Photo of the Day postsSaturday February 15, 2020
Screenshot: You Only Live Once (1937)
From Fritz Lang's “You Only Live Once,” starring Sylvia Sidney and Henry Fonda. And yes, that's not Henry Fonda.
“...the electric eye which detects metal”: love that. How long before they shortened it? Or was this an overlong name for moviegoers unfamiliar with the tech? And hey, when did metal detectors become a thing anyway?
For the modern version, apparently, the 1920s.
In this scene, Joan (Sidney), the secretary to a perpetually scowling public defender (Barton MacLane), is trying to smuggle a gun to her boyfriend, Eddie Taylor (Fonda), who's been convicted of a crime he didn't commit—a favorite Lang theme. Father Dolan (William Gargan) covers for her here but then demands the gun. Is this her first attempt at breaking the law? In the last half hour, Eddie and Joan become a kind of Bonnie and Clyde, but nicer. Fonda's character is similar to his Tom Joad two years later; he begins both movies getting out of jail and is pretty touchy about anyone asking questions. Fonda's persona would smooth out over the years but I like this version, too.
Does anyone know if this is where we get the James Bond title “You Only Live Twice”? Was it playing off of this movie? Or just off the general adage?
Minnesota winter, 1970
Screenshot of the Day
Any guesses who this is? Which movie character? Hint: He was in three of this series' movies:
How great is this photo?
It's from the Sunday New York Times interview with Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the man who needs to lose some accents in his last name for the sake of movie critics everywhere. (Thank God for cut and paste.)
The Q&A is interesting, even if Iñárritu neglects to credit F. Scott Fitzgerald here:
I think [being] intelligent creatures is to have two ideas at the same time — you can have happiness and depression simultaneously. I think that’s what really this guy is battling; it’s the duality we all have. Sometimes you can feel the king of world and 30 minutes later, you are a dead piece of [expletive].
Or maybe he got it from someone else. Or from his own deep thoughts.
Among the other revelations? The stark drum soundtrack owes a lot to Gene Krupa, Mike Nichols unsuccessfully warned him away from the “single shot” experiment, and Iñárritu hangs with Michael Mann.
#tbt for Halloween
I think these shots are from 1968 or '69. My older brother Chris is the wolf/bear/whatever creature, and I'm the devil, of course. Years later, I noticed the “Daredevil” logo on the chest and belt, but that's not why I got it. I wasn't into superheroes then. I assume my mom got both costumes for us, although, who knows, maybe we were allowed to pick them out. But one wonders about the weird amalgamation of new Marvel superhero and oldest villain of western civilization. I guess this was BBM: Before Brand Managers. It's like Marvel was Krusty the Clown: lending out images of its superheroes to any crappy merchandise that came along.
Chris and I are with our grandfather, Bedstefar, who was born in Schleswig-Holstein in the late 19th century, went to military school in Denmark, became a ship's architect in Copenhagen, and then moved to the U.S. in the early 1920s. He was one of the more fun, charming men I've known in my life. He was great with adults and even better with kids. Which is good because he had a mountain of grandkids.
Mouse over the photo to see us tamed.
Whenever we showed slides, and the moused-over image came on, with Chris and I, wearing these frightening masks, sitting politely on the steps with our hands folded in our laps, my father would burst out laughing.