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Friday, March 30, 2012

Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising: Baseball

Now here’s the real Alistair Mundy!

ty

97 images of baseball players promoting smoking in advertisements:

Thanks to Tom Hawthorn.

Repoz Posted: March 30, 2012 at 10:53 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, medical

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   1. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: March 30, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4093498)
I'm a child of the "Four-Out-Of-Five-Doctors" generation... I quit for good four years ago this month.

If you're young and smoking, quit while it's relatively easy.

</sermon>
   2. TerpNats Posted: March 30, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4093513)
Here's something I wrote a few years back on film stars of the '30s and how much they were paid to endorse cigarettes:

'Carole & Co.': Reach for a Lucky, financially sweet
   3. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: March 30, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4093517)
The Mays and Aaron ads are quite jarring. I don't recall seeing them when I was a kid.
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 30, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4093523)
Here's something I wrote a few years back on film stars of the '30s and how much they were paid to endorse cigarettes:

'Carole & Co.': Reach for a Lucky, financially sweet


Good article, TerpNats, and I see you've got it posted on one of my favorite film websites, Carole & Co.

A long time ago I hauled the first 15 years of LIFE magazine (1936-51) down to my old GF's family beach house in Delaware, and spent an hour or two a day reading them for the better part of a month. There's no better way to get inside the collective white middle class mind of the 30's and 40's than by browsing through nearly 800 issues of LIFE. There's nothing remotely like it today.

And yeah, those cigarette ads were something. Next to that famous "Her Singing Coach Advised A Light Smoke" Lombard ad for Luckies, my favorite tobacco endorsement was one by Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Teddy Roosevelt's daughter, also for Lucky Strike. She was still alive in the 80's and living in Georgetown, and for about a month I displayed that ad in my book shop's front window with a sign that said "The Georgetown Book Shop salutes famous Georgetown residents", or something like that. I have no idea whether she ever saw it.

   5. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: March 30, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4093527)
   6. TerpNats Posted: March 30, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4093529)
Jolly, I run "Carole & Co." -- thanks for the compliment. It's been a labor of love for nearly five years.

There's a good chance that later this year, The Hollywood Museum will hold a Lombard exhibit, and I hope to assist the curators in creating a timeline and providing information on some of the items. One of the curators organized a Jean Harlow exhibit that's been there for more than a year.
   7. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: March 31, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4093540)
"I am confident this amazing pill can help anyone" - Mickey Mantle

Lol.
   8. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 31, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4093568)
My grandfather dipped Skoal and I already thought it was gross as a kid, but I still loved the Skoal commercial Earl Campbell did c.1980.

"Skoal, brother!"
   9. smileyy Posted: March 31, 2012 at 02:06 AM (#4093579)
Quit in time for your life insurance to still be cheap.
   10. Morty Causa Posted: March 31, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4093624)
Nice site TerpNats. And essay.

#5: the one that most surprises me is Williams. I didn't know he smoked, and in his autobiography, he mentions his respiratory fragility.

   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4093635)
Jolly, I run "Carole & Co." -- thanks for the compliment. It's been a labor of love for nearly five years.

Christopher Columbus, does that mean you're the one posting as VP in the TCM forums? I sort of vaguely recall your posting here in some of the movie threads, but I never connected the dots. I guess I just assumed that VP was a woman, but then I don't post on TCM nearly as much as I do here, and the only person there I have a real handle on is the incredible Eugenia H with her Stanwyck posts.

In any case, Carole & Co. is right up there with "Self-Styled Siren" and "Noir of the Week" as one of my three favorite movie blogs. I am totally impressed.

-----------------------------------------------------

#5: the one that most surprises me is Williams. I didn't know he smoked, and in his autobiography, he mentions his respiratory fragility.

Morty, the fact that Williams endorsed Chesterfields doesn't necessarily mean that he actually smoked them, or even smoked at all. There certainly was no law back then that required anyone to use the product he endorsed. TerpNats points out in his movie blog that Jack Benny had no love of Jello, even as he endorsed it.

But to give you an idea of just how strong the pull of the cigarette culture was back then, the back cover of The Sporting News had a Chesterfield ad every week for many years, and you could count on one hand the number of repeats of the same player they had in any given year. In addition to baseball players, those ads featured football players, golfers, tennis players, coaches, movie stars, doctors, and even the then-famous Willie Mosconi, who was at the time considered the Babe Ruth of pool.

Better than that, whenever a Giant hit a home run at the Polo Grounds, Russ Hodges would slide a carton of Chesterfields down the foul screen to deliver to the heroic batter, and Chesterfield would match it by sending gift cartons of their harmless product to----the local VA Hospitals. I sometimes wonder what sort of comparable cultural practices we engage in today will be looked upon with the same degree of horror and fascination (or nostalgia) that the cigarette culture was 60 or 70 years ago. It's an interesting thought experiment, but I'm sure we'd all be stabbing wildly in the dark in trying to guess at it.

   12. Morty Causa Posted: March 31, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4093647)
Morty, the fact that Williams endorsed Chesterfields doesn't necessarily mean that he actually smoked them, or even smoked at all. There certainly was no law back then that required anyone to use the product he endorsed. TerpNats points out in his movie blog that Jack Benny had no love of Jello, even as he endorsed it.


I realize that about advertisements and endorsements in general. I should have written that I would be surpriseed if he did smoke--although, then, I'm kind of surprised that he would endorse a product he didn't actually use. But, come to think of it, I doubt that he drank much root beer. He would have probably been more concerned about whether it was a quality product. One of the galling things about the Quaker Oats thing, he wrote, was that he really liked Quaker Oats, so he was particularly willing to endorse them, but he never says he wouldn't endorse something he didn't actually use--even condoms (remembering the ad you linked previously).
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4093679)
Here's an excerpt from an interview Williams gave to Esquire in 1999. I included a few other comments prior to the punch line about cigarettes only because the first two of them kind of surprised me a bit:

I don't envy Bill Clinton, but I am appreciative of him. He's done a lot of good things. And his wife -- to me, she's the Joan of Arc of this country. Boy, I'll tell you, she's terrific. She has stuck with the guy. She's the greatest strength he's got.

Democrats are a strange breed. Although the greatest American we'll ever know in our lifetime is Roosevelt, no question about it. He wasn't my particular hero, but I give him tons of credit as president. But he could have been a little under-the-table, too, you know.

Ya gotta be ready for the fastball.

I decided I'd have a Cadillac. What the hell. I was kind of successful, and certainly it's a prestigious car. I got more tickets in that car. I figured, ####, they're just lookin' for Cadillacs so they can grab 'em for speeding.

I could have started smoking in the late twenties, but I didn't. I knew then that nicotine could attack every weakness in a person's body.
   14. TerpNats Posted: March 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4093712)
Christopher Columbus, does that mean you're the one posting as VP in the TCM forums? I sort of vaguely recall your posting here in some of the movie threads, but I never connected the dots. I guess I just assumed that VP was a woman, but then I don't post on TCM nearly as much as I do here, and the only person there I have a real handle on is the incredible Eugenia H with her Stanwyck posts.
I'm the one posting as VP19, and a recent check of certain regions shows that I indeed continue to be a man. (And Eugenia's Stanwyck posts are something to behold; to me, Barbara trails only Lombard and Loy among classic Hollywood actresses, and no one comes close to her where sheer versatility is concerned.)

In any case, Carole & Co. is right up there with "Self-Styled Siren" and "Noir of the Week" as one of my three favorite movie blogs. I am totally impressed.
To be rated alongside the Siren is high praise indeed -- she's the gold standard of classic film blogs.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4093751)
I'm the one posting as VP19, and a recent check of certain regions shows that I indeed continue to be a man. (And Eugenia's Stanwyck posts are something to behold; to me, Barbara trails only Lombard and Loy among classic Hollywood actresses, and no one comes close to her where sheer versatility is concerned.)

I post as andym108 on that site, and although I didn't start commenting there with any regularity until last year, I'm sure I must have replied to at least a few of your posts by this time, since I see that VP19 handle almost every time I visit TCM. Sure is a small world.
   16. phredbird Posted: March 31, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4093752)
i have a framed print somewhere of the mel ott/bill dickey chesterfield ad. that is all.
   17. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 31, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4093758)
My grandfather dipped Skoal and I already thought it was gross as a kid, but I still loved the Skoal commercial Earl Campbell did c.1980.

"Skoal, brother!"


Earl would be far healthier today if he had quit football and kept dipping Skoal.
   18. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 31, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4093767)
Earl would be far healthier today if he had quit football and kept dipping Skoal.

My Mom (a dentist) sent him a polite note back ca. 1980, reminding him that dipping causes mouth cancer, kids looked up to him, etc.
He did not respond.
   19. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 31, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4093796)
And Eugenia's Stanwyck posts are something to behold; to me, Barbara trails only Lombard and Loy among classic Hollywood actresses, and no one comes close to her where sheer versatility is concerned.


I'm a huge fan of Barbara Stanwyck. My all-time favorite actress.
   20. Morty Causa Posted: March 31, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4093808)
13:

Williams gives me the impression of being one of those grand old conservatives in the best sense that now seem to have gone extinct--James Stewart, John Ford (although I think he always said he was a Roosevelt Democrat), Barry Goldwater, Churchill, John Wayne to some extent. To them being a conservative was an ideal that obligated you to get beyond yourself. It wasn't a way of low-balling the opposition, of holding that you didn’t have to be any better than the worst of my adversary. When James Stewart enlisted in the military in March 1941, essentially forcing them to take him, it was something he had to do for himself--but he had to do it by sacrificing himself for something and for other people. The guy had just burst into super stardom and had just won the Academy Award--you might say, too, he voluntarily took a cut in pay from about $300K a year to 30 dollars a month. It didn't matter to him at all. It's hard to imagine someone doing that nowadays.

Williams and the Pumpsie Green press conference, the coming to the aid of Mudcat Grant in that New Orleans hotel incident, the speech at the HOF. He didn't have to do any of that--he felt he had to because of a sense of right and wrong that went beyond hidebound ideology or politics. If you're community cannot validate your value to it, then why have any allegiance to it?

They're not petty partisans. Williams when he came back from Korea gave an interview (well, maybe he didn't know it was an interview--it was some bloviating in a bar or restaurant, I think, although I don't think he was much for drinking or nightclubbing in his playing days) in which he said some rough things about Truman and the Marine Corps as to Korea. He later apologized, and got a letter from Truman telling him not to worry about it--that he, too, had been known to lose his temper and say stuff he later regretted. Williams gladly conceded that that was might big of the President to take it that way. Can you imagine people on the opposite side of the political fences these days giving the opposition their due?

Stanwyck as actress is without peer. She, too, was a conservative in the best, if not perfect, sense.



   21. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4093835)
And Eugenia's Stanwyck posts are something to behold; to me, Barbara trails only Lombard and Loy among classic Hollywood actresses, and no one comes close to her where sheer versatility is concerned.

I'm a huge fan of Barbara Stanwyck. My all-time favorite actress.


AFAIC there's no American actor or actress who compares to Stanwyck for a combination of "naturalness" and versatility. She doesn't have the dominating screen presence of some of the others (Davis and Grant, just to name two), but better than anyone else, she knew where the fine line was between dramatic effect and overplaying the role. I've probably seen over 50 of her films by now and can think of at most 2 or 3 clinkers, and in those few exceptional cases the problem was with the script and not Stanwyck.

While it's tough to measure precisely, Stanwyck also seems to be the consensus favorite actress among those who post regularly on TCM. And if you've never visited the TCM forums, Eugenia H is simply a national treasure. She began a Stanwyck thread barely half a year ago, and since that time there've been over 2,000 replies, the majority of which are Eugenia's.

------------------------------------------------------------

Morty,

Good post and good points. I've often thought of just how much the "old" Hollywood was split down the middle in political affiliation, but it's also interesting (to me, anyway) that when I think of my favorite actors and actresses from that period, they wind up almost exactly 50-50, with maybe even a slight edge to the conservatives and Republicans. Not just the biggies like Stanwyck and Gable were in that group, but also some of my favorite character actors like Edward Arnold and Adolphe Menjou, who was actually (later) a member of the tinfoil hatted John Birch Society. Stanwyck kept her political profile extremely low, but apparently she was heavily influenced for a while in her views by her first two husbands (Frank Fay and Robert Taylor), and in fact one of her bigger disappointments was losing out to Patricia Neal for the leading female role in (Good God) The Fountainhead, one of Hollywood's all-time unintentional self-parodies.
   22. TerpNats Posted: March 31, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4093844)
"The Fountainhead" is apparently "Citizen Kane" compared to the (planned) first part of "Atlas Shrugged." Given its puny box office return, we may never find out who John Galt was, at least on screen.

While today's Hollywood is probably more (elite) left-leaning compared to its old self, there are couples that split politically. Lombard was far more politically liberal compared to the relatively apolitical Gable, but they were crazy about each other, just as liberal Goldie Hawn is for libertarian Kurt Russell.
   23. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 31, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4093880)
Earl would be far healthier today if he had quit football and kept dipping Skoal.

I was struck by that seeing him in the commercial compared to the news stories of recent years saying that he pretty much can't walk any more.
   24. Adam B. Posted: March 31, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4093888)
It's Toasted!, says Ted Williams about Lucky Strikes. That Don Draper sure makes a great ad.
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4093906)
It's Toasted!, says Ted Williams about Lucky Strikes. That Don Draper sure makes a great ad.

It's sure a long way from this to this.
   26. something like a train wreck Posted: March 31, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4093934)
lucky strike sponsored the Tigers games on radio when I was a kid. LSMFT might be the last thing i remember before I drift into dementia.
   27. TerpNats Posted: March 31, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4093946)
AFAIC there's no American actor or actress who compares to Stanwyck for a combination of "naturalness" and versatility. She doesn't have the dominating screen presence of some of the others (Davis and Grant, just to name two), but better than anyone else, she knew where the fine line was between dramatic effect and overplaying the role. I've probably seen over 50 of her films by now and can think of at most 2 or 3 clinkers, and in those few exceptional cases the problem was with the script and not Stanwyck.
If Stanwyck were a ballplayer, she'd be one of the toolsiest players around (jeez, I hate to paraphrase Jim Bowden); you might rate her five stars only for film noir, but she'd be at least a four-star, maybe 4 1/2, in virtually every other category save for sci-fi (which she never attempted). Heck, excellence in both westerns and noir is like Craig Biggio catching, playing center field and being able to bat leadoff. And you're right that she has a few clinkers, but hey, that's true for every star. If "Fools For Scandal" was the first Lombard film you saw, you would rightly say "what's the big deal about her?" Same thing with some of Loy's weaker vehicles after 1934 (Myrna's vamp-ersatz Asian period doesn't count here).
   28. Morty Causa Posted: March 31, 2012 at 09:34 PM (#4093987)
Stanwyck is the Willie Mays or Honus Wagner of actresses. A five all along the board. Drama (The Miracle Woman, Baby Face, Stella Dallas), comedy (The Lady Eve, Ball of Fire), comedy-drama (Meet John Doe, Remember the Night), westerns (The Furies, Forty Guns, The Violent Men), noir (Double Indemnity--duh, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers). She even has that quirky hothouse impossible to classify but mesmerizing thing that all great star/actresses seem compelled to do (see Hepburn's Sylvia Scarlett, Crawford's Johnny Guitar, Bergman's Under Capricorn)--in her case, The Bitter Tea of General Yen.

She had an incredible emotional range and showed a good deal of versatility in the roles she played--from innocent/vulnerable to ball-busting hard, from lower class ingenue to cynical sophisticate, from extraordinary to ordinary person.

In this way, her range and versatility, she reminds me of Stewart, and like him you have to pay attention because she's so authentic you think she's just playing herself. But when you think about it--who was the herself?
   29. TerpNats Posted: March 31, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4093996)
In this way, her range and versatility, she reminds me of Stewart, and like him you have to pay attention because she's so authentic you think she's just playing herself. But when you think about it--who was the herself?
And sadly, I don't believe Stewart and Stanwyck ever made a film together. I view their potential pairing as Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray (who in recent years is finally being recognized for the talented actor he was, now that the ghosts of Disney and "My Three Sons" have receded) -- who made four films together, all in different genres, and at least three of them ("Remember The Night," "Double Indemnity" and "There's Always Tomorrow") first-rate examples of their particular genre -- taken to the infinite power. James and Barbara could have excelled in anything from screwball to westerns to drama to noir, and it would have been riveting.
   30. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 31, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4093998)
The guy had just burst into super stardom and had just won the Academy Award--you might say, too, he voluntarily took a cut in pay from about $300K a year to 30 dollars a month. It didn't matter to him at all. It's hard to imagine someone doing that nowadays.


Pat Tillman.
   31. Morty Causa Posted: March 31, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4094006)
And sadly, I don't believe Stewart and Stanwyck ever made a film together.


Yes, too bad. Comedy or drama, they could have made it work. She worked with some very good actors/stars. MacMurray is one (as you point out, very underrated); others are Fonda, McCrea, and Cooper. But she never made a movie with Cary Grant (that might of been some screwball enterprise) or Stewart or Bogart, and only co-starred with Gable and Cagney in pallid vehicles on the downside of their careers.
   32. Morty Causa Posted: March 31, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4094007)
30:

Thanks for pointing that out. I was probably engaging in a little sentimental back in the good old days fartism.
   33. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 31, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4094012)
Boxers got into the act too.

Joe Louis.

Ray Robinson.

   34. TerpNats Posted: March 31, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4094031)
[Stanwyck] worked with some very good actors/stars. MacMurray is one (as you point out, very underrated); others are Fonda, McCrea and Cooper. But she never made a movie with Cary Grant (that might have been some screwball enterprise) or Stewart or Bogart, and only co-starred with Gable and Cagney in pallid vehicles on the downside of their careers.
I'd have liked to have seen Stanwyck work with my all-time favorite actor, William Powell. I'm imagining them in some sort of sophisticated romantic comedy -- not necessarily plugging in Stanwyck for Loy or, conversely, Powell for Fonda -- but something that would have given their elegant sides a way to shine.

I'm still a trifle peeved that illness denied Powell a chance for the male lead in "Ninotchka"; nothing against Melvyn Douglas, but Bill would have given that part a bit more texture, and Garbo would not have been able to overwhelm him as she did Douglas. Furthermore, Powell never made a talking movie with Lubitsch (though I believe he appeared in one of Ernst's U.S. silents).

Stanwyck did appear with Gable early on, though. Remember "Night Nurse"? (You must certainly remember seeing Stanwyck and the luscious pre-Code Joan Blondell in their underwear.)
   35. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4094036)
Stanwyck is the Willie Mays or Honus Wagner of actresses. A five all along the board. Drama (The Miracle Woman, Baby Face, Stella Dallas), comedy (The Lady Eve, Ball of Fire), comedy-drama (Meet John Doe, Remember the Night), westerns (The Furies, Forty Guns, The Violent Men), noir (Double Indemnity--duh, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers). She even has that quirky hothouse impossible to classify but mesmerizing thing that all great star/actresses seem compelled to do (see Hepburn's Sylvia Scarlett, Crawford's Johnny Guitar, Bergman's Under Capricorn)--in her case, The Bitter Tea of General Yen.

She had an incredible emotional range and showed a good deal of versatility in the roles she played--from innocent/vulnerable to ball-busting hard, from lower class ingenue to cynical sophisticate, from extraordinary to ordinary person.


There's one more film of hers that goes in the Drama category, but is almost in a class of its own: So Big (1932), where Stanwyck plays a teenaged daughter of a gambler who dies young, gets shipped off to an Illinois farm to teach the farmer's children, and then becomes a widow with a small boy whom she raises against all odds and hardship. By the end of the movie she's a woman in her mid-to-late 40's who looks even older than that, having sacrificed herself for her son's education and career every bit as much as she sacrificed herself for her daughter in Stella Dallas, but without the sense of humiliation or degradation. Every stage of her life in this remarkable film she portrays as if she'd lived it herself, which was no mean feat for what was then a 27 year old actress.

She played a somewhat similar and even more extreme role in The Great Man's Lady, where by the end of the movie she was in her 80's or 90's, but that movie bit off more than it could chew, and while Stanwyck was solid, the script wasn't really up to the cast.

-------------------------------------------

Boxers got into the act too.

Joe Louis.

Ray Robinson.


Of course the only way anyone would ever have seen those two particular ads back then would have been if they'd been a subscriber to a "race" magazine like Ebony or Sepia. I don't think that any companiy used black celebrities to endorse products in the white press, other than once in a while in an otherwise all-white group endorsement, until sometime in the mid or late 60's.
   36. Morty Causa Posted: March 31, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4094043)
Yeah, I do remember it. She and Gable appeared together but didn't star together. Gable wasn't a star yet; that's why O wrote "co-starred" in my original designation. He is good, though, and does have a substantial supporting role, so I'm okay with you including it.
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 31, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4094045)
I'd have liked to have seen Stanwyck work with my all-time favorite actor, William Powell. I'm imagining them in some sort of sophisticated romantic comedy -- not necessarily plugging in Stanwyck for Loy or, conversely, Powell for Fonda -- but something that would have given their elegant sides a way to shine.

Stanwyck and Powell together, combined with the right screenwriter, could have made a mark every bit as indelible as Nick and Nora, who are easily the greatest long-running screen couple in Hollywood history. (/ducks)

I'm still a trifle peeved that illness denied Powell a chance for the male lead in "Ninotchka"; nothing against Melvyn Douglas, but Bill would have given that part a bit more texture, and Garbo would not have been able to overwhelm him as she did Douglas.

Totally agree with that. I haven't seen many of Powell's post-Thin Man movies, but the only truly awful film of his I've seen is a total clinker he made with Elizabeth Taylor, The Girl Who Had Everything. It was almost a shock to my system to see him playing what was essentially an uptight old fuddy-duddy, even if he may have had the right instinct about Fernando Lamas.

Stanwyck did appear with Gable early on, though. Remember "Night Nurse"? (You must certainly remember seeing Stanwyck and the luscious pre-Code Joan Blondell in their underwear.)

That was one of her many great pre-codes, and one of the raunchier ones. It's also one of the few times I remember Gable cast as a pure villain, with no redemptive qualities of character. If you want to see a great point and counterpoint, try watching that one before or after Laughing Sinners, a pre-code movie with Joan Crawford where Gable plays a Salvation Army worker!
   38. Morty Causa Posted: March 31, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4094046)
I'd have liked to have seen Stanwyck work with my all-time favorite actor, William Powell. I'm imagining them in some sort of sophisticated romantic comedy -- not necessarily plugging in Stanwyck for Loy or, conversely, Powell for Fonda -- but something that would have given their elegant sides a way to shine.



She did do a nice little comedy with a Powell-type actor, Herbert Marshall, Breakfast for Two. They worked well together, I thought. Marshall is mostly forgotten, but he made the great Trouble in Paradise, where he's so smooth he's frictionless, yet immensely likable. With his voice and elegant manners he was made for talkie romantic comedies. Too bad he was born in 1890, and thus was in his forties when talkies got under way. Had he been born later, he'd a had a longer career as a leading man. Indeed, the same can be said of Powell himself, only two years younger than Marshall.

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