“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Language of Cinema…

Posted on December 30, 2017 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Hollywood’s Golden Age has a language all its own. I find myself using that unique form of communication in everyday life. Often, I get looks of confusion; but, at the end of the day, it serves my purpose. And, it beats the insane notion of texting.

“`Writer Damon Runyon was taken by the romance of real-life gangsterism in popular culture. The crimes of John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone, among others, fascinated common folks in the throes of the Great Depression. The criminal plots in cinema made stars of James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, and Paul Muni; plus, Warner Brothers was  THE studio that squarely tackled societal ills.

“`Runyon-esque was born from the pen of Damon Runyon, which forged a polite society of gangsters with a language that was peculiar and kind. Lady For a Day and  Guys and Dolls were among celluloid adaptations contritely utilizing this basis of conversation to advance a narrative.  The productions humanized the criminal, if not the crimes. Runyon, who died in 1946, would never live long enough to experience the phenomenon of The Godfather trilogy; the modern glamorization of a crime family. It is the Runyon in me; I am courteous to a fault, even while directly dressing down an individual. There is little reason to curse in my lexiconic sphere.

“`But I digress. I find that using the language of cinema helps get me through a day filled with success and setback; wonder and banality; laughter and tears. Here are quotes I often use:


~ Another banner day at the Bailey Building and Loan –  It is urban legend that James Stewart uttered this beauty while contemplating suicide, after an unexplained disappearance of cash. A potential accusation of embezzlement is the last straw for George Bailey in  It’s a Wonderful Life. I often make the comment when things are not going my way; or if caught in an embarrassing act. The actual quote:  Another red-letter day for the Baileys!

~ I’m shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on in here – Everybody has friends who predictably let you down. When they do, it is not shocking; it is annoying. The Claude Rains’ quote feigns contempt. In reality, it is simple sarcasm; in a movie filled with quotable sarcasm — Casablanca.

~ Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers at night, may become a wolf when the wolf bane blooms, and the autumn moon is full and bright – A human being is fallible. This theme is articulated a number of times by characters played by Evelyn Ankers, Maria Ouspenskaya, and again, by Claude Rains in The Wolfman. Consider it a worthy aside to mutter to yourself during an inevitable moment of weakness.

“`I leave you here with this reminder:  What we do not have here is a failure to communicate. Thank you, Strother Martin, for this paraphrase of a comment made in Cool Hand Luke.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 30th, 2017 at 12:08 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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