Thanks for the Memory — — A Poetastic Quiz

16 Apr

Who was the following for, whose films we adore, but is with us no more?

(Even more fun if the verses are sung, to the music below, a tune you all know)

Thanks for the memory.
For that dolly shot,
The tears that menthol brought,
We went to see the rushes,
… and the rushes weren’t so hot.
But thank you so much.

Thanks for the memory,
Why is Gale so slow?
Why does Lola blow?
Why aren’t Rose and Pat on time?
… and Felix gotta go?
But thank you so much.

You said hell with the mixer.
Then Flynn said hell with the picture.
But you’re a Hungarian Fixer.
We’ve had so much fun – you five bell bum!
Thanks for the memory.

We really think you’re tops.
You never turn out flops.
… and Limey says your only fault
is that you eat the props.
So thank you very much.

Cheerio, Toodle-oo

— Gentleman Tim


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  1. David DeWitt

    April 16, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Mikey Curtiz!

    • Gentleman Tim

      April 16, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      Congratulations, Herr DeWitt! You’re no five bell bum!

      From Sidney Skolsky Presents (April 18, 1938):

      Errol Flynn and the Warners are feuding, with Mr. Flynn having told the studio that he will return from his vacation when he feels like it.

      From Elizabeth Yeamans (April 25, 1938):

      Although Warners aren’t saying anything about it yet, I understand that beginning this morning Errol Flynn is A.W.O.L. The last I heard of Flynn he was in Florida waters aboard his yacht, and the studio sent out stories he was shooying devil fish with his Robin Hood’s bow and arrow!

      From TCM (Modern Times):

      By 1938, Michael Curtiz was one of Warner Brothers’ top directors, who got first crack at all the “A” projects. And Four Daughters (1938) started out with “A” credentials. That it ended up with them was something of a miracle.

      The film was based on Sister Act, a novel by Fannie Hurst, about four musical sisters and their widowed father. A script had been written by Lenore Coffee, and promptly forgotten. Then, in 1937, Rosemary and Priscilla Mullican, the younger sisters of a minor actress named Lola Lane, came to Warner Brothers’ attention. Taking Lola’s stage surname, Rosemary and Priscilla Lane had some success in a couple of Warners programmers. The studio liked the sister act, and had writer Julius Epstein revise Coffee’s script for the trio, plus a young actress named Gale Page. To give the film importance, Errol Flynn was assigned to play the musician adored by all the girls, and Michael Curtiz, who had just directed Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), was assigned to direct. But when the role was not beefed up to Flynn’s satisfaction, he dropped out. Jeffrey Lynn replaced him, and without a major star, the “A” project dropped to “B” status, to Curtiz’s dismay.

      Meanwhile, an actor from the socially conscious Group Theater in New York, recently signed by Warner Brothers, was waiting for his first film assignment. John Garfield got a look at the script for Four Daughters, and liked the secondary part of a cynical pianist who falls for Priscilla Lane’s character. Michael Curtiz would later claim credit for getting Warners to sign Garfield, and choosing him for the part of Mickey Borden in Four Daughters. Other sources say Garfield was already under contract, and pestered Curtiz and the producers for the part, even though they wanted Eddie Albert. However it happened, Garfield was cast as Mickey, and played him brilliantly.

      Four Daughters was a surprise hit, due largely to Garfield’s portrayal of a brand-new screen type – the Rebel Hero. Garfield became an overnight star, and earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor. The film was also nominated for best picture, director, screenplay, and sound recording. The success of Four Daughters would not only inspire three sequels (two of them directed by Curtiz), but an immediate follow-up, Daughters Courageous (1939), featuring the same cast and a similar story, but with a different setting and different names for the characters.


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