Sunday, August 1, 2010

The straight Dope on Boris


Really? If you're around my age and grew up in the United States, Paul Frees is all over you. Yes, Paul was the voice of ever-frustrated spy Boris Badenov, but he was a lot more than that!

Let's put something in context here (which is SO unlike me, get right down to it) about Paul Frees? He had a vocal range of four octaves. Me, former professional musician/singer/trouble maker, I got about 75 percent of an octave here.

Paul was very gifted. But let's focus on his deliverables? Aside from being the voice of Boris Badenov... do you remember Jolly Green Giant commercials? Remember that 'Little green sprout' character? That was the voice of Paul Frees. 'Lil Sprout' never came off as a raging heterosexual to me, but I could be wrong about that.

And if you're old enuf to recall the moon landing, you've been to a theatre or a drive-in where Paul Frees narrarated the coming attractions...

"He found himself on a strange alien world where Apes are the masters, and humans are caged! Don't miss Charlton Heston in 'Planet of the Apes'! Also co-starring some really cute chick in a fur bikini."

Paul Frees did a lot more than that though. Thirty years dead, he's still the narrator at many Disney theme park attractions.

Now, in Billy Wilder's most commercially successful film "Some Like it Hot." Well, Paul Frees of the deep authoritarian coming attractions voice? He also dubbed female voice of Tony Curtis in drag. Don't ask me why Tony was in drag, just watch the movie?

Talent, that gets one admiration. But one's passion is what draws enduring love. Paul Frees single handedly tried to save the world from Beatniks. Yep, self-written, self-directed, self-financed, Paul Frees (aka Boris Badenov) made a movie considered a classic by people who don't really know what the word 'classic' actually means.

Clearly the film was made with passion, but not much ability. Mr. Frees attempted to warn unsuspected Western Civ about the dangers of poncho wearing, bongo beating, finger snapping, poetry reciting degenerates. In Mr. Frees' 1960 tour de force (that's french for load of crap) effort "The Beatniks" a sordid tale is told.

There aren't actually any Beatniks in the movie. More overgrown juvenille delinquents I'd say. The soundtrack does have lots of bongo playing in it though; quite annoyingly really.

Paul Frees tried to warn us about Beatniks. Let the beatniks in, next thing you got hippies. Know what comes after that? Yep, that's right. Billy Jack movies.