Thursday, September 22, 2011

Housekeeping: Blog Posts I've Started And Never Finished (And Likely Never Will)

I worked pretty hard in July and August, not only on a series of posts about 1917 (which I am finishing up this week) but also on some unrelated posts participating in other bloggers' blogathons—"Cary Grant Has A Cold" inspired by Monty's blog All Good Things, a post for the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear Dick Van Dyke blogathon, cued up and ready for the show's 50th anniversary on October 3, and a long post about Carole Lombard's silent film career for the Carole-tennial+3 celebration of that great star's 103rd birthday (October 6).

Then I got distracted for a while. We had new carpet installed, bought a new dryer and began to interview roofers. And I sprained my left ankle, and as soon as that was healed, sprained my right foot. Seems like there were other things as well.

Anyway, I started a number of blog posts that I never finished and likely never will, much to my chagrin. Here they are, all bundled up with no place to go.

Many Many Thanks
Sophie of Waitin' On A Sunny Day has awarded me the Liebster Blogger Award.

"MM's blog was one of the first I ever followed and it's thanks to him that I've watched many silent films that I might not have otherwise - thank you! :D You should all go over there and follow him immediately!"

Wow. Thanks Sophie! That's pretty much the ultimate compliment for a film blogger ...

By the way, she's hosting the "Darling Deborah Blogathon" on September 30 in honor of Deborah Kerr's 90th birthday. If I can get my act together, I'll try to post something, Deborah Kerr being one of my favorite actresses. Maybe "Deborah Kerr Has A Cold" ...

Where Do All The Bloggers Go
I was cleaning up links on my blog last week, deleting the ones that no longer go anywhere, and I got to wondering what had become of some of the people who used to stop by and now have disappeared—not just from the comments section of this blog, which considering the erratic content here is understandable, but from their own blogs, and apparently from face of the earth ...

Note: there were two in particular I was thinking of, Gordon Pasha of Lazlo's on Lex, a great blog about growing up in New York City, and Ginger Ingenue of Asleep in New York, a blog dedicated to movies and insomnia.

Gordon, I was sad to learn recently, passed away in August. He will be missed.

As for Ginger Ingenue, one hopes she's still out there somewhere, not sleeping through the night. If you read this, Ginger, drop us a line.

"Being big and thus prone to falling hard, my relationship with gravity has always been, at best, adversarial."

Something I tell Katie-Bar-The-Door all the time, but she's small and continues to court disaster.

Krazy Kat
(By the way, Paul J. Marasa of The Constant Viewer offers an explanation for why Dressler and Chaplin hit each other with bricks early in Tillie's Punctured Romance—the comic strip Krazy Kat had debuted a year earlier, and if you know your hundred year old comic strips, you know Ignatz the mouse frequently brained the lovestruck Kat with a brick.) (Me, I read Jay Cantor's novel based on the strip some twenty-plus years ago.)

Actor-Proof Parts

I have to confess that the other day, when I passed on the TCM trivia question about Maggie McNamara and her Oscar-nominated first role, not only had I never seen The Moon Is Blue, I'd never even heard of Maggie McNamara. But fortunately, TCM was showing it that very afternoon and I watched it, which I suppose was the point of the question, to lure in the curious.

Directed by Otto Preminger, The Moon Is Blue was a romantic comedy starring William Holden, David Niven and the aforementioned McNamara. ... It was stage-bound and although cutting-edge for its day—they used words like "seduction" and "virgin" right out loud in open defiance of the Production Code—it's hopelessly dated now, and while Maggie McNamara in a brunette pony-tail kind of reminded me of Audrey Hepburn, she brings none of Hepburn's spark to the role. All-in-all, pleasant but forgettable.

Still, McNamara wound up with an Oscar nomination for best actress, in a year when Gloria Grahame (The Big Heat), Jean Arthur (Shane), and Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe (both for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) received none. And I had to wonder why. The Moon Is Blue was McNamara's first movie, and she only made four more—her career hit the skids almost immediately afterwards, I imagine when people discovered she couldn't act, not really. (She wound up making ends meet as a typist and committed suicide in 1978 at the age of forty-eight.)

Here's A Blog I Should Follow
I was looking for photos of Roscoe Arbuckle the other day when I stumbled across a really good one on the internet, which I promptly downloaded, and then I thought "this is a good blog, I should follow it," so I scrolled up to the top of the page to find its name:

"A Mythical Monkey Writes About The Movies"

Turns out I had posted the photo back in June. Wah wah wah. Still, it's good to know that if I weren't already a raging narcissist, I would find something to like about myself.


Lisa said...

I wasn't too impressed by the Moon Is Blue either...definitely can see AH comparison, but there's something about her diction that just drove me INSANE. Also, I love Krazy Kat AND Chaplin, and never made that connection with the bricks. So thanks! :)

Mythical Monkey said...

there's something about her diction that just drove me INSANE.

That's funny, I can still hear her voice in my head (along with all the other ones, but I digress) -- she recited her lines like she was reading them for a class assignment, absolutely perfect and precise and unlike anything you'd hear anybody say in the real world ever. With a pause periodically to draw a nearly audible breath. And her head and neck perfectly straight as if she were balancing a book on her head. Not really engaging the material, and not really listening either.

Maggie said...

Oh, sad about the bloggers. : (

You certainly were busy. The Cary Grant post is one of my favorites that you wrote.

Were you competing in some dance competition, MM?

"When it rains, it pours." That's what they say. Hope life gets a little better. : )

Mythical Monkey said...

Were you competing in some dance competition, MM?

It was all vaguely related to rehabbing the dog's surgically-reconstructed knee. I was out walking her, detoured around some construction and stepped in a hole -- that was the left ankle. Then ten days later, I was carrying her down the stairs (she couldn't yet walk up and down steps) and I stepped wrong and sprained the arch of my right foot. Let me tell you, that hurt the most. I literally crawled around on my hands and knees for three days and it was another week before I was back up to walking her.

But we're both fine now. Which is good because she sure likes to walk -- two to four miles every day, depending on the weather.

Yvette said...

I liked this bits and pieces post, M.M.

Krazy Kat always makes me smile. Just the thought of it is enough.

Re: Fatty Arbuckle, have you read Ace Atkins' book, DEVIL'S GARDEN. It's a terrific fictionalized account of the Arbuckle scandal and crime. I highly recommmend it.

Mythical Monkey said...

have you read Ace Atkins' book, DEVIL'S GARDEN.

I haven't, but I'll put it on my reading list. You came up solid with the Nero Wolfe recommendation -- I'm on my fifth one -- so you get the benefit of the doubt.

Erik Beck said...

For my Oscar OCD, I tracked down a copy of The Moon is Blue a couple of years ago. I enjoyed Holden and Niven but yes, thought McNamara wasn't so great. But overall I found it enjoyable.

But I've done the same thing you did. Just recently I found a picture of Unforgiven to put on my Year in Film 1992, then looking at my old post listing the Best Westerns of All-Time, discovered I had already found and used the same picture three years ago.

Mythical Monkey said...

"Oscar OCD" -- I like that. It's an affliction I can relate to.

Jandy Stone said...

Yeah, I've done the picture thing a lot. I'll be searching on Google Images and be like OOH that one's awesome! And then realize it's on my domain. At least my tastes in images remain consistent, I guess?

mister muleboy said...

I literally crawled around on my hands and knees for three days

I haven't seen that in years!

Not since.. . . .

Schtumf. Mum's the word!

Ginger Ingenue said...

Ah, thank you.

Makes me sad though, about the man above me.

And I don't know where bloggers go...I still have a blog audience waiting nearly five years for my return, so at least I've managed to reincarnate somewhere. I imagine they assume I'm dead, which is, for the most part, for the best.

And now that I'm properly depressed, I'm going to go write some bad fiction. ;)