Thursday, September 21, 2017

Against the Grains



Within reach, a bare limb is like candy
Skin beseeching a him to get randy
Then the facts intervene
Showing cracks in the scene
On the beach, and in swimsuits, it's sandy.

Chester Morris and Carole Lombard are Sinners in the Sun (Alexander Hall; 1932).

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

No Good Time Goes Unpunished



Just like juries, film plots must obey
Laws ensuring the rotten cliché   
In Virtue v. Sin
The church gets to win
Impure, flapper hotties must pay.

Dorothy Sebastian, Joan Crawford, and Anita Page in Our Dancing Daughters (Harry Beaumont;1928). Title by good for nothing Donald B. Benson.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Nick and Noway



The facts of life cannot be stated
So alternate means are created.
If a lady expects,
She didn't have sex
But was artfully insinuated.

Donald B. Benson

After the Thin Man (W.S. Van Dyke; 1936) closes with Nick asking Nora why she is knitting booties. “And you call yourself a detective…”

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Medium Was the Menace

 

When naughtiness reached a crescendo,
Both up front and by innuendo,
The censoring boards
Protected us hordes
Till cable, the net, and Nintendo.

Donald B. Benson

Joan Blondell and Dick Powell in Convention City (Archie Mayo; 1933)--a notoriously racy film, now apparently lost.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

From Boop to Nuts



Her garter she'd flash, to amaze
All hearts filled with passion, ablaze
This flapper cartoon
Would happily croon                                                                        
Till the tart had her clash with Will Hays.

David Cairns

 

Over the years, Betty Boop's garter changed styles as well as legs, and her cartoons changed from risqué to tame, the latter due to influence of the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930, aka the Hays Code after censor Will Hays.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Don't Look Then



Could Dwight see the byway ahead?
That nightmarish highway of dread?
That soon all his roles
Would be loonies and trolls
Did it frighten the guy to drop dead?

Dwight Frye as Renfield, on the road to the castle of Dracula (Todd Browning; 1931). On November 7, 1943, Frye died of a heart attack while riding on a bus in Hollywood.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

He's Too Darn...Not



Patsy's beau doesn't cotton she's there,
So this show at a rotten cad's lair.
He's sick (morning after).
She quickly grows dafter.
Still it's no, the poor sot doesn't care.

Donald B. Benson



Marion Davies and Lawrence Gray in The Patsy (King Vidor; 1928). From Donald: "Davies has schemed for the hero to burst in, rescue her from a playboy, and realize he loves her. But aforementioned playboy is enduring a hangover, so she tries -- and fails -- to rouse him with impressions of three current sirens, Mae Murray, Pola Negri, and Lillian Gish (above)."

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Holy Unlock



The hero, who sure wasn't choosy
Gets married to pure-looking floozy.
A proper divorce?
Too sinful, of course.
It's lucky the floozy is boozy

Donald B. Benson

Dorothy Sebastian and Anita Page in Our Dancing Daughters (Harry Beaumont; 1928). Says Donald, "Evil Anita Page steals Johnny Mack Brown from pretending-to-be-fast Joan Crawford. SPOILER: The villainess then conveniently gets drunk and takes a header down a stairway to clear way for happy ending."

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Unflappable



Her raciness draws 'em like flies.
Disgraceful, her flapperesque guise.
When called on her bluff,
She hollers, "Enough!
This face is a front to please guys!"

Donald B. Benson

Mr. Benson writes, "A rich young man (Neil Hamilton) tests a poor girl's virtue in Why Be Good? (William A. Seiter; 1929) -- as in many other films. But instead of the usual melodrama, Colleen Moore rips into him with an angry lecture on how girls HAVE to play sexy."                 
Here at LimerWrecks, we LOVE Colleen Moore.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Holy It



This shop girl is good, but ambitious
And maybe a bit too delicious.
Mistaken for bad,
She still gets her lad
When cleared in a manner propitious.

Donald B. Benson

Clara Bow and Antonio Moreno in "It" (Clarence G. Badger, Josef von Sternberg; 1927). Says Mr. Benson: Clara Bow targets a rich young man, but he thinks she's an unwed mother (her roommate has a baby; her marital status is kept fuzzy). Happy ending aside, it's implied unwed motherhood WOULD disqualify her from respectable marriage.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

From Max to Minimum



Unlike some cartoon ignoramus,
We tykes preferred Fleischer to Famous.
The latter were meager
Too flat, and no Segar
No Ike era grownup could blame us.

Donald B. Benson

From Donald Benson: "Discerning baby boomer kids quickly learned that the vintage Max Fleischer Popeyes were far and away superior to the later toons from Famous Studios."

Friday, September 8, 2017

Henry and Goon



In silence and shadow they're scheming
Of science gone bad they've been dreaming
Would the two follow through
If they knew it was true
That nine of ten madmen die screaming.

Colin Clive, Dwight Frye, and friend in Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931).

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Formula Won



No target too tall for a zinger,
The Marxes put all through the wringer
Said Metro, "That's stupid!
They better play Cupid."
So Barta gives Thalberg the finger.

The Marx Brothers with "Boy Wonder" Irving Thalberg, head of production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Seen in retrospect, A Night at the Opera, first film for MGM, marked the beginning of a tamer Marx Brothers. From Wikipedia: "In their Paramount films, the brothers' characters were much more anarchic: they attacked anybody who was so unfortunate to cross their paths whether they deserved it or not, albeit comically. Thalberg, however, felt that this made the brothers unsympathetic, particularly to female filmgoers. So in the MGM films, the brothers were recast as more helpful characters, saving their comic attacks for the villains."