Monday, February 27, 2012

Douglas Fairbanks Sez ...

Katie-Bar-The-Door and I met Mister Muleboy and Michele at the AFI Silver Saturday afternoon to see Douglas Fairbanks in The Black Pirate. For those of you who loved The Artist, which won the Oscar as best picture of the year last night, The Black Pirate is a must-see—Jean Dujardin's George Valentin is very clearly modeled on the swashbuckling Fairbanks. They even have the same moustache!

In that spirit, another promotional banner ...

3 comments:

thingy said...

Monkey madness, says I, Monkey madness.

Douglas sure looks happy on the poster.

Douglas Fairbanks said...

They say that any publicity is good publicity.

I wonder.

In any event, I'm glad that The Black Pirate gave you pleasure.

I know I've always enjoyed having the public watch me shinny up a rudder in my shorts. . . .

In earlier correspondence with mister muleboy, he expressed his great delight in seeing the picture.

smart man, that mule!

Mythical Monkey said...

I know I've always enjoyed having the public watch me shinny up a rudder in my shorts. . . .

It occurred to me as I was watching The Black Pirate that it was either wittingly or unwittingly designed to have both sadomasochistic and homoerotic appeal -- Billie Dove tied to the bulkhead and constantly menaced in an overtly sexual way, and the team of 50 17th century marines decked out in leather shorts piling onto and wrestling pirates and each other -- which then got me to wondering about the box office appeal of action-adventure generally, especially among teenage boys, a theme Michael Chabon picked up on in his Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, a fictionalized account of the birth of the comic book ... and then I filed that thought away for future analysis, as I often do, and got back to the business of watching the movie.

I suspect that Fairbanks -- who was not only the top action hero of the silent era, but the inventor of many action hero conventions -- had a fair idea of exactly how to exploit his box office appeal. Men wanted to be him, women wanted to be with him, so whatever is on screen was probably pretty well considered.

Anyway, there's a thought in there somewhere but we're approaching the noon hour and my lunch awaits.