As some of my readers might remember, this blog began as a survey of whatever old movies and old music clips caught my fancy on the glorious invention known as youtube. As "City Island" will be in post-production all fall, I will of course be keeping you abreast of its progress and posting what clips and pix I can. But I'd like also to begin to dip back into the glory of our cultural past--and what better, more upstanding and more singularly dignified example of that culture is there than the clown named Jerry Howard, known to all as "Curley".
Recently I showed the below clip to my four year old son who became fascinated by it--not just finding it funny but loving all of Curley's facial tics, expressions, dog-barks, face-slaps etc. The short that it's from is "Dutiful But Dumb", directed by Del Lord when Curley was at his peak in the early 1940's, and before his mysterious (and very visible) brain damage began to slow him down. The waiter in the scene is the great Chaplin foil Chester Conklin. Dig Curley making the most of a very simple set-up--eating a bowl of oyster soup.
Tomorrow I'll be back on the City Island express. Today, however, I dedicate this clip to my son Lorenzo, who I've spent a lot of time away from this summer and who has been a very understanding little trouper about why daddy's been away--asking me on the phone every morning about "how the movie with Andy is going".