Coogan’s Buff

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Another Tijuana Bible monstrosity. Between Chaplin’s THE KID and The Addams Family’s Uncle Fester, there was… graphic penetrative sex.

For once, the Tijuana Bible, that pocket almanac of obscenity, speaks truth. Occasional Shadowplay informant Danny Carr tells me that his uncle was in the war with Coogan, who introduced himself with the ingratiating words, “Shake the hand that holds the prick that fucked Betty Grable!”

What a shameless name-dropper.

21 Responses to “Coogan’s Buff”

  1. Oh, I’ve never seen that. I was thinking it might be The Kid or something. What an odd career to have.

    I always liked Coogan for saying that his greatest achievement in life was getting a law passed to protect the earnings of child actors.

  2. Well The Kid Is in a class by itself. After that Coogan had to make his way in showbusiness — a situation made all the more difficult by the fact that his parents had robbed him blind.

    Mesa of Lost Women must be seen to be disbelieved. It’s Plan 9 From Outer Space‘s only rival.

  3. Arthur S. Says:

    In Peter Bogdanovich’s WHO THE HELL’S IN IT, he does a profile on Chaplin(as actor, he’s one of them Keatonians) and he talks about THE KID(his favourite) and he mentions meeting Chaplin at the Oscars. A thoroughly heartbreaking moment is transcribed when Chaplin, old, silver haired points out Jackie Coogan to Bogdanovich and he talks about him as a child and “now he’s an old man”. It brought tears to my eyes.

    THE KID is really beautiful as a film and the reason for that is while people complain about Chaplin’s sentimentality the pain and longing between the two actors are genuine. And it’s also real, Chaplin made the film after losing a son to miscarriage and Coogan represented to him the joys of fatherhood and he actually tried to give good advice to their parents on trying to raise a boy who would be a celebrity before he’s ten years old.

    What they did to him was horrible.

  4. Not a miscarriage — the boy was born terribly handicapped and didn’t live.

    Walter Kerr writes brilliantly on the film, observing that the only figure of cornball pathos in it is the boy’s mother, straight out of a Victorian melodrama. Whereas the emotion with the two main characters is completely real.

    Reading Glen David Gould’s Chaplin novel, Sunnyside, right now — very nice!

  5. David I can’t believe you gave up the chance to see North by Northwest on the big screen. I scored a free ticket on Thursday and it was fantastic !

    Even Out of Order

  6. This was the problem, I didn’t want to get ahead of myself and watch a 50s Hitchcock in my 40s period. I’m wondering if, at some point in this year, a screening will show up at just the right time for me to watch it.

    North by NW was my parents’ first date movie.

  7. awww… please note heroines in peril always scale large monument WITH handbag WITH gloves and WITH high heeled shoes, DO make sure you have been to the hairdresser first. We may be fighting the cold war but thats no reason to Let Standards Slip.

    I’d never make it as a 50’s heroine my grooming standards aren’t up to scratch,.

  8. Christopher Says:

    LOL…”Shake the hand …”..I can just here that in rapid fire warner bros. style…Frank McHugh or George Tobias…

  9. Yeah, I wonder if he bribed a screenwriter to come up with that one for him. Still, the Betty Grable connection must have earned him kudos in the armed forces.

  10. Jackie looks a bit like Jack Nance. Totally unlike the Kid, and totally unlike Uncle Fester, too.

    Love those nails.

    “Even the lowly insect that man trods underfoot…”

  11. Narrated by Lyle Talbot… perhaps a bit heavy-handed. Director of Photography Karl Struss, hm. Is this a remake of Island of Lost Souls, with Coogan in the Laughton role? I also like those prosthetic nails, they’re wonderfully fakey.

  12. Christopher Says:

    two!..coun’t ’em two directors were needed to helm this masterpiece..I didn’t know this was that good!..I might have to dig me up a bargain bin copy somewhere..
    I like that Peter Bogdonavitch memory of Chaplin at the Oscars,makes me teary eyed too.It reminds me of probably the only scene I like in Downey jr’s “Chaplin”..where during the Oscar ceremony at the end, Chaplins eyes well up as old clips from the Kid play on the screen!…Coogan was a beautiful kid then..It would not surprise me that Chaplin or anyone would adore him..

  13. That scene at the Oscars was the big moment William Goldman wanted, I think. And Attenborough was dedicated to getting the poverty-stricken childhood in there. Which meant they were committed to doing THE WHOLE LIFE. At that exact point, the film became doomed, I’d say.

    OK, gotta get Mesa…

  14. The presence of both Dolores Fuller AND Mona McKinon in the cast is redolent of Ed Wood — as is the narration. Did he have a hand (or in his case foot) in this? I’ve never been able to find out. Let’s just say it’s “School of Edward D. Wood Jr.”

  15. Mesa of Lost Women is indeed a great pleasure, the narcotic sluggishness it exudes could be considered ‘boring’ or even ‘repellent’ by some viewers, but if you watch it with the right eyes it’s a surrealist masterpiece with a screenplay that seems to have been created during a game of Exquisite Corpse. A friend of mine once spent Christmas Day alone, watching it repeatedly. I was slightly worried about him but also slightly envious.

  16. Always greatly preferred the inventive Glen or Glenda to the more generic failure of Plan 9, but I’d be interested to see Mesa.

    Writer/director Herbert Tevos seems to have abandoned film after this one effort, perhaps feeling he’d said it all. Uncredited co-author Orville Hampton has a long, degenerate list of credits declining from The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake to Scooby Doo. But co-director Ron Ormond was prolific as hell, as producer, director, writer, editor and cinematographer.

  17. I’d completely forgotten it was a Ron (Monster and the Stripper) Ormond job! He’s the real deal, having been through westerns, horror and science-fiction into evangelican Christian propaganda, and his Christian films (If Footmen Tire You, What Would Horses Do? et al) have a rep as being even stranger than his exploitation stuff.

  18. For all the talk about kinky TB versions of “island of Lost Souls” in the previous TB previous post, I believe that “Mesa of lost women” tops the wildest variation imagined

  19. I just have to get my hands on this film, and then follow it with some of Ron’s Christian stuff. I imagine Medved is more enthusiastic about If Footmen Tire You. That title! Sounds like a gay porno starring Prince Charles.

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