The Monday Intertitle: Victor McLaglan is stalking me

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So I’m reading Flashman and the Angel of the Lord, the last of George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman books that I’d yet to read — I read them all out of order and with decades between the first batch and the second, I’m afraid — and there’s a reference to heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson, a man much disliked by his opponents, partly out of racism. But Fraser, for balance, quotes actor Victor McLaglan’s memoir, Express to Hollywood (which sounds like it’d be a worthwhile read). Before his acting career, VM was a boxer, as his face amply testifies, and he fought Johnson, of whom he writes, he “fought like a gentleman,” and “was undoubtedly the hardest man to hit whom I’ve ever met.”

I like the genteel “whom” — and the inference that McLaglan presumably tried to hit every man he met. I can believe it.

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But the very same day, I received in the post my copy of the marvelous Lost & Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Film Archive, published by the good people at the National Film Preservation Foundation. And featured amongst the treasures (all deserving of the name) is a trailer for STRONG BOY, a presumed-lost John Ford film starring McLaglan himself. Indifferently reviewed at the time, the film looks mouthwateringly desirable to us today, and the trailer itself offers up exciting clips and some charming animated title cards.

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2 Responses to “The Monday Intertitle: Victor McLaglan is stalking me”

  1. McLaglen himself was very different to his stereotypical roles- the son of a CofE bishop, born in Tunbridge Wells, he was a British army officer in the First World War.

  2. Didn’t realise he had a clerical background. The military bit doesn’t surprise me though. His brothers, having skipped the boxing ring, were more conventionally handsome, but Big Victor clearly had the edge.

    Shows a clip from Dishonored to my students and they were appalled at his grin. “Who’s that? What’s he DOING with his FACE?”
    “He’s Victor McLaglan! That’s just what he does!”

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