Mister Cinecal

Mister Cinecal

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Great Film Posters of History: Talking Mules MegaPost!

Unfortunately, even the stellar voice acting of Ice-T couldn't revive the genre of talking mule movies. In the 50's, there was an entire film series of movies about a talking mule called Francis. There are more Francis the Talking Mule sequels than there are Ghostbusters sequels, just in case you though this world was worth living in or anything. See them all after the jump!

First comes Francis, which in modern times would probably be the title of the ill-advised reboot rather than the beginner of the series. Look at the terrifying grin on Francis' long face as his eyeline is directed at an attractive woman and despair. Hopefully the climax of this film doesn't take place in Tijuana.
The following year brought us Francis Goes to the Races, which I'm assuming has a similar plot to Tommy above in that they're both about mules racing. I've never gotten the impression that the donkey is a particularly fast animal, which is probably why actual horses are used for racing while mules are used to pull heavy things very slowly until they collapse dead. We see here two people listening intently to the talking mule, but again, look at his face. He can't be saying anything particularly pleasant.
According to what I've read, Francis Goes to West Point is about a young man enrolling at West Point, a federal service academy, where "he needs to be tutored by his friend, Francis the talking mule. If a) your friend is a mule and b) he's the brains of your operation, then you need to take a serious look at your life decisions. The next one should probably entail reading a book or two. Or hiring a human tutor. And again, not to put too fine a point in it, but look at the grim dead eyes of those poor women. One wonders how many showers they needed just to wash away the horrible stain just standing next to that creep must have made them feel.

Hijinks ensue when Francis and his buddy Peter are accidentally assigned to the Women's Army Corps! I know they had different values in the 50's but I thought that meant they were more conservative, not all flocking to the cinemas to see a mule have sexy adventures. You sicken me, the 1950's.
No wonder Americans were so terrified of the Red Threat in this decade when their defence forces were so incompetent as to be littered with donkeys. Thankfully this is the second-last Francis movie, which is unsurprising as he appears to be having a stroke here. This was, by the way, the first credited appearance of Clint Eastwood. I'm sure he remembers it fondly.
Evidently there was some kind of falling out between Francis and Donald O'Connor, his co-star in every other movie, as O'Connor was replaced for the final installment by Cinecal Bastard's favourite racist, Mickey Rooney. Seeing as the poster says they don't stand a ghost of a chance, I'm going to assume Francis didn't survive this haunted house.


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