeye” starring Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall as Popeye and Olive Oyl. Lance, ever discerning, observed that aside from the movie’s general oddness, it’s chief failing resides in the script’s reliance on a plot that’s essentially extrinsic to the variorum life of the comic strip that inspired the undertaking. Now I confess to occasional abstruse thoughts, for instance I wonder if the world of post-industrial economics would ever have been possible without John Maynard Keynes’ general theory of employment, interest, and money–which is a long way of saying that sometimes I’m looking for someone to blame for our current mess and if it isn’t Keynes its going to be some other poor bastard as I sit in my study and practice my kama sutra of umbrage. But the fact that Popeye the film stinks owing to Jules Feiffer’s infidelity to the Sunday comics is an example of perspicacity gone wild and I’m in awe. And all this time I thought it was just a dumb movie.

“It sure is a complex woild, ain’t it Olive? Ca-ca-ca-ca-ca-ca! Deviated septum cleared up yet Olive?”



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