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  • mistermuse 12:01 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , classic movie comedies, comedy of manners, , , , loneliness, , , THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, trust, ,   

    THE IMPORTANCE OF QUOTING ERNEST 

    Did you fathom that the title of my last post (THE OLD MAN AND THE SEASON) was a play on Ernest Hemingway’s last completed novel, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA? Because that post was about aging and autumn, perhaps I was remiss in not including a Hemingway quote (such as the first one below) among those I gathered for the occasion.

    This post will attempt to make up for that shortfall with a selection of Hemingway quotes, starting with this autumn-appropriate eulogy he wrote for a friend:

    Best of all he loved the fall/the leaves yellow on cottonwoods/leaves floating on trout streams/and above the hills/the high blue windless skies./Now he will be part of them forever.

    For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.

    The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.

    There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. 

    When you go to war as a boy, you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed, not you… Then, when you are badly wounded, you lose that illusion, and you know it can happen to you.

    In modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.

    True nobility is being superior to your former self.

    No weapon has ever settled a moral problem. 

    Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

    There is no lonelier man, except the suicide, than that man who has lived with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other, there can be no happy end to it.

    But hold on — happy or not, this isn’t the end. The title of this post is another play on words, this being Oscar Wilde’s peerless comedy of manners titled THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST….a parody of Victorian age social standing previewed in this trailer for the 1952 film (not to be confused with the inferior 2002 remake) of the Wilde play:

    Now (as the movie says when it’s over) this is THE END

     
    • linnetmoss 7:15 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, Michael Redgrave! What a great cast this version has. Thanks for the trailer 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:34 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great cast, great movie. Just seeing the trailer makes me want to watch the whole film again!

      Like

    • arekhill1 9:59 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      While I am not sufficiently versed in Hemingway, not having read any since my extreme youth, the competitors in the Bad Hemingway Contest have always had my respect: http://articles.latimes.com/1987-04-09/news/vw-142_1_bright-boy

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 11:18 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great stuff Muse. And, I got the reference to the the Old Man and The Season. But a slight correction on that. The Old Man and The Sea was the last novel Hemingway wrote while he was alive. He wrote a whole bunch of novels after he was dead. None of them were any good. But let’s cut Papa a little slack as it must be tough writing when you’re dead. I mean it’s hard enough when you’re alive.

      In case people reading this don’t understand, his last wife Mary, kept finding manuscripts in the attic that Papa had never published. Either he didn’t publish them because they weren’t very good or the people who wrote them using his name weren’t very good. Take your pick.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:52 am on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I agree that it must be tough writing when you’re dead, Don — for one thing, you get terribly stiff, and it has to be hard to type with stiff fingers. The light can’t be too good six feet under, either. But at least he didn’t need no ghost writer, because he was one himself.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Don Frankel 4:23 pm on October 27, 2016 Permalink

          Great one Muse. He was his own Ghost Writer.

          Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:52 pm on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Singielka, thank you for your “Like” — this is just to let you know that I tried to submit a comment on one of your blog posts, but it didn’t go through (something about an insecure connection). Sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 2:40 pm on December 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        How lovely of you to attempt to follow up, and to comment that you did so. I get a more than a few folks whose online presence is impossible to access or locate – but I lack the time to leave them each a comment once I’ve tried and failed. I’m impressed.

        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

    • Cynthia Jobin 10:06 pm on October 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve never cared for Ernest Hemingway’s works and it was a suffering to have to put up with them when they were assigned in English classes. Oscar Wilde, on the other hand, is a real favorite of mine. I loved reading The Importance of Being Earnest, and was part of a group that performed the original stage play in college….what great lines! Very interesting, the trailer you show here; I never happened to see “Earnest” as a movie. It seems it is a perennial.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 7:59 am on October 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I also love the Wilde wit (wild wit too, for that matter) — unfortunately, each succeeding younger generation seems less connected to an appreciation of such wordly delights….and “more’s the pity” (to repeat a phrase I used in my last post). BTW, I now find that the 1952 & 2002 films aren’t the only versions of the play; there was a 1986 remake as well. I think all three can be viewed online in their entirety.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sarita 7:56 pm on October 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      • mistermuse 10:09 pm on October 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I’m not sure what you mean. If you mean why don’t I click Like, I don’t see where I can click Like on your posts. Apparently your internet connection is incompatible with mine. In any case, I do not have sufficient computer expertise to know what to do about it. Sorry.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Mél@nie 7:38 am on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      EXCELLENT post, Monsieur Muse… I always love your puns & intellectual “blendings”… 🙂

      I love Oscar Wilde’s works – he is one of the titans of world’s literature, and you certainly know he passed-away in Paris – his “chosen” city…(I saw his tomb in Père Lachaise cemetery) btw, he’s still present in Paris these days: 🙂
      http://www.rtl.fr/culture/arts-spectacles/oscar-wilde-l-impertinent-absolu-est-a-decouvrir-au-petit-palais-7785456107

      • * *

      speakin’ of “papa Hemingway”, he’s been one of my favourite-US writers since high-school… I visited his villa in Key West a few years ago… you may have read my blog-post:
      https://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/ernesto-mi-amor/

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mél@nie 7:40 am on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        P.S. désolée, but I forgot WP does NOT accept 2 links in the same comment… 🙂 that’s why, my comment is awaiting moderation… 🙂

        Like

      • mistermuse 11:34 am on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I knew Wilde died in Paris, but your link filled in details I did not know. Merci!

        P.S. I do recall reading your Key West post & recommend your 2nd link to those who haven’t.

        Liked by 1 person

    • D. Wallace Peach 6:52 pm on October 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hemingway has some great quotes. Bleeding on the typewriter is a favorite as well as the one about trust. Oh, and the eulogy is beautiful. And the one about no happy end to love. And….

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:21 am on October 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I agree. I would add the one about being superior to your former self. Sorry to interject politics into this, but could there be a clearer example of not being superior to your former self (i.e. not growing as a human being) than the Republican candidate for President of the U.S.?

        Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Scheel 5:09 pm on October 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse,

      The typewriter and bleeding–or some version of it–is more likely from Red Smith, the great sports writer. Although many have been credited with some variation. Yeah, I got the first Hemingway word play. He was one of my favorite authors early on and I studied his work endlessly–even into grad school. The comments on being dead and writing–were you aware that there’s a fellow who channels Hemingway and did a book on the conversations? It’s utterly fascinating–if it isn’t Hemingway’s ghost talking, it’s a remarkable imitation! Well, I won’t comment on the Trump allusions, just let the renewed e-mail discoveries and coming Wiki-Leaks dumps lead where they may! LOL

      Good post, muse!

      Mark

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 5:50 pm on October 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      No, I wasn’t aware of the fellow who channels Hemingway — he must be English (if you think that pun was bad, wait till you see my next post). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 2:48 pm on December 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Clever title. Wilde was a childhood favorite, but I never really warmed up to Hemingway. For me, a small book of quotes is about all I can get through where he is concerned – so thanks for yours.

      The comments on this post were fun to read too – and I love your theme (blog look) – which one is it?
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
      – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:36 pm on December 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. I try to respond to comments with ‘in kind’ (as opposed to generic) replies, as I feel that anyone who takes the trouble to read what I have to say and to comment specifically (as opposed to generically) deserves a thoughtful reply.

      As for Hemingway, I think he captures the meaning of inspiration perfectly with the quote that ends “Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.”

      Like

  • mistermuse 7:00 am on October 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , classic movie comedies, , , , HAIL HAIL FREDONIA, , ,   

    STRAIGHT WOMAN, WITH CHASER 

    Today marks (or should I say, Marx) the 133rd birthday of my favorite comedic character actress of all time — a woman so well preserved that she doesn’t look a day over 1933, when she appeared as Mrs. Gloria Teasdale, or 1935, as Mrs. Claypool….not to mention 1929 (Mrs. Potter), 1930 (Mrs. Rittenhouse), 1937 (Emily Upjohn), 1939 (Suzanne Dukesberry), or 1941 (Martha Phelps).

    Yes, thanks to that most wondrous of preservatives called celluloid, those larger-than-life ladies, played by and fka (forever known as) the wonderful Margaret Dumont, live on in blessed memory in two of the funniest films ever made: DUCK SOUP (1933) and A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935)….as well as in such other Marx Brothers mayhem as THE COCOANUTS (1929), ANIMAL CRACKERS (1930), A DAY AT THE RACES (1937), AT THE CIRCUS (1939), and THE BIG STORE (1941).

    “Who was Margaret Dumont?” asks Roy Blount Jr. in his book HAIL, HAIL EUPHORIA! Presenting THE MARX BROTHERS IN DUCK SOUP, THE GREATEST WAR MOVIE EVER MADE. “From the book Hello, I Must Be Going by Charlotte Chandler, I got the impression that she grew up in Atlanta in the home of her godfather, Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus stories. Even though a descendant of Harris assured me that this wasn’t true, I want to believe it because I like to imagine B’rer Rabbit and Margaret Dumont doing a scene together.”

    “But no. Margaret Dumont was born Daisy Baker in Brooklyn, New York, in 1882. Her father was an Irish seaman, her mother a French vocalist. Daisy became a showgirl. In 1915 she married an heir to a sugar fortune. In 1918 he died. She was presumably not left as well off as Mrs. Teasdale [Groucho’s  straight woman in DUCK SOUP] because she went right back to work.”

    Which brings us to the reel Margaret Dumont, the indispensable straight woman/comedic foil to Groucho’s lecherous leerings who (quoting Wikipedia) “played wealthy high-society, posh-voiced widows whom Groucho alternately insulted and romanced for their money.” Never has an actress been more perfectly typecast….as evidenced by these scenes:

    HAIL, HAIL EUPHORIA is, of course, a play on HAIL, HAIL FREDONIA, Fredonia’s satirical national anthem in DUCK SOUP, with Groucho as Rufus T. Firefly and Margaret as Mrs. Teasdale:

    HAIL, HAIL MARGARET DUMONT! RIP.

     

     

     
    • arekhill1 8:32 am on October 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The Marx Brothers, along with Monty Python, helped me overcome an enjoyable but time-consuming habit of getting stoned every day in my youth. When I realized I had memorized the punchlines in all of them, I quit.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:04 am on October 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      HAIL, HAIL THE MARX BROTHERS AND MONTY PYTHON!

      Like

    • Joseph Nebus 12:56 am on October 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It really isn’t until you see the Marx Brothers movies with someone else trying to play the Margaret Dumont character that you realize how excellent she was in the part.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:43 am on October 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      HAIL, HAIL JOSEPH NEBUS!

      Like

    • Don Frankel 5:15 pm on October 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing how these type of films are done all the time and most of them forgotten but these live.

      Like

    • mistermuse 5:59 pm on October 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The great comedy stars (Chaplin, Fields, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Marx Brothers) stand the test of time, but so do the great character actors like Margaret Dumont, the great writers, and the great directors like Leo McCarey, who directed DUCK SOUP. Put them together and they make MAGIC!

      Like

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