Sunday, June 26, 2011

Father's Day Film Nior Style!

I know it is not father's day anymore. Seriously, did you expect me to spend father's day on my laptop writing odes to you people when I could be spending time with my Dad? Sheesh!

Just for that, I decided to wait a week to give you your blog post.

So anyway, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! I labored long and hard trying to come up with a good idea about what to do to make it a special occasion on this blog, something I don't often do. How do you make classic movies and father's day fit in together? Recommend a good movie about fathers and children? Give free copies of somebody's biography written by their kid? Finally it occurred to me, movie stars are people too, and most of them had kids at some point. What on Earth could be cuter then collected photographs of movie stars and their kids?

So whether you agree or not, that's the agenda, but first I'd like to say a few words about my Dad;

"There was a young lady from Niger,
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.
After the ride
She was inside,
And the smile was on the face of the tiger."

That's actually a limerick. It's a five-line poem, and so far this is the worst Father's day tribute ever. So here is Naomi to tell you what she thinks of Dad;

"Uhm..he tickles! He is a tickle guy! He tickle us! I love him!"

Esther said; "Daddy is a goober head...Daddy is MY FAVORITE IN THE WORLD next to Bumbo. Actually...Bumbo is next to daddy." (Bumbo is a sock-puppet operated by Ruby)

Isabel said "Say...uhm...that he leaves his socks everywhere, he's a goober and I love him. And he is really really really weird. In a cosmic sort of way."

Ruby; "I love him very much and he's a great father and I love going fishing with him."

I love him very very much to. He is crazy, awesome, smart, funny and an expert on every nerdy little thing I could ask for. Nobody can be the perfect father, but in absolute honesty my Dad is the closest I've seen. He is an awesome Dad, a great friend and the best illustration for self-improvement and leadership in my life.

But sometimes, just sometimes, he reminds me very much of Mr. Krabs;

On we push, we can't all have my dad, so let's "aww" over some movie stars kid's shall we?

And so, in honor of Father's day, I present a father-themed celebration film-nior style by giving you guys a bunch of pictures of the movie stars I cover often here with their children, because as I said, nothing is cuter than movie stars with babies. Some of the pictures are pretty small but I was able to get most of the information about them from Wikipedia; I hope you enjoy and comment to tell me the cutest picture, somebody else you'd like me to look up, etc.

First off we have Bing Crosby with his wife and his two sons Nathaniel and Gary, probably sometime in the late 50's;

Then, to make things a little scary, Boris Karloff welcomes his first and only daughter Sara into the world, about November 23, 1938;

I should probably put the Marx brothers in their own post since I found several photos with them, these first two are Groucho with his youngest daughter Melinda (for some unknown reason all the Marx's daughters had names beginning with "M");

A family photo of Chico Marx with his wife, Betty, and only daughter Maxine, circa 1930's. And another, probably on the movie set for "Duck Soup";

These last four pictures are all Harpo's children, he adopted four; Bill (who I think is the one in the third picture, the oldest) Alex, Jimmy, and Minnie. The first one is from Wikipedia, taken in 1954, Los Angeles, and I think the last one is at their home, with his wife Susan, probably early sixties?

The saddest photo on the list, Lou Costello with his young son Lou Jr. nicknamed Butch. I heard this story several places before reading it in both Mel Blanc and Jack Benny's autobiography. Here is what Wikipedia says, and if it doesn't depress you I don't know what will, but in some ways, keeping with the spirit of Father's day;

"Upon arriving at the NBC studio, Lou received word that his infant son Lou Jr. had accidentally drowned in the family pool. The baby was just two days short of his first birthday. Lou had asked his wife to keep Butch up that night so the boy could hear his father on the radio for the first time. Rather than cancel the broadcast, Lou said, "Wherever he is tonight, I want him to hear me," and went on with the show. No one in the audience knew of the death until after the show when Bud Abbott explained the events of the day, and how the phrase "The show must go on" had been epitomized by Lou that night."

Then we have Danny Kaye playing piano and stretching on the golf field with his only daughter Dena (Dena Kaye, get it?) and wife Sylvia;

Don Knotts and some other unidentified people holding his daughter Karen. (looking up Andy Griffith's children only brought pictures of Ronnie Howard)

Lucy and Dezi, with their children....also named Lucie and Dezi;

Jack Benny, Mary Livingston (who was actually his wife, if you didn't know) and their daughter Joan, who looks weirdly like her mother for someone who was adopted. She was the co-author of "Sunday Nights at Seven", the biography of Jack Benny that I read. Long story short, she spoke very highly of her relationship with her father, and they make an awful cute family;

She was also the best friend of George Burns and Gracie Allen's children Sandra and Ronnie. No information on the first but the second was taken on the Matson flag ship, 1938. (from Wikipedia) Both George Burns and Gracie Allen and Jack Benny and Marie Livingston's marriages were life-long;

Humphrey Bogart visits Peter Lorre holding his only daughter Catherine (from TCM database) and Peter Lorre and wife Anne-Marie and Catherine at home in 1962, two years before his death.

And the piece de` Resistance, several adorable pictures of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall with their young son Stephen;

So I'll stop putting photo's on before blogger sues me. I'm off to watch an MST3K with my Dad, one of the many traditions we have. So once again, HAPPY (slightly late) FATHER'S DAY!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

All Thwough The Night

Look..... It's DANNY KAYE!!

That is to wash the bad taste out of your mouth that's been given to you thanks to the seemingly endless string of Peter Lorre photo's going down on this blog. I just got it networked, which means I now have a Facebook page, and I realized that my last post (disregarding the one by Isabel), nay my last several posts, are simply chocked full of Peter you-know-who's pictures. I'm sure all you facebookians were oh so appreciative of that. The picture of Danny is also my little way of apologizing for not blogging sooner. (I love this idea, from now on, all my apologies are going to come in the form of a photo of Danny Kaye texted to someone's phone or posted to their fb wall. My theory being that eventually this way, I will have no friends left to apologize to) The first few weeks my excuse was a sincere one, as I was deep in the bowls of an educational pit I had dug for my self by not preparing for my final exam sooner. But after the finals were over, on the 3rd, I found myself so relieved, so free, and so not-caught-up on my movie reviewing that the mere idea of putting together a coherent block of wording for any reason whatsoever of my own free will was unfathomable. "After all," I figured, "I haven't blogged, emailed, or facebooked in awhile, maybe they'll just assume me dead, and go on with their lives never knowing what happened to me..."
But then I remembered that I don't blog by public demand, I blog because it's fun for me. And the realization that it had been so long since I blogged and no one said anything about it, even though you'd think that would be less motivation, did nothing but transform my subconscious into a bitter monster that will now blog and make you read every single post because I feel so utterly betrayed. Or maybe I'm just bored. You'll never, ever know.
So I'm now finally going to take time out from doing nothing to bring you a movie that I rented, watched and sent back at least a month ago, and never actually reviewed anyway besides concocting the dictionary guide which will be enclosed. And before you get your hopes up, it does have Peter Lorre in it, but not in a starring role. I decided the best way to cope with the unending string of his movies and their reviews was just to bite my lip and mention him as a member of the cast with no snarky comments about size, looks, or creepiness, before I get sued by his surviving family members, burned at the stake by some creepy fan club of his, or the zombie of the long dead movie star comes back and strangles me in my sleep. That's actually the least scary of the three, since he's pretty dang short and being an old dude when he died.....snap, I'm doing it again.
But anyway, as I'm sure you'll be grateful, I'll now try and get to the review. Our movie this week (I have no better introduction, darn it) is called "All Through the Night" and the title of the post, rather than being a typo, which wouldn't be super-surprising, is a reference to our lovely leading lady. But she's unimportant as I'm about to mention our leading man- HUMPHREY BOGART!!! I want to make that sound as cool as possible since it's gonna have to make up for a lot of other stuff, like plot and coherence and acting and climax...

But don't let me drop before I dish. Whatever that means.

This movie is one of those wonderfully predictable and yet cozy patriotic attempts on the part of Warner brothers. Made in 1942, it embodies the spirit of America during the time when even hardened criminals like gangsters were so much better than Nazis, you could make a whole movie about it. And who to lead the ball in the greatest face-off since ninjas and pirates? No one but Humphrey Bogart, who's gangster lingo will either make you giggle or cringe but either way is gonna seriously confuse you. Bogart plays tough-guy Gloves (that should be a warning) Donahue, a kind of comically harmless gangster type who although he can talk the talk and walk the walk, and threaten waiters, still takes care of his Aunt-Bea-esque Irish mother and buys the cheesecake from his friend, kindly-old German man who's name is unimportant. And who, subsequently, gets knocked off by Peter Lorre, a Nazi in league with a group of fifth-columnists (that means Nazi, I didn't know that) that are out to wreak havoc on native New York. The trail eventually leads to the beautiful but R-labialization-prone nightclub singer Leda Hamilton, played by the beautiful Mrs. Kawwen Vewn. Look, I know it's not nice make fun of people, but how can they seriously expect me not to crack up in the end when she looks at the camera, no shame, and says "I feel a little like the pwincess who been wescued fwom the dwagon by the white knight." Besides, I just found out she's Peter Lorre's wife. Kawwen Lowwe! This non-vindictiveness thing is getting harder and harder.

But moving on, we get Humphrey Bogart impersonating a Nazi, Phil Silvers and Jackie Gleason impersonating gangsters, and a mish-mosh of semi-climatic scenes and lots of dead-end kids style lingo impersonating a movie. The villain is played by the wonderfully cold Conrad Viedt (the super-bad Nazi guy from "Casablanca") who, ironically, is like the only German actor in the movie that played a Nazi and wasn't actually Jewish.

The movie is...cute, cute because it tries so hard to be cool. All the characters talk fondly of their days in the Bronx and in reform school (cause' apparently everybody in New York went to reform school at some time or other) and talk so much crazy Brooklynese you need a gangster to English dictionary to decipher it all. "A what?" you say. A gangster to English dictionary, and I'm giving one out free right here. This is a collection of common gangster words and phrases translated in to regular old snobbish English, so if you ever get transported back to the thirties and forties and find yourself on the streets of Brooklyn, your totally covered.

-Guide for da average joik

"Serve you with a blackout." ----------- "I shall make you unconscious."

"We catch them with their panzers down" ---- "We defeat them using the element of surprise."

"Five grand on the snoz. ----"I am betting five thousand dollars on the previously stated party."

"Paid quite a load a' scratch for it." --------- "Purchased with a significant amount of money."

"Got a date with the hot-seat." ---------- "Is wanted for murder."

"Got me figured all wrong." ---------- "You have wrongly interpreted my intentions."

"Makes us look like little bo peep." ---------- "Significantly dwarfed our lawlessness."

"Used your joint to do their finagling in." --------- "They utilized your property for nefarious deeds."

"Some place across da drink." --------- "A location beyond the Atlantic ocean."

"Spill it to the cops." ---------- "Disclose the information to the authorities."

"No soap." --------- "But naught."

"Those babies are strictly no good from way down deep." -------- "This group of individuals is wicked to the soul."

"The first one of dem' babies I tag I'm gonna kick em' in da swastika." -------- "To the first human being I overpower, I will deliver a blow to the posterior."

"Somebody yanked him." --------- "He was abducted by an unknown person."

I swear every one of those is from the movie. I just went through at complete random, it was that bad. But anyway, and whether or not you decide that's actually amusing, this post has gone way too long. I want to direct you to something that's actually funny before I leave. You've probably heard me talk about the Marx brothers. Not on here, yet, but on facebook and stuff, and you probably know that in a few days when I find my blogging 'feet' again, your gonna get a heck of a lot of Marx brothers stuff. I want you to have a good introduction. On the "reviews" section of "Night In Casablanca" which is on the Netflix instant, someone posted a link to some letters by Groucho Marx. These letters were written to Warner Brothers after they sent a warning notice about the title of "Night in Casablanca", saying it was too similar to "Casablanca" and threatening legal action if it wasn't changed. This letter was sent in response, and is now enshrined in the Smithsonian museum. If this doesn't give you an idea of what your up against with the Marx brothers, nothing can.

So to conclude, I'm back, and unless I get really lazy, I'm gonna stay that way. Except that I am really lazy. So this conclusion was really un-helpful. Sorry.

P.S. I didn't mention God in this post. That's bad. I'm sorry God, you are good. No sarcasm intended. I feel better now. Sentence fragments are fun. I tend to end these things with an apology a lot. Huh.

P.P.S. So I look for Karren Verne pictures and this comes up. This is not even fair. This is Peter Lorre absolutely getting squashed by his wife who's ten-times his size, and I'm not supposed to say anything about it. Forget being nice, I'll risk the zombie attack. >insert uncontainable evil cackling<