Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


I wanted to see this because a re-make just opened, with Ben Stiller in the title role. I’m a big Danny Kaye fan … but I have found that some of his movies stand up better than others. With this one, the story was good, with Danny daydreaming his various heroic fantasies (a good running gag has something going “pocketa-pocketa-pocketa” in every scenario) until getting caught up in a real one. And one of his patented patter songs works well. But the other one is sort of embarrassing today, with the childish voices and facial mugging. It is simply not possible that he would do this number in front of a bunch of soldiers, as he does here, even in fantasy. It’s based on a short story by James Thurber, who I understand hated, hated, hated everything about it. He was well-known to not have much use for movies, anyway, but in this case he was at least partially right. I’m curious about the re-make, which has some very good reviews and some very bad ones.