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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. 

Time Codes:

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! 

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