We’ve been catless since PD’s passing. It’s the first time in 35 years that I have not been owned by a cat. I miss having the silly buggers around so we’re looking into adopting. I regret not having given Paul Drake a furry sibling after Della’s passing but I was so traumatized by dealing with our former vet that I was slow to pull the trigger. Please don’t try to give us a kitten: we’re looking at older cats. They have a harder time getting adopted. It worked out well with Oscar and PD, after all.
If it’s a boy, Dr. A and I might have to fight over cat names. I want to keep the shamus tradition alive and call him Jim Rockford. She’s in favor of CK Dexter Haven, the name of Cary Grant’s character in The Philadelphia Story. I like both names, so it won’t be much of a tussle. Stay tuned.
This week’s theme song barely needs an introduction. It was written by Lennon and McCartney in 1965 and is one of the songs from that period that sounds like both songwriters were involved. It combines Macca positivity and Lennon’s mordant wit.
We have three versions of We Can Work It Out for your listening pleasure: the Beatles original and covers by Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan.
We Can Work It Out was selected as my high school class’ graduation song. It provided a swell send-off not that I remember much about those days. They’re a bit hazy, which makes posting this song mandatory:
Now that we’ve established that we’re experienced, let’s jump to the break.
We begin our second act with a moving piece about Joe Biden.
Joey’s Stutter: One of the best moments of the final night of the DNC was when 13-year-old Brayden Harrington told *his* Joe Biden story. They have something important in common: they both stutter. I went to grade school with a kid named Larry. He, too, stuttered. He was a regular chatterbox. I asked him once why he talked so much. His reply: “I’m afraid I won’t be able to speak again if I ever shut up.”
I missed John Hendrickson’s fine piece at the Atlantic until recently. The title says it all: Joe Biden’s Stutter and Mine.
Repeat after me: Joe Biden excels at overcoming adversity.
The last word of the segment goes to BTO:
Proving the truth of that title, we move on to an excerpt from a book by one of the Impeached Insult Comedian’s least favorite reporters.
Mad Man Trump: CNN’s Jim Sciutto has written a book about the First Lunatic. This excerpt focuses on his weird “love affair” with Communist North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. In addition to Trump’s dictator love, he’s gotta love a fellow poser who was born on third base but acts as if he’s a self-made man.
I feel a song coming on:
As promised on Pulp Fiction Thursday, it’s time to take a stroll down memory lane. Our destination: Noir Alley. Where did you expect to land? Candyland?
When Eddie Met Larry: Eddie Muller loves telling the story of how tough actor Lawrence Tierney showed up at a screening of Born To Kill before Eddie was a well-known TCM host. You gotta love Eddie’s description of Tierney who was quite like the hardboiled characters he played on the big screen:
In ’48 he did three months for busting a guy’s jaw in a ginmill. Same year he was charged with kicking a cop while drunk and disorderly—his seemingly perpetual state. In ’52 he sparred with a professional welterweight on the corner of Broadway and 53rd. He was the only actor in Hollywood who stood for more mug shots than publicity photos: belted a cop in ’56; simple assault in ’57; kicked in a dame’s door later that year; another jawbreaker in ’58, as well as a dust-up with cops outside a 6th Avenue tavern. The day his mother killed herself in 1960, Tierney was arrested for breaking down a woman’s door and assaulting her boyfriend. His torso still bears scars from an ill-advised tussle with a practiced knife-fighter.
Unpredictable, incorrigible, and belligerent—that’s always been the book on Tierney.
Tierney’s time as a movie star was brief but he worked steadily until his death in 2002. Here’s the tough guy with two mouthy wimps:
The last word of our second act goes to a fellow film noir fan:
Separated At Birth has requested the week off. It’s afraid that Larry Tierney will kick its ass if it shows its face; make that faces. Instead, we begin our third act by once again posting this:
The Movie List: Claire Trevor played opposite Lawrence Tierney in his greatest film, Born To Kill. It’s only #3 on her list. Not bad for a dame who was part movie star, part character actress. She was also one of the original “hookers with a heart of gold” as well as a fabulous femme fatale.
My Top Ten Favorite Claire Trevor Movies:
- Key Largo
- Born To Kill
- Murder My Sweet
- Raw Deal
- Two Weeks In Another Town
- Crack Up
- Dead End
- Johnny Angel
- The High and the Mighty
I feel a list-inspired song coming on:
Now that we’ve cracked up, it’s time to saddle up and mount the…
Saturday GIF Horse: This week, we feature two GIFs from the #2 film on the Claire Trevor list, Key Largo:
Bogie is tough enough to take a beating from Eddie Robinson. He gets even at the end of the movie. Me, I would have slapped the gum chewing gunsel in the background.
Since I’m feeling slap happy, here’s an oddball bonus GIF from an early talkie, Madame Satan:
Never look a bonus GIF horse in the mouth even if it comes from a DeMille flick.
Weekly Vintage Music Video: On My Own was written and produced by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager.
I was feeling foolish, so I threw in the Doobie Brothers hit as lagniappe. The link is, of course, Michael McDonald. He also sang backing vocals on the Katy Lied album from which came Everyone’s Gone To The Movies. From Dan to the Doobies, dude.
I’m trying something different with our last segment. A non-musical classic.
Saturday Classic: Odds & Sods used to have a segment wherein I quoted Gore Vidal: the Weekly GV. Another former recurring feature was the Weekly DC in which I showed clips from The Dick Cavett Show. This clip is something of a revival of both features. It’s the entire Vidal-Mailer dustup on the Dick Cavett Show in 1971:
Here’s a bonus clip of DC discussing the GV-NM incident with the benefit of hindsight:
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to the cast of Born To Kill, a bona fide film noir masterpiece.