Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Two Sisters tag-thingy

I got the nod from Lolita over at the excellent Lolita's Classics blog to partake in a little quiz/survey started by Elizabeth over at the Oh By Jingo! Oh By Gee!, so even tho I'm usually against these sorts of things, I'll have a bash:

1. Do you like Greta Garbo?
It depends. I have seen her in some great films ("Flesh and the Devil", "Ninotchka", "Susan Lenox...") and some terrible ones (usually the "period" movies with the exception of "Queen Christina") but I am probably one of the few people who LOVED her in "The Two-Faced Woman". If you're asking me as a man, she is exquisite, not may stars came close to her in the looks department, IMHO, and here's a still from "Susan Lenox...." to prove it:

2. In Buster Keaton's MGM films, do his gestures and his plots resemble those of Harry Langdon? I think both men built their individual reputations on characters that didn't need to speak to convey feeling or comedic fun, but when they HAD to speak in front of the cameras, their persona's didn't translate too well. But I love them both in silents and talkies, just that the sound films are a BIT rough going.

3. Who is your favorite director of silent dramas?
Frank Borzage, who else, but I did see that terrible film "Back Pay" at Cinefest in Syracuse this year so maybe he's not so great after all........ Oh, and maybe second place would have to be F.W. Murnau. Maybe he's the best director of all time.

4. Do Harold Lloyd's movies (movies, not shorts) drag along?
Nope, he's one of the finest crafters of silent films, in my book.

5. Who made better silent shorts, Mack Sennett or Hal Roach?
Hands down Hal Roach. I think the early Sennett films are basically the same story re-tread OVER AND OVER again. Seriously, watch 5 in a row and tell me if you're not ready to blow your brains out. Even Sennett's later films are hard to watch. The Roach films had better actors, directors, and they had Thelma Todd!!!

6. Is Al St. John a genuine heavy, or a baby heavy? (This is based on the idea of the "Baby Vamp", which was the character of the girl who was vampish, but not a vamp.)
Mr. St. John was just another piece in the story. Couldn't be a heavy as he lacked all the features of a TRUE heavy, but could certainly be the villain in certain roles. His later shorts where he was the lead are a revelation and need to be rediscovered as the 3 I have seen are excellent.

7. Do you like 1920s musicals?
Are you sure that this wasn't supposed to be "30's musicals"?? I like "Sunny Side Up" that's for sure but really don't know what 20's musicals would be in the list.

8. Do you like Al Jolson's movies? No. He's a prick who comes off terribly and his acting sucks, too. As for his voice, it has its place in time but CERTAINLY NOT in Louie's world!

9. Who is your favorite animal star?
This may be the hardest question to answer on this list. There are a few I like, such as Pete the Pup (from "Our Gang"), Snooky the Humanzee (which should get a round of groans from everyone reading this), but maybe my favorite would have to be Roscoe Arbuckle's dog, Luke. Never has there been a connection between man and animal that has translated SO WELL on screen.

I guess that's it. Thanks, Lolita, for giving me something other than my daily grind to do today during my lunch break!!


Samantha said...

I completely agree with you about Two Faced Woman. Why do people hate on it so much? It is a fun, lighthearted movie. I also agree with you about Hal Roach vs. Mack Sennett. Roach's studio had some excellent talent, and his movies are very memorable.

Unfortunately, I think you completely missed the mark with your Al Jolson hate. He was so much fun on the screen. But that's alright. I still like you, even if you are a hater.

Louie said...

Hmmmmm, is there another movie to recommend that might change my mind? So far I have seen "The Jazz Singer", "The Singing Fool", and "Hallelujah, I'm A Bum" and I just find him to be REALLY stiff.

Samantha said...

Ooh, well I haven't seen The Singing Fool, but the other two are definitely sub-par Jolson. I have a copy of Go Into Your Dance you could see, and I'd recommend Mammy too. It isn't a great film, but the Jolson stuff is good.

Brad W said...

I second the vote for Luke The Dog - unparalleled at chasing humans and vaulting up ladders at breakneck speed (and what other dogs vault up ladders at ANY speed?). And he wasn't just "Arbuckle's dog" as a role - he was actually Roscoe's dog in real life! I spotted him in an early Keaton film recently as well - it looked like Luke, and as soon as he raced up a ladder there was no doubt.