As you can divine from the eclectic headline above, we are covering a mix of subjects today inspired by most welcome emails from our ever alert readers.
Time to dip into the email bag:
Jeff Woodman responded to our Jan. 3 blog (Classic Stars not in Classic Movies) propounding the view that while they certainly be considered classic movie stars — ‘they’ being Lauren Bacall, Luise Rainer, Mickey Rooney and Shirley Temple — their collective dossier is notably lacking in films that could be considered classics.
Agree with you in theory, certainly as far as Rainer goes, but then her output was so miniscule.
Ditto Temple, though I think a case could be made for ‘Heidi,’ though perhaps it’s the book more than the movie that gives it “classic” status.
As for Bacall, ‘How To Marry A Millionaire’ qualifies for me, but I’ll admit I’m probably in the minority on that — it may just be my outsized affection for it blinds me as to its true status.
Rooney is where we part company. Given his longevity these are a small percentage of his output, but I’d plunk for ‘Captains Courageous,’ ‘ It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World,’ ‘ A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream’, ‘Requiem For A Heavyweight’,and, even though he’s toe-curlingly embarrassing in it, ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s.’
Thanks, Jeff. We certainly agree that Rooney is embarrassing in Breakfast A Tiffany’s. But you’re right, can be considered a classic. And we agree that perhaps Requiem and Midsummer might qualify. We overlooked them cause it’s not the Mickey we remember.
Contributing to our discovery of just how large a figure was Ken Maynard (see Ken Maynard — A ‘Major’ Star, Nov. 26) is this from John Brooker adding to an earlier email detailing the classic Western star’s credits:
Richard M. Roberts almost got Ken Maynard’s filmography right. But he missed out “Harmony Trail” (released by Meridian Pictures in 1944) which was Ken’s last starring role. It was re-issued in 1947 as “White Stallion” and that is where Astor came in as they handled it second time around. They did not re-release Maynard’s four Grand National westerns.
From Anthony Bensley comes this reminder that RKO’s comedy team of Wally Brown and Alan Carney was no match for Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. He responds to our April 9 blog, Brown & Carney — Abbott & Costello Wannabees:
(Brown and Carney’s 1945 comedy) ‘ZOMBIES ON BROADWAY’ is probably their best or second best film, which really isn’t saying much!
In my opinion, these guys don’t even look funny! RKO really missed the mark with this “alleged” comedy duo! Abbott & Costello were far better (obviously!), and Laurel & Hardy, better than that!
Amen to that and cheers to you.