Silent comedy veterans in Pre-Code features

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gjohnson

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Re: Silent comedy veterans in Pre-Code features

PostMon Jan 30, 2012 11:28 am

Why, he looks nothing like Charlie Chaplin....
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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Re: Silent comedy veterans in Pre-Code features

PostTue Feb 21, 2012 9:24 pm

Film Forum's William Wellman festival brought forth Stingaree this evening, a very odd film featuring Richard Dix as sort of an Australian Robin Hood, who, when he isn't busy robbing people, vigorously promotes Irene Dunne's operatic career. (In one scene he forces an audience to listen to her sing at gunpoint.) And there, in the movie's very first shot, is actual Aussie Snub Pollard, playing a ranch hand on a sheep farm. He pops up occasionally throughout the film, but isn't allowed much comic business. The one exception comes when he participates in the running gag shared by almost all the members of the cast: a look of nausea at the sound of Mary Boland's singing voice. Billy Bevan is also on hand, but only briefly, and he's rather lost in the shuffle.

Strange indeed, coming from Wild Bill. But he earns points for attempting something so off-the-wall, and for casting Pollard and Bevan to provide local color.

P.S. Oops, sorry: local colour.
-- Charlie Morrow
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greta de groat

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Re: Silent comedy veterans in Pre-Code features

PostWed Feb 22, 2012 12:24 am

And of course not only silent comedy veterans, but dramatic actors as well--besides Dix there's Conway Tearle in what must be one of his most prominent talkie roles.

It is a really strange film, though.

greta
Greta de Groat
Unsung Divas of the Silent Screen
http://www.stanford.edu/~gdegroat
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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Re: Silent comedy veterans in Pre-Code features

PostMon Feb 27, 2012 8:41 pm

Another week, another Wellman. This time, however, instead of an oddity about an Australian opera-loving Robin Hood, the material was perfectly suited to the man who made Wings. Tonight at Film Forum we saw Young Eagles (1930), a World War I flying ace saga starring Buddy Rogers and Jean Arthur. There were two impressive aerial sequences, and no rear-screen projection nonsense. The flying was real, and very nicely filmed.

I post about it here because the supporting cast features the one and only Jimmy Finlayson, as a Scottish officer in a kilt. He's identified in the credits as "Scotty," of all names.

Watching this movie tonight was something of a recovered memory experience, because I realized part-way through that I saw it on TV long ago, when I was maybe 10 or 11, and had forgotten it. But I was already a hardcore Laurel & Hardy fan at the time, and recognized Finn right away. (How could you not?) He pops up during a party sequence, clean-shaven, dancing with Virginia Bruce. He also has a mildly amusing scene with Stu Erwin, but his best moment comes at the end of the dance, when Virginia gives him a quick kiss on his bald pate, and he exclaims: "Hoot mon!"
-- Charlie Morrow
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Richard M Roberts

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Re: Silent comedy veterans in Pre-Code features

PostMon Feb 27, 2012 8:52 pm

Wm. Charles Morrow wrote:Another week, another Wellman. This time, however, instead of an oddity about an Australian opera-loving Robin Hood, the material was perfectly suited to the man who made Wings. Tonight at Film Forum we saw Young Eagles (1930), a World War I flying ace saga starring Buddy Rogers and Jean Arthur. There were two impressive aerial sequences, and no rear-screen projection nonsense. The flying was real, and very nicely filmed.

I post about it here because the supporting cast features the one and only Jimmy Finlayson, as a Scottish officer in a kilt. He's identified in the credits as "Scotty," of all names.

Watching this movie tonight was something of a recovered memory experience, because I realized part-way through that I saw it on TV long ago, when I was maybe 10 or 11, and had forgotten it. But I was already a hardcore Laurel & Hardy fan at the time, and recognized Finn right away. (How could you not?) He pops up during a party sequence, clean-shaven, dancing with Virginia Bruce. He also has a mildly amusing scene with Stu Erwin, but his best moment comes at the end of the dance, when Virginia gives him a quick kiss on his bald pate, and he exclaims: "Hoot mon!"



Fin's in the 1930 DAWN PATROL as well, also sans the hair-lip, and he's good in it too.


RICHARD M ROBERTS
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Ed Watz

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Re: Silent comedy veterans in Pre-Code features

PostMon Feb 27, 2012 10:20 pm

Richard M Roberts wrote:
Fin's in the 1930 DAWN PATROL as well, also sans the hair-lip, and he's good in it too.

RICHARD M ROBERTS


Actually Fin wears his 'stache in the 1930 DAWN PATROL...I wish they'd have let him wear it more often in his non-Roach appearances. In DAWN PATROL it's nice to see him doing light comic business with the likes of Clyde Cook and Jack Akroyd - at one point Fin apparently adlibs, "Come along now, Akroyd!"
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Richard M Roberts

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Re: Silent comedy veterans in Pre-Code features

PostMon Feb 27, 2012 11:08 pm

Ed Watz wrote:
Richard M Roberts wrote:
Fin's in the 1930 DAWN PATROL as well, also sans the hair-lip, and he's good in it too.

RICHARD M ROBERTS


Actually Fin wears his 'stache in the 1930 DAWN PATROL...I wish they'd have let him wear it more often in his non-Roach appearances. In DAWN PATROL it's nice to see him doing light comic business with the likes of Clyde Cook and Jack Akroyd - at one point Fin apparently adlibs, "Come along now, Akroyd!"



I pulled it an looked, and, dang, you're right. My memory morphed Billy Bevan in JOURNEYS END onto Fin in that. But he indeed is terrific in it. I think Bevan, Finlayson, Clyde Cook, and Jimmy Aubrey all elongated their careers by becoming the boot-shiners of the British Raj in 30's and 40's American pictures. Our Movie Night group has the regular game to see which one of them pops up first if its an American film with a British, Scottish, or Irish locale (or India for that matter).

It was also fun spotting Fin in a late Technicolor part as a magistrate in THUNDER IN THE VALLEY (1947) last year.


RICHARD M ROBERTS
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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Re: Silent comedy veterans in Pre-Code features

PostSat Feb 16, 2013 8:11 am

Thanks to Film Forum (yet again!) I can revive this thread. Their current series is devoted to films made during the year 1933, and last night I revisited the one and only Baby Face, starring Barbara Stanwyck. It’s a longtime favorite but I hadn’t seen it in a while, and was reminded on this viewing that several silent comedy veterans turn up in small roles: Heinie Conklin is a waiter in a sleazy beer joint, Spec O’Donnell is an office boy at the bank where Stanwyck works, and Harry Gribbon has a nice recurring bit as a doorman who flirts with our leading lady.

One other silent film veteran appears in a memorable scene: James Murray of The Crowd turns up as a railroad man who encounters Stanwyck and her friend Theresa Harris riding the rails. Initially he orders the women off the train, but they manage to negotiate a mutually satisfying compromise. This scene was cut from the film prior to its release, but was found intact in the uncut print discovered at the Library of Congress in 2004.
-- Charlie Morrow
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