Rat Pack Theater: One More Time (1970)

After enjoying Salt & Pepper so much, I jumped at the chance to to watch that movie’s 1970 sequel called One More Time, which unfortunately wasn’t on Netflix Instant, so I had to wait A WHOLE DAY for the DVD (yeah, I know that’s lame of me, but I just love instant so much).

As you might be able to tell from the amazing poster to the left, the second flick has a lot going on including the appearance of horror stalwarts and a traditional English fancy dress party. This time around, we discover that Pepper’s brother is a lord who winds up dying and Pepper (Lawford) takes his place, but doesn’t say anything to Salt (Davis). Salt thinks that Pepper’s brother might have killed him, so Salt starts working for the lord and goes to his big crazy old mansion somewhere (in England, I assume?). It’s a pretty gothic set up that does in fact include brief appearances by Frankenstein (played by Peter Cushing) and a vampire (played by Christopher Lee). It’s such a brief scene that it doesn’t warrant a “Horror” tag in the category section, but reading ahead of time about their appearances, I was hoping the film would wind up being Sammy and Peter spending the entire film fighting monsters, which is not the case.

Instead, we see Salt acting like the lord’s friend in order to figure out what’s going on with the murder of his best friend, which, of course, does unfold in front of both Salt and Pepper. Of course, Salt realizes at some point that the lord’s really Pepper and the two start kicking ass, solve the crime and finish the movie talking as themselves (the actors) to the audience. The plot gets even more complex from there, but it’s not really worth getting into.

Like with the original, I found myself mesmerized by these guys just being good friends and having a lot of fun. It’s interesting that by this time, Frank Sinatra had actually stopped talking to Lawford thanks to Lawford’s brother-in-law John F. Kennedy not staying with Frank in Palm Springs after he had a helipad built so the president could get in and out with ease (it’s a more complicated story, but that’s the gist). So, even though he was on the outs with the notoriously hard-nosed Sinatra, Lawford was still making movies with Sinatra’s friend Davis. I wonder if that lead to any problems between the two Rat Packers (Davis and Sinatra I mean).

Anyway, hot damn, Lawford and Davis are GOOD actors. I’m not talking about just funny dudes having fun, but when Davis thinks Lawford is dead, I really got the vibe that he was DEVASTATED. In fact, that was the one part of the movie that kind of bummed me out: that Salt didn’t tell his best friend Pepper that he was taking his brother’s identity. If any of my best friends took up their dead lord brother’s identity and didn’t think they could trust me I would be pissed. Instead Salt just takes it in stride.

It’s one of those movies that needs to be seen to be believed because it’s absolutely not the type of movie that could get made right now unless, say, Tom Cruise and Will Smith wanted to do it. Actually that could be kind of fun…

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