Friday, April 29, 2022

Sing Before Breakfast


Have a second look to see if you can guess who the actor is. You saw him on TV in the 60s and 70s. That's his real-life sister Vilma dancing with him, which will help you not at all. An odd note: if they are living on the roof - and not the tallest roof around - where do they change? What are their nightclothes? 30s movies were notorious for introducing such sexual elements without a shoulder being shown or even a passing reference to a body part. The audience is titillated without quite knowing why.

He was also Doc Holliday in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," a supposedly romantic movie that is carried by the fact that Audrey Hepburn is so adorable and people like to think they can get away with being "unconventional" like that.  It is otherwise just strange and even creepy.


Grim said...

It's classic Warner Bros, though: if the cartoon department of 1936 had been assigned the same scene, they'd have done it exactly the same way. They'd have done it with singing and dancing owls or something, but it would have had the same beats, down to the same dances and the same expressions to indicate impatience with the slow-boiling coffee. And nobody would have cared that owls don't drink coffee.

ErisGuy said...

He certainly had that distinctive nose even in his youth.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Aggie's comment, somehow not making it here. "Wasn't he also supposed to be the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz? I think I remember he started filming in the role but then was taken ill because of the metallic makeup."

This is true.

Aggie said...

Thanks for posting my comment. Ebsen was a talented dancer, and in this early clip it's easy to see him as the gangly, gregarious type that all the girls like.

If you want to read about the early days of the culture wars, (with reference to the cancellation of the Beverly Hillbillies), then read through the 'Rural Purge' page on Wikipedia, as well as the Beverly Hillbillies wiki page. It's kind of interesting, over the course of a few years in the early 70's, still-popular rural-themed shows were cancelled to make room for more urban-themed ones; Anything associated with the Hillbillies, Mayberry, Gomer, Hee Haw, etc. were cancelled, in addition to a number of western-themed shows like Gunsmoke. Pat Buttram ('Mr. Haney') said 'They got rid of everything with a tree in it, including Lassie.'

Ebsen was a rock-ribbed Republican and he apparently had many 'spirited discussions' with an arch liberal on the set of the Hillbillies. It was Nancy Kulp ("Miss Hathaway"); she later ran for Congress in Pennsylvania and Ebsen funded her opponent, who won and stayed in office until after 2000.