4/7/14

ROB THE MOB MEETS ANDY HARDY?

A couple of extra press thingies that have been out their dangling for the last few days.

Here's a radio interview I did (via cell phone)  with Andrea Chase.

This piece is long but rewarding and is from Technology Tell.

Dig this from the SF Gate. San Francisco? San Fernando? Sam Francis? They're not telling.

And here's a very nice review by Jackie K. Cooper that appeared on the Huffington Post. Mr. Cooper is not the same Jackie Cooper who became a child star due to his ability to cry very effectively. But I like the synergy of his name coinciding with the passing of another one-time child star Mickey Rooney. I guess it's as good a time as any for me to tell my Mickey Rooney story.  Here goes.

It's the year 2000 and my film "Two Family House" has been invited (along with me) to the Deauville Film Festival, easily the most charming film festival I've ever been to. The Mayor Of Deauville traditionally gives a party for the filmmakers and special guests at the official residence. This year was no exception. Lots of interesting people, good wine, over-rich food etc. And the special guest was none other than Mickey Rooney.

For me, standing in a room with Mickey Rooney was as incomprehensible and stunning a moment as if I had been standing in a room with Orson Welles. Or Irving Berlin. Or Duke Ellington. Or any of the worlds true human cultural treasures. Rooney was the last link to much of the history of show-biz in the twentieth century. Rooney knew vaudeville from the early twenties, silent movies from later in the decade, stardom as a youngster at MGM in the thirties and forties, B movies in the fifties, TV in the sixties, Broadway in the seventies. He acted with Spencer Tracy. He sang and danced with Judy Garland. He did Ava Gardner!

To shake Mickey Rooney's hand was to be one handshake away from all that history (and God knows from what else). Seeing that he was accompanied by a young man who I learned was his son, I decided to make my move and ask the son for an introduction.  He was very nice and was sincerely delighted to hear how awed I was by his father's presence. Seconds later, I was shaking hands with Mickey Rooney himself. Here's our exchange in full:

RAYMOND: Mr. Rooney, I can't express how special this moment is for me. You're simply one of the greatest living entertainers and I'm delighted to have this moment to thank you for all the terrific work you've given us over the years.

MICKEY: Thanks. What do you do?

RAYMOND: I'm a director.

MICKEY (PAUSE, STARES AT ME, THEN): Then why the hell don't you give me a job!

(He turns and walks away.)

Unpleasant as the experience was, it was ultimately a good thing. By facing his wrath, his frustration, his lack of manners and his complete disregard for any kind of normal civilized behavior,  he inadvertantly prepared me for working with Peter Falk.


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5 comments:

  1. Well I just got back from seeing Rob The Mob Saw it at an Art house type of theater in Skillmann NJ.
    perfect place they told me on the weekend crowded
    But glad it was during the week for me. Raymond there was only one thing Missing from your film
    will mention that later. Now about the film every one was just perfect. Yes the music choices superb. The clothing perfect. I grew up with folks like in this film
    every one right on the money. I did know how the story ended but did not know how you would do it
    and yes saw you in your cameo role (you needed a hair cut} joke. I loved it and so did the young lady I was with and your pal at the table in the club very
    cool to see. Now for the part that was missing.The only thing that was missing in Mob The Mob,
    was you guessed it Me.

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  2. I do have a question was that paper with all the
    numbers on it a true thing or was it created for the
    film ? When I was a young boy i do remember walking into clubs like that .They all looked just like yours I could almost smell the cigar stench while
    watching the film. Very well done. The old guy's
    scene. I had an uncle that would have handled that just like Burt Young did, A funny scene to me.
    Enjoy the success of {correct spelling) Rob The Mob.

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  3. So nice to hear you liked it Russell. The thing with the 'list' was in fact real. Glad you could vouch for the authenticity of the clubs and the guys. You'll be in the next one!

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  4. That would be nice. But only if you think I would be a good fit. Ciao

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  5. I recently saw Robert Osborne (TCM) talking about interviewing Mickey. He said that at one point Mickey became so angry that Robert was afraid he was going to hit him. I think you got off easy!

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