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  • mistermuse 12:00 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Anthony Perkins, Arsenic and Old Lace, , , , , Notorious, poison, Pretty Poison, Romeo and Juliet, , ,   


    I thought I had put poison to bed in my last post, but no. Past encounters of the poisonous kind were reawakened in me, and brought back memories such as this:

    Yes, poison has played a part in numerous movies, though seldom as humorously as in the THE COURT JESTER (1958), starring Danny Kaye (above) and Basil Rathbone (of Sherlock Holmes fame), among others.  Rathbone here plays, not the famed sleuth, but a 12th-century English villain, and displays his considerable fencing skills in a hilarious joust versus Kaye. I jest not — it’s just a jolly good show.

    Several “poison” films even have “POISON” in the title, including PRETTY POISON (1968), a little-known but beautifully-executed cult classic starring Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins (the same Anthony Perkins who starred in a certain Hitchcock thriller eight years earlier which set the stage for many gratuitous mad slasher movies to come):

    “Pretty Poison,” the movie that got the violence and madness of the late ’60s right

    If you’re a real film noir buff, you know D.O.A. (1950) is one of the best films of that genre, starring Edmond O’Brien as a walking dead man (doomed by a slow-acting poison), hell-bent on finding out before he doth die who poisoned him and why. This one will keep you in suspenders from beginning to enders.

    Another of my fondly-remembered murder mystery films from Hollywood’s Golden Age is Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE (1945), wherein the characters are murdered one by one (the first by poison), ending with the murderer committing suicide by drinking poisoned whiskey (there have been three re-makes, all titled TEN LITTLE INDIANS, but none rated as highly as the original).

    And then there is the animated Disney/grim Brothers Grimm classic SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937) in which a poisoned apple from the evil queen puts Snow White soundly to sleep until Prince Charming rouses her with a smooch….much as mistermuse does with missusmuse, even though she tells him that’s what alarm clocks are for (great kidder, that gal). Whatever. The fairy tale is timeless:

    You can probably think of a number of other films in which poison plays prominently in the plot, such as ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944).  NOTORIOUS (1946) and, of course, ROMEO AND JULIET (1936), but all good things must come to a dead end, and so I close with one of my wife’s favorite quotes (originally attributed to Kin Hubbard):
    When you consider what a chance women have to poison their husbands, it’s a wonder more of it isn’t done.”

    She’s just kidding, of course?



    • Mél@nie 3:38 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      @”She’s just kidding, of course?” – I do hope so… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:30 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Now that you mention it, my schnapps has tasted a bit funny lately. 😦


    • linnetmoss 6:32 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Love the “pellet routine.” One of the all time greats!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:06 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Absolutely! I also love the extremely funny swordfight between Kaye and Rathbone in which Kaye is alternately a novice and an expert between blows to his head. A great movie!

        Liked by 1 person

    • carmen 7:40 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This reminds me of an old joke.

      Woman says to annoying man, “If you were my husband, I’d put arsenic in your coffee!”

      Man replies, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it!”


      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:11 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for reminding me of that “oldie but goody,” which suggests an alternate title for this post: PARDON MY POISON!


    • arekhill1 10:24 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I admire you, Sr. Muse, for having the courage to wake your wife with a kiss. I’ve found it advisable to leave the girl alone until she is good and ready to get up on her own, lest I become the victim of a poison plot myself. And just to be on the safe side, I always make the coffee.


      • mistermuse 11:09 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        You are a wise man, Ricardo. Why risk making “Good to the last drop” literally true.


    • Don Frankel 10:51 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That is one of the great bits of all time. I think the Flagon with the Dragon comes into play too. Carmen beat me to the punch here but I heard that response “I’d drink it.” attributed to Winston Churchill.


      • mistermuse 11:22 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I hadn’t heard it attributed to Churchill, but it’s worth checking out. It sounds more like something Groucho would’ve said.


    • mistermuse 4:30 pm on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I have checked it out, and you’re right – Churchill made that response after Lady Astor told him, “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.”


    • hooklineandinkwell 6:38 am on February 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Such a great look at poison through film.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:19 pm on July 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Midsummer Night's Dream, , , , , National Nude Day, Pandemonium Day, paradise, Romeo and Juliet,   


    Scurvy knave! Pray you, sir, a word: and as I told you, a young lady bade me inquire you out; what she bade me say, I will keep to myself: but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into a  fool’s paradise….
    –William Shakespeare, ROMEO AND JULIET

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

    Pray you, my readers, a word: I question whether even one of ye is a fool (a scurvy knave might maintain that all of you are — or you wouldn’t be my readers), but, for any who perchance may qualify, this is your day….July 13 is Fool’s Paradise Day.

    As if that’s not cause enough for celebration, tomorrow is Pandemonium Day and National Nude Day. Personally, I think ‘twould be more fitting if all three were observed on the same day, but apparently the holiday gods don’t see the symbiotic connection. More’s the pity, but ye can’t fight deity hall, so on this day, Paradise must hold sway.

    And where, you ask, might a fool go to celebrate this day in Midsummer Night’s Dream fashion? No problem — the Bard of Stratford and I know of just the place:


    As for those who want a handier destination, there are towns named Paradise all across the U.S.A., including California, Kansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wyoming….all you need furnish is the fool. Sorry, I don’t do distant countries, but I’m sure love’s labor will not be lost if you seek heavenly accommodations assiduously enough.

    And to insure All’s Well That Ends Well, I end with appropriate mood music:

    • arekhill1 12:22 pm on July 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      National Nude Day and Pandemonium Day are the same? The calendar gods must be smiling.


    • mistermuse 6:59 pm on July 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Me too 🙂


    • Don Frankel 12:30 pm on July 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      All did end well there Muse. And, I’m definitely a Knave and a fool and proud of it too. And why not? Because…

      “Lord, what fools these mortals be.”

      Might as well enjoy it.


    • mistermuse 3:17 pm on July 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      All did indeed end well with Nat King Cole singing a romantic old ballad as only he could.
      As for being a knave and a fool, all I can say is if you are, the world could use a lot more. At least, it beats being a demagogue and a politician, which, come to think of it, often amounts to the same thing.


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