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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, , , , Walt Disney   

    PICK YOUR POISON 

    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. 😦

      Like

    • 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!

        Like

    • 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.

      Like

      • 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.

        Like

    • 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.

      Like

      • 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.

        Like

    • 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.”

      Like

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

      Such a great look at poison through film.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on December 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , owls, , , skeletons, , Walt Disney   

    THRICE AS NICE AS ONE AND DONE 

    Boys and girls (or vice-versa), we are on a 3-day roll, and you are in the middle of it: Dec. 4 was Santa’s List Day, Dec. 5 is Walt Disney’s birthday, and Dec. 6 is St. Nicholas Day.

    I certainly hope you made it unto Santa’s “good” list yesterday. Not only is it bad if you didn’t, but you’re running out of time to change Santa’s mind before he comes to town:

    As for Dec. 5, what would visions of Christmas be like without Walt Disney having contributed to bringing them to life? But frankly, boys and girls, who remembers his birthday, because Walt has been dead for 49 years! Despair not, however, because his body is rumored to have been frozen and put in a vault, like a reel of disintegrating old film, awaiting restoration when science conquers death! Walt Disney, as you know — now that I’m telling you — is said to have been fascinated with death since killing an owl at age seven (referring, of course, to Walt — the owl’s age at the time is not known). Whether it was the same owl who-o-o is seen in this scene is also unknown….but, oh, what a hoot:

    That leaves us with St. Nicholas Day, which is celebrated, appropriately enough in light of the above, not on his birthday, but on the day of his reported death, Nov. 6, 343 A.D. As I’m sure you girls and boys have been told, Santa Claus is really St. Nicholas….or, at least (given that he most likely would be too arthritic for the job at his age if he were still alive), his ghost. What better way to close than with a visit from the old boy himself:

     
    • ladysighs 5:23 am on December 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I haven’t seen those two videos. Probably before my time. 😉 You can’t do better than those. Ten minutes well spent and just about, almost, well maybe they are getting me into the holiday spirit. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:35 am on December 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What a treat “The Skeleton Dance” is — so creative and imaginative, I had to watch it twice when I found it on Youtube. Even after all these years since it was made in 1929, those skeletons are as fresh and lively as if they had just died yesterday!

      Like

    • Midwestern Plant Girl 7:37 am on December 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I had never heard of St. Nick day until about 2 years ago, when a coworker filled me in. Have I been under a rock? How long has this been around?
      I’ve always loved the skeleton dance! It always seemed ahead of its time for animation.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:26 am on December 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wikipedia says that in 1994, “The Skeleton Dance” was voted the 18th best animated cartoon of all time, so it really was ahead of its time (IF cartoons can be ranked objectively by voting, but then that’s how politics, Academy Awards, and where my wife & I go out to eat (she gets two votes) are decided, so who am I to quibble). 🙂

      Like

    • arekhill1 1:21 pm on December 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Ho, ho, ho

      Like

      • mistermuse 7:38 pm on December 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thrice (“Ho, ho, ho”) as nice and (arekhill) 1 and done
        to this good boy bring joy and fun.
        His Santa act was short but sweet,
        but he’d better leave gifts next time we meet.

        Like

    • Mitch 2:13 pm on December 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      For many Uncle Walt IS Saint Nicholas. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:02 pm on December 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      To paraphrase The Bard: That which we call a saint by any other name would still be Catholic or Greek Orthodox, neither of which applied to Walt….but I’m an ex-Catholic, so why should I care what he is! 😦 🙂

      Like

    • Joseph Nebus 10:03 pm on December 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wait, nobody thought to cut the owl in half and count its rings?

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:47 pm on December 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Apparently nobody gave a hoot….which reminds me of the joke about the wooden Indian who, when a little boy boasted he could cut him in half without a saw, said “How.” (I didn’t say it was very funny.)

      Like

    • Mél@nie 2:29 pm on December 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      1st of all: I love Bruce aka the Boss… oh, Disney was an “archer”(Sagittarius) – reckoned to be “the clowns of the zodiac”… 🙂

      • * *

      2nd of all: you may know that in Germany, Austria and the East of France, St-Nick(laus) is far more important than Father X-mas…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:56 pm on December 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the info. I must admit that I’ve never had an interest in astrology, so I don’t connect birth dates with signs. No doubt it makes for interesting trivia, but I’m already so full of trivia that I couldn’t eat another bite. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mél@nie 12:07 am on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        signs have often helped me recall b’days… 🙂 I’ve read and studied some “psycho-astrology” about the characteristics of each sign(man & woman) – quite interesting and useful to figure out and to understand certain things, reactions, facts, deeds, etc… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 1:16 pm on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Walt Disney   

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DONALDO EL DUCKO 

    When I was growing up, my favorite Disney cartoon character was Donald Duck (known south of the border as Donaldo El Ducko). South of what border, you ask? It’s a borderline call. Anyway, back then, if you played word association and said “Donald,” chances are you’d get “Duck” in response. Today, if you said “Donald,” you’d probably get “Trump” in response (known without borders as Donaldo El Ego).

    Good, old, irascible Donald Duck. None of that Mickey Mouse stuff for him. Donald has an attitude. He also has a “birthday” today. Quoting Wikipedia: Donald Duck first appeared in the 1934 cartoon The Wise Little Hen which was part of the Silly Symphonies series of theatrical cartoon shorts. The film’s release date of June 9 is officially recognized by the Walt Disney Company as Donald’s birthday.

    To celebrate, here’s a 1949 cartoon marking Donald’s 15th birthday. I don’t know that it stands the test of time as well as some other animated cartoons of the period, perhaps partly due to it not being one of his best. In any event, it’s the most appropriate one for the occasion. Happy Birthday, Donald(o) (El) Duck(o)!

     
    • BroadBlogs 2:17 pm on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Mom says I had a Donald Duck accent as a toddler. Which is to say, she couldn’t understand anything I said.

      Happy birthday Donald Duck!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 3:42 pm on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love that Donald Duck voice! It’s probably the most memorable of any cartoon character not voiced by Mel Blanc (the Man of a 1000 Voices, including Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and 998 others).

      Like

    • Don Frankel 4:21 pm on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wait a second if you say Donald people say Trump? You mean they don’t say…. Mattingly?

      You know when you haven’t watched these in awhile it’s amazing to see the quality of the artwork. Even with modern day computers they can’t match it.

      Happy Birthday Donald Duck!

      Like

    • mistermuse 5:18 pm on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Or Frankel would be even better, Don.

      As for the artwork, one could say Disney could afford the best, but he wasn’t the only one producing great animated cartoons in those days.

      Like

    • arekhill1 6:48 pm on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m pretty sure Mattingly was (is) a Don, not a Donald.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:07 pm on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Same with Mafia Don, though I’m not sure which one had the most hits.

      Like

    • Joseph Nebus 10:15 pm on June 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      As a kid I wanted to like Donald Duck, but I ended up shying away because I could see when he lost his temper he was just digging a deeper hole for himself and I couldn’t bear it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:54 pm on June 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wile E Coyote always dug a hole for himself too, but though you knew it was coming, that was the fun of it..

      Like

  • mistermuse 9:43 pm on July 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Candice Bergen, , Edgar Bergen, , I've Got No Strings, KNOCK WOOD, , , , Walt Disney   

    I’VE GOT NO STRINGS, KNOCK WOOD 

    You think your brother or sister is a dummy? You got nothing on Candice Bergen.

    You’ll recall from my last post that in the 1940s, I was a big boyhood fan of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his wooden alter ego, Charlie McCarthy. Not long after the end of World War II, Mrs. Bergen gave birth (May 9, 1946) to a daughter, Candice, who grew up to become a leading-light in her own right. In her fine 1984 autobiography, KNOCK WOOD, Candice wrote:

    When I was born, it was only natural that I would be known in the press as “Charlie’s sister.” “Charlie’s room”  was redecorated and renamed “the nursery.” And even though at my birth, he was simply moved to the guest room, next to the nursery, soon everyone again began referring to “Charlie’s room.” The sibling rivalry thus established was certainly unique, considering I was the only child and the sibling was, in truth, my father.

    Quoting from the book’s dust cover: Christmas was a visit from David Niven in the role of Santa, and a present from “Uncle Walt” Disney, the neighborhood was the Barrymore estate that bordered her yard….and because she was the daughter of Edgar Bergen, radio’s greatest dignitary/comedian, her “sibling” was Charlie McCarthy, the impudent dummy beloved of millions, vaguely resented by one little girl whose father was the center of her universe.

    KNOCK WOOD is the candid story of a celebrity’s daughter growing up in a unique environment, and I recommend it highly. It is full of anecdotes and “name-dropping,” including the likes of W. C. Fields, Mae West, Marilyn Monroe and the aforementioned Walt Disney. Fields, as you old-time radio buffs know, carried on a famous “feud” with Charlie McCarthy, primarily on The Chase and Sanborn Hour starring Edgar Bergen. Here’s a typical example :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUZYUM6kOTs

    To appropriately wrap up the subjects covered in this and the previous post, let’s go with I’ve Got No Strings from Walt Disney’s 1940 acclaimed animated feature, PINOCCHIO:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAykOz1gWi4

     

     

     

     

     

     
    • rielyn 7:31 pm on August 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m glad you liked the book, Dad. Was there anything about her life during “Murphy Brown”? That’s what I know her from.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:07 pm on August 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The “Murphy Brown” series began in 1988 – four years after the book was published. Oddly enough, I never watched a single program of her TV series, but then (with several exceptions), I’ve never been a big TV sitcom fan. I really enjoyed the book, which is very well written.

      Like

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