CineSavant advisor Dick Dinman keeps the podcasts coming — this month he invites Warner Media Library Historian George Feltenstein back to discuss two recent Warner Archive Blu-rays with impressive restorations, both starring Robert Taylor. 1952’s Ivanhoe gives us stunning images of Elizabeth Taylor, and 1958’s Party Girl pairs Taylor in a Nicholas Ray gangster tale with Cyd Charisse.
This item comes with an assist and nod from associate Craig Reardon, who responded to my approval of the charming Arlene Francis, an actress-personality who stands out in both the Billy Wilder comedy One, Two, Three and the Arthur Miller tragedy All My Sons, and not a whole lot more. When I wrote in my review that it was fun to spot a very young Ms. Francis in the Bela Lugosi chiller Murders in the Rue Morgue, Craig shot me these quickie frame-grabs from that horror movie, with the following explanation. Craig wrote:
. . . back to Arlene, her bit in Murders in the Rue Morgue is weird and sad indeed, for this poor girl of the streets to wind up being dumped (presumably) into the Seine by a cartoonish madman. There is a priceless medium shot of Bela clasping the terrified Arlene and yanking her toward his waiting carriage. But the editor left in two or three frames too many: at the very end of the shot Ms. Francis is unable to sustain her ‘terror.’ Lugosi wears a big and inappropriate grin on his face, too. It’s hilarious. I cannot believe that no ‘monster movie’ fan has never (that is…to my knowledge!) caught it or remarked upon it.
Actually, Craig and I agreed that the general obsession with old Universal horrors is so intense, many fans must have picked up on this. Craig says he posted these snaps on Instagram in 2017, but inconvenient facts like that never daunt CineSavant . . . I’m pretending we have something of a ‘scoop’ here, just for the fun of it. Truthfully, the real fun of this is knowing that Ms. Francis was having such a good time, even way back in 1932!
Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson