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party poker


The April 2001 issue of Vanity Fair featured a thorough examination of the behind-the-scenes full-bore meltdown that was the 1970 film Myra Breckinridge. Based on Gore Vidal’s totally wigged-out sex-change sexy sex erotic orgy sexual romp sexxx (sex) book of the same name, the film included short snippets of other films presented as punchlines to the action. In one scene, when the pre-sex-change main actor (Rex Reed [!]) hits the money shot, the action cuts to some archival footage of the Shirley Temple film Heidi, as director Mike Sarne explains:

“Shirley Temple was milking a goat, and as she milks the goat, the goat squirts milk in her face. And she goes ‘Ohhhh!’”

At the test screenings in Newport Beach and San Francisco, the crowd “exploded” at this point; afterward, everyone involved figured they had a hit on their hands. The studio executives exploded in the exact opposite way and the scene was cut, along with about fifteen minutes of other material. The best of the fallout scenarios posited in the article is the one that has Shirley Temple, at the time a United Nations delegate, bending Dick “Psycho” Nixon’s ear over the scene. Somehow, after reading all of this, I started using “ohhhh!” in (what I presumed to be) a Shirley Temple-like cadence during suddenly surprising or revealing moments, even though I’ve never seen Heidi. It just doesn’t get much weirder than this, macro-wise.

Jeff Stendec (October 2, 2001)

Tags: exclamation