David Bruce: The Funniest People in Movies — Crime, Critics, Dance

Crime

• Filmmaker John Waters once worked as a teacher in a prison. Once a year, a graduation ceremony was held in the prison for all student-convicts who were receiving a college degree. After the ceremony, convicts and their families were allowed to attend a barbeque, and Mr. Waters remembers one of the graduates telling his father that he was doing well and hoped to be paroled soon, and that when he was paroled he would renovate the family home. Just then, his father asked, referring to the plate his son the convict was holding, “Are you through with that?” His son wasn’t sure what he was referring to and replied, “With what? Killing people or eating?”

• Controversial filmmaker John Waters was once mugged in New York. Suffering from a serious concession and covered with blood, he staggered to a friend’s apartment, and when she opened the door, he told her, “I’ve just killed five people, and I’ve come to involve you.”

Critics

• Film critic Jim Emerson met famed director Robert Altman by accident in a hotel. Mr. Emerson had recently returned from Europe, and he was telling a publicist how he “found it exhilarating and liberating to be in a strange city, and to be out in public, and not understand the conversations that are taking place all around you.” Mr. Altman was nearby, talking on a telephone, and when his telephone conversation was over, he came up to Mr. Emerson and said, “I heard what you were saying about being in Europe, and that’s exactly the way I’ve felt! I lived in Paris for years and never learned French. You realize there’s just so much extraneous bullsh*t you don’t have to listen to if you don’t know the language!”

• John Simon was introduced to Laura Mulvey at the 1977 Berlin Film Festival. During the introduction, he learned that Ms. Mulvey had recently completed a film with Peter Wollen. Mr. Simon, a caustic critic, said to her, “How could you work with that man Peter Wollen, that no-talent, phony semiologist!” Later that day, one of Mr. Simon’s friends told him, “You do realize that Laura Mulvey is married to Peter Wollen, don’t you? She wanted to know whether you were always so disgustingly rude to everybody.”

• When Diana Rigg was compiling her book of the worst-ever theatrical reviews, No Turn Unstoned, she wrote to several actors and actresses, asking them for the worst-ever theatrical review they had ever received. Miss Piggy, who was Ms. Rigg’s co-star in The Great Muppet Caper, sent her this “worst-ever” review: “She may be the screen’s sexiest star since Marilyn Monroe.”

• Quentin Crisp once attended a screening of King Kong with a friend. During a scene in which Fay Wray’s character lay screaming in King Kong’s palm, the friend said to Mr. Crisp, “I can’t think what he sees in her.”

Dance

• Fred Astaire wore a hairpiece — which he hated — throughout his career. In 1946, he thought that he would retire after filming a movie titled Blue Skies. After filming the final scene of the movie, Mr. Astaire took off his hairpiece, threw it on the floor, and started jumping on it, shouting, “Never, never, never — never will I have to wear this blasted rug again!”

• W.C. Fields felt respect for and threatened by the comedy genius of rival comedian Charles Chaplin. He once sat silently during a Chaplin movie that had other members of the audience roaring with laughter. Asked after the movie was over for his opinion of Mr. Chaplin, Mr. Fields said, “He’s a ballet dancer, the best ballet dancer that ever lived, and if I get a good chance I’ll kill him with my bare hands.”

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

The Funniest People in Movies — Buy

The Funniest People in Movies — Buy The Paperback

The Funniest People in Movies — Kindle

The Funniest People in Movies — Apple

The Funniest People in Movies — Barnes and Noble

The Funniest People in Movies — Kobo

The Funniest People in Movies — Smashwords: Many formats, Including PDF

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: