Tag Archives: Tequila Sunrise

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: Tequila Sunrise

If, like me, you’re a sucker for beautiful dames, wise-cracking guys, long shadows, convoluted plots and endless cigarettes you’ll probably love Tequila Sunrise; a film prominent in the resurgence of film noir in the late 1980s.Some 30 years after the genre’s heyday, noir came roaring back with a vengeance in the VHS era, giving a new generation of movie buffs their first glimpses of a more intriguing kind of thriller, where beautiful people trade razor sharp barbs and share spine-tingling kisses, all backed by a soaring saxophone soundtrack. Besamé Mucho!Written and directed by the legendary Robert Towne Tequila Sunrise stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell and Raul Julia. Mel and Kurt are old friends from high school, and have kept in touch for years, despite the fact Mel is a retired drug dealer and Kurt is a cop with the narcotics division of the LAPD.Enter Michelle Pfeiffer: and her entrance is typically classy too, even if we don’t see her at first. Mel is busy doing some drug-related business, but he stops to confirm his reservation at a restaurant and on the other line of the pay phone we hear the voice of Michelle Pfeiffer’s Jo Ann. Cue your typical sultry love triangle, with Gibson and Russell set to go head to head for the affections of La Pfeiffer.To cut to the chase I’ll often jump straight to chapter 12 of the DVD where Russell and Pfeiffer share a kiss so steamy and unexpected, it may take your breath away. On a rainy night in a dingy wine cellar, restaurateur Pfeiffer is trying to move a barrel from beneath a leaking roof. Ever the gentleman, Kurt comes to her aid, but ends up getting a soaking. Hit the saxophone music, as Kurt suddenly grabs Michelle and they kiss passionately. The scene fades out…Before long Gibson’s Mac and Pfeiffer’s Jo Ann have their “moment.” During small talk Pfeiffer makes a comment and Gibson takes offense, so Michelle apologises. Now it’s Mel’s turn to be embarrassed, so he proceeds to gently kiss Michelle, the soft-rock music swells again and they’re destined for the hot-tub.As white sheets billow in the background, Mel and Michelle suddenly explode from the water, locked in a lustful embrace. Had they get lost in the hidden depths of the hot-tub?  How long had they held their breath? I still wonder.We watch the liaison reflected in the water, their silhouetted figures masked by steam. Gibson stands and sweeps Michelle up, before pulling white sheets over their drenched bodies. It is sweltering, but par for the course, given the decade.In true 1980’s style, the film ends with a freeze-frame. Once again Gibson and Pfeiffer are locked in a passionate embrace, and of course, they’re both soaking wet. Kurt Russell looks on as the odd man out, frozen in a moment when Michelle’s lips were never more alluring, Mel Gibson’s eyes were never bluer, and those California sunsets were never hotter. It doesn’t get more 80s than this.

This post is part of The Kurt Russell Blogathon.



Filed under Blogathon, Feature