Trifecta #15: The Fake Eyepatch



by: Nathan Swank

You can’t go out and party every weekend, so on those nights you want to take it easy, has put together a bi-weekly column to help you with your movie selection. The Trifecta is a recommendation of three movies that set a mood, that showcase an actor or director, that acquaint the viewer with a geographic location, or maybe even have some obscure link like a Best Boy or Key Grip.

Last week’s Trifecta: The Eyepatch made me think about the fakers- characters that put on the patch without actually having lost an eye.  These characters are not near as tough and for some reason have names that are… well, a little less cool.  It’s quite the funny correlation how a name and awesomeness are drastically different depending on how necessary is one’s eye patch.  Kramer from the TV series Seinfeld is a great example.  He put one on to spice up and enhance his look but was mostly missing his step and running into things.  Unlike the no-nonsense attitude and strength a necessary eyepatch brings, an unnecessary eyepatch usually evokes, pity and ridiculousness, but thankfully induces us to laugh hysterically at them.  Who knew a simple eye cover could bring such a variety of weight to a character?  Here are three films with scenes where the characters fake the eyewear, not surprisingly all are comedies.

Chevy Chase in Spies Like Us

SPIES LIKE US-  Emmett Fitz-Hume (Chevy Chase) is a slacker U.S. government employee.  In order to pass a government skills test he uses every pathetic trick in the book to cheat.  Fitz-Hume enters with a cheat sheet concealed in his mouth, another in a cast with his fake burnt arm and then a few answers written on the back side of his fake eye patch that he has to pull away from his eye so he can actually read the answers.  He then attempts to indiscreetly cheat off his neighbor Austin Millbare played by Dan Aykroyd.  This little stunt gets them both thrown in as two clueless decoy U.S. spies to prevent a Nuclear War.  This spy parody takes place during the Cold War Era and back when Chevy Chase was funny.  Luckily he is finding his groove back in the current television series Community.

Vince Vaughn, Justin Long and Alan Tudyk in Dodgeball

DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY-  Steve the Pirate (Alan Tudyk) is part of a misfit team trying to win in dodgeball to keep their gym.  He doesn’t wear the patch for long because it would be quite the hindrance playing the game of Dodgeball competitively.  When throwing or dodging a ball it is important to have good judgment on one’s space and time.  It’s much easier when using two eyes.  Steve’s reason for wearing a fake eye patch is simple, he believes he is a fake pirate and it is part of his fake pirate outfit.  He dresses and talks like a pirate at all times.  Waiting for those key moments within conversations so he might be able to reference any common pirate traits.  I’m sure real life pirates were offended at the blatant stereotype.

Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS-  Freddy Benson (Steve Martin) and Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) con rich old ladies out of their money.  Through most of the film they are in competition with each other but for a short while they team up.  Benson always seems to draw the short bus, I mean straw.  In a specific con Martin pretends to be Cain’s troubled slow little brother, Ruprecht (another funny name).  Ruprecht believes the marked lady is his mother, carries a trident, uses a fork with a cork- to protect himself and others, and wears an eye patch…oh and politely asks permission before wetting himself.  Cue corked fork popping him in the patch-covered eye.  I laugh out loud everytime I watch this sequence.

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