It all started by looking at a bank. Well, that’s not entirely true because we had been doing things like this all our lives. But for our purposes, it started by looking at a bank. “Doesn’t that bank look like the perfect bank for an old fashioned cops and robbers movie?” I don’t remember who asked the question, mostly because we all agreed the bank did have that 1920’s demeanor about it, what with its limestone walls, a relief around the top, and the big, gilded fences on the doors. From that moment my siblings, our friends Maggie and Sam, and I were in complete accord: We could make an old fashioned cops and robbers movie gosh darnit.
Years went by. Figures. The thing was we didn’t want to just bang out a movie, we wanted to do it right, with proper costumes, thoughtful story lines and sets, and an awesome soundtrack. Such a venture would take time, and time together was what we lacked since four of us were constantly going back and forth between college. Last September, Maggie went off to the Peace Corps and so once again we would have to wait to pull off our goal.
But the opportunity presented itself last July. Maggie got leave to come home for 10 days, so the rest of us planned to surprise her with the project and have it all ready to go when she got home.
Finding costumes was my biggest concern. But as serendipity would have it, the costume store on Broadway two blocks south of Union Station carried everything we needed, including cops hats of various kinds and multiple choices of mustaches. The mustaches, might I add, all came with fabulous names, including the Casanova and the Charlie Chaplin. We figured all we needed for the cops were hats and mustaches. The rest would be made out of black shiny shoes, dark slacks, a blazer with shiny buttons, a large belt worn on top of the blazer around the waste, a collared shirt, and a tie. Once my brother was fully attired, he put on big, black glasses so that he looked exactly like “My Grandfather, Squigman Paladoris.” (n.b. if you don’t know that Sandlot reference, go and watch the movie immediately.) The robbers were even easier. My sister cut eye holes out of strips of fabric which we tied around our heads. Next, we adorned ourselves with black attire and berets. We were set to go.
Filming included many a mishap. The mustaches, despite their cool names, kept falling off the boys’ faces, especially considering how much they were sweating (it was, after all, July) and how the wind picked up toward the end of the day. Dan eventually lost his, so we had go home and paint one on. Other troubles included modern day cars drifting in the background. We tried to limit this as much as we could, but sometimes it couldn’t be helped, especially since we were under a time crunch. Oh, and Maggie also hit her head on concrete and got really dizzy, but she’s fine now.
Finding music during the editing process proved great fun. Go to youtube and search for ragtime music and you will get an education in one of America’s greatest musical forms.
By the way, we didn’t end up using the bank. It was in far too public of a spot with cars and people going by constantly. Plus, I doubted the bankers and real policemen would think too kindly of our dressing up as robbers and running in and out of the bank. We used the library instead, because it looks like a bank, kind of.
After much falderal, I am pleased to present you with the finished product! Though far from perfect, we are rather proud of the result. Enjoy!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
THE REVENGE OF MRS. MERRIWEATHER, A Keystone Knockoff Production.