“…cast into dungeons dark, dank and donk.”

New Forgotten! Over at the Auteurs’ Notebook, where we conclude our jaunt through the blacklist with Edward Dmytryk’s OBSESSION. Leave your comments over there, guesses as to the origin of this post’s title over here.

UK: Obsession [DVD] [1949] [US Import]

US: Obsession

10 Responses to ““…cast into dungeons dark, dank and donk.””

  1. david wingrove Says:

    No idea where the quote comes from…but this is a great film! One of Edward Dmyrtyk’s best, although my own personal favourites are of course RAINTREE COUNTY and WALK ON THE WILD SIDE.

  2. …then you may disagree with some of my conclusions about ED’s career in the article. But at least we agree that Obsession is excellent, with an uncharacteristically credible Robert Newton.

  3. There’s a wonderful passage in Pinter’s Old Times where Newton’s baroque charm is extolled.

    Newton always reminds me of Chabrol’s famous declaraction ” I love hysterical actors — especially Mickey Rooney in Boys Town.”

  4. Anything to do with Grytpype-Thyne?

  5. Chabrol’s right about Rooney, he’s a compulsive hysteric. I should tell you all sometime about the acting workshop he taught here, as it was described to me by actor Steven McNicoll.

    Colin, you have pretty much nailed it. The words were actually spoken by Wallace Greenslade, the dignified narrator of The Goon Show.

  6. David, please please one day tell us that story of Rooney’s acting class. Last time I saw him was utterly in hysteria in the film Operation Mad Ball. I thought he was going to fly apart. Imagine Rooney in 3-D. I’d be watching at the exit door, ready to bolt.

  7. I should probably get Mr McNicoll to refresh me on on the details before attempting this, but… the great man apparently flew in, accompanied by his manager, who was his former stand-in, a more or less exact copy of the Roonster. Mickey had jetlag for the first of the two days so the manager actually took the class. When Mickey showed up it was basically motivational bluster + volume. “Each of us has his own individooality! I could not be you! You could not be him! He could not be you!” Amazing how much time you can spin that particular routine out for…

  8. Well, when he finally got to “You could not be me! I would have been very relieved if I were there. Seeing him in the ’50s and later, a little of him goes a long way.

  9. ‘Dark, dank and donk’ was a phrase that passed into our family’s vocabulary when I was a kid, but I didn’t know until now it originated with the Goons. My Dad was especially tickled by it, but I seem to recall him singing it. Was it ever a line in a song?

  10. “Cast into dungeons dark, dank and donk,
    All hope of freedom gone,
    Chained to the wall by the nose teeth and ears,
    Three for the price of one (laughter).”

    Fiona tells me these are the fill lyrics, and the line belongs to Spike Milligan and not Wallace Greenslade. It’s from the Goon Show Robin Hood special.

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