The Rolling Bed

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 6, 2015

The pattern, once again: exposition in the interior space, then outside for the elaboration of the plot, and for the fun. This isn’t too profound of me, but doesn’t this film make you think about the importance of beds, and of having a place to lay your head? Yes we’re unaccommodated, poor, bare and forkéd. But if you’ve got an actual dedicated surface on which to recline yourself! Except for the problem of roofs, of course, and then the more serious problem of the constantly interfering constabulary.

This is profoundly not an intentional element of this particular film, but the judiciary branch has always been at least half interested in preserving the comforts and pre-eminence of the wealthy, hasn’t it? In addition to stimulating that impertinency, The Rolling Bed also makes you think of what the car would one day become.

Finally, there’s an amazing thing in the last camera set-up in which three guys sneak into these wardrobes outside of a furniture store, and then start walking away with and in them. The runaway bed runs them over and the film ends, but there’s a rich suggestiveness in this unexplained and uncited thing. The current liner notes for Beach Boys Today! (1965) talk about the conclusion of the Dennis Wilson-sung In the Back of My Mind in the same way. It’s as if, just as the fade begins, a whole new set of eye-popping possibilities is opening up. The song fades out, but evolution and history keep charging ahead.