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Friday, September 29, 2006


A Little Something To Disturb Your Sleep


The more I look at this bizarre portrait of Jimmy Durante, the more creeped out I get. No doubt the idea was to spoof his self-promoted image as an irresistible magnet for beautiful women. Must have been taken sometime in the late fifties. Buster Keaton fans were never able to warm up to this guy. Durante really walked all over Keaton in those MGM features they did together. I’m looking for the best word to describe Durante beyond his first five minutes in any movie --- irritating? A little of this comic goes a long way for me…

6 Comments:

Blogger East Side said...

Always loved Durante EXCEPT in those Keaton movies. I don't blame him as much as I do the nitwits who ran M-G-M at the time. Otherwise, the guy still makes me laugh every time.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the photo's from the fifties -- Jimmy's outfit is, I think, the one he word in the 1935 B'way show RED, HOT AND BLUE, w/Bob Hope and Ethel Merman. No matter -- "you're the top" for bringing us these great shots!

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit I've steered clear of Schnozzola's movies. But his radio work, in my opinion, is fantastic. Perhaps it's an acquired taste. I especially enjoy the later shows, with Victor Moore (the ultimate milquetoast) guesting almost every episode, and Arthur Treacher, Candy Candido (man what a wacky vocal range!) and of course Hot Breath Houlihan in supporting roles. It's light and disposable, yes, but a lot of fun.

4:50 PM  
Blogger convict 13 said...

Being a Keaton fan myself my introduction to Durante was through those MGM "Classics" that they made together. You just got to think which "wonderboy" thought that Keaton and Durante would work well together. Off screen they got along, Keaton states that he thought Durante an excellent comedian and I would hope Durante thought the same about Keaton(don't know). In saying that I find his delivery offputting, but I think he is a find comedian also, but best left to work alone. As for the picture, yes it is a tad weird.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who find Durante's thirties work a trifle much may prefer his 40s-60s performaces, when he was older and mellower.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Dan Navarro said...

If you're not a fan of Jimmy Durante, you will be after you see him in Two Sisters From Boston (1946). He plays the proprietor of an old-fashioned burlesque music hall, and registers a "10" on the Kindness scale.

Durante's role has him steering the young and beautiful Kathryn Grayson and the equally y&b June Allyson through the bedlam of old-time music halls.

One of his funniest bits is when he persuades certain high-profile individuals that he "knows something" about their past... and they buy it! In reality, he knows nothing about them. It's just the notion that every man, no matter how important, has SOMETHING to hide.

Two Sisters from Boston will make you a Durante fan for life.

Dan N.

http://dan-navarros-blog.blogspot.com

8:08 PM  

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