Saturday, July 14, 2018

In Honor Of The Late Rocker Chuck Berry Who Helped Make It All Possible-Coming Of Age, 50s Style-Another Encore

In Honor Of The Late Rocker Chuck Berry Who Helped Make It All Possible-Coming Of Age, 50s Style-Another Encore





In Honor Of The Late Rocker Chuck Berry Who Helped Make It All Possible-Coming Of Age, 50s Style-Another Encore

CD Review

Oldies But Goodies, Volume Two, Original Sound Record Co., 1986


I have been doing a series of commentaries elsewhere on another site on my coming of political age in the early 1960s, but here when I am writing about musical influences I am just speaking of my coming of age, period, which was not necessarily the same thing. No question that those of us who came of age in the 1950s are truly children of rock and roll. We were there, whether we appreciated it or not at the time, when the first, sputtering, musical moves away from ballady Broadway show tunes and rhymey Tin Pan Alley pieces hit the radio airwaves. (If you do not know what a radio is then ask your parents or, ouch, grandparents, please.) And, most importantly, we were there when the music moved away from any and all music that your parents might have approved of, or maybe, even liked, or, hopefully, at least left you alone to play in peace up in your room when rock and roll hit post- World War II America teenagers like, well, like an atomic bomb.

Not all of the material put forth was good, nor was all of it destined to be playable fifty or sixty years later on some “greatest hits” compilation but some of songs had enough chordal energy, lyrical sense, and sheer danceability to make any Jack or Jill jump then, or now. And, here is the good part, especially for painfully shy guys like me, or those who, like me as well, had two left feet on the dance floor. You didn’t need to dance toe to toe, close to close, with that certain she (or he for shes). Just be alive…uh, hip to the music.  Otherwise you might become the dreaded wallflower. But that fear, the fear of fears that haunted many a teenage dream then, is a story for another day. Let’s just leave it at this for now. Ah, to be very, very young then was very heaven.

So what still sounds good on this CD compilation to a current AARPer and, and perhaps some of his fellows who comprise the demographic that such a 1950s compilation “speak” to. Of course, Danny and The Juniors, At The Hop, one of the first rock songs that I heard (and heard over and over again) on the local radio stations. Naturally an “angel” song, this time on a happier note, Pretty Little Angel Eyes. Naturally, in a period of classic rock numbers, Fats Domino’s Blueberry Hill (or, like Chuck Berry from this period, virtually any other of about twenty of his songs).

But what about the now, seeming mandatory to ask, inevitable end of the night high school dance song (or maybe even middle school) that seems to be included in each CD compilation? The song that you, maybe, waited around all night for just to prove that you were not a wallflower, and more importantly, had the moxie to, mumbly-voice, parched-throated, sweaty-handed, asked a girl to dance (women can relate their own experiences, probably similar). Here the classic Goodnight My Love fills the bill. Hey, I didn’t even like the song, or the singing, but she said yes (a different she that the one from the Volume One review, oh fickle youth) this was what you waited for so don’t be so choosey. And, yes, I know, this is one of the slow ones that you had to dance close on. And just hope, hope to high heaven that you didn’t destroy your partner’s shoes and feet. Well, one learns a few social skills in this world if for no other reason that to “impress” that certain she (or he for shes) mentioned above. I did, didn’t you?

***********

Blueberry Hill-Fats Domino Lyrics

I found my thrill
On Blueberry Hill
On Blueberry Hill
When I found you

The moon stood still
On Blueberry Hill
And lingered until
My dream came true

The wind in the willow played
Love's sweet melody
But all of those vows you made
Were never to be

Though we're apart
You're part of me still
For you were my thrill
On Blueberry Hill

The wind in the willow played
Love's sweet melody
But all of those vows you made
Were never to be

Though we're apart
You're part of me still
For you were my thrill
On Blueberry Hill

In Honor Of The Late Rocker Chuck Berry Who Helped Make It All Possible-*Coming Of Age, 50s Style-One More Time

In Honor Of The Late Rocker Chuck Berry Who Helped Make It All Possible-*Coming Of Age, 50s Style-One More Time





In Honor Of The Late Rocker Chuck Berry Who Helped Make It All Possible-*Coming Of Age, 50s Style-One More Time


CD Review

Oldies But Goodies, Volume Four, Original Sound Record Co., 1986


I have been doing a series of commentaries elsewhere on another site on my coming of political age in the early 1960s, but here when I am writing about musical influences I am just speaking of my coming of age, period, which was not necessarily the same thing. No question that those of us who came of age in the 1950s are truly children of rock and roll. We were there, whether we appreciated it or not at the time, when the first, sputtering, musical moves away from ballady Broadway show tunes and rhymey Tin Pan Alley pieces hit the radio airwaves. (If you do not know what a radio is then ask your parents or, ouch, grandparents, please.) And, most importantly, we were there when the music moved away from any and all music that your parents might have approved of, or maybe, even liked, or, hopefully, at least left you alone to play in peace up in your room when rock and roll hit post- World War II America teenagers like, well, like an atomic bomb.

Not all of the material put forth was good, nor was all of it destined to be playable fifty or sixty years later on some “greatest hits” compilation but some of songs had enough chordal energy, lyrical sense, and sheer danceability to make any Jack or Jill jump then, or now. And, here is the good part, especially for painfully shy guys like me, or those who, like me as well, had two left feet on the dance floor. You didn’t need to dance toe to toe, close to close, with that certain she (or he for shes). Just be alive…uh, hip to the music.  Otherwise you might become the dreaded wallflower. But that fear, the fear of fears that haunted many a teenage dream then, is a story for another day. Let’s just leave it at this for now. Ah, to be very, very young then was very heaven.

So what still sounds good on this CD compilation to a current AARPer and, and perhaps some of his fellows who comprise the demographic that such a 1950s compilation “speak” to (and here some early 60s songs as well). Of course, Bob Dylan’s It Aint Me Babe. Carl Perkins original Blue Suede Shoes (covered by and made famous by, and millions for, Elvis). Or the Hank William’s outlaw country classic I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry. Naturally, in a period of classic rock numbers, Buddy Holly’s Peggy Sue (or, like Chuck Berry and Fat Domino from this period, virtually any other of about twenty of his songs).

But what about the now, seeming mandatory to ask, inevitable end of the night high school dance song (or maybe even middle school) that seems to be included in each CD compilation? The song that you, maybe, waited around all night for just to prove that you were not a wallflower, and more importantly, had the moxie to, mumbly-voice, parched-throated, sweaty-handed, asked a girl to dance (women can relate their own experiences, probably similar). Here the classic A Teenage Prayer (although what we were praying for, and why will be very different for each rememberer) fills the bill. Hey, I didn’t even like the song, or the singing, but she said yes this was what you waited for so don’t be so choosey. And, yes, I know, this is one of the slow ones that you had to dance close on. And just hope, hope to high heaven that you didn’t destroy your partner’s shoes and feet. Well, one learns a few social skills in this world if for no other reason that to “impress” that certain she (or he for shes) mentioned above. I did, didn’t you?

********
Teenage Prayer Lyrics

My friends all know it
How I adore him
I whisper to angels
What I'd do for him
He is the answer
To a teenage prayer

He won't go steady
The crowd has told me
But I keep waiting
To have him hold me
Why won't you listen
To a teenage prayer?

I await by the window at seven
And chill when my thrill passes by
His kiss could send me to heaven
Into his arms I would fly

My girlfriend Betty tells me he's lazy
But i know Betty loves him like crazy
He is the answer
To a teenage prayer

Yes
He is the answer
To a teenage prayer

VFPeNews: No To Wilkie! Save Our VA! Veterans For Peace

Veterans For Peace<vfp@veteransforpeace.org>


If you'd like to view this email in a Web browser, please click here.

Friday, July 13th

Save Our VA! NO to Wilkie!

Veterans For Peace strongly opposes the nomination of Robert Wilkie as U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary.  His history shows an alarming alliance with racist, sexist, and homophobic political figures and organizations.  Wilkie has also been clear that he supports Trump’s privatization efforts, under the dishonest guise of “offering veterans choices” for their healthcare.
Veterans For Peace strongly opposes the nomination of Robert Wilkie as U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary.  His history shows an alarming alliance with racist, sexist, and homophobic political figures and organizations.  Wilkie has also been clear that he supports Trump’s privatization efforts, under the dishonest guise of “offering veterans choices” for their healthcare.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is in a perilous position, having had multiple directors in a short time span and is in need of someone who has experience, is dedicated to fighting off privatization efforts and will commit to fully fund and staff the VA.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee voted on Tuesday, 7/10 to confirm Robert Wilkie as the Secretary of Veteran Affairs. The nomination will now go to the full Senate and the vote could be as early as next week.
It is imperative that the Senate says NO to Wilkie!  Write and Call your Senator Today!
Click here to take action!


Close RIMPAC!












RIMPAC, the largest maritime war exercise in the world is now here in Hawai'i.
In spite of ongoing peace talks between the United States and North Korea, the US Marines have constructed a mock North Korean village and have led their allies in training on how to storm and clear a Korean village. While previously only disclosed to me via inside sources, the Kaneohe Marine Corps just released actual footage.

Veterans For Peace-Hawai'i Chapter stands with Na Kanaka Maoli, the first peoples of Hawai'i as they stand in opposition to RIMPAC and the use of our homeland in war games aimed at the destruction of all peoples. In particular the peoples of Korea for whom these exercises appear to be directed.
Sign the petition and find out more ways to help!



#NoMuslimBanEver

Two weeks ago the Supreme Court voted to uphold Trump's bigoted and xenophobic #MuslimBan. But the court has been wrong before and we must keep fighting.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO TAKE ACTION NOW




Press Conference on Resolution to Require Congressional Approval of War






WASHINGTON, DC – Next week, Representatives Walter B. Jones (NC-3) and Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2), along with retired U.S. Marine Captain Matthew Hoh and constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein, will host a press conference announcing their introduction of H.Res. 922, a resolution that would define presidential wars not declared by Congress as impeachable "high crimes and misdemeanors."
Read the Bill and the full Press Release



Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions 2018

Campaign Nonviolence's 2018 week of action is happening soon!
Campaign Nonviolence is a long-term grassroots movement for a culture of peace and nonviolence free from war, poverty, racism, environmental destruction and the epidemic of violence.
The week of actions is centered around International Day of Peace, September 21.  This will be the fifth year VFP has joined with Campaign Nonviolence to take a strong stand for justice, disarmament and peace.

Sam's Ride For Peace

Sam Winstead has for 6 years (2012-17) led a bicycle ride from Raleigh NC to Washington DC to share his message for Peace in our world. Sam is the funder and a director of a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3, NC Company, Sam’s Ride for Peace, Inc. (SRFP).
Ahmed Selim (AS), an educator, film-maker, and founder of Films For World Peace (FFWP) has filmed Sam’s rides and interviewed supporters of SRFP. He is editing this film which will run for approx. 40 minutes. Ahmed is also a board member of SRFP.
For health and safety reasons SRFP has shifted its emphasis from an annual ride to creating ways to spread Sam’s message through the FFWP film and public speaking engagements. The original mission of SRFP includes encouraging a peaceful world for our younger generations.
And mark your calendars for Friday November 16th 2018 at the Kirby Center in Roxboro, NC for the world premiere!

Divest from the War Machine


The Smedley Butler Chapter of VFP in Boston has joined the Divest from the War Machine Coalition, a massive initiative to reel in the U.S. war machine by demanding that our institutions, municipalities, faith communities and others divest their money from weapons companies and those who support them.
To support this work, CODEPINK and As You Sow have released Weapon Free Funds, a searchable fund database that will help us cut our ties to militarism and gun violence.
Check out this AMAZING new resource!

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

In a few weeks the anniversary of the horrific use of nuclear weapons against the people of Japan.  The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki experienced the horror of nuclear bombs dropped on their churches, on their schools, on their cafes, on their streets, on their homes and their families. Today the last survivors of those bombs, known as the Hibakusha, continue to appeal to the world to rid itself of these terrible weapons of mass destruction and mass suffering.
Many Veterans For Peace chapters will attend memorial events.  If you are interested in tabling materials, please fill out this form.

Job Alert: About Face is Hiring!

About Face is seeking a campaign manager to help build, develop, and lead our national Drop the MIC (Military Industrial Complex) campaign. The campaign manager will be responsible for supporting strategic planning and for organizing and mobilizing current and potential members and supporters to advance work that aligns with the campaign goals: demilitarized communities, a just energy transition, and divestment from war profiteers.
Read the Job Posting








In This Issue:

Save Our VA!  NO to Wilkie!

VFP Convention: August 22-26th
Close RIMPAC!
#NoMuslimBanEver
The Peace Report: Leave No One Behind

Press Conference on Resolution to Require Congressional Approval of War


Divest from the War Machine
Sam's Ride For Peace
Calling All Artists!
Order Peace in Our Times Now!
Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions 2018

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Job Alert: About Face is Hiring!
Deadline Approaching for Award Nominations!
ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
Upcoming Events


VFP Convention: August 22-26th

Veterans For Peace is looking forward to seeing YOU at our 33rd Annual convention, August 22-26th in St. Paul, Minnesota.
If you need convincing, check out this great video!
Our registration is now open and we have a lot of other deadlines and information available on our website, but scroll down for direct links and more information!
Registration
Registration is Now Open for the 33rd Annual Convention. 
Housing
Veterans For Peace has a special group rate at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront.  Click here for more details and for housing information.

Workshops

The deadline for workshop proposals is past.  You will be notified next week if your workshop was accepted.  We are sorry for the delay.
Awards
Nominate an individual for one of five awards offered by VFP National.  Visit the Awards tab for award descriptions.  Deadline to submit is July 22

Have a chapter who is deserving of the VFP Chapter of the Year Award? Submit this form to nominate a deserving chapter.   Deadline to submit is July 22

Tabling
Submit this form, if you're interested in tabling at the 2018 convention. 

Program Ads
Place your ad in the program book. Click here to learn more about placing and ad in the 2018 convention program book.  ​Deadline for ad submissions is July 20th
Resolution and Bylaws
Resolution proposals are now being accepted.  Read the protocols for submitting a resolution here.  Deadline to submit is July 22nd.

All Current Members, this includes Associate Members, shall be entitled to speak to resolutions presented before the Annual Convention. All Current Members, this includes Associate Members , shall be entitled to one vote on resolutions.

Proposals can be emailed to the Resolutions Committee Chair, Bob Krzewinski, at wolverbob@gmail.com or mailed to 706 Dwight Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48198. Emailing resolutions is the preferred way of submitting resolutions. Resolutions submitted by mail must include a telephone number of the resolution maker.

We will start accepting bylaw amendments next week.  Deadline to submit is July 22nd

All Current Veteran Members are allowed to submit and vote on bylaw amendments.

Please also check out the Convention FAQ for other inquries!


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The Peace Report: Leave No One Behind

The Peace Report features members of the Unified U.S. Deported Veterans-Resource Center and Veterans For Peace.  These veterans have been deported, separated from their families and left with no healthcare from the VA.
Watch the Video Now
p.s. To Support VFP's Deported Veteran Advocacy Project, click here!
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Calling All Artists!

Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 would like to invite convention registrants to display 2D or 3D art during the convention.  Seeking artistic creations embracing the theme:   IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT WAR!
We live in challenging times; it is easy to focus on the negative.  Some metaphysical theorists argue that thoughts precede action; we must be able to visualize and sense something in our mind and body before it can manifest physically.  The first step in creating a new reality is imagining it.  
Installed in the registration/main gathering area, using color, texture, abstract or figurative art, our art exhibit strives to imbue the convention with beauty, light, positive thought and optimism. Something we can strive FOR vs. fight against.
Check out the guidelines!
Sign-up here today!
Questions  email Mary McNellis at vfpsoaw@yahoo.com    Subject line:  Art Exhibit
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Order Peace in Our Times Now!

There is still time to order your bundle of Peace in Our
Articles by: Kathy Kelly, Doug Rawlings, Pat Elder, Major Danny Sjursen, Sam Hussini, Lauri Arbeiter, Meredith Tax, Stan Levin, poems by Mike Hastie and much more! We’re excited to announce that Peace in Our Times has three new widely respected syndicated journalists. Look for Elvis, Lupin and Puck in this issue and ongoing.
The spring issue sold out completely. Don’t miss this one.
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Deadline Approaching for VFP Award Nominations!

Nominate an individual for one of five awards offered by VFP National.  Visit the Awards tab for award descriptions.  Deadline to submit is July 22
Have a chapter who is deserving of the VFP Chapter of the Year Award? Submit this form to nominate a deserving chapter.   Deadline to submit is July 22

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ICYMI: In Case You Missed It



Save the Dates: Upcoming Event


July 10-18 - International Action Camp Against Nuclear Weapons in Germany, Buchel, Germany
Aug 23-26 - 2018 VFP National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
Sept 19-21 - 2nd Annual Conference in Havana, Cuba on "Realities and Challenges of Being a Zone of Peace in Latin America and the Caribbean"
Sept 15-23 - Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions
Oct 20-21 - Women's March on the Pentagon
Nov 11 - Armistice Day
Nov 16-18 - 2018 SOA Watch Encuentro
Nov 16-18 - International Conference Against U.S./NATO Military Bases in Dublin, Ireland
Nov 27-29 - International Youth Conference: Reaching High for a Nuclear Weapon Free World, Prague, Czech Republic

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Veterans For Peace, 1404 N. Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102






















Veterans For Peace appreciates your tax-exempt donations.

We also encourage you to join our ranks.









In The Matter Of The Centennial Of The Birth Of Film Actor, Noir Film Actor, Robert Mitchum (2017)

In The Matter Of The Centennial Of The Birth Of Film Actor, Noir Film Actor, Robert Mitchum (2017)







By Lance Lawrence

Film Editor Emeritus Sam Lowell is like something out of a film noir which he has always been fascinated by ever since he was a kid down in cranberry bog Carver south of Boston and would catch the Saturday matinee double-headers at the Bijou Theater (now long gone and replaced by a cinematic mega-plex out on Route 28 in one of the long line of strip malls which dot that road). That fascination had a name, The Maltese Falcon, starring rugged chain-smoking tough guy Humphrey Bogart as a no nonsense, well almost no nonsense, private detective, who almost got skirt-crazy, almost got catch off guard by some vagrant jasmine scent from a femme over the matter of an extremely valuable bejeweled bird which the theater owner, Sean Riley, would occasionally play in a retrospective series that he ran to keep expenses down some weeks rather than take in the latest films from the studios.     

The reason that I, Sandy Salmon, current film critic at the American Left History blog and also at the on-line American Film Gazette can call the old curmudgeon Sam Lowell “something out of a film noir” is because once he decided to retire from the day to day hassle of reviewing a wide range of current and past films he contrived to get me to take his place on the blog along with my other by-line. That based on our years together as rivals and friends at the Gazette.  He did this “putting himself out to pasture” as he called it to the blog’s moderator, Peter Paul Markin, when he mentioned the subject of retirement with the proviso that he could contribute occasional “think” pieces as films or other events came up and curdled his interest. I had no particular objection to that arrangement since it is fairly standard in the media industry and is an arrangement that I would likewise want to take up in my soon to come retirement from the day to day grind. (To that end I am grooming an associate film critic Alden Riley for that eventuality.)

This business all came tumbling down on my head recently after he had read somewhere, maybe the Boston Globe, yes, I think it was that newspaper  that the centennial of the birth great actor, great film noir actor,  Robert Mitchum, was at hand. Without giving me a heads up he, Sam, decided that he wanted to do a “think” piece on this key noir figure and someone whose performances in things like Out Of The Past, Cape Fear, and Night Of The Hunter were the stuff of cinematic legend. But you see I wanted, once I became aware of the centennial to write something to honor Mitchum although I have the modesty not to call it a “think” piece. My idea, as was Sam’s in the end, had been to write about that incredible role he played as a low key private eye in Out Of The Past against the dangers of a gun-addled femme. We resolved the dispute if you want to call it resolved by having “dueling” appreciations of that classic film. Sam’s potluck article has already been published and now I get my say. Enough said.          
I will say one thing for Sam although I would have noted it myself in any case that both our headlines speaks of a film noir actor although Micthum did many more types of films from goof stuff like the Grass Is Greener where he played some kind of rich oil man adrift in England and infatuated by some nobleman’s wife and Heaven Help Mr. Allison where he got all flirty with a fellow marooned nun to truly scary can’t go to sleep at night without a revolver under the pillow stuff like Cape Fear to the world weary, world wary former standup guy  pasty/fall guy in the film adaptation of  George V. Higgin’s The Friends Of Eddie Coyle. That said to my mind, as to Sam’s his classic statement of his acting persona came in the great performance he did in Out Of The Past where between being in the gun sights of an angry gangster played by Kirk Douglas and the gun sights of a gun crazy femme played by Jane Greer he had more than enough to handle.

Yeah, if you think about it, think about other later non-goof, do it for the don’t go back to the “from hunger” days paycheck vehicles he starred that film kind of said it all about a big brawny barrel-chested guy who had been around the block awhile, had smoked a few thousand cigarettes while trying to figure out all the angles and still in the end got waylaid right between the eyes by that damn femme. All she had to do was call his name and he wilted like some silly schoolboy. I like a guy who likes to play with fire, likes to live on the edge a little but our boy got caught up badly by whatever that scent, maybe jasmine, maybe spring lilac but poison that he could never get out of his nostrils once she went into over-drive.

Sam in his review went out of his way to make Mitchum’s character, Jeff, let’s just call him Jeff since for safety reasons he had other aliases seem like, well, seem like the typical “from hunger” guy who got wrapped up in a blanket with a dizzy dame and that his whole freaking life led to that fatal shot from that fatal gun from that femme fatale. She had a name, Kathie, nice and fresh and wholesome name but nothing but fire and fiery although Sam insists that it could have been any one of a thousand dames as long as she had long legs, ruby red lips and was willing to mess up the sheets a bit. Yeah, Jeff as just another from nowhere guy who got caught between a rock and a hard place.      

No, a thousand time no. Robert Mitchum, ah, Jeff in those scenes has those big eyes wide open from the minute he hits Mexico, no, the minute he got the particulars from Whit, from his new employer of the moment he was no fall guy but a guy playing out his hand, maybe well, maybe badly but playing the thing out just as he always had done since he was a kid. (Sam, maybe reflecting his own “from hunger” up-bringing in working class cranberry bog Carver if you look at his reviews of those luscious black and white films from the 1940s and 1950s that he feasted on always overplayed that fateful “from hunger” aspect of a male character’s persona, a failing to see beyond his won youth in many cases beyond his fatal error here)

As Sam would say here is the play, the right way to see Mitchum’s cool as ice character. Whit, a shady businessman, hell, call him by his right name, a gangster, a hood, played by cleft-chinned Kirk Douglas wanted to hire Jeff (and by indirection his partner Fisher who will undercut him reminding me of that friction between Sam Spade and Miles Archer although Sam wound up doing right by his old partner Fisher just bought the farm trying to move in on Jeff’s business) to find his girlfriend who left him high and dry minus a cool forty thousand and plus a little bullet hole as a reminder that not all women are on the level. The minute Jeff heard the particulars he was in, not for the dough, although dough is a good reason to take on a job in any profession including his, private detection, but to see what kind of dish ran away from a good-looking, rich guy with plenty of sex appeal and a place to keep her stuck in the good life. Sam missed the whole idea that Jeff already had a head of steam for this elusive Kathie before he went out the door of Whit’s mansion (or whatever her name really was played by sultry sexy, long-legged, ruby red-lipped ready for a few satin sheet tumbles Jane Greer).   

For a professional detective Kathie was not hard to find, maybe intentionally if she had Whit figured out which I think she did, and you could palpably feel the tension as Jeff waited to meet his quarry. If you followed the way he was thinking, if you in this case followed the scent that you would have known that Jeff was no more a victim of some bad childhood that I was. Everything follows from that first prescient presence in that run-down wreak of a cantina and those first drinks between them. The sheets followed as night follows day as did the plans they had to flee from whatever dastardly deeds Whit would do once he knew that a real man had taken his pet away-without flinching. The key was the dodge Jeff, remember it was Jeff who led the misdirection when Whit showed up in sunny Mexico wondering what the fuck was going on. Jeff had them in Frisco town before you say goodbye. Nice work.          

Hey Jeff knew, knew as any man knew who had been wide awake after the age of thirteen knew, that his grip on Kathie unlike the later tryst with good girl Anne once he had to go into exile when Kathie flipped her wig, would only last as long as he could keep her interested. I will grant Sam this that maybe Jeff should have been a little more leery of what crazy moves Kathie could make when she was cornered, maybe should have thought through a little better why she put a slug in Whit just for the hell of it. But in his defense Jeff was playing his hand out and it was just too much bad luck that his old partner Fisher got on his trail. Got on his trail, and hers, which she stopped cold when she put the rooty-toot-toot to Fisher. Then blew town leaving Jeff to pick up her mess.

Did Jeff call copper, did he go crying on his knees to Whit. No he went into exile waiting for the next move, waiting to see what Kathie would come up with next. He may have built him a nice little gas station business in Podunk, have gotten a dewy fresh maiden in Anne but anybody could see once he was exposed by one of Whit’s operatives he played his hand out to the very end. Went to see what was what including learning of Kathie’s opportunistic return to Whit’s embrace. And her return to his embrace. Of course such a course was bound to not turn out very well for anybody. Whit wasted by Kathie and then Jeff wasted by her as well once he knew the game was up. Don’t make though too much of that play at the very end when Anne asks Jeff’s deaf gas station employee whether he was really ready to leave everything for Kathie and the kid said yes. Yes with the implication that Jeff did the whole play to spare Anne. No, that is too pat Jeff wanted to go with Kathie, wanted to play with fire, knew that the game was up and just didn’t care any longer as long as he was with Kathie. Couldn’t Sam see in Jeff, in Robert Mitchum’s, eyes that he didn’t care what she did, that was the way it was between them. No fall guy there.

I don’t know about Sam but I am ready to move on to speak out about other major Mitchum films. I agree with Sam those payday check films in a career where he played in over one hundred are not worth blowing any smoke about but there are still plenty worthy of attention. More later. 



Angels Flying Too Close To The Ground-I Hear The Noise Of Wings-A Drifter’s Tale-Alice Faye And Dana Andrews’ “Fallen Angel” (1945(-A Film Review


Angels Flying Too Close To The Ground-I Hear The Noise Of Wings-A Drifter’s Tale-Alice Faye And Dana Andrews’ “Fallen Angel” (1945(-A Film Review



DVD Review

By Seth Garth


Fallen Angel, starring Alice Faye, Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell, directed by Otto Preminger in his prime, 1945


I am not going to fall all over myself spending good cyberspace getting into the thick of the “dispute,” nice tame word for a civil war, that has flared up at this publication. That is the dispute between young Sarah Lemoyne, who in the interest of transparency which seems to be a by-word these troubles days when nothing seems to be what it is on its face, or at least people want to suspect some deeper motive I have given some advice about how to handle my old corner boy from back in North Adamsville high school days her sparring partner Sam Lowell. Grandfatherly advice is the way Sarah put and that seems about right except to the gossips who think “something is going on” between us which is ridiculous although I would have to admit that if I was younger I wouldn’t be late taking a run at her assuming that I was between one of my three marriages not made in heaven. Sam, if he were honest which is not likely these days, would have too although if Laura Perkins sees this I am only kidding. All of this to say I am glad, lemmings to the sea glad, to be doing a film noir review after some time away beating down both Sherlock Holmes’ door and young fellow reviewer Will Bradley’s as well. What has happened is that Sam is so wrapped up in his dispute with Sarah that he let this one get away and Greg Green, our esteemed site manager, tagged me for the assignment. But enough, to the chase.  


My mother, rest her soul, maybe, when I was a kid, when her brood of five boys and two girls were growing up warned me, us against drifters, grafters and grifters, especially the latter since they will take all your money and laugh on the way out of town. Naturally I ignored that warning when I came of age and was totally enchanted by these guys, mostly guys then anyway although more than one woman acquaintance did me worse than any grifter ever did, and had done my fair share of drifting especially after Vietnam did me in about what was what in this wicked old world. So from minute one of this film Otto Preminger’s Fallen Angel when Eric, lets call him Eric, Eric Stanton since that was the name he used when he grabbed a marriage certificate in his big end around on-screen scam, played by 1940s heartthrob Dana Andrews, got hauled off a Greyhound San Francisco bus by the world-weary driver after pulling the oldest trick in the book-the sleeping passenger who overshot his ticketed destination- I was all in. Not only pulled off that freaking bus in the dead of night by that bastard driver but wound up in some Podunk town, the name does not matter since such towns were, are, legion the exception being that this Podunk is along the Pacific Coast Highway with nice views of the Pacific heading to the Japan Seas.   

Eric, with a solo buck in his pocket heads to the all-night diner one can find in even the crankiest of towns. The joint, Pops Eats, it figured right will become headquarters for a time for Eric as he tries to turn that dollar bill into some working capital. Yeah, Eric is down and out right this moment but he is a big idea man, some working, some no but in the drifter, grifter racket you play the percentages and watch out for the dirty coppers who want to spoil your play. Here is Eric’s problem, a problem which will dodge him the rest of the film so you know it had to be a woman. A freaking waitress named Stella, played by saucy Linda Darnell, who has half the guys on the West Coast crawling up walls and spending sleepless nights trying to get into her bed (implied remember this is Code Hollywood). This Stella to my mind is nothing but a tramp, maybe not the worst round heels that has hit the streets but working her way up the food chain. Any man’s woman is what we called it back in the day, hell, whore and heart-breaking ball-buster if you really want to know.

Frankly a self-starter like Eric doesn’t figure to get into the claws of a she-devil like Stella (or maybe she was just a girl looking out for herself in a hard-ass world not selling her good looks and trophy wife aspect too cheaply). Maybe I missed something in her allure to the male sex but even senior citizen Pops tried to take a run at her, a run at his employee serving them off the arm at his joint (although her attendance record left something to be desired when she was out with some guy, who knows who, much to Pops’ chagrin). In any case Stella did get her claws into Eric and had him running through hoops to marry her. Problem-no dough. That is when after getting a little working capital doing a promo job for a fakir, a fly-by-night fortune teller, he gets the bright idea of going off and romancing the younger sister, June, played by fetching Alice Faye, who seems to be more his speed but who knows what churns a guy up, of one of the town’s leading families. The play is to marry her, grab her share of the family dough and then divorce her. I liked the play even if it seemed to have too many moving parts.     
 
I need not have worried because dear sweet Stella turned up dead, very dead, one late night after Eric had married June (and had taken off on his wedding night to see, well, to see Stella bad play, very bad). Guess who the number one fall is? Yeah, Eric has to think quickly because otherwise he will take the big step-off at the Q some forlorn midnight and then he really would hear the angelic noise of wings, hear them loud and clear. He and June take off for Frisco town to grab the dough since no matter what he has done she loves the guy, wants him to be whatever he wants to be, no questions asked. While in Frisco June gets picked up by the coppers and sent back to Podunk to put the squeeze play on Eric. This is where this seemingly na├»ve small-town girl with stars in her eyes shows her grit though. She doesn’t knuckle under, doesn’t rat him out to the local coppers. Meanwhile Eric has finally put two and two together since he didn’t do it. George a guy from Stella’s old home town of San Diego who had dated her on the night she was murdered. No. Pops. Come on. No, it was an old New York City ex-cop named Judd who had been kicked off the force for being too rough on the clientele. He had been sitting in Pops all along seeing what a tramp Stella was, seeing her moving toward Eric and that was that. So, yeah, Judd will be hearing the noise of wings. As for June and Eric, Christ he finally woke up to June’s charms for their own sake. About time. This film and review was certainly better than dodging the Sarah-Sam dispute.