Monday, August 30, 2010

More Scrubbing Bubbles

Never let it be said that we at HD don't honor requests. That is, we received our first (sort of) request this past week in Fluff..or Stuff?, which had Claudette "Sign of the Cross" Colbert as its main attraction. We're cleaning out the archive with the remaining bath photos we could find: Myrna Loy and another Colbert. I'm not certain which movie the Myrna pic came from. I haven't seen any of her pre-Code films!

However, we have seen Sign of the Cross, which your blogger saw once upon a long ago when AMC--then known as American Movie Classics, now known as "A Million Commercials" or "A Million Cuts." AMC's demise, at least as a relevant classic movie channel, is the single saddest event of our classic-film-loving life. There are young people who love vintage films who cannot conceive of AMC ever being *the* source for amazing-quality, commercial-free movies. The world I grew up in is most definitely not the world I "inherited." Shame.

Crushing cultural depression aside, Sign of the Cross was an eye-popping experience. Not only was it downright erotic and sensual, it was the first pre-Code movie I ever saw. The context of such explicit material being shown within a 1930s movie is what makes it so titilating, not necessarily what's being shown, or better yet, implied.


  1. I see you're pondering over "Depth or Bubbles?" While I just asked "Choreography or Kick in the Head?" If some extraordinary gifted ballerina should be able even to kick her left ear with her right foot one fine day, the world will declare her the greatest dancing queen ever.

    How could one make most money with bubbles, Dexter? Maybe this could be immense business - perhaps machine-gun-bubbles* with kick in the head. That'd be swell!

    * Machine-gun tap was actually my topic

  2. I believe the Loy still is from "The Barbarian" (1933). (Oh, and thanks for honoring my request.)

  3. ...Keep on cleaning out the vault, CK! You are doing a GREAT job... :-P Really wild pics, really... amazing how a lot of things flew 'under the radar'...well, there WAS no radar there for awhile...

    And yes, the demise of AMC HAS to be one of the biggest 'downers of the last 20 years... just not sure WHAT the deal was about that... I mean, if you want to make a channel like they have now, fine...go create a whole NEW one... but don't monkey with the uncut classics ! At least Uncle Ted is still giving us the good stuff...

    KIG, CK!


  4. Fabulous photos, beloved and talented women. Must agree on the subject of AMC. They do as good a job obliterating a movie as network TV.

    We need a new channel called PCC Pre Code Channel.

    P.S. Dexter, will you marry me? Keri

  5. Blast those bubbles, Dexter. I bought the 1934 THIN MAN today. Well I probably would've overlooked him in the shelf if you hadn't recommended this film here. Of course I bought a Warner Bros. DVD.

  6. Thanks for the comments (and answers) everyone.

    I could write an excruciatingly long rant about the demise of AMC, which by all accounts is actually doing better since selling out and cheapening their offerings.

    "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

    ~H.L. Mencken (and my all-time favorite quote from anyone, anytime...)

  7. Well-well-well, this is a question of the system. In some countries culture is financed by the government. In Germany for example classical music has a much greater variety: You can hear concerts there with rather rare masterpieces, while in the U.S. it's always Mozart-Mozart-Mozart and other standard stuff people prefer.

    Take for example me as a vintage jazz musician. If I would try to live on that music, I couldn't play what I like. People mostly want to hear standard ear-worms they already know. Besides I couldn't afford to play in an authentic style: People prefer simple revival Dixie and then you're supposed to tell them it's the original sound of the 20s. They like to hear those lies and they believe it at once.

    But it's even worse: Many people don't see a difference between the 20s and 50s - it's all the same to them. Long ago I saw a tv-tailer with dancing people from a 20s silent film. But the music underlaid was 50s Rock'n Roll! - Well I have no tv, because it's so silly.

    If culture isn't subsidized by someone, it goes flat and silly - ALWAYS.


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