Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Working Dead

To pastures more sunny and flowered
Went Harlow, Lugosi, and Howard.
But posthumous credits
through doubles and edits
Can leave one a little bit soured.

Donald B. Benson

Image: Between Walter Pigeon and Clark Gable and behind binoculars is actress Mary Dees, doubling for Jean Harlow in Saratoga (Jack Conway; 1937). Saratoga was completed despite Harlow's death; Bela Lugosi "starred" in Plan Nine From Outer Space via a few soundless shots Ed Wood had taken for something else; and Shemp Howard's final Three Stooges shorts used doubles and footage from earlier films.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Two Creepy People

Drunk Duryea or bored Peter Lorre,
the cur who thinks gore's hunky-dory?
Whodunnit? We're sharing
that one's a red herring
Quite sure that there's more to the story.

Shady nightclub owner Peter Lorre hires composer and pianist Dan Duryea in the noir murder mystery Black Angel (Roy William Neill; 1946). Title by Donald B. Benson, a creepy people person.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Happy Hour of Reckoning

Marty reeks like a stumbling bum
He looks peaked, a glum flophouse crumb
Though he swills like a sot
He still ain't forgot
Why he seeks to be comfy and numb.

Dan Duryea stars as booze sodden songwriter Martin Blair in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946).

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Demon Run

He speeds as if chased by the past
He needs one more taste, one more blast
But this booze swilling mope
Plays the blues with no hope
In the weeds, he's a waste, sinking fast.

Dan Duryea runs for his life in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946). Title by Donald B. Benson.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Noir is Hell

Poor Danny did not have much luck
Chicks ran when they'd spot him, yelled "Yuck!"
If one gave him a tumble
He'd rave and then crumble
His can in noir plotting was stuck.

David Cairns

Dan Duryea and June Vincent in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946).

Monday, January 16, 2017


Perpetual schlub, schmoe and loser
Pathetic night-clubber and boozer
This poor Dan's a sad dope
Has no chance, has no hope
He's no threat, just a substance abuser.

 David Cairns

Dan Duryea played more than his share of down and out drunks. And no one did a flophouse alky better than he. With June Vincent in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946).

Sunday, January 15, 2017

CGIs Without a Face

Like carrion snacking on feasts
They tear and attack like wild beasts
Then wearing death-masks
They carry out tasks
Not caring the actor's deceased.

Surly Hack with David Cairns

The late Peter Cushing does not appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Gareth Edwards; 2016), The character of Grand Moff Tarkin is a creepy computer generated simulacrum, a digital zombie. Shame on the film's producers, and shame on Cushing's estate.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

These Ghoulish Things Remind Me of You

Your eyes and your nose, some guy's head
Disguising his pose in your stead
Abusing your face
In a gruesome disgrace
One dies but the show's never dead.

The late Peter Cushing does not appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Gareth Edwards; 2016). Grand Moff Tarkin is a fabrication: it's actor Guy Henry with layers of CGI "fake-up".

Friday, January 13, 2017

Verbal Duryea

Hangdog Dan's started slurring his words
Got some brandy and gurgled two-thirds
Amnesiac? Crazy?
Post-blackout, all's hazy
This rancid liqueur's for the birds.

David Cairns

Dan Duryea drinks like there's no tomorrow in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946).

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Binge Benefits

In spirits awash, I go blurry
My fears have been quashed, I've no worry
Like the grime of the day
My crimes fade away       
So, cheers! Let's get sloshed in a hurry.

Dan Duryea's drunken flashback in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946). Title by David Cairns, all business.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

One Groggy Evening

How drunk can this guzzler get?
Eyes sunken, he's fuzzy and wet
What booze does he use?
The usual brews
In a funk, he get's buzzed to forget.

Dan Duryea has a drunken flashback in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946).

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Black-Out? Curtains!

For his anguish he drinks: anesthesia
For a hangover, milk of magnesia
But he blacks out, gets fuddled
All cracked-up and muddled
Now he's jangled, can't think: it's amnesia!

David Cairns

June Vincent watches Dan Duryea sleep one off in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946). Our title could refer to any number of tales by author Cornell Woolrich, writer of the film's source novel.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Rhapsody in Booze

For the blues and the shakes he gets blotto
"All the booze that it takes" is his motto
The keyboard gets drunk
On tequila...ker-plunk!
The music they make is staccato.

Dan Duryea hits the skids in Black Angel (Roy William Neill, 1946). Title idea by rhapsodic Donald B. Benson.