Monday, March 3, 2014

I’ll just ramble for a while until you get sick of me. (In other words, business as usual.)

In this post: Lunt and Fontanne.

I want to write another Howdygram post but I can’t think of a subject right now, even a stupid one. Believe me, I’ve tried. For the last three hours, off and on, I’ve been browsing news and gossip websites, my favorite progressive blogs — Right Wing Watch, The Raw Story, Talking Points Memo, The Democratic Underground — and can’t come up with ANYTHING. So I’ll just ramble for a while until you get sick of me. (In other words, business as usual.)

Mind if I take a couple of minutes to recommend an amazing movie? It’s a comedy/farce called The Guardsman (1932) starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, the only movie this married team of theatrical legends ever made, and it’s REALLY BRILLIANT.  
The Guardsman is the story of a pair of married stage actors. Lunt is a tortured husband who suspects that his wife might be restless and considering a fling, so he decides to send an abundance of mash notes and flowers to her dressing room from a fictitious Russian army officer, eventually taking it to the next level with a rendezvous in an outrageous disguise straight from the Czar’s Winter Palace, hoping to trick her into infidelity. This is really terrific stuff, people, and it’s so clever and well-done you’d never guess it’s based on a play that was first staged in 1924. I love these guys to pieces and it’s too damn bad we can’t see more of them on film. Fontanne was nominated for a best actress Academy Award; to tell you the truth, I thought Lunt was even better.

Also in the cast are Roland Young as the best friend and ZaSu Pitts as the maid, because no authentic early-1930s comedy was ever complete without them.
Thank you for putting up with me.

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