Into the Vallee
Being in Milan automatically makes me think of Rudy Vallee, due no doubt to some terrible malfunction in the wiring of my brain.
From GLORIFYING THE AMERICAN GIRL.
Thrilled to get my hands on the excellent series The RKO Story, which is much better than these things usually are, and was made when enough eyewitnesses were still around who could talk about what went on at that perrennially-struggling, often-brilliant “dream factory”. Fred Astaire, Robert Mitchum, Ginger Rogers, Jane Greer, John Houseman, Pandro S. Berman, Edward Dmytryk, Richard Fleischer. All gone now. Only Jane Russell remains, surmounting the mound of corpses like a barbarian in a Frazetta painting.
And then there’s Rudy Vallee. I don’t want to say I’m disappointed by Rudy. I had kind of thought of him as sweeter, based no doubt on his lovely turn in Sturges’ THE PALM BEACH STORY. Seemingly Sturges cast him after finding him hilarious in his straight roles in 30s RKO musicals. He’s so adorable in it that I have some resistance to accepting him as a jerk in UNFAITHFULLY YOURS and as an insignificant schnook in THE BEAUTIFUL BLONDE FROM BASHFUL BEND, his other Sturges pictures. But it would be foolish to expect Rudy Vallee to be like Rudy Hackensack III in TPBS. So I’m not disappointed, just appalled and flabbergasted. Here he is:
“I was born with a great amount of sexual emotion. That is evidently why, over a period of my eighty-four years of life, I have known over one hundred and forty five women and girls.”
I sort of expected him to continue, “some as young as eight,” but he didn’t, thank Christ. I love that “over one hundred and forty five,” as well — “That’s as precise as I can be, goddamnit! It could have been one hundred and forty eight, I don’t know! Thereabouts.”