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Friday, June 29, 2018

Von Back In Cigarette and Monocle Mode


Crimson Romance (1934) Flies High For Modest Mascot

Mascot, generally spelled miserly, went whole hog from time to time, as with this special done to evoke memory of Hell's Angels, from which it borrowed aerial footage and lead man Ben Lyon. He's an American who enlists with German air service in solidarity with a lifelong pal branded disloyal for teuton origin, this just ahead of US war declaration in 1917. Squad command is Erich von Stroheim, as in otherwise why watch? Someone put most of Crimson Romance at You Tube, where quality compensates for parts missing. We think of Mascot, if at all, as purveyor of serials. This was lick at larger markets. Wish I knew how well, or not, it succeeded. Hell's Angels cast a long shadow, not only with content, but flying thrills that Howard Hughes let go to whoever henceforth would pay for its use. That stuff, spectacular as ever, turned up in B's both independent and studio-made for years to come. Did Hughes just not care? --- or was staff peddling action bumps without the busy tycoon's knowing? Never mind, as it is Stroheim we are here for, even in reduced circumstance where it seems there is never enough of him. Everyone else shrinks to mice when he enters the scene. To think he was so busted within a year that chums at MGM were collecting charity for him. Triumph of Grande Illusion was a rescue, then Hun-casting with a new war paid early 40's rent, but they'd not let EvS direct again, many times bitten, forever shy being policy writ in stone by studios. I listened again to his radio tribute when Griffith died, also on You Tube. That voice, cadence, emphasis, everything. No actor on earth was like Von. Wish we could see more of his Euro thrillers. Stills from each look suitably bizarre --- you'd hope he had plenty to do creatively with them.

5 Comments:

Blogger Tommie Hicks said...

That photo of EVS bending over Karloff with lobotomy forceps I didn't know existed. BRAVO!

8:14 AM  
Blogger kenneth Von Gunden said...

We VONs must stick together... The Wolf, man.

3:54 PM  
Blogger phil smoot said...

I've never seen that photo of Von Stroheim with what looks like Karloff beneath him --
When?
Where?

The image is a surprise

11:58 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

I think it was publicity for Stroheim assuming Karloff's role in a road tour for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, Karloff benefiting from the gag because he owned a piece of the play.

1:44 AM  
Blogger phil smoot said...

Thanks.

8:33 PM  

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