Archive for March, 2009

Muppetstar Galactica

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New Yorker: Why does Dracula still thrill?

The New Yorker examines vampires and Dracula. Well worth a read.

For those new to the site

Find all of the chapters here of The Disloyal Vampire.

The Disloyal Vampire, Chapter 23

Chapter 23
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My favorite Barbara Stanwyck movies

Barbara Stanwyck 1930

Here’s my favorite Barbara Stanwyck (July 16, 1907 – January 20, 1990) movies for no particular reason:

7. Titantic (1953).
Earlier scene:

Richard Sturges: [after Richard and Julia have been quarreling over who will have custody of their son] My dear Julia, I’ve been around enough bridge tables to recognize someone who’s holding a high trump – play it now if you will.
Julia Sturges: We’ll discuss it later.
Richard Sturges: Now!
Julia Sturges: All right, Richard. One question first?
Richard Sturges: If it’s about Norman, you know the answer. No court in the world, no power in the heavens can force me to give up my son.
Julia Sturges: He is not your son.

Later as the ship is in its death throes and he’s been very noble:

Julia Sturges: Oh Richard, where did we miss out on each other? I beg your pardon, Sir. I put you down as a useless man, someone to lead a cotillion.
Richard Sturges: After all, it was my major talent.
Julia Sturges: I’m sorry, sorry about everything.
Richard Sturges: We have no time to catalog our regrets. All we can do is pretend 20 years didn’t happen. It’s June again. You were walking under some Elm trees in a white muslin dress, the loveliest creature I ever laid eyes on. That summer, when I asked you to marry me, I pledged my eternal devotion. I would take it as a very great favor Julia, if you would accept a restatement of that pledge.

Stanwyck makes you believe in both scenes.

6. Double Indemnity.

Phyllis: We’re both rotten.
Walter Neff: Only you’re a little more rotten.

5. Sorry, Wrong Number. Classic tale and she cranks out the tension.

4. Forbidden. The original hot librarian.

3. Baby Face.

Lily Powers: Yeah, I’m a tramp, and who’s to blame? My father. A swell start you gave me. Ever since I was fourteen, what’s it been? Nothing but men! Dirty rotten men! And you’re lower than any of them. I’ll hate you as long as I live!

2. Lady of Burlesque.

Biff (a comic at the burlesque hall where Dixie is the star): What’s the matter with comics?
Dixie: I went into show business when I was seven years old. Two days later the first comic I ever met stole my piggy bank in a railroad station in Portland. When I was 11 the comics were looking at my ankles. When I was 14 they were…just looking. When I was 20 I’d been stuck with enough lunch checks to pay for a three-story house. Naw, they’re shiftless, dame-chasing, ambitionless…

More importantly, Dixie uses her brain to solve a murder that occurred backstage at the old opera house in between dances on stage.

1. Night Nurse. Murder. Gangsters. Bad women with good hearts. What more do you need?

Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Blondell with a very lucky skeleton.

Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Blondell with a very lucky skeleton.

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Accidents happen

Gobstopper

Sure, it’s played for laughs, but there’s a good idea in here.

Marilyn Coyne’s last dance

From the Boston Globe:

NORTH READING – Marilyn Coyne survived the Depression with little food and no heat in her parents’ flat in Portland, Maine. She married and sent four kids to college. She saw her husband and one of their children die. And, in November, after three years of fighting breast cancer, she was told by a doctor that she had months to live.

In hospice care and losing weight in recent weeks as the cancer crept through her body, she confided to a hospice volunteer that she had a last wish, something that recalled summer nights of her childhood and joy with her husband. She wanted a final square dance.

Yesterday, her wish came true. Coyne donned a floral skirt, a crimson petticoat, and a red peasant shirt, and walked to the center of a nursing room social hall, where nine professional square-dancers, dressed in cowboy shirts and calico, waited for her.

It had been a decade since she last clasped hands with a partner, but as music played, the elfin Coyne deftly followed the dance caller’s instructions of allemande left, promenade, and do-si-do. After five minutes of swinging her partner, and singing along with “She’ll Be Com ing ‘Round the Mountain,” Coyne let her thin, 82-year-old frame fall into a padded wooden chair and took a deep breath.

“That,” she sighed, “was wonderful.”

Entire story well-worth reading.

The Disloyal Vampire, Chapter 22

Chapter 22
(more…)

Wade ‘Walkaway’ Clark

Wade "Walkaway" Clark

Photo found in the wooden box of pilot Wade “Walkaway” Clark. The date of the photograph is not listed. This appears to be a formal photograph taken at a studio rather than a snapshot taken by either Beau Jackson or Nellie Thompson.

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