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  • mistermuse 12:09 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Edward Everett Horton, , , , , , Mantan Moreland, old movies, , S. Z. Sakall, Way Out West,   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: WHAT A CHARACTER (ACTOR)! 

    “Nobody needs a mink coat but the mink.” –S. Z. “Cuddles” Sakall, character actor (Feb. 2, 1883-Feb. 12, 1955)

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

    There have been so many great male character actors in Hollywood Golden Age history that, for this post, I’m going to narrow the field to¬†comedic character actors….and even then, I’ll probably leave out some of your favorites. Of course, if you don’t have any old comedy film favorites, you’re probably not an old comedy film fan, so you’re excused (even though that’s no excuse….actually, you should be ashamed of yourself).

    Leaving that aside, let’s move on, starting with the author of the above quote….a quote which probably didn’t go over too well with most of the Hollywood glamour girls he knew — speaking of which, did you know that Sakall was born in, and is strictly from, Hungary (btw, he was also in Casablanca). Here’s more scuttlebutt about Cuddles but…it’s not a lot:

    Next, Laurel & Hardy fans will remember the trademark ‘double-take’ look of this gent, who appeared in many of their films, including here in one of their best, WAY OUT WEST:

    Remember double features (two films for the price of one in movie houses of the 1930s-50s)? Here’s a double feature of two great comedic actors for the price of one in a scene from SHALL WE DANCE, one of three Astaire-Rogers movies in which they appeared together:

    If you’re a fan of Charlie Chan movies, you may recall the pop-eyed comic who played Chan’s chauffeur in over a dozen films, as well as parts in Preston Sturges’ THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942), CABIN IN THE SKY (1943), CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK (1944), and many others. Here he is in a scene from THE SCARLET CLUE (1945):

    In closing, I’ll mention several other great comedic character actors I could’ve/should’ve profiled here, but I have to stop somewhere: William Demarest, Edgar Kennedy, Frank Morgan, Franklin Pangborn, Erik Rhodes, Victor Moore, and many more. Thank you, one and all, for bringing character to comedy.

     
    • masercot 4:38 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Fine examples! Might I add Tom Kennedy?

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:50 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Absolutely! I remember the name but couldn’t place the face until I checked — how could I have forgotten? I saw him in many a Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Laurel & Hardy and Three Stooges movie. My bad!

        Liked by 2 people

        • masercot 8:59 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink

          It was a time when any big Irishman could find work in the movies… My favorite line of his? “I feel a poem coming on”

          Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 4:28 pm on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I never knew the names of any of these actors, though I remember all of their appearances. I loved the banter in the last clip. That comedic timing is priceless.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:00 pm on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I believe that that banter came straight out of an old vaudeville skit which Mantan Moreland probably performed many times previously. An oldie but goody!

      Like

    • Silver Screenings 11:37 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      These posts are treats. Thanks for curating these lists and choosing such fab videos to share with us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:20 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your comments, SS. I very much enjoyed doing this series of posts, time-consuming though it was to do the work of putting them together.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Silver Screenings 10:29 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink

          Oh yes, I can imagine the hours spent in this series. The end result is fabulous: A tour through classic Hollywood.

          Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 11:18 am on December 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Memorable picks! Love them all!!ūüíē‚̧ԳŹ

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Betty Grable, CABIN IN THE SKY, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, , , , glamour girls, , , Lana Turner, , old movies, Rita Hayworth, sex goddess, ,   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: THE GLAMOUR GIRLS 

    A glamour girl is one who looks good enough to eat and dresses with taste. –Evan Esar

    • * * * * * * * * * *¬†* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    In my “preview of coming attractions” post of Oct. 13, the subject of Hollywood glamour girls (in general) and Rita Hayworth (in particular) came up in an exchange of comments. October 17 being Rita’s birthday, it seems the appropriate day to do the appropriate post, focusing not only on Rita, but on several other becoming attractions who fill the bill by becomingly filling their dresses.

    My glamour girl choices here are both limited and subjective, due not only to length-of-post considerations, but the implicit broadness of the term, e.g.: is, or is not, glamour girl¬†of a piece¬†with¬†sex goddess? For the arbitrary purposes of this opus, I’ve drawn a distinction between the two by disqualifying actresses considered to be ‘pure’ sex symbols, such as Jayne Mansfield, Jane Russell. and (perhaps unfairly) Marilyn Monroe. They (and European sex symbols like Brigitte Bardot) may “look good enough to eat,” but dressing with taste was hardly their strong suit.

    With that model of suitability out of the way, here are the glamour girls I think stand out as epitomizing Hollywood’s Golden Age by virtue of such disparate criteria as a touch of class, sex appeal more than skin deep, talent, and even pin-up popularity with WWII GIs.

    Let’s start with the birthday girl, Rita Hayworth, who said “I like having my picture taken and being a glamorous person. I never really thought of myself as a sex goddess.”:

    https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/10/31/rita-hayworth/

    My next choice is the actress called the most beautiful woman in the world in her day:

    Next, the actress called the last major star to come out of the Hollywood studio system:

    With apologies to the likes of Veronica Lake, Lana Turner, and Betty Grable, I will close with this glamorous actress who, but for the overriding racism of the period, could and should have been a major Hollywood star (seen here in a scene with Eddie “Rochester” Anderson and Ethel Waters from CABIN IN THE SKY (1943):

     

     
    • calmkate 1:32 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      she is hot … sounds like racism has increased over there from what we hear … white cops killing black girls in their own bedroom, they are trigger crazy!

      Liked by 2 people

    • America On Coffee 1:48 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Glamour has certainly changed, right? And with that change came other big impacts.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ashley 4:39 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant!

      Liked by 2 people

    • masercot 5:10 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      You must’ve forgot Myrna Loy… the sexiest of all the glamour girls and one of the longest lasting (from the twenties to the fifties).

      BTW, I saw Lena Horne live in Dallas, TX. As good as she is in your clip, she was even better just standing at a microphone…

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 7:54 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I never looked at Myrna as being in that category — she had much more than a “touch” of class and was too unique and good of an actress. To be thought of as primarily a glamour girl would be doing her a disservice, in my opinion.

        As for Lena, I never saw her in person, but she certainly was dynamic in her TV appearances later in her career. In 1943, when CABIN IN THE SKY was made (Vincente Minnelli’s directorial debut, btw), TV was still waiting in the wings, and movies (along with radio) were king, with CABIN being one of the few all-black cast films produced by a major studio.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 8:11 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Good group. Would be interesting to see who you think would be considered glamorous today…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:37 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry, Rg, but I’ll have to plead ignorance — I’m not into today’s celebrity scene and wouldn’t know one “glamorous” gal from another. Chalk it up to the generation crap….er, gap.

        Liked by 1 person

    • moorezart 2:34 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Carmen 3:52 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve just finished reading Gone With the Wind . . .Vivien Leigh sprang immediately to mind when I read the blog post title. Loved those clips mister muse! I always learn something.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 4:20 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I never even thought of her, Carmen — probably because she wasn’t thought of as the typical Hollywood type of glamour girl. She certainly was beautiful, though. Anyway, I’m glad you’re “always learn something” here. Maybe I’ll tell my wife and try to make her jealous.

        On second thought, I’d better leave well enough alone.

        Like

        • Carmen 6:51 pm on October 18, 2019 Permalink

          You know what they say about teaching a teacher. .. ūüėČ

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 8:04 pm on October 18, 2019 Permalink

          They also say: Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. For some reason, my wife (a retired teacher) never cared for that one.

          Like

    • America On Coffee 4:06 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      …and Hedy Lamarr was one of the quiet tops! ūüíē

      Liked by 3 people

    • Richard A Cahill 5:21 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The world does not lack for beautiful women, Sr. Muse, then and now. But the photography is better now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ1XM9LwS64

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:24 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        The photography is certainly slicker now, but I don’t know that it makes beautiful women look more beautiful, Ricardo. To my mind, most commercials (like that clip) promoting a product with beautiful women (often with pouty, supposedly sexy facial expressions) are more of a turn-off than a turn-on, and I’m not buying what they’re selling (at least, not in that venue).

        Like

    • mlrover 10:13 am on October 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The sad irony is that superficial beauty distracted from the talent and intelligence of many Hollywood “glamour” personalities. They were exploited and used. It was no wonder that Lamarr became bitter at the end. I have no sympathy for Weinstein. So many before him got away with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:18 pm on October 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        In those days, only ‘strong’ female stars like Katherine Hepburn could fight off exploitation. Of course, it didn’t hurt that she wasn’t the “glamour girl” type to begin with. Nonetheless, she had the box office clout to be her own woman, and she knew it.

        Like

    • Silver Screenings 11:21 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Lena Horne certainly should have been a bigger star. She was beautiful, she could sing, and she could act. (I love her in Cabin in the Sky!) She truly was glamourous.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 7:09 pm on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chanson D'Amour, , , Manhattan Transfer, murder mysteries, old movies, Sidney Toler, Warner Oland   

    CHAN SONG D’AMOUR 

    It occurs to me that the subject of my last post, Charlie Chan, may be a mystery to those of you to whom such things are a mystery (things such as antique detective stories). Charlie Chan is a fictional Chinese detective (created by Earl Derr Biggers in a 1925 novel), played in movies by various actors, most famously and memorably by Warner Oland (16 films) from 1931 to 1937 and Sidney Toler (22 films) from 1937 to 1947.

    I loved those movies when I was¬†young and still enjoy watching the better ones now and then. As for the title of this post, it’s a play on¬†the closest song title¬†I could come¬†up with¬†to express¬†that affection:

    That title (being French) leads seamlessly — or should I say shamelessly — to this clip from Charlie Chan In Paris (1935):

    1935 was also the year the Marx Brothers made A Night At The Opera, which has nothing to do with Charlie Chan, but serves to lead us¬†equally shamelessly to Charlie Chan At The Opera (1936), one of the best films in the series. This¬†movie also starred Boris Karloff and featured a “mock opera” composed by Oscar Levant, the pianist, actor and wit who was a close friend of George Gershwin. Here is the entire film:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeV5YBDs2tc

    Of course, no Charlie Chan piece would be complete without citing some of his famous aphorisms:

    Owner of face cannot always see nose.

    Bad alibi like dead fish — cannot stand test of time.

    Detective without curiousity is like glass eye at keyhole — no use.

    Grain of sand in eye may hide mountain.

    It takes very rainy day to drown duck.

    Smart rat know when to leave sinking ship.

    Bye now.

     
    • ladysighs 7:31 pm on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I love Charlie Chan. Thanks for posting his famous words. ūüôā And enjoyed both videos.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:03 pm on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know if Charlie Chan ever said it, but “The pleasure is all mine.”

      Like

    • arekhill1 10:47 am on November 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Never been a Chan fan, but thanks for taking note of the Manhattan Transfer. “Birdland” one of my favorite numbers ever.

      Like

    • mistermuse 4:26 pm on November 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      At first I thought you were referring to “Lullaby of Birdland” (one of my favorite jazz numbers), but they’re not the same. However, I do dig Manhattan Transfer, though I’m much more “expert” about the music of earlier decades. Someone once said there’s no such thing as “old” music – there’s only “good” music and “bad” music….which is probably true, though that makes all music merely A MATTER OF TASTE (which, as someone else said, there’s no accounting for).

      Like

    • Don Frankel 4:04 pm on November 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m listening to this and I’m thinking Edith Piaf. But then I’m saying no her famous song was La Vie En Rose. But then I’m saying no I hear Edith Piaf. Thank God for youtube and that I still have some memory cells left.

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:13 pm on November 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I think you’re right – when you listen to one clip right after the other, the Manhattan Transfer rendition certainly sounds like Edith Piaf. I thought the M.T. sounded familiar, but unlike you, I couldn’t connect the two and they did the lip sync so well, I didn’t even try to jog my memory cells. Good work!

      Like

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