• ozduck

    I first remember him from watching F Troop & Fractured Fairy Tales as a child – in their first runs and not as repeats. So I probably have fonder memories of them than you.

    At least he did get to “dance” & “sing” with a very young Betty Grable (around 18) in “The Gay Divorcee”. That means that he can be remembered as a performer, rather than “just” an actor in three Fred & Ginger movies.

    Looking back at his career he did manage to appear in some very successfu l& good movies in his career – the original version of “The Front Page”, “Trouble in Paradise”, “Design for Living”, “The Merry Widow”, “Here come s Mr Jordan”‘ and “”Lost Horizon” (1938). So, he had a pretty solid career.

    “Arsenic and Old Lace” – it seems that the chance to make what could have been a great fun movie was lost by some odd decisions – Cary Grant’s overacting not being restrained and Boris Karloff not being cast to play his stage role – and thus killing a large part of the “joke” of the movie.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      I quite love Fractured Fairy Tales myself and I remember finding his voice really soothing and fun to listen to as a kid.

    • Oh, I love Fractured Fairy Tales! It’s just that he did a lot of other stuff, too.

      As for Karloff, he was still under contract to the play at the time. They couldn’t cast him.

      • ozduck

        That is the most common explanation for his absence that I have read but I have also read “somewhere” that that was not the real reason – I naturally can’t find that article now. And even so it does seem a bit odd as the film rights were sold on condition that it couldn’t be released until the play had finished its run. Which meant that a film shot in 1941 wasn’t released until 1944 so there are some oddities about the matter.

        But this is really only a bit of “what if” meandering by me.

    • Maybe they should have cast Bela Lugosi and had his catch-phrase be: “I do not look like zat cocksucker!!!”