Catastrophe! (G)Nat dropped her Nintendo and it broke.

Good news! (G)Nat dropped her Nintendo and it broke. This is a teachable moment, in which she learned an important lesson: don’t drop your Nintendo, or it will break. Also, a replacement is not immediately forthcoming. The world doesn’t work that way. Well, her world doesn’t work that way. I will not let her use savings to ut a new one, because she has no concept of money; I have told her she can wait three months, which is a mean cruel ETERNITY, but: she can hasten the day by spending Nintendo time on other things, such as reading and art. The more she does that, the faster Replacement Day comes.

Cold today. Not really, but it felt chilly. I’ve written off May. I did take a little time off this afternoon to plant flowers (I’m on diminished work schedule this week, culminating in an absence from the Internet entirely on Thursday and Friday.) Usually my wife plants the nasteraniums, or whatever they are – tulips, that’s all I know – but her hand is giving her trouble. Not in the “Evil Dead 2” sense, but close. So I did it. Never planted flowers before. Not particularly hard, and I did a good job. Put 100 of the buggers in around the tree in the backyard, then readjusted the fountain in the waterfeature – the pump was set on Bellagio – and now everything is fine. Flowers and falling water and a new gazebo. Everything for spring but spring.

Weekly noir:

Never has a man on crutches been so ominous. This is just a terrific movie, and I haven’t seen it in years. It’s described as the motherlode of noir ideas, but I’ve heard that ascribed to other films as well. It’s taken me 20 years to accept Fred MacMurray in the role; I could never shake the genial dad of “My Three Sons” and the flubberific Disney movies, but finally it clicked. (Dick Powell did the same thing – went from a musical-comedy crooner to Phillip Marlowe, and not entirely successfully, either.) What makes it noir? Aside from the grim monkey-love motivation, the murder, the dread-soaked streets and Raymond-Chandler-penned patter so snappy it sounds like those black dots kids throw on the pavement around the Fourth of July, it’s the look.

Venetian Blinds, the window treatment of Fate:

The lighting and cinematography is crackerjack; this scene in the temptress’ house is musty and loveless, the antithesis of the sunny happy California street outside. It’s a haunted house waiting for someone to die. It also reminds you what a hodgepodge the 40s were; moderne was over, Art Deco was over, the future was over. Ties were short and so were tempers.

And of course, the stairs. As I’ve noted over the years of Noir Frame Grab Theater, they did love their stairs.

Here's some urban archeology that might amuse any Los Angelenos in the audience. A few scenes take place here:

The accompanying documentary says they used the Jerry’s on Vernon. Google tells us there’s a Jerry’s Market and Liquor at 4279 S Vermont Avenue. It looks like this/ (Refresh if the map comes up blank; Google Streets can have its hinky moments.

Pan around, and I think you see a "Jerry's Market and Liquor" across the street. On the other hand, this page says the Jerry's was located at 5330 Melrose Ave.

Does it matter? It's immortal now either way.

How about this scene?

You could go there tomorrow. You could hop a plane and wait for night and stand there in a suit, smoking, waiting for a Venetian Blinds salesperson you met on Craigslist. Western and Hollywood.


I tried to watch this one:

Swank typeface, but I wasn’t in the mood for an Edward G. Robinson comedy. So I passed. Went to the trailer on the “Night at the Movies” feature, because I love 40s trailers almost more than the movies themselves.

Paging Walter Monheit:

Man, that’s an old reference. Well, if you enjoyed Spy magazine, you’ll remember that. Anyway, that’s the first thing we see: OOMPH.

What? A new treatment for shingles? A piano concerto? A single daisy to be distributed amongst several billion people?

And the word was Oomph. I'm not playing these out of order; OOMPH preceeded everything else. Ann Sheridan was the OOMPH girl - she hated the title, it seems - and in case you're wondering what she doing in this picture, she . . .

Her tramp-stamp tattoo she got in Cancun? Whatever it is, Bogey's buying it all the way. Because as far as OOMPH goes, she's showing him . . .

Ann was a looker, and a redhead to boot. Do they make them like this anymore?

On the other hand, there was only one Bogey, and he could get the gorgeous dames even when he looked like a zombie in bad pajamas:

The man could work the nails, though. They put her in the box as well as him, alas.

There's something very odd about this moment in the trailer. I haven't altered this at all. Perhaps it was used for comic effect; perhaps they didn't have enough footage and decided to run it backwards. (Mouse over controls; requires Flash. Is a very small download.)


The movie is "It All Came True." What's the movie about?

Well, that settles it.

It would be impossible to sell a movie like this today. It makes you long for the days when titles sold the trailer; I'd prefer these letters, wiping and zooming and fading, to yet another Ominous Voice Man telling us about a world where up is down, and only one man can make things go sideways, et cetera.

Didn't I say I was going to be doing light duty this week? Dang.

New Comic; see you at!