Hopalonging

“If you pandered to the public you’d still be living in the horse age.”

“You think we’re not? Look at Hopalong Cassidy.”

“YOU look at him.”

You probably know this one, if I know you. SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS. Joel McCrea (centre) is arguing with his bosses about the new picture he wants to make, O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? He has the first line and last line quoted, and Porter Hall (right) has the middle one.

The OTHER producer (left) is Robert Warwick, pictured below IN a Hopalong Cassidy picture. Sturges was hving a laugh, as was not unusual for him.

Ad you may have noticed, I’ve been watching a lot of trailers lately, otherwise I might never have discovered this in-jokery. I’ve never seen a Hopalong cassidy film (though I’ve seen a couple starring William Boyd, who played him). My dad, as an excited schoolboy, got to MEET Hopalong.

Warwick had an interesting life. Apart from being in the first HOPALONG CASSIDY, he had been a silent film star and for-real ran his own distribution company. As a jobbing actor in talkies, he would do literal walk-ons for Sturges as well as playing more substantial roles. In NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS he plays Neptune in a toga and we discover that, My God, Robert Warwick is Really Buff.

7 Responses to “Hopalonging”

  1. “But with a little sex”

  2. It was only a few years ago I noticed the relevance of the line “I’m stuck here with half the cast of The Godfather” in Annie Hall, but I’m still not convinced Diane Keaton’s meant to be included in that joke. I mean, the film’s meta, but not THAT meta.

  3. Yeah, and the non-specificity of the reference — the two thugs don’t really look like mafia hoods — suggests maybe Woody wasn’t that familiar with the Godfather. Maybe he forgot his girlfriend was in it?

  4. You always see something new when you watch an old movie.

  5. chris schneider Says:

    “You Always See Something New” Dept. I didn’t realize until I saw PILLOW TALK again, a film for which I’ve no huge affection, that when Hudson pretends to be a Texas millionaire it’s Hudson reassuming his GIANT character. I also noticed, when chancing upon a TCM showing of ONCE UPON A HONEYMOON, that Grant has a line in a scene with Rogers about “the way you look tonight,” which causes both of them to pause — as if he had let slip a song title from her earlier RKO picture (I.e. SWING TIME).

  6. Ha! Yes, there are probably more obscure in-jokes hidden in Hollywood films than we’ll ever realise.

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