Movie Spoiler - The $49 Rolex
The $49 Rolex
From the opening scene in a Wal Mart bathroom:
"Affecting social change through fashionable wrist wear hardly qualifies as a weekend dalliance, but even cowgirls get the blues."
To the closing montage atop Mt. Rushmore:
"Your skin is turning green. Are you sure that's real gold?"
We are yanked along on a heart-wrenching journey of love, loss, redemption, and chronological synchronization. The epic film The $49 Dollar Rolex may have been overlooked by the Academy (actually it was intentionally ignored by the Academy) but it has earned a place in our hearts and a dusty spot on the closeout shelf at gas station video rental stores.
Casting The $49 Rolex
Producer Pat Phillipe and director Franck Mueller searched diligently for a fresh face to cast as the leading man in The $49 Rolex. The two Hollywood big shots agreed that only a silver screen rookie from the real world could possibly plumb the depths of their down-and-out jewelry repairman anti-hero.They abandoned the traditional Hollywood casting calls. They took their show on the road, so to speak. Finally, during an open audition held in an abandoned Service Merchandise in Kokomo, Indiana, they found their dude. Hugh Blot wandered into their lives and ate all their craft service doughnuts. His screen test lacked polish, but his obsession with watches set him apart from his competition. Both his arms were festooned with timepieces. Timex knock-offs encircled his bony wrists. Citizen clones clung to shrunken forearms. When Hugh agreed to work for scale, Phillipe and Mueller knew they had their man.
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The Winding Scene is Debated
Countless movie critics have debated the so-called "Winding Scene". We cannot hope to reconcile the wide range of disparate opinions attempting to explain why Hugh Blot's character chose to spend 30 minutes winding a watch that was obviously battery powered. It is possible that Blot's repeated motions represent the futility of man's cyclic struggle against institutionalized evil. Perhaps the director forgot to say "cut".
Regardless of the symbolic nuances that may or may not be present in the Winding Scene, we do recognize that Blot's character experiences a radical metamorphosis as he cranks on that stem. And he gets a nasty blister on his forefinger.
The Power of Timepieces
The $49 Rolex teaches us that donning an Explorer II or a Pearlmaster or a Datejust can really really change your life. Precision timekeeping can lift you from the depths of despair. You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack or you may find yourself sitting behind the wheel of a large automobile; a very cool Vacheron Constantin will only make it better.
Let us not overlook the impact of Hugh Blot's leading lady, Freida Covington. Set aside the fact that she was killed during the opening credits. Her tragic demise took place during a horrific highway accident involving a runaway freight train loaded with Chinese Rylex watches. At the moment of her death she was reaching across the dashboard to reset the clock in her car radio. There must be some symbolism in there somewhere.
Hero or Zero?
Did Hugh Blot ever manage to pull himself from the timeless depths of despair and become the human being his mother always hoped be would be? Probably. We know he always had his jewelry repair skills to support himself when the economy turned sour. We know that he was forever changed by his pilgrimage to the Naval Observatory Master Clock. We can assume that the proliferation of Internet web sites flogging low cost chronological devices was always a source of comfort for him. Even without the love of his life and despite the raging skin infection on his left wrist, we trust that Hugh managed to overcome the obstacles life put before him. We look forward to a sequel: The $49 Rolex with Free Shipping.