Updates from August, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 9:45 pm on August 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A.A. Milne, , , Clifford Odets, , , , Jack Warner, movie memories, , , , ,   

    IT’S ABOUT A QUOTER TO NINE 

    Several days ago, one of my readers said she’s partial to humorous quotes, so I’ve been thinking about spending a whole lot of time thinking about devoting a post to things others have said which are funnier than what I say….but after searching high (brow) and low (brow), eye gave up. See what I mean?

    Ha ha! Just kidding. Believe it or not, I was able to find nine selections funnier-than-mine (well, maybe somewhat funnier), though I’m sure I would’ve said them first if I’d thought of them first. Some of the nine guys & gals I’m about to quote said what they said before I was even born, thus taking unfair advantage of circumstances beyond my control. But this is my blog, so as a quoter of quotes, I at least get to determine the subject matter of the quotes I quote, and the quotes I’ve chosen to quote are quotes about quotes….and I quote:

    “A quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself – always a laborious business.” –A. A. Milne

    “I googled the quote ‘Power means not having to respond.’ Nothing happened.” –John Alejandro King [what “Power means” sounds like something Trump might say, except nothing Trump says is worth quoting]

    “Quotation: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.” –Ambrose Bierce

    “There are two kinds of marriages: where a husband quotes the wife, and where the wife quotes the husband.” –Clifford Odets

    “You can tell a really wonderful quote by the fact that it’s attributed to a whole raft of wits.” –Anna Quindlen

    “I have made it a rule that whenever I say something stupid, I immediately attribute it to Dr. Johnson, Marcus Aurelius or Dorothy Parker.” –George Mikes

    “That woman speaks eighteen languages and can’t say ‘No’ in any of them.” –Dorothy Parker

    “You can always depend on children to quote you correctly, especially when it’s something you shouldn’t have said.” –Evan Esar

    “I can’t see what Jack Warner [Warner Bros. movie mogul] can do with an Oscar – it can’t say Yes.” –Al Jolson

    :

     
    • calmkate 2:05 am on August 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I must remind myself not to eat whilst reading your posts … I nearly choked to death!

      Those women look far more sexy in those slinky dresses than most gals these days in next to nothing!

      … see you at 8.30, I don’t want to miss anything πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:00 am on August 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I’m kind of partial to “next to nothing” (especially when I’m next to my wife when she’s wearing nothing), Kate — not that I have anything against sexy women in slinky dresses. πŸ˜‰

        As for “see you at 8:30,” I don’t know what time zone you’re in, but in 45 minutes it’ll be 12 hours since I posted this post (note the time at the top of this post). Can you guess my time zone?

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 10:14 am on August 29, 2020 Permalink

          no idea, I though the states?

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 11:41 am on August 29, 2020 Permalink

          Eastern Standard (Eastern Daylight) time.
          BTW, I neglected to apologize for causing you to nearly choke to death. That would’ve been hard for me to swallow, knowing that my puns are killers (I thought the worst they might do is make some readers ill).

          Like

    • rawgod 3:32 am on August 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I can agree with phrase one of this quote, β€œThere are two kinds of marriages: where a husband quotes the wife, and where the wife quotes the husband.” –Clifford Odets, but my take on the rest of it is, “those that end indivorce, or those that end in death.” Which is your preference?

      As for the A.A. Milne quote, I can truthfully say my fafourite person to quote is myself. That way, if I misquote myself, it is not a misquote, but merely a change of time.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:28 am on August 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I’ll have to take a paincheck on choosing between those two alternatives, as I’ve never experienced either one.(though I suspect that avoiding the second would prove more difficult).

        I can’t disagree about your favorite person to quote, although I sometimes wonder if I was myself when I said what I said (in which case, the George Mikes quote might prove useful).

        Like

        • rawgod 11:40 am on August 29, 2020 Permalink

          Say it, own it, live with the consequences. It’s not really that hard.
          The main thing is be true to yourself. Say what you mean, mean what you say (maybe you can tell me who first said that?).
          If someone midreads you, or misinterprets you, that is beyond your control.
          The hard part is using sarcasm. You are purposely writing to mislead to make a point. Many readers, unfortunately including myself, miss sarcasm. We read it straight up. Then where do we go? My above quote about marrige/death/divorce is full of sarcasm, but can still be read straight up. Ooooohhh, wny do we write in the first place?
          Because we have to!

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 12:57 pm on August 29, 2020 Permalink

          I Don’t Know WHO FIRST SAID THAT — but I do know Who’s on first and I Don’t Know is on third….not to mention What’s on second. If you ask the name of the shortstop, I Don’t Give a Damn. The rest of That routine, I don’t remember. The rest of your comment: Thumb’s up!

          Like

        • rawgod 2:06 am on September 4, 2020 Permalink

          Funny, but Bud and Lou never once mentioned the right fielders’ name. Here is a good example, https://youtu.be/4t4PzWSLhqQ of them at their greatest. BTW, I know who is in right field, but I made them a promise never to reveal his name, so, I can’t tell ya.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 7:46 am on September 4, 2020 Permalink

          Something tells me the right fielder’s name is Lefty. I hope Lefty’s right, or Something’s in big trouble!

          Like

    • Rivergirl 8:09 am on August 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Quotes about quotes … very circular, that. And you can’t beat Dorothy Parker!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 9:32 am on August 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Agreed! If it weren’t for the fact that I’d be dead by now, I would love to have been within earshot of the Algonquin Round Table when Dorothy and her fellow wits had at each other.

        Liked by 1 person

    • tubularsock 1:33 pm on August 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Tubularsock has always found that a quotable quote carries no risk. So where’s the fun in that?
      Great post.

      Cheers.

      Liked by 5 people

      • mistermuse 3:23 pm on August 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        With some quotes, there’s the risk of an insight which may cause a reader to THINK (if he or she can stand the strain)….but granted, “where’s the fun in that?”
        Whatever the case, thanks for the “Great post” compliment, which is fun (for me, at any rate) to quote.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Susan 2:24 pm on August 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Good selection!

      Liked by 4 people

    • arekhill1 2:38 pm on August 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      “There are no stupid questions, just stupid people asking questions everybody else already knows the answer to.”

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 3:27 pm on August 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        ,,,,and then there’s Trump, who never asks questions, which is why he’s stupid (or, more accurately, ignorant).

        Like

    • Eliza 2:20 am on August 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      πŸ’• Number 3 and 8 made me giggle.
      Thank you………….

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 8:49 am on August 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Number 3 is from Ambrose Bierce’s THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY, which is definitely funnier than Webster’s Dictionary (although it’s much less ‘weighty’ than Webster’s….and takes up less room on the bookshelf too). πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 12:02 pm on August 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I was surprised that Lauren Bacall wasn’t in the video. Funny quotes! I think your own writing is extremely funny. (You may quote me.) πŸ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 6:11 pm on August 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, mm. I have to be funny as long as Trump is King — I mean, President — otherwise, I’d lose my sanity (and if Trump is any example of what becomes of a man, I certainly don’t want to lose my sanity).

        Liked by 1 person

        • magickmermaid 7:15 pm on August 30, 2020 Permalink

          Get a Sanity Clause. Groucho can help. πŸ˜‰

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 7:20 pm on August 30, 2020 Permalink

          Unfortunately, Groucho is deceased….and Trump isn’t. That’s not nice to say, but “consider the source” (of my discontent).

          Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 4:47 pm on August 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Can I quote you on that?

      Liked by 3 people

    • masercot 9:57 am on September 1, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      So, quotes about quotes?

      Shame on you!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 2:19 pm on September 1, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        It would be shame on me if I quoted Trump (& his supporters’) quotes about quotes, but I will only stoop so low.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Marietta Rodgers 11:35 am on September 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      You can absolutely depend on children repeating something you shouldn’t have said and constantly forgetting the things you want them to remember.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 2:58 pm on September 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Very true. The first part of your comment is reflected in a number of DENNIS THE MENACE cartoons (still appearing every day in the local newspaper) which show Dennis repeating discomfiting things his father or mother had said about people (now, in their presence). As for forgetting things, I find that to be more manifest in old age — at least, I personally DON’T REMEMBER it being a problem as a child!

        Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 4:00 pm on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: African Queen, Beat The Devil, , , , , , , , , , The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,   

    THE TREASURE OF JOHN HUSTON 

    Huston would have agreed with [Orson] Welles, who declared, “I’m awfully tired of old men saying they have no regrets. We’re loaded with, burdened with, staggering under, regrets.” –Jeffrey Meyers, from his biography JOHN HUSTON: COURAGE AND ART

    * * * * *Β  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Β  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I must admit that JOHN HUSTON (born August 5, 1906) is not the kind of human being I admire — however, he IS the kind of film maker I admire. Yes, he made his share of clunkers, but few directors made more of my all-time favorite films than he: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, Beat The Devil — and yet, he had more than his share of things to regret, as he himself admitted (more on that shortly).

    But first, here are two classic scenes from THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE:

    The second scene features the great actor Walter Huston (father of John) doing his incomparable dance in the gold-flecked dirt of the Sierra Madre mountains:

    Getting back to John Huston’s regrettable qualities, Jeffrey Meyers (in his excellent bio) compares Huston to Ernest Hemingway: “Hemingway had four wives, Huston had five (and all of his marriages ended badly). Each married increasingly younger women and, while married, fell in love with a series of women even younger than their wives. Huston, however, [unlike Hemingway] was unashamedly promiscuous. Both had three children and were difficult, demanding and frequently absent fathers.”

    “In the last paragraph of his autobiography, Huston brooded over his guilty regrets about family, finances, alcohol, tobacco and matrimony. Huston could be noble, generous and kind, as well as selfish, callous and cruel. But he should be remembered for his intellect, his imagination and his charm.”

    I, of course, cannot remember him thusly because I did not know him. But I can remember him for his films, and so I do. Who could forget the black bird….

    ….or The African Queen:

    One of those clunkers I mentioned was THE BIBLE (1966), an ungodly bad epic which he both directed and starred in. But those can be forgiven in light of the above trinity of masterpieces. If that doesn’t Beat The Devil….

     

     

     

     
    • magickmermaid 4:33 pm on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      The Maltese Falcon and African Queen are two of my favourite films. Strange, but I’ve never hear of Beat the Devil. I always learn something new on your blog. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 4:51 pm on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Beat the Devil probably belongs in the category CULT CLASSIC, in that it’s not widely known but has a modest following of devoted fans. I haven’t seen it in years, even on TCM, which I watch regularly.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 5:40 pm on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Love those old Bogey films. But yes, Huston was an odd duck.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:16 pm on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Bogey may have been in more classic films than any actor I can think of, from HIGH SIERRA (screenplay by John Huston) and CASABLANCA to THE AFRICAN QUEEN and THE HARDER THEY FALL (his final film). There was only one Bogey!

        Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate 7:56 pm on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      what a trip down memory lane, always learn something new and enjoyed these clips!

      Liked by 1 person

    • D. Wallace Peach 10:11 pm on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I just watched The African Queen with my parents a few weeks ago. Huston was quite a good director, but I’m also glad I didn’t know him. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:26 am on August 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I just read in another book that Huston was driving drunk in 1933 when he struck and killed a passerby, but it was hushed up and he never paid the consequences. So much for the farce that “no man is above the law.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • D. Wallace Peach 10:50 am on August 6, 2020 Permalink

          Ugh. Oh, to be rich and powerful. We see what happens when someone is above the law, don’t we?

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 11:32 am on August 6, 2020 Permalink

          Considering that Huston didn’t include that incident among his “guilty regrets” in his autobiography, he must have still thought of himself as a privileged character.

          Like

    • The Coastal Crone 6:18 pm on August 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Love all these old guys!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 6:01 pm on August 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I loved the trailer for “The Maltese Falcon.” Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:42 am on August 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        You’re very welome. I love that trailer too. What great character actors there were in that film!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Elizabeth 3:38 pm on August 9, 2020 Permalink

          Every winter exam period in college we attended a Bogart festival, so I saw that film four times.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 10:10 pm on August 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I own a copy of John Huston’s memoirs, but have not been able to bring myself to read it. I think, deep down, I just don’t want to know too much.

      However, he was one of the great filmmakers, and some of his films are among my faves.

      So glad you featured his work on your site today. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:16 am on August 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I ‘get’ how you feel about Huston, SS. Sometimes we must separate the art from the artist. If we can’t do that, we only truncate our capacity to objectively appreciate artistry as it stands, on its own terms.

        Liked by 1 person

    • waywardsparkles 7:50 pm on August 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Dang, MM, the list of movies I need to see keeps growing. Maltese Falcon, Sierra Madre, African Queen and Casablanca. Okay. Now I need to find the time to sit down and watch them all! Mona

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:58 pm on August 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Mona, all I can say is that you won’t be wasting your time with any of those movies. If I were you, I’d start with Casablanca because becoming a classic film buff begins with the gold standard for classic films (Casablanca). Happy viewing!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 1:17 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: At The Circus, Barnum & Bailey, , , , , , Ringling Bros., The Big Top, the Circus, ,   

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH 

    Does this melody ring a bell?

    Does the name Ringling Bros. ring a bell?

    If it does, the connection between the two should be clear as a bell, because that melody was used for decades on Hollywood soundtracks to accompany circus footage. The most famous circus of them all was Ringling Bros., which was founded on April 10, 1871, merged with Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth in 1919, and closed on May 22 2017.

    I recall seeing a circus as a young boy (regrettably, I don’t recall if it was Ringling Bros.)…. but this post’s focus is on circus movies, two of which I’ve seen several times since I was a teenage boy: Charlie Chaplin’s THE CIRCUS, and {The Marx Brothers) AT THE CIRCUS.

    THE CIRCUS (1928) is not as well known as such Chaplin masterpieces as THE GOLD RUSH, CITY LIGHTS, and MODERN TIMES, but it is still a great show. Here is the trailer, followed by the closing scene when the circus leaves town with the circus girl he loves:

    AT THE CIRCUS (1939) isn’t one of the Marx Brothers’ best films, but it has one of Groucho’s most famous scenes:

    How this song came to be written is a story in itself, but the history of Lydia actually pre-dates the song. In Germany in the 1920s, an entertainer named Wilhelm Bendow had a stand-up act as Lydia Smith, the tattooed lady, in which he wore a body cast and performed a satirical sketch. It is no stretch to assume that American lyricist Yip Harburg had heard of that act when he and composer Harold Arlen wrote the song in 1939 (yes, it’s the same Harburg and Arlen who earlier in 1939 wrote OVER THE RAINBOW and the other great songs in WIZARD OF OZ).

    As for the song’s lyrics, Harburg was a friend of Groucho, and both were fans of Gilbert and Sullivan. One evening (as AT THE CIRCUS was being developed) at a gathering at Groucho’s house, they were playing G & S records and singing along. Harburg was inspired to show his G & S-like inventiveness with rhyme scheme and verbal dexterity by writing a song for Groucho for the film, and the result was Lydia, The Tattooed Lady.

    But the song ran into trouble with the Breen office censors. Quoting Harburg: “That song was thought to be risquΓ©, and we had a hell of a lot of trouble with it. This was 1939 and censorship was at its full height. We were told we would have to cut it out of the picture. Harold and I were mad. Finally, we got an idea of how to save the song. We put in a final verse to legitimize [it]”:

    She once swept an admiral off of his feet
    The ships on her hips made his heart skip a beat
    And now the old boy is in charge of the fleet
    For he went and married Lydia.

    There have been other circus movies (including the 1952 opus with the same title as this post, starring Jimmy Stewart as a circus clown), but that would make a three-ring circus of this post, and two is enough for this old boy.

    The Big Top stops here.

     

     

     

     

     
    • D. Wallace Peach 6:16 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      How fun to listen to that song. I went to the circus a couple of times as a kid and took my daughter decades ago. Now, with greater awareness of the impact on the animals, the circus has lost its luster, but sad too that it’s gone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:33 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        You ain’t lion, Diana. We still have zoos, but some people would like to do away with them too. I don’t agree, because I suspect that zoos are the last best hope of saving some on-the-verge-of-extinction animals (and zoo animals are no doubt, on the whole, better treated than circus animals were).

        Liked by 1 person

        • D. Wallace Peach 7:46 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink

          Yes, I agree about the zoos, especially since humans seem committed to destroying their natural habitats or just killing them for fun. Like the Trump boys.

          Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate 6:49 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      oh that first tune brought back many fond memories … second video was not available.

      Would love cc’s Circus, think I’ll look for it πŸ™‚
      Lydia packs a punch, the song and it’s fascinating history, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:34 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        You should be able to find viewable clips of Charlie Chaplin’s THE CIRCUS fairly easily, Kate. When I Googled it, I saw various scenes, and even the whole movie, available on Youtube.

        Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 7:52 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Of course I know that melody! It’s one of the background songs of the circus that is my life πŸ™‚ La la la la!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:41 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Now you’re talking my La la la la language, mm! It’s one of those songs that, once you hear it, you won’t forget it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 6:46 am on March 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I learned a lot from Lydia…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:59 pm on March 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I wonder if Trump learned anything from Lydia? Even if he did, he wouldn’t give her credit, so kudos to you. πŸ˜‰

        Like

    • Rivergirl 8:40 am on March 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I spent my childhood at Madison Square Garden with Ringling Brothers Greatest Show on Earth. As a kid? It was 3 rings of pure magic…

      Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 5:08 pm on March 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Barnum came from Bridgeport Connecticut, so he is well known around here. My grandfather introduced us to “Lydia” in 1957, much to the consternation of my grandmother! He always liked innuendo.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:11 pm on March 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Sounds like Lydia meant SINnuendo to your grandmother, Elizabeth. Bless her heart, I shudder to think how she would feel about today’s culture.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The Diary of a Country Bumpkin 5:18 pm on March 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Love the Marx brothers, brilliant!

      Liked by 1 person

    • kutukamus 2:01 am on March 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I never knew the title of that song before. Thanks! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 3:49 pm on March 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’m another one who didn’t know the title of that famous circus song.

      As for Charlie Chaplin, I have not yet seen his film, The Circus, and the trailer you posted makes me want to see it immediately. Thanks for putting it on my radar. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:43 pm on March 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I must confess that I didn’t know the title either….or rather, I knew it at one time but had forgotten it (courtesy of old age having crept up on me). As for The Circus, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it on Youtube.

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:08 am on February 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Night at the Opera. Duck Soup, , , , , ,   

    A NIGHT AT THE (SOAP) OPERA – Act IV 

    As the curtain rises on Act IV, we pick up where we left off in Act III:

    We’ve come at long last to the denouement (aka the point in the presentation where it’s time to wrap up the plot before the popcorn runs out): Fiorello and Tomasso abduct and gag lead tenor Alasprairie during the onstage uproar and take him to a site out of sight, where he’s fit to be tied. Gottliebchen is in a bind: a replacement tenor is needed to quiet the affronted audience, as well as those seated in the rear. Ricardo Macaroni happens to be handy. Gottliebchen gives in. Ricardo and the lovely Rosa Grossa sing an aria. The audience is enthralled. Miraculously, everything has worked out in….

    THE END?

    But as we all know, it’s not the end until the fat lady sings — a requisite which is unaccountably missing in this opera. Fortunately for our fannies, the fat lady who doesn’t sing in this operaΒ did sing to end this earlier opera, which will serve our purpose here:

    Now that’s what I call leaving on borrowed time.

     

     
    • mlrover 8:58 am on February 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I love that they aimed the fruit over her head. My favorite was always when Harpo played.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:56 am on February 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Harpo’s playing always provided just the right balance of “catch-our-breath” between what would otherwise have been non-stop zaniness — not to mention that his playing was excellent in itself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tubularsock 1:50 pm on February 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Tubularsock loved that as well and found it interesting how she showed such confidence they’d miss. Wonder how many times they had to run through that without a mistake hit.

        Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 9:23 pm on February 16, 2020 Permalink

          They did hit their initial target (Trentino) several times without noticeable effect before turning their attention to her, so I suspect that the “fruit” was made of something relatively soft (I was going to say foam rubber, but I checked and found that foam rubber wasn’t invented until 1937 — 3 years after DUCK SOUP was filmed). In any case, it does look like they missed her on purpose.

          Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 6:17 pm on February 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      The Marx Brothers were unequaled! Still just as funny today. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:43 pm on February 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Absolutely! And A NIGHT AT THE OPERA lends itself perfectly to being satirized like a soap opera. I can’t think of another film which could as easily “inspire” the writing of these posts.

        Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 8:22 am on February 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Just leave out the sanity clause next time…

      Liked by 1 person

    • JosieHolford 8:45 pm on February 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Not for nothing they were known as comic genius.

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 10:26 pm on February 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      love the Marx bros…the first Beatles. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:58 am on February 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I guess you could make that comparison, though I’ve never thought of the Beatles’ films in that way before.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on February 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    A NIGHT AT THE (SOAP) OPERA – Act III 

    When last we met, leaving our three stowaways on the good ship Lollipoop, Tomasso had cut the beards off of three Russian aviators, and he, Fiorello and Ricardo had assumed their identities….or so you were left to assume. But you don’t have to take my word for it….

    Having escaped from the speakers’ platform outside City Hall with plainclothes detective Henderson in pursuit, the stowaways and Driftwort take refuge in a nearby hotel, where they have a flat and retire. In the a.m., they have room service send up their breakfast.

    Just when you thought the opening night of the opera season would never arrive, it does….and so does Driftwort, only to learn that he has been fired by Missis Playpool for associating with riffraff (how riffraff got into the act, I’ll never know). Not to be denied, Driftwort (together with Tomasso and Fiorello) goes to Gottliebchen’s office, locks him in a closet, replaces Gottliebchen as Missis Playpool’s escort, and delivers the opening night address, which is the same as the day address, but not as easy to see:

    Is there no end to this madness? For the answer to that question, you will have to return for Act IV. Until then….

     
    • calmkate 5:34 am on February 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      thanks for finally revealing why my father would Never let us watch the Marx Bros … but I enjoyed a good giggle. They are obviously cousins to Abbott and Costello 😎

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:39 am on February 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        You’re welcome, Kate. A & C’s heyday started when the Marx Brothers’ best years ended in the 1940s. A & C may have been the ‘successors’ to the Marxes, though in my opinion, their films didn’t reach the level of madcap originality and wit of the Marx Brothers. But all due credit to A & C for one of the classic routines of all time, WHO’S ON FIRST?

        Liked by 2 people

    • masercot 9:23 am on February 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve repeated Chico’s story of crossing the Atlantic to people just for the blank stares I get.

      “We getta close… a maybe a three feet… and what dya think, we run outta gas and we gotta go back…”

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ashley 9:39 am on February 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Crazy, crazy, crazy! Only the Marx Brothers could get away with such idiocy! It’s good to laugh just for the hell of it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 3:00 am on March 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      ‘O for the lyrics and lyricists of yore.
      They don’t make too many like them anymore
      Since ol’ Yip and Porter and Brecht
      Said adieu
      The clever and worldly are far ‘tween and few.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:50 am on March 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        You’re not a bad “lyricist” yourself — though setting your lyrics to music might stand no more than a “Ghost Of A Chance” (a 1933 hit composed by Victor Young, lyrics by Ned Washington)! πŸ˜‰

        Like

    • barkinginthedark 9:54 pm on March 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      i almost forgot what a terrific crooner Der Bingle was. thanks MM. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:29 pm on March 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I love the early Crosby’s voice. After about 1935, he gradually changed from being the emotional crooner of that 1933 clip to being, in my opinion, a less appealing and more commercially oriented (for lack of a better term) singer — still good, but not “terrific.” I own many recordings from both stages of his career, and the difference is obvious.

        Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Au Revoir, , , , , , , , , Rodgers and Hart,   

    THEY CALLED HIM AL 

    When I was writing about lyricist DOROTHY FIELDS and composer BERNICE PETKERE in my previous post (TWO TO GO), I had no thought of using it as a segue toΒ this post ….but that was before I discovered that tomorrow is the birthday of a music man who sang at least a half dozen of Fields’ 1930s songs, including ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET (sung in the previous post by Diana Krall), not to mention the Petkere song CLOSE YOUR EYES (sung in the same post by that very man). They called him Al.

    The ‘another-world-ago’ Al is this world’s forgotten man, except by a relative handful of Golden Age music devotees around the world (primarily in America and Great Britain). His name was ALBERT ALICK BOWLLY (Jan 7, 1899-Apr. 17, 1941), heard here in a recording of a Dorothy Fields/Jerome Kern song from the film JOY OF LIVING:

    Did you notice from the above dates that Bowlly had his life taken from him at a relatively young age? This was the tragic result of a WW II German air raid (one of many) on London in the early 1940s. But while he lived, who was this troubadour they called Al?

    Away from the bandstand he was a vagabond. He was a jazz mad musical nomad who traveled from his childhood home, South Africa, to London and all stops between in search of musical perfection with whatever band would have him. He plied his trade as a guitarist, a banjo, concertina and ukulele player, a pianist and occasional singer of songs. He took America by storm. The story of his musical meanderings, highs and lows, could only have happened in the thirties. –Roy Hudd, British author, comedian, actor, and expert on the history of music hall entertainment

    Listening to Diana Krall in the previous post — as well as CLOSE YOUR EYES vocalist Al Bowlly — we are taken by their way with a song, their Joy of Living the songs they sang…. as further evidenced by this rendition of the Rodgers and Hart classic, BLUE MOON:

    Here is one of his few appearances on film:

    For those interested in learning more of the story of Bowlly’s nomadic life, there’s an excellent bio called THEY CALLED HIM AL, by Ray Pallett, with Forward by Roy Hudd. As for this go-around, we’ve come to the last dance — it’s time to call it a day. I bid you a reluctant Au Revoir.

     

     

     
    • Don Ostertag 1:11 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      He was so good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:44 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Some thought of him as the British Bing Crosby. I think he had a better feel for a song than Bing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:30 pm on January 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Early in his career (up to about the mid 1930s), Bing sang with a jazz feel and what you might call soul, but after that, he was a different and very ordinary singer, in my opinion. If you listen to his early 1930s recordings and then his 1940s (and later) recordings, you wouldn’t think it’s the same singer. Bowlly’s style didn’t change, and he was the better for it.

        Liked by 2 people

    • calmkate 2:46 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      good looking and talented, beats Bing hands down, no competition!

      Blue moon bought back some good memories … like these little meanders with you thanks MrM πŸ™‚

      Like

      • mistermuse 7:40 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        In my opinion, no one has ever sung BLUE MOON better than Al Bowlly. I never tire of listening to it.

        Liked by 3 people

        • calmkate 5:35 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink

          oh I’ve heard a very heart wrenching version by four drunks in Broken Hill … that was very surreal πŸ™‚

          Like

        • mistermuse 7:01 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink

          Well, that answers the riddle of how many drunks does it take to make a quartet, but not how many quarts does it take to make the four drunk. In Broken Hill, they probably drink their liquor by the gallon.

          Like

    • scifihammy 7:25 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely light voice. πŸ™‚ I love how they could actually Sing in those days!! πŸ˜€

      Like

      • mistermuse 8:07 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Not only that, scifi, but for the most part, they had better songs to sing. In general, the music world of Fields, Kern, Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers and Hart, etc., has been largely replaced by a world of juvenile noise calling itself music — a culture without culture. A world that doesn’t know any better.

        Liked by 4 people

    • masercot 7:51 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      It’s a shame. He had a nice voice…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:12 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        A shame indeed. Makes one wonder whether, if he hadn’t been killed by one of Hitler’s bombs, his popularity would have continued after the war years (like Bing Crosby’s did) into the 1950s.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Wistful Nostalgic 1:05 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink

          Oh he sure would have! Think of the era of the singers in the 1940s. Al’s voice was perfect for all the standards that came after the 1930s.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Rivergirl 9:06 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I love those scratchy old recordings… never heard of Al though. Thanks for the introduction.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:34 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Maybe you can prevail upon husband to find and bring home to you some scratchy old records and an antique phonograph to play them on when he goes on his “treasure hunts,” Rg. It strikes me that he “owes you one” after all the old contraptions and doohickeys he buys for himself!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Rivergirl 1:09 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink

          As much as I appreciate the thought?
          No…
          No more old stuff!

          Like

        • mistermuse 3:11 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink

          Like

          I hope you will make an exception for me, Rg, because even though I’m old stuff, what would you do without my puns to blighten — I mean BRIGHTEN — your day?

          Like

    • Ashley 12:23 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Goodness! Al Bowlly! How could anyone forget that wonderful voice. I wasn’t born until 1950 so it must have been in the b&w movies they showed on Sunday afternoons on the television that I heard him sing! The tunes and the voices have never left me! Thanks Mr. M. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:42 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Ashley. I’m beginning to believe that more people remember Al Bowlly than I thought. Maybe it’s like the song says: AU REVOIR, BUT NOT GOODBYE.

        Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 7:54 pm on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I never heard of Al Bowlly so it was very enjoyable to read your post and listen to the music. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 5:27 pm on January 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      He was new to me, but I loved the film singing of “The Very Thought of You.” I imagine my grandfather, lover of all songs on records, probably listened to him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza 12:01 pm on January 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Happy new year! I hope this year brings good things your way…
      Love, light and glitter

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:49 pm on January 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Eliza, if you’ll Google “al bowlly looking on the bright side youtube”, there are several clips of the recording to choose from. That should take care of it, but if not, let me know. Thanks.

      Like

    • barkinginthedark 12:39 am on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      so wonderful MM…a joy. thanks. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 3:52 pm on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’d never hear of Al Bowlly before, but thanks to you I’m an instant fan! Loved the footage of him – he has a surprising amount of charisma on film.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:51 pm on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I appreciate your comment, SS, which leads me to believe that more Al Bowlly would be good for you — so here he is with the Ray Noble Orchestra, singing IT’S BAD FOR ME:

        Liked by 2 people

        • Silver Screenings 11:38 pm on January 19, 2020 Permalink

          Thank you for this. I’ve spent the past 40+ minutes listening to Al Bowlley, especially his rendition of “Heart & Soul”, which I listened to 3-4 times in a row. A wonderful way to end the weekend. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 2 people

        • Wistful Nostalgic 1:07 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink

          I love this song!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Wistful Nostalgic 1:14 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink

          There can never be too much Al! πŸ˜‰ He’s a great way to start the day, and to end the day.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Wistful Nostalgic 1:06 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Oh he sure did! His magnetic charisma and charming personality just shines on the Pathe clip.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Wistful Nostalgic 1:13 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I love your post on Al. He is my favourite singer of all time. He was THE voice of the 20th century. I’m 52 , so he was from my Grandad’s era, but it feels my “true” era. Al was unique; nobody sounds like him; he’s got a voice of liquid gold. I especially love “Oh Mister Moon”, “Red Sails In The Sunset”, “Maybe It’s Because”, “My Woman”, and “You’re My Thrill”. But there are many more I love too. I listen to his music every day!

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:23 am on July 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. I have dozens of his albums, including those of bands (such as Ray Noble and Lew Stone) on which Al is the vocalist. Have you ever heard of Joey Nash? Some say he was the American Al Bowlly. Here he is in 1934 as a vocalist with Richard Himber’s Orchestra:

      P.S. Do you have a WordPress blog? As far as I can find, you’re only on Instagram, but I’m only on WordPress.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bernice Petkere, , , , , , , , , On the Sunny Side of the Street, Starlight,   

    TWO TO GO 

    As 2019 goes into the history books, we close out the yearΒ and our series of 1920s-30s female songwriters with two of the best: BERNICE PETKERE and DOROTHY FIELDS.

    PETKERE, the longest lived (1901-2000) but perhaps least remembered of the women in this series, had her greatest success as a composer in the 1930s. This hit (with lyrics by Joe Young) was recorded in early 1932 by a rising star by the name of Bing Crosby:

    Petkere, primarily a composer, also wrote the lyrics to a few of her songs, including….

    Saving the class of the field for last, we turn to the most prolific lady lyricist of the era (and the first woman to be elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame), DOROTHY FIELDS, “the only female songwriter of the golden age whose name has not sunk into oblivion with time.” –Deborah Grace Winer, author of ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET, subtitled THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DOROTHY FIELDS

    Named after Dorothy of Wizard of Oz fame, she teamed with composer Jimmy McHugh in 1927 to write many hits over the next eight years, including this all-time standard in 1930:

    Fields went on to write many songs with other composers until her death in 1974….but as much as I’d like to post links to more of Fields work, I’m going to resist temptation (you know what they say about too much of a good thing), Take It Easy*, and call it a Fields day

    ….except to say, Happy New Year!

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    *the title, it so happens, of a Fields song I resisted linking to (recorded by Fats Waller)

     

     
    • calmkate 3:22 am on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      wow I actually know most of Dorothy’s songs … that’s a huge achievement! I had often wondered who had written some of them … but not enough to look her up πŸ™‚

      great way to welcome in the new decade, doubt I’ll see the next 😎

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:30 am on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Kate. What better way to ring out the old and “welcome in the new decade” than with songs that stand the test of time, and know that if we are still around “in the next decade,” these great songs will still be around too.

        Liked by 3 people

        • calmkate 7:28 pm on December 31, 2019 Permalink

          these songs will be around for all time, they are so memorable … not sure I am that memorable!

          Like

        • mistermuse 1:30 am on January 1, 2020 Permalink

          Neither am I, Kate, but if it’s any consolation, it’s far better not to be remembered, than to be remembered like the likes of Donald Trump will be.

          Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 8:09 am on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve enjoyed your entertaining posts and movie/song clips this year, and look forward to more next year. πŸ˜€
      Happy New Year to you and all the best for 2020. πŸ™‚

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:23 am on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate that, scifi — best New Year’s wishes to you as well.

      Like

    • GP Cox 9:53 am on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 10:02 am on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Great post this! And thanks for the introduction to Pamela Rose! Born in the 50’s I’m not sure where I’ve heard so many of these songs before! Also thanks for the introduction to Diana Krall, great voice, just my sort of music and that piano! Couldn’t make out the make but the old well worn sound was wonderful.
      Have a happy healthy and peaceful New Year!

      Like

      • mistermuse 11:17 am on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Ashley, have I ever told you that you have great taste in music?
        But seriously, I’m seriously pleased that you dig this post. As for Diana Krall, I couldn’t agree more — I think she’s the finest jazz vocalist since Mel TormΓ©, and yet virtually unknown outside of jazz circles. Such a pity that great jazz singers have almost no place in recent popular music culture.

        Like

    • smbabbitt 3:57 pm on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Great selection of songs!

      Like

    • America On Coffee 1:49 am on January 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Classics live on! A great selection! πŸ’•β˜•οΈβ˜•οΈ

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 2:06 am on December 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ann Ronell, Dana Suesse, lazz, movie cartoons, , My Silent Love, Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, Willow Weep For Me   

    ANN, THEN SOME….MORE FEMALE SONGWRITERS 

    Continuing with our female songwriters of the 1920s-30s, ANN RONELL is notable not only for her music (she wrote both music and lyrics), but for the oddity of having been both born and died on Christmas day (in 1905 and 1993). Here is my favorite of her songs, which she wrote in 1932 and dedicated to her friend, George Gershwin:

    In the same Great Depression year, she kept the wolf from her door by writing lyrics to this song featured in the Walt Disney “Silly Symphonies” cartoon, THE THREE LITTLE PIGS:

    Another December baby (Dec. 3 1909), DANA SUESSE composed many songs, including the instrumental Jazz Nocturne, which (with lyrics added by Edward Heyman in 1932) became this standard:

    There’s more, but I will save the best one for last (in this series). Hint: the day I publish that post will be a Fields day.

     
    • calmkate 5:48 am on December 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Love those little piggies, I know the chorus but hadn’t heard the whole song before!

      That last song is sensual πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:19 am on December 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        WHO’S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD WOLF is one of the few songs (that I can think of off the top of my head) written for a movie cartoon that became a big hit. Another was POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN.

        Liked by 2 people

    • America On Coffee 8:13 pm on December 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Nice reflections!

      Like

      • mistermuse 12:21 am on December 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for the nice comment, AOC.

        Liked by 1 person

        • America On Coffee 5:15 am on December 28, 2019 Permalink

          Well wishes and a superb enjoyment, dear friend into the New Year!πŸ’• Cheers!

          Like

        • mistermuse 11:40 am on December 28, 2019 Permalink

          Like-wise, AOC (I’ve mentioned this before, so pardon me for repeating myself, but my Like button to comments isn’t working –that’s why I “can’t” Like readers’ comments).

          Like

    • Elizabeth 5:23 pm on December 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I remember the Chad and Jeremy version well, never knowing it was an old song written by a woman. Thanks for the Big Bad Wolf clip. I loved that song as a kid and had it on a little Golden record we played on our little record player at 78rpm.

      Like

      • mistermuse 6:00 pm on December 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I remember the little Golden records for children — not when I was a kid, but as a record collector, when a few fell into my hands as part of other collections I’d buy. I think that later, there were also 45 rpm Golden records. Record players eventually played at 78, 45 & 33 1/3 rpm, and I still own a few.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Elizabeth 9:17 pm on December 28, 2019 Permalink

          I have many. Never thought of them being part of a collection for sale.

          Like

    • Silver Screenings 3:43 pm on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’m going to be humming “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” for the rest of the day, and that thought alone makes my entire day. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    YOU NEED TO READ SWIFT TO GET UP TO SPEED 

    I don’t recall how old I was — probably no later than my early teens — when I first read Jonathan Swift’s satirical masterpiece Gulliver’s Travels; all I know is it made a lasting impression on my unworldly-wise perception of the world. If you haven’t read the book, this summary will at least give you the bare bones:

    Several films have been made based on the novel; here is the trailer for the version I remember seeing (the book was what made me think; the movie served as entertaining afterthought):

    JONATHAN SWIFT, born this day (Nov. 30) in 1667 in Dublin, led a multi-faceted life between Ireland and England (his place of residence often depended on events beyond his control). For the meaty details ofΒ  his life, you might consider taking time to go Googling; here, I offer a dozen of his quotes, the first two of which are from Gulliver’s Travels:

    Based on Gulliver’s descriptions of their behavior, the King describes Europeans as “the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.

    The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver’s watch may be his God, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting.

    When the world has once begun to use us ill, it afterwards continues to use the same treatment with less scruple or ceremony, as men do to a whore.

    I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.

    Words are the clothing of our thoughts.

    Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect: like a man who hath thought of a good repartee when the company departed.

    Happiness is the perpetual possession of being well deceived.

    We of this age have discovered a shorter, and more prudent method to become scholars and wits, without the fatigue of reading or of thinking.

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

    I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing.

    It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

    Nothing is so hard for those whoΒ  abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want.

    Almost 300 years have passed since Swift completed Gulliver’s Travels, and the world still doesn’t seem to have gotten the word. Too bad.

     
    • calmkate 1:00 am on November 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      yes I always thought he was profound beyond measure … these quotes perfectly demonstrate that!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:56 am on November 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Among other things, he was a clergyman, but wasn’t above criticizing religion (as shown by one of the quotes). Now there’s a man you can have faith in!

        Liked by 3 people

    • obbverse 2:52 am on November 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      ‘Words are the clothing of our thoughts’, that’s a wonderful quote.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:33 am on November 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I agree — but I think we should take it cautiously, in the sense that judging someone by how they dress would require a perfect judge, and none of us are that (except me — ha ha).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 4:12 pm on November 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Sadly, there are some lessons we never learn….

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:54 pm on November 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        It must be something in the air. If we’d all stop breathing, maybe people would stop killing and doing other bad things to each other.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 6:05 pm on November 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The essay by Swift that always got to my students was “A Modest Proposal.” It is pretty timely again too, given the attitude towards struggling refugees world wide at the moment.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:18 am on December 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I’m against eating poor children, as modestly (and satirically) proposed by Swift, but I’m not opposed to eating the likes of Donald Trump by anyone who has the stomach for it.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Silver Screenings 6:26 pm on November 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Wow – three hundred years old! And as timely as ever.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Silver Screenings 8:53 am on December 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Haha! I nearly spewed my morning cup o’ tea on the keyboard when I read your reply.

      Liked by 2 people

    • JosieHolford 5:16 pm on December 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      It’s a brilliant skewering of all our pretensions and hypocrisies.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:14 pm on December 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Indeed it is….and after thousands of years of human history, my guess is that if we haven’t shed our pretensions and hypocrises by now, we never will.

        Liked by 2 people

    • magickmermaid 6:07 pm on December 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Seems like there are quite a few descendants of the Yahoos in today’s world πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

    • Richard A Cahill 9:01 pm on December 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Everyone was required to read Gulliver’s Travels in my high school days, and they should be again Sr. Muse. That’s a modest proposal.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:07 pm on December 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I agree, Ricardo — or at least watch the movie, for those who have made it to high school unable to read.

        Liked by 1 person

    • willedare 7:36 am on October 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Great quotations! These two in particular jumped out at me. “We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another…” and “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into…” I guess it is slightly reassuring to be reminded that human beings have been behaving poorly for centuries! Thank you for this post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:36 am on October 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I never thought of it as even “slightly reassuring,” but now that you mention it, it is reassuring to realize that human beings of old didn’t have the weapons of mass obliteration of the past 80 years, or our ancestors might have been obliterated and we wouldn’t have been born.

        On a more agreeable note (speaking of great quotes), two days ago I published a post on another Dublin-born writer, Oscar Wilde. A few of the quotes in that post seem very Swift-like. I guess great minds really do think alike.

        Thank you for your comment.

        Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Harpo Marx, , Paul Simon, , , silence is golden, silent films, , The Sound of Silence,   

    THE SOUND OF SILENTS 

    You sure you can’t move? –what Harpo Marx “said” to the tied-up hero (Richard Dix) before punching him in the 1925 film TOO MANY KISSES (fortunately, the film survived)

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Italicized above are the only words ever “spoken” (but not heard) on film by the man whose birthday we note today, HARPO MARX. The audience didn’t hear those five words because the film was a “silent” — “talkies” didn’t come on the scene until 1927, two years before the first of thirteen Marx Brothers movies (1929-49). Harpo spoke in none of them.

    But why, oh why-o, should I try-o to “bio” Harpo, when here-o you can click on the official thing from his offspring:

    https://www.harposplace.com/

    Because Harpo associated with Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and other wits in the famed Algonquin Round Table repartee, I expected to turn up a number of witty Harpo Marx quotes for this piece. No such luck — I found only one I enjoyed enough to post here (both the “she” referred to in the quote, and who it is addressed to, are unknown):

    “She’s a lovely person. She deserves a good husband. Marry her before she finds one.”

    One quote being three quotes short of a gallon, I shall return to giving you “the silent treatment” with a quota of four quotes of silence said by forethoughtful others:

    “Listen to the sound of silence.” –Paul Simon, American singer, songwriter, and actor

    “Silence is golden unless you have kids, then it’s just plain suspicious.” –anonymous

    “If nobody ever said anything unless he knew what he was talking about, what a ghastly hush would descend upon the earth!” –A. P. Herbert, English humorist, writer, and politician

    “I believe in the discipline of silence and can talk for hours about it.” –George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and critic

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Since I didn’t give Harpo the last word, I’ll let him giveΒ his audience the last laugh….and though he doesn’t speak, you’ll hear captivating sounds escape his lips 2:42 into this clip:

    Bravo, Harpo!

    EPILOGUE: Listen — 90+ years after the “silents” ended*, you can still hear….

    *with the exception of two Charlie Chaplin masterpieces in the 1930s, CITY LIGHTS and MODERN TIMES

     
    • calmkate 4:24 am on November 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      wow Harpo is actually playing that harp! Love his whistle πŸ™‚
      SnG’s song is a real favourite … thanks for the memories!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:25 am on November 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        You’re welcome, Kate. I too love Harpo’s whistling in the Marx Brothers Musical clip, and I can’t imagine anyone not loving Simon & Garfunkel’s THE SOUND OF SILENCE (except Trump, who is incapable of appreciating the sound of silence if you paid him).

        Liked by 2 people

        • calmkate 5:09 pm on November 23, 2019 Permalink

          doubt he even knows what ‘silence’ means … not much between his ears except fluffy hair!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Don Ostertag 8:40 pm on November 23, 2019 Permalink

          When i am in a funk I watch a Marx Brothers movie or listen to a favorite song like Sound of Silence.

          Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 7:47 am on November 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m a HUGE Marx Brothers fan.

      Harpo adopted several children because he and his wife couldn’t have any of their own. His aim was, in his words, when he got home he’d have a child looking at him “from every window”…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:35 am on November 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Likewise about the Marx Brothers. If they had made no other films than A NIGHT AT THE OPERA and DUCK SOUP, they would still be remembered forever (I hope).

        Liked by 2 people

        • masercot 8:32 am on November 24, 2019 Permalink

          My favorite, not to be contrary, is A Day at the Races. Why? The great jazz number in the middle of the movie as well as the Tootsie-Frootsie Ice Cream Scene…

          Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:01 am on November 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Although Races isn’t my fav Marx Bros. movie, I’m always up for a jazz number, though this one has a very brief “bug-eyed” shot or two that might be regarded as racist today:

        Liked by 1 person

        • masercot 10:15 am on November 24, 2019 Permalink

          I agree with that but I’ll put up with a little light racism to see a wonderful performance by a jazz artist who died far too young…

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 7:40 pm on November 24, 2019 Permalink

          I assume you’re referring to vocalist Ivie Anderson, whose gig in this film was one of her rare appearances apart from the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Her performance here (as well as on the many recording she made with the Duke) was indeed wonderful.

          Like

    • Rivergirl 8:46 am on November 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      My father loved the Marx brothers and I grew up on all the films. Thanks for the memories!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:41 am on November 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Rg. Now I know (at least part of) why you grew up to be who you are (that’s wholly a compliment, btw).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 9:07 am on November 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing to see and hear Harpo playing the harp. Captivating! So much talent!

      Liked by 2 people

    • D. Wallace Peach 9:19 pm on November 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      β€œSilence is golden unless you have kids, then it’s just plain suspicious.” So true! Lol. Fun quotes and clips and a beautiful song from Paul Simon. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:49 pm on November 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        “Fun quotes and clips and a beautiful song” — three for the price of one! Who says I don’t offer bargains? Thanks for the testimonial, Diana!

        Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 3:31 pm on November 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Another big Marx Brothers fan here! Classic laugh fest!

      Liked by 1 person

    • tref 9:43 pm on December 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Harpo playing the song “Alone” in night at the opera the very height of cinema. I could never grow tired of watching it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:25 pm on December 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        That is one of many great moments in the movie that I never tire of watching, such as the stateroom scene. The 1930s was truly the height of film making.

        Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 3:57 am on December 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Priceless MM. Priceless. continue…

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:49 am on December 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. I’d give your comment a Like, but it doesn’t “take” when I click it.

      Like

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