Friday, October 24, 2014

Martin is worried about telling Lewis that he's drawing the "Vincent the Vulture" comic because "then we'd be through as pals,"

Hey pallies, likes here is still 'nother installment of great Dino-readin' from Mr. Jaime J. Weinman self-tagged blog, "Something Old, Nothing New - Thoughts on Popular Culture and Unpopular Culture  by Jaime J. Weinman."  We followed a link in his post that was published yesterday, "ARTISTS AND MODELS And Its Mysterious Missing Plot Points," and discovered "Lucky Berkeleyites," where Weinman made what appears to be his first observations, he tags 'em "A few random points on Artists and Models."

Scribed  in April of 2008, it surely  shows us how observant Mr. Weinman is 'bout one of his, and our most fav flicks.  We won't  take any glory 'way from your Dino-readin' pleasure, and simply simply encourage you to enjoy Jaime's well written words of wisdom.

'Gain we takes our hat off to Mr. Jaime J. Weinman for sharin' 'bout "one of those movies I just love".....our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partner in "Artists And Models."  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.   Dino-delightedly, DMP

Lucky Berkeleyites

If you're in or near the Bay area (and I'm not saying you shouldn't be), the University of California at Berkeley is holding A week-long Frank Tashlin retrospective. There have been a bunch of these recently, but all south of the border (the Canadian border, I mean); I especially recommend next Wednesday's screening of Artists and Models because while the DVD version looks fine, I have a feeling that the otherworldly riot of color would look even better on a big screen in a dark theatre.

A few random points on Artists and Models while I'm at it, since this is one of those movies I just love (there are greater movies, maybe even better movies by this director or these stars, but there are few other movies that are more fun), because none of them are worth a separate post in themselves:

1) The plot of Artists and Models, if you look at it rationally, has so many holes in it, even for a comedy, that the script would be thrown out of any screenwriting class. Some of this is probably due to cutting; it's a long movie and some scenes were cut for time (including Shirley MacLaine's solo "Bat Lady" dance, which appears to be lost), and I imagine some of the deleted scenes would explain why Eva Gabor's character starts out thinking that Dean Martin is the person she needs to seduce and then, without any explanation for how she found out the truth, switches to trying to seduce Jerry Lewis. But there are various other unexplained plot points, things that are brought up and then never referred to again (Martin is worried about telling Lewis that he's drawing the "Vincent the Vulture" comic because "then we'd be through as pals," but this is never addressed), and stuff that just makes no sense, like how can Martin's character draw a best-selling comic book under his own name without Jerry Lewis's character finding out about it? You just kind of have to go with it; it's like a '50s throwback to many silent and early sound comedies that were very loosely structured and informal and didn't ask to be judged by classic principles of story structure. But you can see why Jean-Luc Godard fell in love with Artists; the idea that a movie can ignore all rules of storytelling logic, and get away with it if the individual scenes are entertaining enough, must have been very encouraging to him.

2) The publicity photo of Martin, Lewis, and the four top-billed women in the film (all dressed, of course, by Edith Head, who did some of her best work on this picture), appears to be the one Shirley MacLaine was talking about when she wrote that Jerry Lewis was a real jerk during the taking of a cast publicity photo with these six participants. Apparently he tried to essentially direct the taking of the photograph and tell everybody where to stand and what to do. Viewed that way, it's kind of a metaphor for why their partnership broke up: Jerry standing there trying to control everything, Dean looking a little ticked off. (Click to enlarge).





3) I notice that while Shirley MacLaine's character is called "Bessie Sparrowbush" in the film, many cast lists give the name as "Sparrowbrush." I wonder if somebody sneaked the name "Sparrowbush" past the censors by deliberately misspelling it in the cast list.

4) When I tried to research this film I didn't come up with much (to find out anything about its production I'll have to wait until I can look at Hal Wallis's papers, which are housed at the Motion Picture Academy's library), but I did find a Sheilah Graham column, complete with a quote from producer Hal Wallis, revealing that the part of Dean Martin's love interest was originally offered to Lizabeth Scott, a longtime Wallis contractee who had already been Martin's vis-a-vis in Scared Stiff. Scott turned down the script, upon which Martin asked for Dorothy Malone, his other love interest from Scared Stiff. That same year, Martin also made You're Never Too Young opposite Diana Lynn, who had been his love interest in the two My Friend Irma movies.


Posted by Jaime J. Weinman at 7:32 PM

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Martin writes the dreams down and secretly turns them into the kind of ultra-violent comic book that warped Lewis's mind

Hey pallies, likes 'pon discoverin' yester-Dino-day's "Artists and Models patter from Mr. Jaime J. Weinman, likes we remembered 'nother fine post we had by Weinman 'bout this same Dino-subject.
So, through the magic of google blog searchin' we rediscovered the wonderous prose below that Jaime had written way back in December of 2008 at his self tagged  blog "Something Old, Nothing New - Thoughts on Popular Culture and Unpopular Culture  by Jaime J. Weinman."

While we had left a comment with Mr. Weinman at the time, we realized that we had never ever shared this with the ilovedinomartin blog readership before, so no time likes the present to do so.
What makes this particular prose so intriguin' is that Jaime as he states in his tag for the post, accents "ARTISTS AND MODELS And Its Mysterious Missing Plot Points."

As you will read below, Weinman "picked up (for $2.99) a copy of an issue of Screen Stories magazine, a movie fan magazine that specialized in publishing the stories of recent movies in short-story form."  And that particular mag accents "Artists And Models."  It's very very cool how with the help of this issue of Screen Stories Jaime is able to do a great job of explain' some of the hows and whys of the "mysterious missing plot points.

We, as huge huge fans of "Artists And Models" were psyched to have 'gain come 'cross this particular post and be able to share it with all youse Dino-philes.  We salute Mr. Jaime Weinman for his 'specially good scribin' skills in this very informative piece of Dino-literature.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.  Dino-learnin' and growin', DMP


Thursday, December 18, 2008


ARTISTS AND MODELS And Its Mysterious Missing Plot Points



You all know I'm something of an Artists and Models junkie, and I've always been a little frustrated by the lack of material on it: no DVD extras, little background information, few contemporary articles (as another Martin & Lewis movie, it didn't get much promotion other than alerting people that Dean and Jerry were back again), not even a trailer -- there was a print of the trailer auctioned off on Ebay last week, but I got outbid. Drafts of the scripts and correspondence are presumably available in the Hal Wallis archives at the AMPAS library, but I haven't had an opportunity to go there yet.

In the meantime, though, I picked up (for $2.99) a copy of an issue of Screen Storiesmagazine, a movie fan magazine that specialized in publishing the stories of recent movies in short-story form. (This format would be replaced by the full-length novelization.) The writers for Screen Stories would work on their adaptations based on a copy of the screenplay, but they were not always told about changes that had been made to the script after they got their copy, or scenes that were filmed but cut prior to release. That means that sometimes a "Screen Stories" version will contain dialogue or plot points that were cut from the movie. The Artists and Models adaptation was in this issue I picked up, and in lieu of a script, I thought I'd look at it to see if there were any story points that would clarify some of the perplexing plot gaps in the movie.< As I mentioned in a previous post, the plot sort of falls apart in the third act because the spies inexplicably switch from pursuing Dean Martin to pursuing Jerry Lewis -- without ever actually finding out that Lewis is the one who actually created Vincent the Vulture -- and also because Lewis never finds out that Martin has been turning his dreams into a comic book. (Brief plot recap: Lewis has dreams about a lurid superhero adventure; because he talks in his sleep, Martin writes the dreams down and secretly turns them into the kind of ultra-violent comic book that warped Lewis's mind; a detail from Lewis's dreams turns out to be identical to a secret government formula, and both the Russians and the Feds want to know more about the source of this comic book.)

If the Screen Stories piece is based on the script, then there was supposed to be a scene that would have cleared up both of these points. It's in the scene before the Artists and Models ball, where Rick (Martin) is helping Eugene (Lewis) get ready, while an evil Russian spy (the improbably cast Jack Elam, who apparently loved this change-of-pace part) listens in. In the film, the scene just has Rick and Eugene doing the old comedy fancy-dress routine ("I can't keep this dicky down, Ricky!") followed by Rick telling Eugene that he'll meet the "Bat Lady" at the ball, followed by a cut to Elam listening in. But the scene was apparently supposed to be longer: while looking for an article of clothing, Eugene discovers a copy of the "Vincent the Vulture" comic with Rick's name on it, leading to the following dialogue:


EUGENE: You've been working for Murdock! How could you write a thing like this?

RICK: But I didn't write the book. I just drew it.

EUGENE: Then who wrote it? I want to know who's got the dirty, filthy, nasty mind to dream that story up.

RICK: All right, you have. You dreamed it up. That story is out of your little subconscious. That's what you talk when you talk in your sleep. But don't worry, I didn't cheat you. Half the loot's in the bank in your name.

EUGENE: You mean I dreamed this dirty, nasty, filthy story?

RICK: You got talent, Eugie. You're Steubendale's Edgar Allen Poe.


Then the Jack Elam character was supposed to overhear this, which explains how the Russian spies know that Eugene, not Rick, is the creator of Vincent the Vulture.

I don't know if this scene was cut from the movie due to length (at 108 minutes it's unusually long for a M&L comedy) or if they just ran out of time to film it; because this movie went over budget, several scenes were planned but not made. It seems strange that one of the parts they would choose to do without is the part that's necessary for the whole plot to make sense, but that's Artists and Models for you; it's not a movie where logical resolutions or sensible plot construction are very important. If they had to choose between cutting this scene and cutting the dicky scene, I kind of see why they went for the latter -- in this movie at least. 



It wasn't planned that way, and I know that I'm really excusing away some serious flaws of storytelling, but the story problems just don't matter to me the way they would in a less crazy film. In the finished film, the thing that gives it some kind of coherence is not the story but the sense of mounting strangeness; every scene is a little more outlandish than the last, as if the movie starts off making fun of Eugene's "wild comic-book dreams" and ends up becoming one. The Godard comparison is still one that sticks with me; Pierrot Le Fou, which I've called his most Tashlinesque film, starts out with a story that makes some kind of logical sense and winds up as a series of wild stream-of-consciousness cartoon sequences.

Not that there aren't plenty of improvements in the finished film. In this version, when Rick runs out looking for Eugene, who is dressed in a giant mouse costume, and Sonia, dressed as the Bat Lady, he asks "Did a woman in a bat costume and a tall thin rat come out?" In the movie, Eugene is dressed in a heavily-padded mouse costume so that Rick can say one of my favorite lines ever: "Did a bat and a fat rat come out here?"

Also it seems like the original script probably had more references to the idea that comic books are genuinely bad for children -- in one scene as recapped in Screen Stories, Rick sees kids acting violent due to the influence of his Vincent the Vulture comics, and that gives him the impetus to quit drawing the comic. (The scene where he quits is in the movie, but with very little setup.) Tashlin really wasn't kidding about not liking mass-market newsstand comics; at the time the film came out, he gave a short interview where he tried to draw a distinction between good cartooning, which is what he did, and violent trashy comics ("I don't know why kids would read that when Treasure Island is so much more exciting"). But because a lot of the anti-comics lines didn't make it into the final film, the movie as it stands has an almost even balance between anti-comics satire and satire of people who are againstcomics, making it a more good-natured and interesting look at the cultural moment than it might have become.

If the recap is accurate, there was also supposed to be a scene at the Artists and Models Ball which would explain how Dean Martin gets back together with Dorothy Malone and why she arrives with the federal agents near the end of the picture. This is pretty well expendable, though; neither of those things really need explaining. But it seems a shame to lose any scene with Malone in her ball costume, perhaps my favorite of all the many great, surreal Edith Head costumes in the film. (In a strange way it does seem to convey the idea that if you crossed a prim comic-book artist with a Vegas showgirl, this is what she'd wear.)



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Martin and Lewis play roommates, one a suave stud, the other a childlike idiot.




Hey pallies, likes how cool is it that the minin' of one piece of Dino-treasure will often led to more Dino-gold as well.  Case in point.  Just the other day on Monday of this very Dino-week  we shared with you a bit of Dino-funnin' from the blog, "MIGHTYGODKING DOT COM" that featured a random page from one of the Dino and Jerry comic books.  Well, likes as we often do, we thought we would just search the site for more Dino-delight...and indeed likes we found some!

What we uncovered was a powerful post scribed by Mr. Jaime Weinman who seems to be as smitten as we are by that great great Martin and Lewis classic big screen flick, "Artists And Models."  the "MIGHTYGODKING DOT COM" pad obviously is a place that often accents comic books and truly truly "Artists And Models" is like the filmed comic book 'bout comic books.

We likes totally totally digs the prose and vid clips that Mr. Weinman has assembled in stunnin'ly speakin' of his passion for what we too consider to be our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partners bestest of bestest film.  Youse Dino-holics seemly need to take the time to bask in each and every word that Weinmen has put to patter!

We salute Mr. Jaime Weinman for his most well scribed review of "Artists and Models" certainly encouragin' his readership to watch this all most perfect Dino-effort.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.  And, stop back tomorrow 'cause we have found even more Dino-devotion scribed by Weinman 'bout "Artists And Models."  Dino-delightedly, DMP




My Favourite Comic Book Movie, or How To Keep the Tarnish Off Brass Knuckles
Posted by Jaime Weinman
Published in Comics, Flicks

I once described myself as an “Artists and Models junkie,” which is not a description you hear very much outside France. We all can name movies that somehow manage to bring together a lot of the things we like, and this 1955 film by Frank Tashlin, which I watched again recently, has always been the movie that sums up a lot of things I like about the movies. And one of the things that perversely makes it more interesting to me is that it’s a confused movie: though it’s a satire of comic books and the influence of comic books on children, writer-director Tashlin doesn’t seem completely clear about what his attitude is to the things he’s satirizing. So it’s not only a funny movie, it’s like an exhibit for how a movie can get away from its creators and wind up saying things they didn’t quite intend. In this case, it’s a time capsule for confused, ambiguous attitudes toward comic books at the height of the ’50s anti-comics craze.

First, some background: Artists and Models was Tashlin’s first film with the superstar comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. (He made one more film with the team, Hollywood or Bust, and then made six more films with Lewis starring and producing.) Martin and Lewis play roommates, one a suave stud, the other a childlike idiot; I’ll let you guess who plays which character. Lewis is obsessed with violent comic books, particularly a book called “The Bat Lady,” which he reads to find out “if the Bat Lady’s gonna blow one of the Rat Man’s heads off.” Lewis also talks in his sleep about the adventures of an entirely original superhero, “Vincent the Vulture.”



Later in the film, Martin is invited to pitch ideas to gore-crazed comics publisher Eddie Mayehoff — whose comics empire is actually controlled by his ex-wife, and who falls out with the Bat Lady artist (Dorothy Malone) for submitting a comic with “no blood, not one itsy-bitsy nosebleed… no stranglings, no decapitations.” In desperation to come up with something suitably gory, he starts pitching the story Lewis told in his sleep, and it’s accepted. He can’t tell Lewis, though (how he manages to publish a comic under his own name without his roommate finding out is something the movie doesn’t care about, and neither should we), because Lewis has been turned against violent comics and is teaming up with Malone to create a more suitable kids’ entertainment, “The Adventures of Freddie Fieldmouse.” In a parody of the Senate hearings on comic books, Lewis goes on a panel show (hosted by a real TV host of the era, Art Baker), to explain that comics ruined his life by making him “a little retarded.”



Malone’s roommate is the young Shirley MacLaine, who also acts as Malone’s live-action reference for drawing the Bat Lady character. MacLaine is obsessed with horoscopes and numerology (I mean her character is, in this case), decides that she’s destined to love Lewis. So Shirley tries to get him to stop obsessing over comic-book women and get interested in dating an actual woman.



And as if all this wasn’t enough plot, Lewis’s dreams turn out to contain a formula similar to a secret U.S. rocket fuel formula, and when the comic book comes out, Russian spies — along with sexy Hungarian commie agent Eva Gabor — descend on Martin and Lewis to try and get access to his dreams. Some fans of the film thinks it goes off the rails once the spy plot is introduced; I think it works, because it marks the point where the movie literally becomes what it originally seemed to be satirizing: these people’s lives are indistinguishable from the insane comic books that corrupted Lewis’s mind. Also it’s inherently funny to see serious-looking U.S. authority figures reading “Vincent the Vulture.”



But if the movie seems to come down on the side of wild comic-book reality, that definitely wasn’t Tashlin’s intention going into the project. Tashlin had done newspaper comics, he’d directed Looney Tunes cartoons, and he had written some excellent children’s books. All of these professions were held in more esteem, at the time, than comic books, and Tashlin really did seem to see Artists and Models as his chance to slam the shoddy, cheap comics that had made a mockery of cartooning. He even said so while the movie was in production, telling a newspaper that the movie would express his feelings about comic books, that the only good comic books on the market were “the historical classics” (which at the time meant adaptation of classic books in comics form), and that he didn’t see why kids wanted to read comics when “Treasure Island is so much better.” He said that as a cartoonist he had done some hack work to make money, but that things had gotten worse in the comic book era.

That anti-comics attitude is all over the movie, of course, since the main comic book reader is Jerry Lewis. Any movie that implies that reading comics will turn you into Jerry Lewis is making a very strong case against reading such things. In case that wasn’t bad enough, the other comic book reader in the movie is Richard (George Winslow) a kid who has been turned into a homicidal maniac by reading comic books (and who also calls Shirley MacLaine “mop-head,” which is as accurate a description of her haircut as any).

But several things happened to make the movie’s attitude much more ambiguous than Tashlin’s own. First, a lot of the anti-comics plot points didn’t make it into the movie, and the ones that did were more anti-corporate than anti-comics. Martin was originally supposed to quit comics after he sees kids imitating the violent actions of his comic book superhero. But in the finished film, he quits after seeing the way his publisher is merchandising the character:



Like most good satirists, Tashlin couldn’t ignore the absurdity in any argument, even the arguments he supported. So the anti-comics crusaders, like Richard’s mother, are portrayed as prissy fools, and Malone, the comic book artist who doesn’t want to draw superhero comics any more, is portrayed as a humorless prig who needs to lighten up. (But, like all the women in the movie who aren’t Kathleen Freeman, absurdly hot nonetheless.)

And finally, as I said, the movie starts like a semi-normal light comedy and gets more and more wild and absurd until it becomes totally insane. This is partly because Tashlin never filmed some script pages that would have tied up the loose ends of the plot. But it’s also because when you watch the movie from beginning to end, it’s like the whole story is taking Lewis’s side, turning the world into a riot of action, splashy color, sexy spies and world-domination plots, just like a comic book.

Intentionally or not, final effect is to make us feel like comics, the shame of the ’50s, aren’t really so different from movies, the ultimate middlebrow family entertainment. The ’60s and ’70s directors who loved this movie (like Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Rivette, whose movie Celine and Julie Go Boating was sort of an homage to Artists and Models) certainly thought so.
So it’s a movie that has a lot to say about why there was so much worry and panic about comic books in 1955; it’s also a movie that, almost unwittingly, tells us why movies and comic books have now became interchangeable.

Also, it’s got a scene where a chiropractor and/or massage therapist twists Jerry Lewis’s body into a human pretzel. Which satisfies both our need for cartoon slapstick and our need to see Jerry Lewis suffer great pain.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dean, you weren't very tall last night

 Hey pallies, likes today's Dino-gram to all youse Dino-holics likes ain't what we planned 'cause our partner-in-Dino-devotion none other then our great great pallie Danny-o of "Sunday Serenade With Dino" fame has sent us a really really cool piece of Dino-treasure to pass on to all youse Dino-philes.
Likes don't know how Danny discovered this, but it is a remarkable read that needs to get to our pallies here at ilovedinomartin asap.

What Danny found comes from the blog "Stars And Letters - Letters From Hollywood's Golden Age' where a Miss Clarissa Saunders hold forth.  Accordin' to her bio Miss Saunders is "forty-something, Amsterdam-based and a lover of classic Hollywood films. This blog is my bundle of letters, notes, telegrams, memos etc. written by or addressed to those who made movies during Hollywood's Golden Age. "

Her blog post, "Dean, you weren't very tall last night" is 'bout some telegram correspondence between Mr. John Wayne and our most beloved Dino durin' January 1969.  The subject matter of the written words between the Duke and our Dino concerns Mr. Wayne's concern of how our King of Cool joked about then vice president  Spiro Agnew durin' one of his shows.  We leave it to you to read Wayne's concerns and our Dino's response.

We wanna says our thanks to both our Dino-focused pallie Danny-o for bringin' this to our attention, and, of course, to Miss Clarissa Saunders for sharin' this hugely hugely historic Dino-literature....helpin' each and every one of us pallies grow deeper and deeper in our Dino-appreciato.
To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.  Dino-awed, DMP

20 October 2014

Dean, you weren't very tall last night

John Wayne was one of Hollywood's most prominent Republicans. In 1968, the Republican Party asked him to run for president thinking it could profit from Wayne's huge popularity. Wayne declined as he believed people would not take a Hollywood actor in the White House seriously. So instead of running for president himself, he publicly supported Republican candidates such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan (even though Reagan had been an actor too).

On 20 January 1969, Richard Nixon and vice-president Spiro Agnew took office. Wayne, who had actively campaigned for Nixon-Agnew, was not amused after friend and fellow actor Dean Martin had made jokes about the vice-president during a show. On 24 January, Wayne sent a telegram to Martin reprimanding him for his conduct. Four days later Martin sent Wayne his reply. Both telegrams can be read below.


 

Source: heritage auctions/ image reproduced with permission

Transcript: 

Telegram- January 24, 1969 
10:10 AM 
(operator DJ)

Mr. Dean Martin
601 Mountain Drive
Beverly Hills, Calif.

Dear Dino:

You weren't very tall last night. Spiro Agnew is Vice President of the United States of America.

Duke

Source: heritage auctions/ image reproduced with permission

Transcript:

1969, JAN 28 PM 3 20

JOHN WAYNE=
26 86 BAYSHORE DR NEWPORT BEACH CALIF (NR)=

DEAR DUKE I JUST RETURNED FROM THE CROSBY TOURNEMENT [sic] AND JUST RECEIVED YOUR WIRE. I ONLY WANT TO SAY THAT I WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO RERUN THAT PARTICULAR SHOW FOR YOU SO YOU CAN SEE THAT WE SAID NOTHING AGAINST MR AGNEW OR POKED ANY FUN AT HIM. I NEVER DO THAT TO ANYONE ESPECIALLY OUR VICE PRESIDENT AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT ONLY A FEW PEOPLE KNOW I VOTED FOR MR NIXON AND MR AGNEW AND ALSO GAVE A CONSIDERABLE SUM OF MONEY FOR HIS CAMPAIGN BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN HIM AND KNOW THAT HE WILL MAKE A FINE PRESIDENT. ALWAYS YOUR FRIEND=

DINO=

John Wayne and Dean Martin in Howard Hawks' great western "Rio Bravo" (1959). They would appear together in one other western, "The Sons of Katie Elder" (1965).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Never try to start reading a Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comic halfway through. It will only lead to sorrow.

Hey pallies, likes we shares with all youse Dino-philes today what musta be one of the most random Dino-postin's we have ever come 'cross.  While doin' some more of our extra credit google blog Dino-searchin' we happened upon this very very hip web pad tagged "MIGHTYGODKING DOT COM" where on September 23 in the year of our Dino 2008 some dude shared what they tagged "The most random panel in comic book history."

That "panel" just happens to comes from volume 34 of "The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis."  It features Jerry proclaimin' to our Dino and a beautiful babe, "Today I am a Leprechaun."
And what is our great man's great reply?  "Jerry don't bother us at a time like this!  We have to catch the potato-jackers!"  Takin' the page outta the context of the whole comic book leaves readers to ponder purely provocative and extremely evocative Dino-thoughts for sure!

We thank the "MIGHTYGODKING DOT COM" pallie who has given us lush laughter this very Dino-day!  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.  Dino-funnin', DMP



From The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis #34.
Never try to start reading a Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comic halfway through. It will only lead to sorrow.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Danny G's Sunday Serenade with Dino: "In Napoli"



Welcome back pals! How's life? Hopefully all is well & this week's Serenade is findin' you in good spirits.

Well pallies...leaves are startin' to fall. Days have grown shorter. Thins' REALLY showin ALL signs of Autumn huh?
Now besides bein' THE SPOOKIEST & one of the COOLEST months of the year...October just so happens to be Italiano heritage month! Well...at least that's what we call it here in BEA U TI FUL Worcester, Massachusetts! Yes sir! Haha!

So...in the spirit of ALL the cool cool paisanos , like Mr. & Mrs. Gaetano Crocetti, who brought their GREAT GREAT son, Dino, & Italian traditions to America...I decided to celebrate today with a little, "In Napoli"!
This tune is SO SO pretty & the vid has such BEA U TI FUL pics of  WON DER FUL Italy...not to mention Dean's smooth smooth croonin'...you can almost taste the vino & foods of "the old country"! Ahhhh what a place to be.

So pals, in honor of our Italiano brothers & sisters & ALL our Dino-lovin' pals out there...this one's for youse!
Did I mention that my great grandparents came to America from the Abruzzo region of Italy... just like Dino's fam? No? Oh. never mind then. Hahaha! I couldn't resist sharin' that one, pals! Ha! Enjoy!   


In Napoli beside the sea
It happened on a night like this
In Napoli our hearts were free
And we surrendered to a kiss
There 'neath the stars I saw heaven in her eyes
There 'neath the stars I knew this was paradise
All through the night in sweet delight
We shared the tenderness of love
But with the dawn my love was gone
Just like the fading stars above
My lonely heart cries out, "Please come back to me"
Beside the sea in dear old Napoli
There 'neath the stars I saw heaven in her eyes
There 'neath the stars I knew this was paradise
All through the night in sweet delight
We shared the tenderness of love
But with the dawn my love was gone
Just like the fading stars above
My lonely heart cries out, "Please come back to me"
Beside the sea in dear old Napoli

Saturday, October 18, 2014

.......let’s take a look at the films of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis!

Hey pallies, likes more and more often we keeps uncoverin' more and more Dino-commentary from the ol' web, stuff that for whatever reason never made it to front and center when first scribed.  Today we visit at the blog, "MovieFanFare" where blogger Blair Kramer has created a Martin and Lewis centered post tagged "Jerry and Dean's List."  Likes from the get-go we gotta 'fess up that we have a number of disagreements with Kramer's efforts.

First of all the team was always always known as Martin and Lewis, but as you will note Blair puts it the other 'way 'round...."Jerry and Dean's List."  Next instead of declarin' that Martin and Lewis was the greatest comedic team of all time, they rate our Dino and Jerry much lower on the list.

But, likes when Blair gets to his brief reviews and recomendations of the Martin and Lewis big screen efforts, mostly mostly they are favored, but likes not all.  We were most most surprised when Kramer gots to our most fav of fav Martin and Lewis flick, "Artists And Models"....which we consider almost practically perfect, the review sez, "An intellectually hollow attack against the comic book industry inspired by an equally intellectually hollow book called “Seduction of the Innocent.” Shame on Dean and Jerry for making this awful film that is only notable for one thing: Shirley MacLaine‘s first movie appearance.  Please Skip It!"  Not just "skip it," but "Please Skip It!."

So, while we have mucho much different perspectives on mucho much of what Blair Kramer has scribed, we still say thank you very much for doin' your part to introduce the Martin and Lewis comedies to your readership.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.   Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP

Jerry and Dean’s List

05.21.12 | Blair Kramer



OK. So they weren’t Laurel and HardyHope and Crosby, or The Marx Brothers. But Martin and Lewis were certainly one of the most successful comedy teams to ever achieve film stardom. And, believe it or not, to this day some of their films are still actually quite funny. So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at the films of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis!
My Friend Irma (1949). Jerry’s familiar “monkey” character (as Jerry famously referred to himself) was introduced fully formed in this movie. But it all happened by accident. When originally cast as a “normal” person, Jerry just wasn’t funny. As a result, a completely new buffoonish character was created for Jerry to play. It allowed him to be the slapstick clown with whom we are all familiar. And of course, history was made.My Friend Irma is a bit dated but Dean Martin was surprisingly good as a romantic leading man. And a very young Jerry Lewis is something to behold! Recommended.
My Friend Irma Goes West (1950). A film producer who offers Dean a movie deal eventually proves to be an escaped lunatic! Unfortunately, the gang is already headed for Hollywood before the truth is known. So they stop in Las Vegas where they run afoul of a gangster and engage in some over the top slapstick craziness. As a result, Irma and Jerry are actually offered a GENUINE movie deal! Recommended.
At War With the Army (1950) is a military comedy about two entertainers serving in the army. It offers a few decent moments (such as Dean’s imitation of Bing Crosby and Jerry’s imitation of Barry Fitzgerald), but is otherwise forgettable. Skip It.
That’s My Boy (1951). Possibly the best Martin and Lewis film, That’s My Boy takes a look at how some parents just can’t accept the fact that their children must be allowed to make their own choices. Dean is asked to help Jerry become a famous football star like Jerry’s father. But Jerry just doesn’t have what it takes, until… Recommended.
Sailor Beware (1951). Dean wants to go to sea to serve his country. Jerry wants to go to sea for his health. Slapstick nonsense ensues. Fortunately, the comedy keeps it all afloat (such as Jerry remaining topside on a submerging submarine!). Recommended.
Jumping Jacks (1952). More military hijinks as Dean goes from nightclub entertainer to army paratrooper. When he asks Jerry, his civilian partner, to help him stage a show, Jerry is forced to pretend that he too is an army paratrooper! Wonderful comedy ensues when the boys get involved in decidedly crazy war games!Recommended.
The Stooge (1953). I suspect that the script for this film may have contributed to the end of the Martin and Lewis partnership. Dean plays one half of a successful stage act who decides that he no longer needs his partner. Unfortunately, his solo act flops big time. So he hires clueless shlub Jerry to heckle from the audience and engage in “spontaneous” banter. In other words, Jerry becomes an anonymous “stooge.” The Stooge is a very curious film that may well have hit a little too close to home for Martin! Recommended.
Scared Stiff (1953). Boring remake of Bob Hope‘s early 40′s comedy The Ghost Breakers. The boys find themselves sparring with zombies and ghosts within a creepy haunted mansion in pre-Castro Cuba. It’s just too bad the film isn’t funny. Skip It.
The Caddy (1953). In this variation of That’s My Boy, Jerry’s golf pro dad wants Jerry to overcome his fear of crowds and join the pro circuit. To that end, he hires Dean to take golf lessons from Jerry and in so doing, drag Jerry out of his shell. But when Dean proves talented enough to actually turn pro, Jerry becomes Dean’s caddy! This film isn’t a hole-in-one but it offers some great golf-related slapstick. Recommended.
Money from Home (1953). Dean is a gambler in the mid 1920′s who is forced by a mobster to fix a horse race. Complications set-in when he falls in love with the young woman who owns the horse. The climactic slapstick horse race features Jerry as an out of control jockey! Gee… I wonder who wins the race…?Recommended.
3 Ring Circus (1954). Dean takes a job in a circus after leaving the army, allowing his pal Jerry to tag along. This film is worth a look just to see Jerry perform as a genuine circus clown. Recommended.
Living It Up (1954). If only! Lackluster remake of a much better late ‘30s film called Nothing Sacred. Jerry’s doctor (Dean) mistakenly tells Jerry that he has a terminal illness (in this case, radiation poisoning!). So they go on a fling with a couple of girls in New York City! I suspect it really was just indegestion! Skip It.
Artists and Models (1955). An intellectually hollow attack against the comic book industry inspired by an equally intellectually hollow book called “Seduction of the Innocent.” Shame on Dean and Jerry for making this awful film that is only notable for one thing: Shirley MacLaine‘s first movie appearance.  Please Skip It!
You’re Never Too Young (1955). In this remake of Billy Wilder‘s The Major and The Minor, Jerry poses as an 11-year-old boy hiding out in an all-girls’ school. That’s because evil Jewel thief Raymond Burr has hidden a priceless diamond in Jerry’s clothing and he’ll do ANYTHING to get it back! The climactic chase with Jerry on water skis is also priceless! Recommended.
Pardners (1956). Parody of Western movies with Dean and Jerry as partners who go West to take back land that their fathers’ (once again, Dean and Jerry) lost to evil bad guys many years ago. Fortunately, the film contains enough rootin’ tootin’ slapstick to make it worthwhile. Side note: Rumors were flying at the time that the boys were on the brink of professional divorce. So Dean and Jerry broke character near the end of the film to speak directly to the audience. They assured everyone that their partnership was solid and that they would continue to make films together. Yeah. Right. Recommended.
Hollywood or Bust (1956). No they wouldn’t. No they didn’t. Fortunately, Dean and Jerry’s mutual animosity didn’t show on screen in their final film together. Con man Dean forces Jerry to share the brand new car that Jerry won in a sweepstakes. They head for Hollywood together, acquiring a slobbering Great Dane pooch along the way! But when Dean falls for a na├»ve, young lass in Las Vegas, he decides to turn over a new leaf.Hollywood or Bust has plenty of laughs, as well as plenty of ghosts. Jerry said that he and Dean never spoke a word to each other off-camera during its filming. He also said that it’s the one Martin and Lewis film he’s never seen. Too much pain. Recommended.
Next:  Jerry Lewis goes it alone.