Christmas Movies II

film 22 of 25

Blades and Brass

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 29, 2015

The Tijuana Brass pastiche that serves as the soundtrack is very of its time, and it’s not much more than a gimmick. But music has that ability of conforming itself to images, and what images! Sharp, beautiful colour, a poetic combination of real time and slow motion, of straight on and high angle. There’s not much coherent hockey going on, at least in terms of game narratives, or league overview. In fact, in some ways, the image assembly is kind of perfunctory. But ideas do emerge eventually, or a kind of structure—there’s a fighting section, and an injury section, and someone sure seems to favour the Habs.

That’s the greatest thing, for someone like me with a dim memory of the primordial figures. This is the Original Six, and the last year before expansion, too. Get a load of these players! There are insufficient glimpses of Howe and Horton, Mikita, Bobby Orr. There are lots of role players, and a sense of how very important they are. There’s the Gumper, flopping bravely all over the place. There’s the question of how exactly Ed Giacomon got into the Hall of Fame. And look at Bobby Hull skate! And at how magisterial Beliveau is! A noble ruin of a film, giving a pretty good idea of a lost, past plenitude.