Hello, everybody.  Joe Morella and Frank Segers, your classic movie guys, dipping once again into our e-mail bag, and coming up with some interesting correspondence.

We are delighted when one of our blogs inspires you to sit down and write us. It’s encouraging to hear back from you when you agree with us. And it’s also encouraging to hear back when you don’t.   So please communicate early and often.

Our Motoring Monday segment (March 12) featuring Joan Crawford inspired Mike to write:  I just watched ‘Laughing Sinners’ (1931) last week on TCM, and thought it was a really good movie. It starred 26-year-old Joan, and in second spot, ahead of young Clark Gable, a very impressive Neil Hamilton.

What I enjoyed most of all was a very sexily clad and beautiful Joan Crawford doing a floor show. She had great movement and grace, a wonderful dancer… If you get a chance to see this one it is surely worth it. 

No question that Crawford was one sexy number early in her day. And Gable was no slouch in that department either. That’s why its a bit strange to have both characters playing members of the Salvation Army.  Oh, well, anything is possible in this romantic comedy from MGM. (Hamilton played the bad guy who leads Joan to sin.)

No question that Joan’s pre-Salvation-Army cabaret dancing is worth beholding, as you say. In strictly car terms, at this stage of her career Joan was leaving 1929 Ford Town Car territory and heading toward Cadillac Fleetwood terrain. Thanks, Mike.

Our three blogs (March 2, March 8, March 9) devoted to film noir tough guy Charles McGraw drew several responses of such brevity and directness, they could have been lifted from the dialogue of the actor’s better pictures.

The Lady Eve writes :  Very happy to see Charles McGraw getting his due. He is riveting in just about everything I’ve seen him in and at his best in ‘Armored Car Robbery’ and ‘The Narrow Margin.’

R.A. Kerr seconds that with:  Glad to see you’re blogging about Charles McGraw. Looking forward to more posts about him.

Kurt Niece was taken with the punchiness of the McGraw dialogue fragment (in 1950’s Armored Car Robbery) he employs to console his police partner’s widow. Niece writes:

Tough break, Marsha’… Swear to God I’m gonna use that line over cocktails…

The circumstances of McGraw’s grisly death drew this from Kim Wilson:  What a crappy way to go out!  (We heartily agree, Kim.)

Wyatt Kingseed mourns McGraw’s fatal finale with this:  Terribly sad end to a terrific character actor. He’s great in ‘The Birds’ in the cafe scene.

McGraw lent authority to any scene he was in, and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic benefited from his portrayal of a weathered skeptic who wrongly doubts the severity of the film’s pending aviary invasion.

Finally, our uber-Dean Martin enthusiast, Dino Martin Peters poses this question about March 7 blog covering biographies of the singer-actor:

Hey pallies, Mr. Frank and Mr. Joe likes …now you got me wonderin’ by your words, ‘Well, Dino in his inimitable prose style surprised us with the following…’

Gotta ‘fess up that I am likes totally totally surprised that youse all were ‘surprised’ by my Dino-reflections on Nick Tosches’ tome. Might I ask you to say more ’bout what surprised you and why? 

We were a tad surprised, given your feelings about Martin, to read of your unqualified enthusiasm for author Nick Tosches’ 1999 biography Dino: Living High In The Dirty Business Of Dreams.

Unlike books about the late actor-singer by his children, Tosches’ takes a tougher stance towards Martin, and doesn’t hesitate to criticize him.  Give your enthusiasm for Dino, we thought this might not sit well. Glad it does.





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