Dec 1, 2023
For this Paramount 1945 episode, we look at a couple of male melodramas: The Man in Half Moon Street, a Gothic B-movie starring Nils Asther, "the most beautiful man who ever lived," according to Elise, as a scientist who becomes unscrupulous in his pursuit of eternal youth, and Salty O'Rourke, a Raoul Walsh-directed hit starring Alan Ladd as a racetrack gambler who manipulates an unruly young jockey. The movies also boast fairly substantial love interest parts for Helen Walker as a socialite who sympathizes with Asther's Ubermensch impulses and Gail Russell as a schoolteacher who's caught up in Ladd's schemes. We dive into the question of how to create audience sympathy for a villain-protagonist and the curious nature of the Ladd phenomenon.
0h 00m 45s: THE MAN IN HALF MOON STREET [dir. Ralph Murphy]
0h 31m 53s: SALTY O’ROURKE [dir. Raoul Walsh]
Studio Film Capsules provided by The Paramount Story by John Douglas Eames
Additional studio information from: The Hollywood Story by Joel W. Finler
* Marvel at our meticulously ridiculous Complete Viewing Schedule for the 2020s
* Intro Song: “Sunday” by Jean Goldkette Orchestra with the Keller Sisters (courtesy of The Internet Archive)
* Read Elise’s latest film piece on Preston Sturges, Unfaithfully Yours, and the Narrative role of comedic scapegoating.
* Check out Dave’s new Robert Benchley blog – an attempt to annotate and reflect upon as many of the master humorist’s 2000+ pieces as he can locate – Benchley Data: A Wayward Annotation Project!
Follow us on Twitter at @therebuggy
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We now have a Discord server - just drop us a line if you'd like to join!