“Forgotten Hollywoood”- RATS!

Posted on May 26, 2012 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   The Brothers Grimm were known for children’s fables that concluded with harsh lessons. The Pied Piper of Hamelin took place during the Thirteenth Century in the very-real German town. As the tale goes: The mayor of the hamlet hires a minstrel to rid the town of rats. When the elected politicos refuse to pay the piper, the children of Hamelin are sacrificed; sent to drown in a neighboring river as payment for the duplicitous nature of the village officials.

   In 1957, NBC aired a televised special, based on a Robert Browning-related poem, with Van Johnson as the Pied Piper, and Claude Rains as the mayor. It was the only time Rains sang and danced in his screen career. Jim Backus, Doodles Weaver and Kay Starr co-starred. The program repeated in 1958, and was later syndicated. In the tradition of holiday specials, it was re-run annually on Thanksgiving. The movie was released in theatres in 1966. Johnson’s performance as the Pied Piper was so fondly remembered, he played a similar style crook – The Minstrel – that year on Batman.

   Now, the German city of Hamelin needs a new Pied Piper. The rats are reportedly back and creating havoc to the community. But, it seems the Brothers Grimm got it wrong. According to the fable, the minstrel also led the rodents to drown as an initial solution. It turns out, the pests are really good swimmers. City officials may still be  paying the piper.

   And so it goes…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 26th, 2012 at 3:35 am 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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