David Bowie’s ‘Labyrinth’ Dance Pays Homage to This Cary Grant Rom-Com

Films starring famous musicians are nothing new, or not in 1986 David Bowie star in Labyrinth. But few can claim to have had their rock star-turned-actor play an iconic role Labyrinthof Goblin King Jareth. Bowie’s furniture-chewing performance in this family fantasy-adventure turned his actor’s career into his personal film. The man who fell to the earth Can’t do it, and make the icon of music a sought-after icon of film too. The musical elements of the film offer Bowie a chance to shine, attracting fans of the singer to see their hero in his element while also surprising them with his turns as a truly unique villain. Labyrinth Still loved around the world today, and in no small part due to Bowie’s performance in scenes like his ‘Magic Dance’ sequence. But did you know that the memorable line that begins ‘Magic Dance’ is an homage to a dialogue from 1947? Cary Grant movie?

In 1947, British actor Cary Grant starred in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (known as Bachelor Knight in England). written by Sidney Sheldon, this scoopball romantic comedy is a classic of its era, with everything modern audiences have come to expect from a comedy in the 1940s. The acting and dialogue offer a rich comedy, both verbal and visual, with a snowman, forcing its characters to lose their way and step into the absurd. The film earned Sheldon an Oscar in 1947 for ‘Best Original Screenplay’ at the 20th Academy Awards. Sidney Sheldon is probably best known for his television work, created I dream of Jeannie In 1965.

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How is ‘Labyrinth’ an homage to Cary Grant’s Rom-Com?

Cary Grant and Shirley Temple in The Bachelor and Bobby-Soxer
Image via RKO Radio Pictures

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer Follow the two sisters Margaret (played by Myrna Loy) and Susan (Shirley Temple). Margaret is the judge and legal guardian of her sister Susan. When Grant’s Richard Nugent is accused of starting a fight in a nightclub, he becomes entwined in the world of Margaret and ADA Tommy (Rudy Vallee) and was immediately released after explaining that the fight was the fault of two women fighting for Richard’s love. Richard is an artist and speaks as a lecturer at Susan’s school, where Susan becomes infatuated with an older man. In an attempt to woo him, she sneaks into his house in a glamorous dress, only for Tommy and Margaret to assume that Richard is trying to persuade Susan, not the other way around! After attacking Tommy during the fight, Richard was arrested. Margaret’s uncle, psychiatrist Matt (Ray Collins) suggested that they allow Susan to follow Richard, expecting her to soon tire of the idea.

Tommy agrees to drop the assault charges if Richard agrees to Matt’s terms, and as a result, Cary Grant’s charming character finds himself caught up in an awkward deal as a clingy teenager. In an attempt to speed up the process, Richard approaches Susan’s ex-boyfriend Jerry (Johnny Chan) offers to trade cars, and hopes that losing a physical challenge to a young man will make Susan fall for Jerry again. Jerry also tells Richard about Susan’s Uncle Thaddeus (Harry Davenport). “He’s one hell of a guy. I walk in and all I say is ‘hello oh hello Yookie-Dookie’. He almost blew a fuse!” This gave Richard an idea, and after opening his pant legs and unbuckling his belt, he entered with a loud, “Hello oh hello Yookie-Dookie!” Hoping to make the worst impression possible, Richard continued by telling everyone, “You remind me of a man.” They answered, “What is a man?” “Man with power.” “What energy?” “The power of hoo-doo.” “Who did?” “You do!” “what are you doing?” “Remind me of the man!”

When did David Bowie quote ‘The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer’?

Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie in Labyrinth
Image via Tri-Star Pictures

If this exchange from The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer Ring the bell, it is most likely because you remember a similar exchange in Labyrinth Almost forty years later. Labyrinth Follow up Jennifer Connelly As sixteen-year-old Sarah, who after reading a fantasy book about goblins is burdened with raising her half-born child Toby. After Toby steals Sarah’s favorite teddy bear, she hopes the goblins from her book will take Toby away. Sarah is then visited by Jareth (Bowie) who gives Sarah 13 hours to solve his labyrinth to get Toby back. Now absorbed into her storybook world, she must work together with colorful creatures to undo her reckless desires. While talking to his goblins, Jareth riffs, “You remind me of children,” to which they reply, “Children?” “Powerful children.” “What energy?” “The power of voodoo.” “Who did?” “You do.” “what are you doing?” “Remind me of the children!”.

This conversation begins with the song ‘Magic Dance’ and changes some words from the original version. “Man” became “Babe”, based on the incorporation of Sarah’s brother Toby, and “hoo-doo” which was a straightforward choice for wordplay became “voodoo”. Labyrinth Directed by Jim Henson (Best known for The Muppet Show And Sesame Street), written by Monty Python‘s Terry Jones, and produced in part by Lucasfilm, so the fictional fantasy world is full of hideous creatures and practical effects. The ‘Magic Dance’ sequence as we know it came about because of Henson’s excitement at casting Bowie, giving him the creative freedom to incorporate lines as he saw fit. Bowie signed on after seeing Henson’s previous film Dark gray, and said, “Jim gave me complete freedom – allowed me to speak What I want and write what I want.” He wrote five songs for the film, including ‘Magic Dance’, which means a reference to The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer Probably Bowie’s own idea.

‘Labyrinth’ refers to the iconic film, then became it

Jareth, the Goblin King in the Labyrinth.
Image via Tri-Star Pictures

Now, Labyrinth itself exists almost as The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer came back in 1986, and Henson’s fantasy became a classic in its own right. So, it’s hard to imagine a time before Bowie got the role of Jareth, but there was a time when it could have been someone different in the role. Henson and the team were always said to have envisioned a rock star playing Jareth while writing the film, and considered casting. Michael Jackson, Sting, PrinceOr Mick Jagger Instead, according to various sources. The director’s son Brian Henson remembers the process well, saying, “Bowie was really weird and cool enough to work for my dad.”

David Bowie’s unique qualities make him an iconic character that cinema today refers to as Jareth himself. In a recent interview for Mission: Impossible – Partial Death RethinkBBC’s Ali Plumb Ask Hayley Atwell About one of her costumes in the movie. “I like the idea of ​​you dressing so straight up like David Bowie.” He referred to the black and white dress she was wearing, to which she replied, “Yes!” “You’re wearing a pirate’s shirt, so much of a magician.” Atwell’s inner fan immediately came to the fore, replying, “David Bowie – congratulations! It makes you sort of Sequence Jareth vibes from. Labyrinth?” “Big time,” replied Plumb, showing off her character’s handshake to Bowie’s “crystal ball hand motion” in the film. Labyrinth Which is technically also a riff from The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. After thirty plus years, Bowie’s iconic role in thirty plus movies has now become a cinematic icon referenced in other films.

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