The Saragossa Manuscript
WWJD? What would Jerry do?
I was struck by the fact that the epic three hour Polish film The Saragossa Manuscript has been sited (even on the DVD label) as being Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia's favorite movie. So what is it about this film that appeals to Jerry? One thing must be that this is not your typical epic. The film begins with a soldier finding of copy of the titular manuscript. We then go through a series of stories that are linked together...well, some aren't linked that much, but most are. We see tales of royalty, bravery, chivalry, comedy and attractive women. It's one of the most layered films you'd ever want to see. Peel it apart like an onion if you dare. Jerry did. And isn't that the important thing?
Jerry apparently had his own copy of the film which he used for private screenings during the time when the movie wasn't that accessible. Only during the 90's has the entire three-hour version of film become available, thanks to the restoration efforts of Martin Scorsese (of course), Francis Ford Coppola and Jerry.
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
But what WWJD? Here are some Jerry Garcia quotes about Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein:
For me, this movie began my fascination with movies.
It frightened me to where I wouldn’t actually look at it.
Comedy works in disarming powerful adversaries.