Thursday, April 27, 2023

Black and White World

Ended up spending my morning reading more of that silent stars book. I had run into John Gilbert before. In addition to reading about his relationship with Greta Garbo in at least two other books, I've seen his swashbuckling vehicle Bardleys the Magnificent, which reappeared after this book was written. I've also heard him in Queen Christina (which I saw on TCM in college) and Hollywood Revue of 1929. His voice was a charming light baritone that suited him just fine. I think the romantic parts he played went out of style, and he couldn't adjust to the more natural acting sound required.

Clara Bow and Colleen Moore also had voices - a mildly deep contralto and a nasal Brooklyn belt - that suited their personas. In fact, Bow remained popular in sound for a few years. Their problem was, they were both different representatives of "the flapper," the female embodiment of the Roaring Twenties. Bow was its sexier, more outrageous side, while slapstick comedienne Moore represented its core of comedy and wonderful nonsense. Once the twenties stopped roaring, there was no reason for them to exist. Tough Bow had her own problems, including major scandals and mental issues. Moore did try sound, but ultimately decided she'd rather focus on her family and her gorgeous dollhouse. 

When I did finally roll out of bed, it was past 11:30. Had breakfast and worked on writing. Richard explains that Gene came up with the idea of using the gold to bring the Wild Rider Gang to them, and then ambushing them...but he'd really rather flirt with Lee. She wishes he'd focus more on his job and less on his wardrobe and his interest in her.

Switched to Match Game '77 after about an hour or so. It was beginning to become more obvious by the time of this episode that Richard Dawson wasn't happy on the show anymore. He was upset that his answer of "Toasted" didn't match "warm buns" and insisted the audience write the producer Bobby Sherman. This would be far from the last time Richard would argue an answer in the coming weeks...and he'd be even angrier in later episodes...

Put on Bernadine as I job hunted and had lunch. I go further into the first movie for Pat Boone and the last for Janet Gaynor, the story of a group of high school boys who try to help one with his love life, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Went straight to work soon as the movie ended. Got there right on time...and could have been infinitely late. Except for one blip around rush hour, we were dead almost the entire evening. In fact, by the time we finished, we had so much help, I shut down early with no trouble and barely anyone noticing. 

Headed home and had dinner while watching Match Game '79. Gary Burghoff got two chances to match the contestant in this episode. He did much better with "Bless Your __" than with "__ Candy Bar." 

Finished the night on YouTube working on my blog while listening to the original off-Broadway cast album for The It Girl. There's been a few musicals based around silent movies and stars. This one is taken from Bow's most famous vehicle, an early Thoroughly Modern Millie about a shop girl who does everything she can to marry her boss. She even claims the baby her ill friend had is hers. Jean Louisa Kelly has Bow's role, and she's a delight, especially in showstoppers like the opening "Black and White World" and her big five o'clock number "A Perfect Plan." If you love the Broadway Millie or are interested in the Roaring Twenties like me, you'll want to give this charming comedy-drama a hearing. 

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