Thursday, July 8, 2010

Flagg, Quirt, and Olsen - on record

Always on the lookout for new and interesting El Brendel items, the Theater Director of Rome, New York's Captiol Theater, Art Pierce, turned me onto this little number he heard via the RADIOLA! channel on the internet radio feed Live365. It's a 1929 performance by Buddy Morgan and his Veterans, "Sergeant Flagg & Sergeant Quirt" (Columbia 2011 D), and reveals the relationship of the crazy, women loving and hating each other duo from such Fox films as, "What Price Glory" (1926), "The Cock-Eyed World" (1929), "Hot Pepper" (1933), and "Women of All Nations" (1931) in song:

With their trademark "Sez you, Sez me!" slogan, actors Victor Mclaglen (Flagg) and Edmund Lowe (Quirt), brought these two rough hewn characters to life, peppering in saucy language with equally sexy adventures with females around the faux-silver-screen globe.

This recording mimics the situations from 1929's "The Cock-Eyed World" and uses impressions to imitate the lead voices. What is particularly interesting is the Brendel Swede voice communicating probably the best known sceen from the film, the "lay of the land" sequence:

It might also be noted that the Flagg and Quirt characters (as portrayed by McLaglen and Lowe) appear in the short film "The Stolen Jools" (1931) with El Brendel in a minor sketch. The film characters are parodied in the 1932 "kids" short, "War Babies" starring a very young Shirley Temple in the lead role of Charmaine. Then in 1952, 20th Century Fox decided to remake "What Price Glory" with James Cagney (Flagg) and Dan Dailey (Quirt) before the book was finally closed on their travels.


Rick Payne said...

McLaglen and Lowe would portray the characters again on the weekly NBC Blue Network radio series "CAPTAIN FLAGG & SGT. QUIRT". The show debuted on September 28, 1941; Lowe was replaced by William Gargan about six weeks before the show ended on April 3, 1942.

Louie said...

Thanks, Rick. I had that info here but just decided to keep it all film for the post.

KING OF JAZZ said...

And on a sidenote, on the 1955 "This Is Your Life," honoree McLagen was reunited with Lowe, both of whom indulged with some brief Flagg & Quirt banter.

Louie said...

Oh, I would love to see that!

King of Jazz said...

It was quite fleeting..., mostly "Sez you!" kind of banter,with McLaglen threatening to knock Lowe's block off or something...quite amiable, actually! The most remarkable thing about the show was how the producers managed to reunite McLaglen with his mostly global-separated siblings--at least seven or eight of 'em, many of whom he hadn't seen in decades. Understandably, he was quite flummoxed. Sadly, I believe McLaglen died not all that long afterwards, so it was a well timed tribute.

Anonymous said...


That song "Sergeant Flagg and Sergeant Quirt" seemed to be very popular but only for a brief time.
When I was more actively collecting 78's I came across a few different versions (I'm always on the lookout for movie-related, personality & novelty stuff).

I haven't played any of them in years, so don't recall exactly if each had the same Swede voice you mentioned along with the Flagg & Quirt impressions.

I don't think I have that Buddy Morgan version, but I know I have at least one on the Diva label, and probably some on that label's associated labels such as Harmony and VelvetTone.
And maybe one on the Grey Gull label.