Archive for The Chiseler

Methot-heads and Bacall Girls

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on August 19, 2014 by dcairns


Over at The Chiseler, Phoebe “La Faustin” Green and I examine the persona of an actress so archetypally pre-code in her hard-bitten appeal that it’s impossible to believe she hasn’t been “chiselled” before. The first Mrs. Bogart, Mayo Methot.

A stray thought I forgot to include — I can visualize a Darwinian chart of pre-code women, featuring, instead of Neanderthal, Cro-magnon and Homo sapiens, a line up with Methot on the left, Una Merkel in the middle and Pert Kelton at the right, walking erect. But that’s just me.

The Sunday Intertitle: Checkmate

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on August 17, 2014 by dcairns

First, Blogneys! Here.

Second, Limericks about CAT PEOPLE! Here. Here. And KING KONG here and DRACULA here and THE MUMMY here and here. And THE WOLFMAN here and here and here. I think we’ve put the Universal horror cycle to bed now.

Now, an intertitle:


From Ernst Lubitsch’s earliest surviving film as director, variously known as WHERE IS MY SWEETIE? and WHEN I WAS DEAD (1916). I’ve written an essay on this odd thing, which stars Lubitsch himself, looking not unlike Hugh “Woo Woo” Herbert, in suave leading man mode rather than his more usual rambunctious manner of this period, long before his famous “touch” became a byword for sophistication. I’ve written an essay on the movie which will appear on Masters of Cinema’s disc of MADAME DUBARRY — also, an essay on MADAME DUBARRY. I recommend the whole package, but then I would, wouldn’t I?


I haven’t seen the new transfer but it will certainly look 1,000,000 times better than the above.

Buy it and find out for yourselves: MADAME DUBARRY [Masters of Cinema] (1919) [Blu-ray]


Blogney Bombshell

Posted in FILM with tags , , on August 6, 2014 by dcairns


MAE C CAGNEY AS MAN. The perfect combo of Mae Clarke and James Cagney. Whose face you gonna push that grapefruit in NOW, Jimmy?

I’ve pretty much run out of movies to give the Blogney treatment to. Warner Bros only listed their casts with illustrative close shots, names superimposed underneath, wiping from one to the other, for some of their films, between 1931 and 1935, as far as I can tell. And you can’t make a Blogney unless you have those conditions.

Here’s the Blogney which gave its name to all the others — a PERSONA-style conjoined face made from James Cagney and Joan Blondell.


Here are some more of my favourites. A decent Blogney can have either a great conjoined face, a great actor name or a great character name. A really good one must have at least two of these elements.


DAVID LONDELL AS GILMUGA. David Landau (Martin’s dad) and Joan Blondell again.


VINCE BAINAISH as FISHBOY. The disappearing half-hat is nice, though the changes haven’t really finished transforming the face — it’s all Vince Barnet (underrated character funnyman prominent in pre-codes) and only an eyebrow of J. Carroll Naish. But how could I resist FISHBOY?


ROBERT BATREE AS COMMANDER S. perfect hermaphrodites are rare, but this one seems a worthy companion to Joseph/Josephine of FREAKS.

I created such a large number that they will still be appearing in clusters over at The Chiseler for weeks to come. But now I need a new art project. I finished my glow-in-the-dark Death Doll.

And my steampunk typewriter will probably never be ACTUALLY finished but the major work is done.

More Blogneys (new!) at The Chiseler!


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