Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Olaf Hytten - butler deluxe

He appeared in a long list of movies, very frequently as a butler. Perhaps he does not replace Arthur Treacher as the prototypical valet, but her certainly is in the first rank. If you are a fan of old movies, his is one of those faces you recognize immediately, but cannot place the name.

Bea Benederet - from Petticoat Junction to Gertrude Gearshift

Benederet was a familiar face and voice on radio and television. She was Mrs. Carstairs on Fibber McGee and Molly, Principal Eve Goodwin on The Great Gildersleeve, Mrs. Anderson on A Day in the Life of Dennis Day, and Iris Attebury on My Favorite Husband - all roles that we have listened to and loved in our years with old radio shows. One of her most versatile roles on radio, though was that of telephone operator Gertrude Gearshift on The Jack Benny Show, which provided some of the most hilarious moments on that program.

Later, Benederet would become a staple as the wise and motherly Kate on Petticoat Junction, a far cry from Gertrude and the others on radio. She also was Pearl Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies.

Here is a LINK to an episode of the Benny program in which Gertrude Gearshift appears. Go to the 14:00 mark to hear her.

Sort of sums up "crusty"


Petticoat Junction TV show.

It's A Joke, Son! (1947)

Kenny Delmar was the announcer on the Fred Allen radio show, and was a regular member of the "Allen's Alley" feature on that show, where he played Senator Beauregard Claghorn. He plays Claghorn in this movie. Cartoon fans will notice immediately that Foghorn Leghorn was a direct copy of the Claghorn character.

The movie starts out by saying that Delmar knows that the South did not lose the war: it was just called because of darkness. Delmar's wife, Una Merkel, interrupts his incessant talking on Main Street about the South. She is much dissatisfied by his lack of ambition. He was offered a job making speeches by Senator Jimmy Conlin, but turned it down because he did not like him. Their daughter, June Lockhart, is in love with Kenneth Farrell, but Merkel does not like him. Merkel puts Delmar in charge of making the punch for a ladies' gathering at their home, and he enlists a little boy to help him. He loads up the punch with liquor, unknown to Delmar. The meeting dissolves into giggles under the influence of the punch.

Farrell needs some money to buy a van to start up his frozen food business. Delmar decides to help them in defiance of Merkel. In the meantime she is pledging to help the ladies' group fund with the same money Delmar gave the couple. The group decides to run Merkel for State Senator. This upsets the establishment political machine, run by Douglas Dumbrille. Farrell goes to the machine and tells them how to defeat Merkel. He suggests starting a third party and splitting the vote - with Delmar as the candidate. However, Dumbrille's men threaten him with murder if he actually wins. Immediately, of course, Delmar's popularity skyrockets. Dumbrille calls him in and threatens him again, and when Delmar learns he is from the North, he walks out defiantly. At the rally that evening, Delmar makes a speech with lots of jokes thrown in, but openly defiant of Dumbrille's organization.

After the rally, Dumbrille's men kidnap Delmar. Delmar's dog, Daisy, trails them to the hideout. Lockhart and Farrell set out to look for him, with a musical group to play Dixie. Merkel goes on the radio to withdraw her candidacy in favor of Delmar. The thugs take Delmar's pants so he won't escape, because he has to make it to the election headquarters by 9 p.m. They tie him up, but when Delmar hears the band playing the Southern National Anthem, he breaks loose, overpowers the guards, and runs down the road after the truck holding his pants because he has no suspenders. Daisy catches up with the truck and makes them stop. They make it to headquarters just in time.

Here is a LINK to an exchange between Delmar and Fred Allen on Allen's Alley.




Delmar


Lockhart


Law and security

If we sit secure this hour, this day, it is because the thin walls of the law stand between us and evil. A jolt of the earth, a revolution, an invasion, or even a violent upset in our own government can reduce all to chaos, leaving civilized man naked and exposed.

(from Fair Blows the Wind, by Louis Lamour)

In which hams and stocks are discussed

          As they made their way along the path that skirted the lawn, there rose from the wet earth like incense the fragrance of the sweet flowers of the night. All wasted on J. B. Duff. His heart continued heavy.
          Mrs. Chavender, on the other hand, whose heart was light, sniffed appreciatively.
          "Ah!"
          "Eh?"
          "Um!"
          "Oh?" said Mr. Duff, getting her meaning.
          "Stocks," said Mrs. Chavender. "You can't beat the scent of stocks."
          "Swell smell," agreed Mr. Duff. Mrs. Chavender seemed pleased by this poetic eulogy.
          "You know, you've become a lot more spiritual since I first knew you, Jimmy. There's a sort of lyrical note in your conversation which used not to be there. About now, in the old days, if I had mentioned the scent of stocks, you would have been comparing it to its disadvantage with the smell of Paramount Ham in the early boiling stage."

(from Quick Service, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)


Stocks

Mr. Steptoe gets his back up

          "Listen," he said, "what's all this about fetching cops?"
          "I intend to send this man to prison."
          "Do you? said Mr. Steptoe, red about the eyes and bulging in the torso. "Is that a fact? Well, listen while I tell you something. This guy Weatherby is a right guy, and he doesn't go to any hoosegow, not while I have my strength."
          "Well spoken, Steptoe," said Joss.
          "The boy's good," said Mrs. Chavender.
          "A fine fellow," said Joss. "I liked him from the first." This excellent press emboldened Mr. Steptoe to continue.
          "Who does this pottrait belong to? Me. Who's the interested party, then? Me. So who's got to prosecute if guys are to be slapped in the cooler for swiping it? Me. M-e, me," said Mr. Steptoe, who was all right at words of one syllable.

(from Quick Service, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)        

Dick Tracy actors from the 1940s

The comic strip detective was portrayed in movies of the 1940's by these actors:


Ralph Byrd


Morgan Conway

Jimmy Shields, Tenor

For a while, the singer on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show was Jimmy Shields.

HERE is a newspaper article announcing Shields' start with the program. It says he is not an Irish tenor, but I think a pretty good case could be made that he was just that.

HERE is a brief biographical sketch.

Wallace Wimple is Mr. Smee on Peter Pan

Those of you who are Fibber McGee and Molly radio fans will recognize the voice of Bill Thompson in the Disney cartoon movie Peter Pan. Thompson played the part of Mr. Smee, Captain Hook's sidekick. Thompson played several roles on Fibber McGee program, including Horatio K. Boomer, the Oldtimer and Nick Depopulis, but it was the voice of Wallace Wimple that he used for the Smee character.

Here is a Youtube LINK to a bit from Peter Pan so you can hear Smee's voice.

Here is a Youtube LINK to an episode of Fibber McGee and Molly. You can hear Wallace Wimple beginning at the 24:22 mark.




Mr. Smee

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tess Trueheart in the movies

Three actresses played Dick Tracy's girlfriend Tess Trueheart in movies made in the 1940's: Anne Jeffreys, Anne Gwynne, and Kay Christopher. There were four such movies, and Jeffreys starred in two of them.

1945+–+Anne+Jeffreys+in+Zombies+on+Broadway.jpg
Jeffreys


Gwynne


Christopher


And the original

Groucho gets a good answer on You Bet Your Life

Groucho: "Max, why is it you have never married?

Max: "Well, I could only marry a woman I could respect. And a girl that would marry me I couldn't respect."

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Whispering sweet nothings

          "I am waiting for the entrance of the female star. Did Mrs. Chavender come to you as you lay there?"
          "Yes. And when the door suddenly opened and there she was, did it nearly slay me!"
          "Whereupon - ?"
          "She said, 'Gosh, Jimmy, you look like a rainy Sunday in Pittsburgh!' And I said, 'I feel like a rainy Sunday in Pittsburgh.' And she said, 'Have you been eating something that disagreed with you?' And I said, 'And how!' And she said, 'Poor old slob, your stomach always weak, wasn't it? A king among men, but a pushover for the gastric juices, even in the old days.'"
          "These were the first words you had exchanged in fifteen years?"
          "Yes. Why?"
          "I had often wondered what lovers said to one another when they met again after long parting. Now I know."

(from Quick Service, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Drexdale Drew - another addition to our list of detectives

We are acquainted with this dauntless friend of right in the P. G. Wodehouse book, Quick Service. It seems that Drew was the hero of a book entitled "The Limehouse Mystery," in which he did battle with a villain known as The Faceless Fiend.

J. B. Duff is a stubborn sort

I know J. B.  He's one of those men whose legs you have to count to be sure they aren't mules. When he gets an idea into his head, you couldn't dig it out with a chisel.

(from Quick Service, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

All Through the Night (1941) - This one you need to see

You can look up the plot elsewhere, but it involves Bogie battling against an organization of Nazi fifth columnists during World War II. I will just say that if you have not seen this one and you are a fan of old movies, then you need to. In my opinion, it was one of Humphrey Bogart's best. It combined humor and drama a la Damon Runyon. Several actors of German origin are used in various roles, mostly bad guys; but Kaaren Verne (one of Hollywood's great classic beauties) is the heroine.

It has an all-star cast with several of the great character actors in Hollywood history, the action is fast, there is an endless stream of great one-liners and an outstanding musical score. The pace stays frantic enough that the movie seems longer than it is. It has a slam-bang finish. Well worth the price of admission. If you want to entertain your kids with a great movie with a compelling look at a slice of real World War II history, this is the place. The end will make you want to stand up and cheer for the good old USA. When Bogie's boys come crashing into the fifth columnist meeting, it is HERO TIME!
Here is a LINK to the original trailer for the movie.





Sgt. Andrew Carter (Larry Hovis) from Hogan's Heroes

He was a singer by training, and actually recorded one album for Capitol Records before his Hogan's Heroes days. In at least one episode a big deal is made about Carter being a Sioux Indian. Actually, Hovis was of Yakima Indian ancestry.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bubble Eyes

That was the name given to Mantan Moreland by Laurence Criner in the movie The Gang's All Here .

Partners in Crime (1937)

Lynne Overman and Roscoe Karns are being kicked out of their apartment. Karns, a newspaperman, is pushing Charles Halton for mayor in the upcoming elections. As they are leaving Muriel Hutchison and Anthony Quinn come in. Overman, an incurable ladies' man, decides immediately to pay the rent and stay. He charms the telephone operator into letting him listen in on their phone conversation. When Hutchison comes downstairs, he arranges for her to ride with him, Karns and his girlfriend, Inez Courtney. Hutchison meets Quinn at Halton's office, and slips him a note which looks like a blackmail threat. Overman gets Halton to admit the threat and he hires him to investigate. It turns out that his first wife, whom he thought was dead, is living and Hutchison is supposed to be his daughter.

Overman goes to see Hutchison and tells her he knows about the blackmail plot. She admits to nothing except having told Halton she is his daughter. She gives Overman the big-eye treatment and he agrees to help her. Overman calls the current mayor, Russell Hicks, and scares him into action, because he and his assistants are the ones who hatched the blackmail plan. They stop Quinn before he goes into Halton's office building, threaten him, and carry him away, while Overman listens to the whole conversation. He talks his way out of the situation and calls Hutchinson to tell her they are on their way to see her. They grab Courtney by mistake as she is going to Karns' room for their date. She finds Hutchison's purse and lipstick, then her suitcase, and gets very suspicious - then finds Hutchison in the closet.

While Overman is getting his check from Halton, Hutchison walks in, demanding that Halton support her in style. (It does not help that later that day he has to address the Women's League on the subject of "Our Forgotten Children.") Quinn sends word from jail that he wants to talk to them, but they will not let Overman see him. Overman gets Karns drunk and has him arrested for assault, so that he will be thrown in jail to be able to talk to Quinn. (By a remarkable coincidence he is put in the same cell - imagine that!) Hutchison crashes the League meeting and claims to be Halton's child in front of all of them. Now the League has no candidate, but Overman talks them into nominating Karns. However, Overman had sent some more of the sneezing remedy to Karns in jail, and when he shares it with Quinn, he dies. Because he is under suspicin of murder, Overman cannot get him out of jail to begin the campaign.

Overman talks to the druggist who prepared the medicine, and he discovers that the cigarettes that had been sent to Quinn, when combined with the substance in the medicine, would cause rapid death. It turns out that the cigarettes came from Halton's address. They are ready to arrest Halton, but Overman proves that it could have been Hutchison in disguise. Then news comes that the supposed first wife is dead, so there is no bigamy case against Halton. Then news comes that Quinn did not actually die, but was revived. Hutchison is released into Overman's custody.

Karns is elected mayor, but he was born in Toronto and is not a citizen of the U.S., so it does not count.




Overman


Hutchison

A commentary on Lord Holbeton's intelligence

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. if Geoge Holbeton had two ounces more brain, just two ounces more, he would be half-witted. The poor wet smack!

(from Quick Service, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Casey, Crime Photographer radio show

One of the enjoyable and well-done "detective" programs on radio was Casey, Crime Photographer. It does not get the publicity today that some of the others do, but it is well worth listening to. Casey (Staats Cottsworth) was a hard-boiled investigative photographer who solved crimes for the police along with his sidekick girl reporter, Anne.

Here is a LINK to a number of Casey episodes.


Staats Cottsworth

Old age isn't overcoming

It is said that old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill. These days for me, I do not know if old age can overcome anything.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Reality shows?

I do not watch them, but their name puzzles me. Most of the people I have noted being associated with them are about as far from being "real" as a three-dollar bill and about as in touch with reality as a lunatic.

The Prisonaires

Since we mentioned the Ink Spots, we will call your attention to another of the doo-wop singing groups of the 1950's, that being The Prisonaires. They were named that because that is what they were. The five members of the group served time in the Tennessee State Penitentiary at Nashville for charges ranging from murder to larceny.

Here is a Youtube LINK to "Just Walkin' in the Rain," one of their more famous numbers.

Why people remember

People's memories are good when they have to be good. Before there was literacy, people had to recall things, and so they trained their minds to do so because their welfare depended upon it. Today we train ourselves to forget - literally. Mental training in reverse.

The Ink Spots on Jack Benny

On one episode of the Jack Benny radio program, the Sportsmen Quartet could not appear for some reason, so Rochester offered to get the Ink Spots to sing in their place. The quartet would always work in an advertisement for Lucky Strike cigarettes, the sponsor at that time. In most of the Ink Spots' numbers, the bass, Orville "Hoppy" Jones, would talk his way through one verse in his unique style and deep, mellow voice. On this performance, instead of the usual verse of the song, "If I Didn't Care," one of their biggest hits, he broke into a plug for Lucky Strikes. It worked wonderfully.

LINK to "If I Didn't Care"

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I am the snappiest dresser

among men living in south Logan County, Arkansas, who are right-handed, who part their hair on the left side, who have crooked little fingers, who have scars inside their left wrists, who have mustaches and who have ringing in their left ears. Quite a distinction, I thought.

J. B. Duff - a natural suspect

I don't know if you know it, J. B., but you're the sort of fellow who causes hundreds to fall under suspicion when he's found stabbed in his library with a paper-knife of Oriental design.

(from Quick Service, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Such men are not really late

A man like me always seems to be later than he is. That is because people sit yearning for him. They get all tense, listening for his footstep, and every minute seems an hour.

(from Quick Service, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Impact on our minds - just human nature

That which is easy, cheap and virtual has much less substantial impact upon our minds than that which is expensive, difficult and tangible.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cute - Hollywood's definition

None of the three famous actresses shown below was a raving beauty (in order, Mary Martin, Jean Arthur, Carole Lombard). But together they pretty well sum up the word "cute."




Basil Rathbone in the Great War

Acting great Basil Rathbone served with the Liverpool Scottish in World War I. Here is a nice LINK that gives an account of his service.

What is jazz?

It is just the process of having fun with something otherwise serious.

The Ickenham System

[For those of you so sheltered as to be unformed regarding The Ickenham System, what follows is a fairly complete description of its method for the wooing of sweethearts by shy suitors - prescribed, naturally, by Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, Fifth Earl of good old Ickenham, and known to his many admirers as Uncle Fred.]

          "It seems that he was a witness of the proceedings, and he speaks highly of your technique. You strode up and grabbed her by the wrist, eh?"
          "Yes."
          "Waggled her about a bit?"
          "Yes."
          "Then clasped her to your bosom and showered kisses on her upturned face?"
          "Yes."
          "With the results that might have been anticipated. I told you the Ickenham system never fails. Brought up against it, the proudest beauty wilts and signs on the dotted line."

(from Uncle Dynamite, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

[We should point out two salient features of the above-related conversation. As you can see, the second party to the conversation, Bill Oakshott, is a man of few words (in this instance, only one word, that being "Yes"), though now, finally, a man of direct and forceful action. Second, there is one step in the Ickenham System which Uncle Fred omitted in this conversation, and that to ardently exclaim "My mate!" at some point in the proceedings.]

Uncle Fred is looney, but a great guy

          "He never minds how much trouble he takes, if he feels that he's spreading sweetness and light."
          "No. There have been complaints about it on all sides, and I still maintain that he ought to be in a padded cell with the board of Lunacy Commissioners sitting on his head. However, I agree that he has smoothed our path. I mean to say, here we are, what?"
          "Here we are."
          "All our problems solved. Nothing to worry about any more."
          "Not a thing."
          "Oh, Sally!"
          "Oh, Pongo!"

(from Uncle Dynamite, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Praise for Bill Oakshott

I know few men whom I respect more than William Oakshott. Of all my circle he is the one I would choose first to be on my side in the event of unpleasantness with an alligator. And while it may be argued, and with perfect justice, that the part which alligators play in the average normal married life is not a large one, it is no bad thing for a girl to have a husband capable of putting them in their place. The man who can prop an alligator's jaws open with a stick and then, avoiding its lashing tail, dispatch it with a meat ax is a man who can be trusted to help fire the cook. So no one will rejoice more heartily then I when the bells ring out in the little village church and you come tripping down the aisle on Bill Oakshott's sinewy arm.

(from Uncle Dynamite, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Lone Wolf in London (1947)

Inspector Frederick Worlock and his assistant Denis Green are surprised when The Lone Wolf (Gerald Mohr) comes to their office asking to be allowed to see a couple of famous gems called The Eyes of the Nile in order to complete a book he is writing. Green tells him that the gems have just been stolen, and that they suspect him. Mohr is short on money because of his book research, and likewise his valet, Eric Blore. Nancy Saunders comes to their room to invite them to their home for dinner. Her father is a well-known gem expert, Sir Vernon Steele. There he also meets Saunders' fiancee, Richard Fraser. Steele asks Mohr to arrange a loan for him on part of his collection. He gives Mohr an advance check.

The Steele maid works part-time for actress Evelyn Ankers, who is the ex-wife of their butler, Tom Stevenson. Blore cons Mohr into going to see Ankers' show, and they paint the town afterwards. Ankers' current boyfriend, Alan Napier, is much offended. Stevenson shows up after Mohr drops her up, and we find that she is trying to get him to steal something for her, but he is afraid to do it. She is also milking Napier for money to buy her nice things.

Mohr goes to see Paul Fung, an old contact in gem deals to try to get the money for Steele. Fraser threatens Mohr to stay away from the Steele house. Steele send the jewels to Mohr via Stevenson. Stevenson finds and steals the Eyes of the Nile. Fraser insists on accompanying Stevenson and gets nosy about everything that is going on. When Stevenson arrives at the Fung shop, he is dead in the car. The police ask Steele about the jewels, but he will not press charges against Mohr. Then Mohr gives the Eyes of the Nile to Steele and says he has been paying blackmail for receiving stolen goods. Stevenson pulls a gun on Mohr, but he escapes.

Back at the theater, Ankers sweet-talks Napier into getting the jewels from Mohr, but with Blore's help he knocks him out and ties him up. Mohr makes like he is going to skip the country with Ankers. He sneaks into Ankers dressing room and locates the jewels in her fur coat, but does not try to retrieve them. Ankers heads to the airport, where Mohr catches up with her, under the watchful eyes of Worlock and Green. Then Napier comes charging up and tells the police that she killed Stevenson. Mohr finds the jewels in the fur coat, and the police arrest Ankers.


\
Blore


Saunders

Post-nasal drip

I understand this term. It is entirely logical. After all, one could hardly expect one's nose to drip before one had a nose, right? Therefore any dripping from the nose must be post-nasal, that is, after one has a nose. It is the opposite term that puzzles me. If there is a post-nasal drip, logically there must also be pre-nasal drip; and it is hard for me to understand how one's nose can drip before one has a nose.

My father's shaving routine

To me, shaving is a chore to be gotten out of the way as quickly as possible. I recall, however, that my father seemed to regard it as a luxury. Of course, he approached it a lot differently than I did. He took his time with it. First, he would take a hot wash rag and hold it on his face for a while to soften his beard (and his beard is heavier than mine). Then he would squeeze a little shaving soap from a tube onto his shaving brush and lather his face. I use a cup and brush, but Daddy always preferred the soap he got in a tube. I am not sure, but I think Colgate was his usual brand. He shaved slowly and carefully, and as a result looked good when he got through. On the other hand, I usually looked like I had been in a knife fight - on the losing end. Daddy took a chore and made it a pleasure.

man-shaving.jpg

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Buck-u-Uppo, the wonder medicine

All through those weary months in Brazil the image of this girl had been constantly before his mental eye, but now that he was seeing her face to face her beauty numbed him, causing trembling of the limbs and that general feeling of debility and run-downness which afflicts so many people nowadays and can be corrected only by the use of such specifics as Buck-u-Uppo or Doctor Smythe's Tonic Swamp Juice.

(from Uncle Dynamite, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Just a natural reaction

When a sensitive young man, animated by a lively consideration for his personal well-being, has been told by a much larger young man of admittedly homicidal tendencies that if he does not abandon his practice of hobnobbing with housemaids in the drawing room at one-thirty in the morning he, the much larger young man, will scoop out his insides with his bare hands, he shrinks from the prospect of being caught by the other entertaining a housemaid in his bedroom at two-forty-five.

(from Uncle Dynamite, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

HERE is more from Uncle Dynamite.

Sir Aylmer Bostock and his future son-in-law

Although he had been compelled to abandon his view of this young man as a rat of the underworld, he still considered him a rat, and the last thing he desired was a jolly party with him at half-past two in the morning, the glasses clinking and the conversation flowing free. Life, he was thinking, was difficult enough without finding Pongo under one's feet wherever one went. If Sir Aylmer Bostock after two days of his future son-in-law's society had been asked to sketch out a brief description of his ideal world, he would have replied that he was not a fussy man and did not expect perfection but that he did insist on one thing, that it should contain fewer and better Twistletons.

(from Uncle Dynamite, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Lower Barnatoland

You perhaps are not familiar with this remote corner of the British Empire, but we learn in the Wodehouse novel, Uncle Dynamite, that its governor at one time was Sir Aylmer Bostock. He was a particularly offensive and dominating character who got his come-uppance (as all villains do) under the operations of that master spread of sweetness and light, Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, 5th Earl of Ickenham.

Ethel M. Dell

Lord Ickenham refers to Ethel M. Dell in the Wodehouse novel, Uncle Dynamite. He advises a shy young man that in order to win the girl he loves, he need to adopt the methods used in Dell's novels. Here is the Wikipedia LINK about Dell.

Just how calm is Lord Ickenham?

As always at moments when lesser men would have been plucking at their ties and shaking in every limb, this excellent old man preserved the suave imperturbability of a fish on a cake of ice.

(from Uncle Dynamite, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cornish - a revived language

Here is a LINK to a history of the languge. As you will note, in the 1700s it went virtually, or perhaps even completely, extinct. In recent years it has been revived through a concerted public effort.

Here is a LINK to a Youtube spot of a miner speaking Cornish.

Why old men walk bent-legged

It used to amuse me that my uncle would walk with his legs slightly bent. I understand now. What he was doing was making a "shock absorber." He had various medical issues with his knees and back, and walking with a little flex in his knees meant that he did not land on the ground quite as hard.

Charlie Chan - concerning cuckoos

"Each man thinks his own cuckoos better than next man's nightingales."

(from Charlie Chan Carries On)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A pertinent question

Julie Adams (the wife): 'If you're going down there to get hit on the head, I'm going to help."

Jimmy Stewart: "Help who?"

(from The Jimmy Stewart Show TV program)

The Night Club Lady (1932)

Mayo Methot has received several death threats, but insists on going to the New Year's Eve celebration at her night club. NY Police Commissioner Thatcher Colt (Adolph Menjou) reads lips to discover her problem. He talks to her and she lets him read the note. A shot is fired at her, unnoticed in the noise, and Menjou insists that she go home. He and his men search her apartment and then settle in to wait until midnight. Greta Granstedt, her maid, thinks she sees a prowler, but it is only one of Menjou's men. At the stroke of midnight Methot collapses. The doctor pronounces it heart failure, but Menjou thinks it is murder. He questions all the pertinent suspects. Then, in the time-honored fictional detective manner, he calls together all the suspects, all of whom have a shady past in one way or another and all of whom had a motive to kill Methot. After warning all of them, he lets them go. Later, Menjou discovers that the doctor at the scene of the crime knew before he examined her that she was dead. Then they find a deadly scorpion that had been planted in her robe. Then Menjou calls the group together again to recreate the crime. He finally reveals that Methot's stage mother was the culprit.




Menjou


Granstedt