Beat the Devil
Via Regular Shadowplayer Chris Schneider I’ve had the pleasure of being cybernetically introduced to the niece of Veronica Lake (not a direct blood relative, but she called her “Aunt Connie” which is good enough for me), Gloria Mann Craft. I’m hoping to get her input for the SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS FILM CLUB on Friday the 23rd of this month, but prior to that I received an amusing, if slightly grotesque, true story, which naturally I will now share with you.
“Mr. Huston ‘summoned’ Aunt Connie to his office, (I think it was on the Fox lot at the time, not sure), she decided to go, (although as she put it: ‘I don’t take kindly to being summoned, AND I don’t care a whit who is doing the summoning’). When she got to his office, his door was ajar and no secretary was around.
“He asked her to come in and to ‘please close the door behind her.’
“She did. She sat down and noticed a rather thick telephone book on his desk, but thought nothing of it in the moment. Suddenly without warning he unzipped his ‘fly’ (as she called it), pulled out his schlong and placed it on the desk right in front of her.
“Without missing a beat she grabbed the thick telephone book in her hands and smashed it down on…yes, his schlong. He let out a scream, she replied ‘THAT’S A WRAP’, turned to leave, and heard the words ‘Ronnie you’re hired!’
“Needless to say she DID not take the job.”
I wonder if this is why Huston’s bio is called An Open Book.
Apart from Mitchell Leisen’s rather acerbic memories recounted in Hollywood Director, most of what I’ve read of Veronica makes me like her even better than I already did when I first saw I MARRIED A WITCH, aged 16, and fell in love with her.