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Archive for August 20th, 2012

by Tony d’Ambra

The pre-coder The Dentist is about as close as Hollywood ever got to Dada. W. C. Fields wrote and starred in this late Mack Sennett talkie about a dentist who would rather be creating havoc on the golf-course than torturing his hapless patients.  Running at just over 20 minutes you get good value with a lot more than a laugh a minute.

No ifs and buts, Fields was a misanthrope and a misogynist.  Cruel, base, and egotistical, he lays brutal sway over all and sundry, family or stranger, friend or foe.

Liker most dentists of the period, his surgery is part of his home. We find him at breakfast being served by his adult daughter.  No wife in sight.  We get standard gags about his lost glasses being on his head and the morning paper hidden under his arse.  Fields’ side-winder voice delivery hooking you every time. (more…)

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Simone Signoret and Serge Reggiani in Becker’s masterpiece Casque d’or

by Sam Juliano

The past week has been occupied with preparations for our mini-trip this coming week to Chicago and Cleveland.  In fact by the time most people read this post Lucille and I will be on Route 80 heading west in our Honda Odyssey, with expectations we’ll be at our ‘south loop hotel’ in the Windy City in the neighborhood of around 12 noon to 1:00 P.M. today.  We’ll be cramming in some sightseeing, an expected screening at the Music Box Theatre, where the noir festival is running, and some social time with cherished blogging friends, with whom we will be meeting for the first time.  We’ll be staying in Chicago only until early Wednesday morning, at which point we will embark on the six-hour drive to Cleveland, where the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame awaits for what is anticipated will be a marathon visit.  Hopefully we’ll get to see a bit of the city too before retiring to a hotel and the planned departure for New Jersey on Thursday morning that will probably get us home around supper time if everything pans out.  It’s a short trip for sure, but it will give us a taste of places we haven’t been to.

Speaking of Chicago, Lucille and I and the family spent a marvelous Thursday evening with our good friend and blogging associate Pat Perry, who spent a few days in the Big Apple for a short vacation.  We took a driving tour of lower Manhattan, that included a look at the Film Forum lobby, a close-up of the new World Trade Center tower and the shorter buildings around it, and some shopping at the spacious J & R Music World, one of the last DVD and CD superstores left in the country.  As we learned, that’s not a place to enter armed with a credit card!  Ha!  And we had a wonderful talk later on at The Dish.  Pat’s a lovely lady. (more…)

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