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  • mistermuse 2:23 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , film history, , , , Remember The Night, Shirley MacLaine,   

    MAC 

    No, this isn’t a post about the Apple of your eye(s), computer-wise — nor is this a post about a Mac big enough to contribute to a heart attack (calories/cholesterol-wise). This is about a guy who’s the apple of my eye, versatile actor-wise:

    Today being MacMurray‘s birthday (August 30, 1908), I thought I’d honor the memory of perhaps the most underrated movie star of Hollywood’s Golden Era, starting with the above clip and continuing with the trailer for one of the most underrated films of his era:

    Next, when it comes to film noir, it doesn’t get any better than this all-time classic with a powerhouse cast (including MacMurray, who was reluctant to play the role), director (Billy Wilder), and screenwriter (Raymond Chandler), from the James M. Cain novel:

    Speaking of “Double” and classic films, how about two Macs (including Shirley MacLaine) in one of my all-time favorites….

    We end with this from near the start of Fred’s career (before becoming an actor):

     

     
    • Rosaliene Bacchus 2:50 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Never saw any of these Hollywood classics. Will check them out when the opportunity arises.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:30 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        It may be hard to find REMEMBER THE NIGHT (the full 1940 movie) online for free, but it does appear occasionally on TCM. It’s such a good film that it’s well worth paying for it if necessary.

        Liked by 1 person

    • GP Cox 3:15 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      He was always one of my favorites. A real down-to-earth kind a guy – but talented too.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 3:46 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Agreed. He was so believable in a wide variety of roles that he didn’t seem to be acting, compared to guys who essentially played themselves and were very good at it, like John Wayne (not to be critical, because no one “played himself” better, but he was no Fred MacMurray).

        Liked by 2 people

        • GP Cox 7:14 am on August 31, 2019 Permalink

          John Wayne (no disrespect intended), I’m afraid did not play himself – he avoided war and confrontation in real life.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 9:00 am on August 31, 2019 Permalink

          Although my previous comment put “played himself” in quotation marks (to indicate that that was the impression, if not the reality, he gave), perhaps “played his own persona” would’ve been more accurate. In any case, he obviously lacked the wide-ranging acting talent of Fred MacMurray.

          Like

    • Elizabeth 4:29 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I will love him always as the absent minded professor of my childhood.

      Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate 8:50 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Fred had charm and talent by the truck load … maybe I need to find these old classics, thanks for the reminder! Particularly liked that tribute to him by his ‘son’ ‚̧

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:10 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        You can’t go wrong with any of those three old classics, Kate, but unless you’re a film noir fan, DOUBLE INDEMNITY is probably the one you could put last on your list. In my opinion, the other two are ‘must-sees’ for ANY mature film fan.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mlrover 6:12 am on August 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Wasn’t he in The Egg and I with C. Colbert? That movie made a star out of Marjorie Maine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:58 am on August 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, he was. Marjorie Main was well known before The Egg and I (in supporting roles). For example, remember her in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and THE HARVEY GIRLS? Her film career dates back to the early 1930s, but I don’t think she became The Star in any film until the MA AND PA KETTLE series from 1949 to 1957.

        Liked by 1 person

        • mlrover 1:17 pm on September 2, 2019 Permalink

          My favorite line of hers from the E&I is at the table when she tells one of her horde of kids something and the answers back that it isn’t his name. She comes back with “Whoever you are, do it.” That’s paraphrasing but I still laugh remembering it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 3:50 pm on September 2, 2019 Permalink

          I haven’t seen the E& I in decades, so I tried to find a clip of the scene you describe. The best I could come up with is this trailer which includes part of that scene:

          Like

    • mlrover 8:58 am on September 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks!!! I always admired Colbert’s energy on the screen. She often had a tension that mesmerized. And those big eyes. You must have enjoyed Fred in My Three Sons.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 6:22 pm on September 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      He was one of the best, Fred was. Comedy or drama ‚Äď and singing, too!

      Loved this tribute to one of my favourite actors. ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:53 pm on September 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Speaking of Fred and comedy, check out the clip from MURDER HE SAYS in the comments section of my Sept. 11 post NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS — it’s LOL funny!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thom Hickey 4:22 pm on October 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks

      Great to see such a fine and under valued actor celebrated here.

      Regards Thom

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:38 pm on October 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Thom. I should do more posts on undervalued actors and actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Problem is, almost no one knows who they are anymore!

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:32 pm on October 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      You talked me into it, Thom. It’s time to get my act(ors) together and do it! Perhaps I’ll even do a series of posts about them. Stay tuned.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , film history, , , , , Robert Mitchum   

    MORE “WHO KNEW THEY COULD SING?” STARS 

    My last post included a clip of Bette Davis singing —¬†adding to previous clips of Golden Age Hollywood stars Jimmy Stewart and Alan Ladd, who few knew could sing. But wait! There’s more!¬†Thanks to the magic of the silver screen, I’ve uncovered¬†more black & white¬†clips of¬†bygone Hollywood heartthrobs who sang like nobody’s business, and I’ve made it my business to offer the first of¬†these hidden gems to you for a song (and dance):

    Thank you, Fred Astaire (alias Clark Gable). Next, we have another hunk from OUT OF THE PAST, Robert Mitchum, whose very next picture, RACHEL AND THE STRANGER (1948), includes this scene with co-stars Loretta Young and William Holden:

    We bring down the curtain on this triple feature with that devil-may-care swashbuckler and fun-hero of such films as CAPTAIN BLOOD, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, and THE SEA HAWK, Errol Flynn:

    What’s that you say —¬†you didn’t get your bloody¬†money’s worth?¬† Well, that’s a laugh. You should thank your lucky stars for what you jolly well get!

     

     

     
    • Mandy 12:13 am on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      This is so cool. Thank you!

      Liked by 4 people

    • scifihammy 8:06 am on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Marvellous! Thank you so much ūüôā
      I think actors were more talented back then (no special effects etc) – makes me wonder who can sing well these days?

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 10:02 am on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        In my search for these clips, I came across a number of clips of present-day actors/actresses who sing….but singing different songs, and of course in a different style. It’s mainly a generational thing, but I just wish today’s generation realized that if they lived back in the day, they’d be as much a part of that generation’s music as they now are of contemporary music (and vice versa). There is NOW now, and there is NOW then — nobody should think their NOW is the only NOW that matters.

        Liked by 1 person

        • scifihammy 12:31 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink

          True. ūüôā But I still think that Generally they don’t sing well these days. eg Tho I enjoyed Moulin Rouge, neither of the leads could sing well!

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 4:13 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink

          Just to be clear, there is little I like about today’s music (especially hip-hop and rap), but as long as I don’t have to listen to it and it’s not misogynistic or hate-spewing, let the young enjoy it. They will anyway, regardless of what we old fogies think!

          Like

    • Don Frankel 1:47 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Looking this up it seems Errol Flynn sings and dances in quite a few movies. Clark Gable? This seems to be his one and only and Robert Mitchum that’s something I never heard or thought of. But here’s a guy who also seems to have sung in a few movies and who’d a’ thunk it? I picked this clip as I remembered it from when I saw the movie as a little kid.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 3:50 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I forgot about that one, Don, even though I saw the movie back in the 50s. Here’s another song (from MAN WITHOUT A STAR) that Douglas sings well:

        Like

    • arekhill1 1:56 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      The only thing you’d ever want me to sing are your praises, Sr. Muse.

      Liked by 4 people

    • moorezart 4:26 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 4 people

    • da-AL 7:57 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      who knew indeed! how fun ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 11:10 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Another happy customer! Thank you! ūüôā

      Like

    • Silver Screenings 11:08 am on April 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      ROBERT MITCHUM?! WHO KNEW!

      Errol Flynn in “Thank Your Lucky Stars” never gets old, does it? He’s fabulous.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:49 am on April 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Right you are! As you probably know, the Bette Davis clip in my previous post is also from “Thank Your Lucky Stars.” I also might as well take this opportunity to wonder if you (or anyone else) caught the “OUT OF THE PAST” double-meaning with reference to Robert Mitchum’s “very next picture, RACHEL AND THE STRANGER.” OUT OF THE PAST was literally the title of Mitchum’s last picture before RACHEL AND THE STRANGER.

        Like

    • restlessjo 4:45 pm on April 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Old Clark was quite light on his feet too, wasn’t he? ūüôā ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

    • dunelight 6:53 pm on April 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I knew Robert Mitchum had a beautiful voice, (I own a copy of Thunder Road.) I can’t recall listening to Loretta Young.

      The big surprise for me was Clark Gable. I think it was TCM, I was watching Idiot’s Delight and almost fell out of my chair when Clark Gable started singing and dancing, he was singing and moving well and chock full of that Gable charm.

      For those who were surprised, here is Thunder Road. Epic ballad from my childhood.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:50 am on May 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for the comment and the clip. I saw Idiot’s Delight years ago, so I knew about Gable….but I’ve never seen Thunder Road, so this is the first time I’ve heard Mitchum sing the song (I read that he wrote it too).

        Like

    • MG WELLS 12:56 pm on May 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing this. Enjoy the day, MG.

      Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 4:00 pm on April 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Burt Reynolds, film history, , , , , , TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD   

    THREE FOR THE SHOW 

    It’s not every day that it’s the birthday of¬†three ‘giants’ of Hollywood’s Golden Age, but¬†this is such a day: Bette Davis, born April 5, 1908; Gregory Peck, born April 5, 1916; and Spencer Tracy, born April 5, 1900.

    This post will not¬†go into biographical detail. The lives of these legends can easily be Googled by anyone who’s interested. Instead,¬†I¬†will focus on¬†something about each of them which¬†I (and, hopefully,¬†you) find particularly interesting or appealing.

    In previous posts, I included clips of two film stars¬†singing — Jimmy Stewart and Alan Ladd — who¬†few knew ever sang in a¬†movie. To those unlikely vocalists, I add the Oscar-winning actress¬†BETTE DAVIS,¬†whose¬†fourth &¬†final¬†husband, Gary Merrill, once said, “whatever Bette would have chosen to do in life, she would have had to be the top or she couldn’t have endured it.” I think you will find this¬†WWII-era vocal more than endurable:

    In his 1979 book THE WORLD’S GREAT MOVIE STARS AND THEIR FILMS, Ken Wlaschin says GREGORY PECK “has been the Great Liberal of the American cinema for more than 30 years because he usually conveys conflicts in social values, forced to act in a manner disturbing to his inner morality.” He is perhaps best remembered for his role as Atticus Finch¬†in To Kill A Mockingbird.¬†Here¬†he is with Audrey Hepburn¬†in a scene from one of my favorite Peck films, Roman Holiday:

    Last but not priest (overlooking his role as Father Flanagan in Boys’ Town — pardon the pun), we have “the actors’ actor,” Spencer Tracy. I’ve covered Tracy before (in my 6/5/17 post as the star of Bad Day at Black Rock); for this post, I’ll go with this retrospective:

    For me, the most memorable moment from that clip is his answer to this Burt Reynolds question:

    “Mr. Tracy, you’re so good at everything. Is there anything you’re not good at?”

    “Life.”

     

     
    • Don Frankel 5:35 pm on April 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Muse this is fortuitous as what was I watching on TCM last night? An old movie I never saw, 20,000 years at Sing Sing. Who’s in it? Spencer Tracy and a very young and very skinny, with her hair dyed blond, Bette Davis. It’s a great old movie and here’s the Trailer.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 6:32 pm on April 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I missed that one, Don, but it’ll probably be on again and I’ll try to catch it next time. Judging by the trailer, Tracy gives a very Cagney-like performance.

      Speaking of TCM, there’s a whole bunch of goodies on tomorrow, starting with Hitchcock at 8:30 a.m. and continuing through to Leo McCarey’s very funny RUGGLES OF RED GAP in the evening.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 8:47 pm on April 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Right you are Muse. Tracy did everything but cry “Ma’s dead!”

      Thanks for the heads up but I have a guest this weekend and she’s a lot younger. They don’t watch the old black and white movies.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Garfield Hug 1:25 am on April 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Good share as I have heard of these screen giant icons! Now I must try and watch their movies.

      Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 5:30 pm on April 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on October 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Eadie Was A Lady, Eloise, film history, Kay Thompson, Lillian Roth, , Russ Morgan   

    EEEasier Said Than Sung 

    In a comment to my last post, I thanked reader Don Frankel for informing me, in anticipation of this¬†‘E’ post, that¬†Eleanora was the birth name of¬†Billie Holiday, and I replied that I might¬†include¬†a song of her’s¬†in¬†my endeavor. Easy for me to say, because although¬†there are¬†a number of good¬†songs with girl’s E¬†names¬†in the title (modeling¬†the¬†basis of this series to¬†begin with)….adding non-E named¬†title songs (if sung by E-named singers) seems a natural extension of my original premise. After all,¬†I¬†had taken¬†the liberty of¬†working into my D post¬†a non-D named¬†title song by Dinah Washington, and received no Death threats (or even Demands to Desist) as a result.

    D that as it may, for brevity’s sake I¬†have D-cided¬†to limit such liberties¬†to one (if any), as I realize I can’t realistically¬†expect time-pressed readers to view more than three clips per post, no matter how much I personally Dig the songs. So I am going to refrain from supplementing this post with¬†a (Billie)¬†Holiday refrain, though friend¬†Frankel is free to¬†free-lance¬†one in a comment if he chooses.

    Now to those E songs, starting with a 1942 hit by Russ Morgan, with lyrics by Mack David:

    Some of you may remember a series of ELOISE children’s books (the first¬†written in 1955) by the multi-talented Kay Thompson, about a precocious six-year old girl living on the penthouse floor of the Plaza Hotel in NYC. Here is a clip of¬†a¬†NOT¬†SO SWEET¬†Eloise¬†song from the 1956 PLAYHOUSE 90 television¬†production (based on the book)¬†with a distinguished cast only a prestigious show like PLAYHOUSE 90¬†could have reeled in in¬†those days. How many faces do you recognize?

    Saving for last¬†the¬†E¬†that has¬†Klass with a capital K, here’s a song Ethel Merman is¬†known for, but I’ve opted to go with this rendition by the legendary Lillian Roth from the pre-code 1933¬†film TAKE A CHANCE:

    The End.

     
    • Don Frankel 6:58 am on October 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Muse,

      Since I was called upon here I must admit that I got a little nervous. An E song from Eleanora Fagan? Of course you know her as Billie Holiday. But then I realized it was easy.

      Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 8:25 pm on September 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , film history, , ,   

    LIKE WISE 

    Noble goal like chasing rainbow — beautiful while it lasts.

    If the above quote sounds familiar,¬†you have the memory of an elephant.¬†It — the quote, not you or the elephant —¬†appeared in my¬†previous post as a Charlie Chanism which I made up after a trip to the latest local library book sale where my returns¬†are¬†becoming re-nowned and their¬†books are becoming re-owned….and one of my new buys was titled¬†CHARLIE CHAN¬†— The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History, by Yunte Huang.

    If you’re an old movie buff like me, you’ve probably seen a number of 1930s-40s Charlie Chan films (based on the 1920-3os novels by Earl Derr Biggers) in which Charlie chanted such gems of wisdom as these:

    Hasty deduction, like ancient egg, look good from outside.
    Mind, like parachute, only function when open.
    Trouble, like first love, teach many lessons.
    Facts like photographic film — must be exposed before developing.
    Advice after mistake like medicine after funeral.

    You will find these, and many more, Chanisms in Appendix I of the book. But that’s just a bonus — the real story of this book is “The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective”….¬†a story¬†I can’t¬†tell¬†you because either I would have to kill you (leaving no clues), or¬†it would spoil the story and¬†leave¬†you without a¬†motive to buy the book. But I¬†will tell you that the fictional Honolulu¬†detective Charlie Chan¬†was based on real-life Honolulu detective Chang Apana, who was a character in his own right and¬†whose career included jobs ranging from gardener to gumshoe. So get the book, plant yourself in your favorite chair, and enjoy the read.

    Speaking of flowery characters, Earl Derr Biggers was no shrinking violet. Before turning novelist, Biggers (a Harvard grad)) was an outspoken¬†newspaper columnist and¬†drama critic. In one of his columns, he wrote of “a citizen of Mingo, Okla., [who] whipped out his trusty six-shooter the other day and shot the mustache off another citizen. We sincerely hope that the gentleman who lost the mustache appreciated the fact that he had a mighty close shave.” Shades of such¬†baldfaced punsters as Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde¬†and mistermuse! (The latter¬†includes himself in such company on the grounds that the dead¬†can’t object.)

    But enough about me. Here’s Charlie!

     

     
    • linnetmoss 8:26 am on September 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hahaha! Is that Tim Conway?
      What cracks me up about the Biggers story is the name “Mingo, Okla.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:17 am on September 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, that is Tim Conway, and that clip is like a scrambled egg — it breaks me up. ūüė¶

      “Mingo” reminds me on “Mongo” in BLAZING SADDLES — which also breaks me up. ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ricardo 10:32 am on September 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      One of the Facebooks groups I belong to has the parachute quote on its home page, Sr. Muse, only they attribute it to Frank Zappa. Since Chan preceded Zappa in the popular canon, it’s probably a misattribution. However, let’s face it–the fictional Chan never thought of it, either. It sprang from the brain of a now-forgotten writer. Such is the eventual fate of all we scribblers.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:21 pm on September 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Maybe I should have that “Noble goal like chasing rainbow” quote etched on my gravestone, Ricardo, so at least one of my scribblings survives long after I’m gone.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:36 am on September 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I went looking for a Charlie Chan saying for this case. “Blond hair can be obtained from a bottle – or wig maker.”

      I also semi-remembered something about Number 1 son. Looked that up too. He was played ,many times by Keye Luke who went onto to be in a ton of movies. He might best be remembered by TV fans as the old master in Kung Fu the TV show..

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:37 am on September 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don, here’s a bit of trivia for you. As you know, the best Marx Brothers movie is generally considered to be A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935). The best Charlie Chan movie (according to film critic Leonard Maltin) appeared a year later: CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OPERA (1936).
      Coincidence?

      Liked by 1 person

    • restlessjo 4:37 am on September 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I love the wisdoms in Chan, so concisely put. ūüôā ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 8:49 pm on September 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve never seen a Charlie Chan movie, I hate to admit! I’ll have to check it out sometime.

      Funny Carol Burnett sketch!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:08 am on September 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Charlie Chan movies were fun when I was young, but I must admit that most of them don’t age well. Of the few that do, I’d recommend CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OPERA.

        Liked by 1 person

    • eliza rudolf 1:15 am on September 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Nice post‚̧ūüíĖ‚̧ūüíĖ

      Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Diamond Lil, film history, Henry Fonda, , , , , ,   

    EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS BEST? 

    Hat-check girl in Mae West’s first film:¬†“Goodness, what beautiful diamonds.”
    Mae West: “Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.”

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

    Some actors and actresses (and I don’t mean this pejoratively) basically play themselves in their¬†films, while others are so¬†believable and natural¬†in¬†varied roles¬†and genres,¬†they completely inhabit¬†whatever given character they portray. An example of the latter, going back¬†to Hollywood’s Golden Age, is Henry Fonda (if you think he played only serious parts, you haven’t seen the classic 1941 comedy, THE LADY EVE, in which he co-starred with Barbara Stanwyck —¬†another of¬†the most versatile players of that era).

    Mae West was of the first category, very much the¬†Diamond Lil character she created. Today being her birthday (8/17/1893), it’s her day¬†to sparkle:

    It has been said that “Mae West literally constituted a one-woman genre.” Basically playing herself, she¬†was one of the country’s¬†biggest box office draws in the 1930s, despite being almost 40 years old¬†when offered her first movie contract (by Paramount) in 1932. Previously, she’d appeared in a number of rather¬†risqu√© plays, including Diamond Lil and¬†her first starring role on Broadway (appropriately titled Sex), which she wrote, produced and directed. As with all¬†the¬†plays she wrote and performed in, there was¬†much controversy and publicity, and¬†it was only a matter of time before Hollywood came calling.

    Her¬†first film (see opening quote)¬†was NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, making such an impression that co-star George Raft reportedly said, “She stole everything but the cameras.” Her¬†next film, SHE DONE HIM WRONG (1933), featured Cary Grant in one of his first major roles, and was nominated for a Best Picture¬†Academy Award.¬†It was¬†such a big¬†moneymaker that it saved Paramount from bankruptcy in the midst of the Great Depression.

    West went on to make six more movies in the 1930s, but in 1934, the Production Code began to be strictly enforced, and censors doubled down¬†on¬†her¬†double-entendres. By today’s standards, such censorship seems ludicrous, but those were¬†moralistic times, and after her last ‘naughty’¬†picture for Paramount in¬†1937, they¬†thought it best¬†to terminate¬†her contract if they knew what’s good for them. She did manage to make one more hit¬†movie, co-starring with W. C. Fields in My Little Chickadee¬†for Universal Pictures in 1940.

    Unbawdied and unbowed, when asked about puritanical attempts to impede her career, West wisecracked, “I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.”¬†Not for nothing¬†was one of her¬†nicknames “The Statue of Libido.” She died in 1980 at the age of 87.

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

    Coincidentally, August 17 is also the birthday of my mother, who passed away 17 years ago. Happy Birthday, Mom —¬†YOU¬†WERE THE BEST.

     
    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 12:25 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Happy Birthday to one of my favorites – and risque she was. In the elevator, a man said to her (as she was nearest the console), “Ballroom, please.” Her reply? “Oh, I didn’t know I was crowding you.”

      I’m sure your mother was a great deal more appropriate, but I’ll bet she was just as memorable. Raise a birthday toast to her for me.

      FUN post!
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:50 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        That’s a great quote, Madelyn — I hadn’t heard it before…. And thank you for the “memorable” thoughts concerning my mother: much deserved by her and appreciated by me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 4:53 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink

          Have you heard the one about her climbing a staircase lined with young men in one of her films? She never lifted her eyes above their belts and, at one point she paused and said, “Oh, a new one!” Outrageous always.

          You are most welcome, btw, for my comment about your mother. After all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

    • The Muscleheaded Blog 12:42 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Outstanding tribute to Mae !

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:47 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Too bad she never made a movie with Groucho Marx. They wouldn’t have needed a script.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:18 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        That would’ve been one hell of a movie, Don. Throw in Dorothy Parker (even though she never acted), and we wouldn’t have been able to ‘keep up’ with the double-entendres.

        Like

      • literaryeyes 9:31 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        She wrote her own material. I bet grouch did too. Geniuses like that are rare these days.

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 11:44 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink

          I can appreciate why you might think Groucho wrote his own stuff. However, having read several books on the Marx Brothers, the fact is that Groucho didn’t write the scripts for their movies; the Marx’s were so zany and hard to hold to script that their ad libs/antics usually took precedence over what was written for them (even though very good writers, such as George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, worked on their films).

          Like

    • moorezart 8:25 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:26 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I re-thank you for another public service (or disservice, depending upon one’s point of view) on my behalf. Remind me to give you a raise if you keep this up. ūüė¶

        Like

        • moorezart 12:07 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink

          LOL – I find what you do most engaging. I simply can’t help myself. Even as a child I couldn’t help sharing with my friends whatever treasure I had found in my Cracker Jack’s Box.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 10:01 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink

          I remember Cracker Jacks well — I think they’ve been around even longer than I have, if that’s possible (not that I liked them all that much). I vaguely recall a time or two, as a boy, buying a box just for the “treasure” and throwing away the Cracker Jacks. Too bad I don’t still have the treasures — I could take them on Antiques Roadshow and find out if they’re worth thousands today. One never knows, do one?

          Like

    • Carmen 8:38 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I wonder if she was the inspiration for the, “Did you get your ears lowered?” comment. I use it regularly at school and get lots of blank stares in response – from High School folk. ūüôā Once in awhile I get, “Hey! My grandparents say that!” (which gives me pause, as you would think)

      Nice post, mister, from the East ‘girl’! ūüėČ

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:31 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        For those who aren’t familiar — make that ACQUAINTED — with Carmen, she lives on EAST-HER ISLAND, hence the last sentence of her comment. ūüôā

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ricardo 12:17 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Fulsome praise for the filthy-minded, Sr. Muse. We hear it so infrequently. Muchas gracias.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carmen 2:00 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        “Fulsome praise for the filthy-minded” – excellent – ha, ha! ūüôā (the mister is hesitant in replying; he’s having a hard time with a rejoinder, methinks)

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 2:24 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink

          Carmen, contrary to unpopular belief, I don’t sit in front of my computer for hours at a time (except when I fall asleep) waiting for comments to pop up that I can shoot down….though I will admit that in the hours after I post, I wish I didn’t have to get up from my chair to go to the john every 15 minutes (just kidding, of course — and now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see a man about a horse). ūüė¶

          Like

        • Carmen 2:29 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink

          Ha, ha! Well, I’ve been making Barbie clothes for several days so every time the computer dings I welcome the interruption. ūüôā

          Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:32 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        No problem, Ricardo. I’d say more, but I’m having female problems (not that Carmen isn’t well worth it — haha).

        Liked by 1 person

    • restlessjo 2:38 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Queen of the one-liners ūüôā ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:42 pm on August 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Speaking of which, here’s one of her quotes: “I’ve no time for broads who want to rule the world alone — without men, who’d do up the zipper on the back of your dress?” ūüôā

        Liked by 2 people

    • literaryeyes 9:29 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’m a Mae West fan and have been known to binge on her movies. In one she does a naughty dance that was so naughty they filmed her from the waist up! Seriously, she was a pioneer in promoting women as sexy AND intelligent. She put gays and transvestites in her plays. She didn’t do it just to shock, she did it because she believed in respect for people no matter what their sexuality or gender orientation, and especially for women.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:56 pm on August 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Although I own a number of biographies/autobiographies of Hollywood Golden Age movie stars, I’ve never read one by or about Mae West, so I didn’t know some of what you describe. Thanks for the info.

      Like

    • M√©l@nie 3:43 pm on August 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Salvador Dali was also fascinated by her… she was a FREE woman – une avant-gardiste!!! ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:02 pm on August 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Indeed! Mae was both a woman of her time (1920s-early 1930s) and too much woman for highly puritanical times (from 1934 on, when rigid censorship curtailed, and subsequently ended, her freedom to make the movies she wanted to make).

        Like

    • scifihammy 3:02 pm on August 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Mae West was an amazing woman! As I’m sure was your Mother too. Always nice to remember our loved ones on special days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:09 pm on August 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. Personality-wise, my mother was as much the opposite of Mae as East is from West, but as they say, variety is the spice of life. Life would be very dull if everyone were the same!

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , film history, Golden Age films, , , , , , , Shop Around the Corner, , summertime, Van Johnson   

    SUMMER SHORTS 

    Tomorrow is¬†the first official¬†day of smelly armpits¬†season¬†(unless, of course,¬†you live in the southern hemisphere¬†of earth — or in any hemisphere of¬†Ur-anus, where,¬†they say, it stinks¬†the¬†year round). To¬†greet the season,¬†I’m¬†saluting¬†summer with a look back at several good old summer films (and I mean films that actually have “summer” in the title).

    It’s unthinkable that there’s no¬†unstinkable way¬†of sweating as I¬†wrack my brain composing a¬†fulsome introduction¬†to¬†each movie, so¬†I’ll make do¬†with¬†a minimum¬†of b.s. (background setting)¬†preceding each clip….then sum(mer) it all up¬†with bonus b.s.¬†at¬†post’s end.

    First we have SUMMERTIME (1955), starring Katherine Hepburn as a spinster vacationing in Venice. After meeting and being attracted to shop owner Rossano Brazzi in his antiques store, they unexpectedly encounter each other again in this scene:

    Next: IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949) starring Judy Garland & Van Johnson as lonelyhearts pen pals in a musical remake of THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Jimmy Stewart. Here is the trailer:

    Last we have SUMMER AND SMOKE (1961), a film¬†adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play, neither of which I have seen, but which I include here because¬†its title¬†serves as a “Perfect!”¬†lead-in to this anecdote told¬†by the late actor Tony Randall (and which¬†relates back to the first of our films):

    David Lean, one of the world’s finest directors, is a meticulous and fastidious craftsman, compulsive and uncompromising about getting things exactly the way he wants them. There is a scene in Summertime in which the [female] owner of¬†a Venetian pensione arranges a tryst with a young American guest at night on the terrace of the pensione. Lean put the¬†couple in two high-backed wicker chairs that completely envelope them,¬† placed with their backs to the camera so that all the lens could see were her left¬†hand holding his right hand and puffs of white smoke from their cigarettes curling above the backs of the chairs. The brief scene, which could have been shot with any two people sitting in the chairs and the voices of the couple dubbed in later, took an entire night and a carton of cigarettes to film. Lean made the two actors do it over and over. Just as dawn was about to break, Lean finally got a shot that satisfied him.
    “Perfect! Perfect!” Lean exclaimed enthusiastically. “The puffs were perfect!”

    It seems we’ve come to the end¬† — but where, you might ask, is the promised¬†“bonus b.s.”? Will you settle for the bonus without the b.s.? Here is the trailer for the aforementioned THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, directed by that master of “the Lubitsch touch” of happy memory to¬†Golden Age film¬†buffs:

     

     

     
    • Ricardo 12:51 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Apropos of nearly nothing, I noticed the other day that “Wet Hot American Summer” was available on Netflix, Sr. Muse. If that doesn’t make you want to subscribe, whatever will?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:39 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        “Wet Hot American Summer’ sounds too cerebral for my tastes, Ricardo, but thanks anyway for the heads up.

        Like

    • linnetmoss 6:55 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I do love “The Shop Around the Corner”! When I hear about “Summertime,” I always think of the story that Hepburn fell into a Venetian canal and got a terrible ear infection. It may be a beautiful city, but the water is icky!

      Liked by 2 people

    • calmkate 7:27 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I remember that cane chair smoking scene well ūüôā
      need to work on your bs …

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:32 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Linnet, I appreciate your comment. Perhaps I should should have noted in my post that SUMMERTIME was filmed on location in Venice. Here is the scene in which Hepburn falls into the canal:

      Like

    • Garfield Hug 7:51 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Lol!! “Season of smelly armpits!!” ūüėāūüėā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:11 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Perhaps you’ve heard of the old phrase, “It’s the pits!” — it originally referred to stinky armpits, then came to metaphorically mean anything that stinks. And that’s my trivia lesson for today!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:37 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      We can’t have summer without..

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:39 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Don. For those who may wonder who is the singer with the beautiful soprano voice, her name is Harolyn (not a typo) Blackwell.

        Like

    • D. Wallace Peach 6:32 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I haven’t seen any of your Summertime movies. I liked Hepburn as a kid and should pick that one up. I fell into a canal in Holland, so I can relate. ūüėÄ

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:51 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Diana, no doubt your fall into the canal in Holland was no Dutch treat (except perhaps to a few juvenile bystanders who may have thought it was funny), but I’m sure you will find Kathryn Hepburn and SUMMERTIME to be a treat. Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 1:09 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      And from what I’m reading about climate change we could have smelly armpits a lot longer. Unfortunately accompanied by widespread heat alerts and drought in the west.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:28 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right — climate change is the pits!

      Like

    • RMW 12:53 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Summertime is one of my all-time favorite movies (I do have quite a few on my list). The romance between Hepburn and Brazzi left so much to the imagination, making it even more “romantic.” I can’t imagine either actor being willing to bare it all in front of the camera! Thank heavens…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bad Day at Black Rock, , , film history, , , , , , , ,   

    What’s In YOUR Toilet? 

    In his incisive biography of Spencer Tracy, author Bill Davidson tells of a problem which arose during planning stages of a Tracy film based on a short story titled BAD DAY AT HONDO. He quotes Millard Kaufman, who was writing the screenplay, as follows:

    Our picture still was called Bad Day at Hondo, when, to everyone’s surprise, there came the release of a John Wayne movie called HONDO. So our title went out the window.

    Davidson continues, “Such coincidental flaps can cause weeks of delays at a studio, while everyone tries to think of a new title. In this case, Kaufman was out in Arizona looking for locations for another picture, when [he] stopped for gas at one of the bleakest places [that] was not even a ‘wide place in the road’, just a gas station and a post office. Kaufman looked at the sign on the post office. The name was Black Rock, Arizona. Kaufman rushed to the phone and called the studio. ‘I’ve got the title for the Tracy picture,’ he said. “We’ll call it “Bad Day at Black Rock.”

    You may be wondering what the foregoing has to do with the title of this post….and the answer is diddly-squat (or just squat, for short). So what’s the deal? Simply to serve as a¬†pun-gent example of¬†a title’s¬†potential to¬†entice you in to¬†a creative work, whether it be film, story, poem or poop.¬†Did the serendipitous (and delay-saving)¬†spotting of¬†the Black Rock¬†post office sign¬†lead to¬†a perfect¬†fit for the title of the¬†movie? Perhaps this scene will¬†tell you all you need to know to answer that question (Tracy plays a one-armed WW II officer, just returned from the service, who goes¬†to a middle-of-nowhere desert town to¬†present a posthumous medal to the father of one of his soldiers):

    But¬†suppose, after¬†chewing¬†it over endlessly,¬†you still can’t come up with¬†a killer¬†title for your opus delicti? Friends,¬†just¬†swallow the¬†bitter pill¬†that there are times¬†indiscretion is the better part of valor, and¬†settle for a title¬†such as this post’s.¬†And¬†what if even¬†doo-doo doesn’t do the trick? There’s still¬†the when-all-else-fails¬†last resort I used¬†when I¬†titled this poem….

    UNTITLED

    This poem’s title is Untitled —
    Not because it is untitled,
    But because I am entitled
    To entitle it Untitled.

    If I’d not titled it Untitled,
    It would truly be untitled….
    Which would make me unentitled
    To entitle it Untitled.

    So it is vital, if untitled,
    Not to title it Untitled,
    And to leave that title idled,
    As a title is entitled.

    NOTE: This is the Random poem leftover from my previous post

     

     
    • calmkate 12:11 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      ha ha ha love your play on words … and titles do make a difference as to whether something is read or not .. but hey I’ve already done the squat loo post, no peeking ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

    • geo. raymond 12:23 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great word play. (Excellent movie, too)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Garfield Hug 12:26 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      LOL! I loved your Untitled poemūüėä

      Liked by 1 person

    • linnetmoss 6:50 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’m just thankful they didn’t title it “Bad Day on the Toilet”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:09 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Muse, you’re entitled to be untitled. But this reminds me of a Country Western song writer named Ray Whitley and he’d written a bunch of songs for Gene Autry and he was told they needed one more. So he sighed and headed for the studio. His wife asked him what was the matter and he told her. She said. “Guess you’re back in the saddle again.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:36 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I didn’t know the story behind it, but I remember the song well, Don. Odd that the clip portrays the likeness of Roy Rogers (Autry’s biggest rival for most popular screen cowboy in those days).

        Like

    • christie jones 1:26 pm on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I love the way you play with words! And btw, you have a great blogūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:39 am on June 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry for the tardy reply to your comment, Christie, but modest fellow that I am, your compliment made me so red in the face that I got a bad case of blisters, which may have improved my appearance, but I still didn’t know what to say. Anyway, now that I’ve recovered, I’m ready to be embarrassed again, whether I deserve it or not. ūüôā

        Liked by 1 person

        • christie jones 2:30 pm on June 6, 2017 Permalink

          While two-thirds of the words are twisters, I didn‚Äôt mean to provoke any blisters. I‚Äôm happy you‚Äôre now recovered, and hope never again embarrassed. All the best! ChristieÔĀä

          Liked by 1 person

    • Ricardo 11:32 pm on June 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      May all your titles be short ones, and your un-titleds even shorter, Sr. Muse.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:56 am on June 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        That’s a Capital (One) proposal, Ricardo. It even has commercial possibilities connected to the title of this post.

        Like

    • RMW 1:12 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As a frequenter of art museums, I am always bemused by the pieces labeled “Untitled.” Worse yet they are titled “Untitled Number 3” or “Untitled March, 1987″… is this SUPPOSED to be ironic and I’m not getting it? Now I think about it, “Toilet Number 3” or “Toilet March, 1987” would work much better… and in many cases, be more appropriate!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:05 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        At the very least, they should title their restroom toilets Number 1 or Number 2 based, of course, on whether you have to go Number One or Number 2. They could even have Number 3 for those who have to do both, otherwise you’d have to move from Number One to Number Two or vice versa, depending on order of priority.

        How this would be enforced I don’t know — I can’t think of everything!

        Like

        • RMW 12:35 am on June 8, 2017 Permalink

          I’m sure North Carolina could come up with an idea to handle it!

          Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , film history, Gilbert and Sullivan, , , , Joseph Cotton, , , , , , , ,   

    HIGH FIVE FOR FIVE STARS 

    Each of the five days since my last post¬†was the birthday of¬†at least one iconic figure in music or film¬†who¬†left¬†lasting memories for those who appreciate legacies in¬†artistry. I could easily go overboard¬†writing in depth about any¬†of these mid-May arrivals, but maybe it’s best to lessen my losses by not overly¬†testing readers’ patience (O me of little faith!):

    May 11 — IRVING BERLIN (1888-1989). Perhaps the most prolific composer in American history, with an estimated 1,500 songs to his credit, including the scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films (three of which were Astaire-Rogers musicals). Writing both words and music (relatively rare for his era), his hits include seasonal evergreens¬†White Christmas¬†and¬†Easter Parade,¬†as well as¬†the red, white and blue¬†God Bless America. His lyrics may lack the wit and sophistication of Cole Porter and Lorenz Hart, but there’s no denying the¬†emotional appeal¬†of¬†such songs¬†as….

    May 12 — KATHERINE HEPBURN (1907-2003).¬†In the¬†Golden Era¬†of Hollywood, was there¬†ever a more successful,¬†fiercely¬†independent woman than Katherine Hepburn?¬† Successful? It’s hard to argue against receiving¬†a record¬†four Academy Awards for Best Actress, and being named the greatest female star of Classic Hollywood Cinema by the American Film Institute. Independent? Her own words say it all:

    “I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself, and ain’t afraid of being alone.” (Hard as it may be¬†to¬†imagine¬†the Bryn Mawr-educated Hepburn uttering¬†“ain’t,” I ain’t about to correct her quote.)

    “We are taught you must …. never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change, you’re the one who has got to change.”

    “As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.”

    “Life gets harder the smarter you get, the more you know.”

    “Politicians remain professional because the voters remain amateur.”

    NOTE: For my ode to another May 12 bundle of joy, see my post of May 12, 2015.

    May 13 — ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900). Can’t place the name? How about Arthur Sullivan of¬†GILBERT AND SULLIVAN fame? Who doesn’t¬†enjoy their great comic operas such as THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, THE MIKADO and H.M.S. PINAFORE —¬†the latter of which I have loved since When I was a Lad:

    May 14 — SIDNEY BECHET (1897-1959). This is a name you almost certainly can’t place unless you’re a classic jazz fan….but if you are such a fan, you know¬†him as a¬†major figure in¬†jazz¬†annals since his¬†recording debut¬†in 1923. New Orleans born, he spent the last decade of his life in France, where he died on the same day — May 14 — that he was born.¬†Here he is on soprano sax in¬†a 1950s recording¬†from the soundtrack of Woody Allen’s magical¬†MIDNIGHT IN PARIS:

    May 15 — JOSEPH COTTON¬†(1905-1994). I have previously mentioned Joseph Cotton in regard to his co-starring role (with Orson Welles and Alida Valli) in one of my favorite films, THE THIRD MAN. He first met¬†Welles in¬†1934, beginning a life-long friendship and on-and-off association with Welles in numerous plays, radio dramas and films,¬†as well as co-starring with Katherine Hepburn in the 1939 Broadway play THE PHILADELPHIA STORY. But it is in¬†his role as Holly Martens in THE THIRD MAN that he stands alone (literally so, in the end), and I can think of no more fitting way to¬†end this post than with that indelible closing scene from the film (to the¬†tune of Anton Karas’ Third Man Theme):

     
    • calmkate 3:49 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Nice to know I share my birthday with someone better known lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:10 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Being better known isn’t necessarily something admirable — in evidence, I offer that supreme IT’S-ALL-ABOUT-ME showman, Donald Trump. ūüė¶

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 3:55 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink

          well you know how to burst a girls balloon .. what a truly terrible comparison … now I want to stay anonymous forever!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Jay 12:17 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Isn’t it nice to imagine a big party where they’re all celebrating?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 12:41 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Irving Berlin was born Israel Isidore Baline in what is now Belarus. I always think of that when I think of such songs as Easter Parade and White Christmas since he was a good Jewish boy.

      One of my relative’s relative was his Accountant.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:23 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don, Berlin once wrote a song titled I PAID MY INCOME TAX TODAY. It figures that he might have gotten the idea from your relative (the accountant).

      Like

    • Ricardo 6:02 pm on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      True dat about the voters, Sr. Muse

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , film history, flim noir, gangster movies, , , , , , , , , The Naked Gun   

    GANGSTER WRAP 

    I trust that you remember my March 30 post titled HOLLYWOOD, DEAD LEFT ON VINE. If not, maybe you could use a nudge from Police Lt. Frank Drebin to refresh your memory:

    Maybe now¬†you remember:¬†my¬†March 30 opus delicti¬†distinguished between film noir (theme of that post)¬†and gangster movies (this post’s theme), while allowing for crossover in films¬†like WHITE HEAT (classified as film noir in¬†one book, and¬†gangster film in another). To¬†anyone not ‘into’ such films,¬†these thorny details¬†may¬†strike one as¬†nothing more than¬†a distinction without a difference….but I’ll assume you aren’t “anyone,” because I’ve got a job to pull — I mean, a¬†post to write —¬†and the subject ain’t roses.

    That’s odd. I¬†could have sworn¬†the subject¬†was not¬†roses.

    Wait a¬†shrouded¬†minute! Now I remember¬†— the subject¬†was¬†supposed to be gangster movies.¬†My bad.¬†Sorry for the¬†hold up.

    In¬†the introduction to his book¬†CLASSIC GANGSTER FILMS, by (appropriately enough) Robert Bookbinder, he writes: “The gangster film has always been one of the staples of the American cinema. Though there were several motion pictures with a gangster theme produced as far back as the silent era, the genre did not really begin to flourish until the thirties, when it reigned throughout the decade as one of the public’s favorite kinds of “escapist” entertainment. Depression-era audiences responded strongly to all the action, violence and romance, and were more than willing to get caught up in the on-screen exploits of Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. In a sense, the movie gangster, with his rebellious breaking of society’s rules and regulations, and his aggressive drive to “get somewhere” regardless of consequences, became something of a hero to filmgoers of the period.”

    It is worth noting that, although the gangster film¬†by no means¬†passed completely out of the picture, its most productive period (1930 to 1941-42) led to the¬†era¬†of classic¬†film noir (1941-59)….which began¬†with¬†THE (never-surpassed)¬†MALTESE FALCON. The above three stars were equally¬†without rival in both genres.

    Bookbinder’s book binds together the above transition,¬†providing a fascinating look back at 45 gangster films (several overlapping into¬†film noir), complete with credits, cast, commentary, photos¬†and synopsis for each film, ranging from LITTLE CAESAR in 1930 to BONNIE AND CLYDE in 1967 and THE BROTHERHOOD in 1969. Of the latter, Bookbinder states:¬†“It was not especially successful, and it has been almost completely overshadowed¬†in film history by the more expensive and elaborate Godfather films of the early seventies. The picture deserves a better fate….what a truly entertaining gem it is.”

    Now, I will admit that, in general, I am not as big a fan of gangster films as I am of film noir. I¬†have an affinity for¬†the more tangled and¬†convoluted¬†plots (in most cases) of the latter, compared to the¬†more macho¬†and¬†less sophisticated gangster films….but then, “sophisticated” is not a term one normally associates with gangsters —¬†so, by Sam, let’s call a spade a Spade. It’s not a bum rap.

    But there is one¬†bailiwick in which gangster films win hands down — I mean, hands up! (ha ha)¬†— and that is in gangster film spoofs¬†such as¬†the all-time classic, SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959), which lost out to¬†(would you believe?) BEN-HUR in practically every Academy Award¬†category for that year. Oh, well — nobody’s perfect. ūüė¶

    And that’s a wrap.

     

     

     
    • linnetmoss 7:14 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      According to Variety, Liam Neeson is on board to play Sam Spade in a new movie. He’s not the actor I would have thought of, but I’ll give him a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:49 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Haven’t seen much of Neeson since SCHINDLER’S LIST (I don’t keep up with the current movie scene much anymore), but unless he’s aged really well in the last 24 years, he seems a bit long in the tooth for Sam Spade. I, on the other hand, would be perfect for the part of Methuselah if they decide to make a movie about him.

        Liked by 2 people

        • linnetmoss 6:43 am on April 11, 2017 Permalink

          He has aged well, since he’s still playing action roles in his 60s, but I agree that it’s a bit of a stretch.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:35 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The Gangster films live on of course and some were even funny. Not ‘Some Like It Hot’ funny but still funny. Funny how you might ask?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:59 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Good one, Don. Another Don (Rickles), who just died four days ago, couldn’t have played it any better

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 10:48 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Has anyone ever done a gangster film in total “Airplane” style? Bet it would be a hoot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:12 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I hear that plans for such a film are up in the air right now, Ricardo, but we can always hope (just like you can always hope that most of my puns don’t fall flat).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 12:08 am on April 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Groaned my way down through the comments to “Leave a Reply” primarily to make sure I said thanks for the HOT clip. One of my favorites. The only possible reason it lost out to Ben Hur was that the Academy voters were “not very bright” that year! (always love MM – another severely under-rated talent, IMHO)

      I vote with you on Noir vs. Gansta’ btw. Another great post.
      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

    • M√©l@nie 2:27 pm on April 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      @”Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart…” – holy Molly!!! THE Dream-team, by excellence… ūüôā btw, Edward G. Robinson was born in Romania, like me… ūüėČ

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:51 pm on April 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Speaking of three-member Dream teams, how about Edward G. Robinson, you….and Bela Lugosi, all born in Romania!

        Like

    • mitchteemley 5:15 pm on April 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I never get tired of watching Some Like it Hot.

      Liked by 1 person

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