Barton_Keyes

Noir Alley

1,462 posts in this topic

4 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

I think it's "dishwater".

But I don't think old Dick Powell is dull at all, whether you prefer ditchwater or dishwater. I really like him as a noir protagonist. I enjoy his dry line deliveries. And two of my favourite noirs star Powell:  "Murder My Sweet" and "Cry Danger !"  True, he's kind of goofy-looking. But so is Fred MacMurray. Goofiness in itself doesn't preclude being a noir hero.  And I think Dick often shows a bit of a sense of humour, sometimes even a slightly self-mocking one. No, I don't believe I'd toss a pan of dishwater over Dick Powell. Or toss him into a ditch, either.

Back again...I found Powell as boring as could be, in "Pitfall" but I like him a lot in "Murder My Sweet" and other roles. Just don't think Lizbeth would dig him in "Pitfall" unless of course she just hopes he will get that repulsive Ray Burr off her back! He does show humor in many other roles and in general is quite talented, except for picking June Allyson as his wife. Sorry...I'm so mean. Never was big on Fred MacMurray except as the disgusting Mr. Sheldrake in "The Apartment" in which he was amazingly fabulous as a cad, hence choosing never to play such a role again...boo hoo! So glad to see you have returned to the TCM fold, Miss Wonderly and welcome back. Maybe you've been back but I just haven't seen you so I apologize if I am in error?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, CaveGirl said:

Not to give you a hard time, since I'm thrilled to see you back, Miss Wonderly but I always used to say "Dull as dishwater" and then one time looked its derivation up and found "ditchwater" predated "dishwater".

Check this out and then I will be back:

 

(1) who specifically, or at least when specifically, did originate the phrase?

{Example answer - "that was one of Shakespeare's!"}

(2) why?

(3) when first did someone screw up and use "..dishwater"? why? who?

Thank you.

(PS note that in print, apparently "...dishwater" become more popular from about the 1970s. I am interested in the above three questions, if anyone has any info on those three specific questions, thank you in advance.)

BTW I appreciate this question may be "easily answered by some reference book", if so, please (A) tell me the book and (B) close the question. (I'm afraid I couldn't find anything.)

asked Sep 10 '14 at 12:04
mLu2E.jpg?s=32&g=1
Fattie
9,79622251
  • 2
    The switch from ditchwater to dishwater is very likely to have been in speech, since they sound very much alike. So it's going to be undocumented. (Although you might be able to figure out roughly when and where the switch happened.) – Peter Shor Sep 10 '14 at 12:12

Hmm, kind of like when people say "If you think that, you've got another thing coming!"  , while I believe the original expression is "If you think that, you've got another think coming !"

"Thing" and "think" sound so much alike.

And then there's "Music soothes the savage beast", when it's actually "Music soothes the savage breast" . But anyway it's actually "Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast". But, just like "ditchwater" and "dishwater", and "thing" and "think", one can see why people would believe it was "savage beast", which makes as much sense as "savage breast".

Apropos of nothing:  I cannot and do not pretend to be a knowledgeable person, whether we're talking film noir or commonly used quotations and expressions  (or anything else, for that matter). So I will freely admit I am often wrong. And I was wrong about "music hath charms to soothe a savage breast"  (perhaps it would be better to say "a savage beast's breast", then we'd be covering all our bases.)

Anyway, I thought it was from "Twelfth Night", but no, it's from William Congreve's obscure play , "The Mourning Bride". Who knew?  Pas moi. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  On 6/18/2018 at 9:04 PM, musicalnovelty said:

I too was surprised and disappointed that he said that about Lizabeth Scott. Here I was agreeing with and enjoying  his post-movie comments, until the crack "nobody would accuse her of being a good actress" (or whatever the direct quote was). If he had said "great actress" maybe I would not have objected as much, but I think she was always "good" to very good in everything. I have never had any problem with her performances in everything I've seen her in.

No one would also accuse Muller of having any real background as a film critic or as a knowledgeable movie viewer per se, so it is not surprising that he just gives his off the cuff impressions of films and actors for his monologues. "Surprise, surprise" as Casey Anthony would say. Go to any of his seminars and ask him an unrehearsed question about classic movies and you will find he has no real background knowledge of movies and probably doesn't know the difference between Ann Sothern and Anne of Green Gables, when it comes right down to it. He obviously researchs films online before commenting hence does not give off an aura of really being sponge worthy about movies in general or actors and their careers ostensibly.

I AGREE WITH YOUR ASSaSeMENT OF EDDIE. I cannot call him a film historian. I believe he is selling his product to people who do not know better.  Noir is a new invention to what was called Crime Dramas during the 40s and 50s. It has a far more sexy connotation to call it  that than a crime drama.  Don't get me wrong, Noir is a lot of fun. It cannot be taken seriously. The best noirs have good acting to boot.  Powell was a lightweight throughout his career. Though, I like him in MURDER MY SWEET.

ABOUT LIZBETH SCOTT ,SHE WAS GOOD IN OTHER NOIRS SUCH AS THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

Hmm, kind of like when people say "If you think that, you've got another thing coming!"  , while I believe the original expression is "If you think that, you've got another think coming !"

"Thing" and "think" sound so much alike.

And then there's "Music soothes the savage beast", when it's actually Music soothes the savage breast" . But anyway it's actually "Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast". But, just like "ditchwater" and "dishwater", and "thing" and "think", one can see why people would believe it was "savage beast", which makes as much sense as "savage breast".

Apropos of nothing:  I cannot and do not pretend to be a knowledgeable person, whether we're talking film noir or commonly used quotations and expressions  (or anything else, for that matter). So I will freely admit I am often wrong. And I was wrong about "music hath charms to soothe a savage breast"  (perhaps it would be better to say "a savage beast's breast", then we'd be covering all our bases.)

Anyway, I thought it was from "Twelfth Night", but no, it's from William Congreve's obscure play , "The Mourning Bride". Who knew?  Pas moi. 

I always said "If you think that, you've got another thing coming!" when I was a kid, because as you say, it did truly sound like that. Same as the "savage beast" confusion with "savage breast". I only learned the correct versions probably around age twenty, when I became interested in the origination of certain slang terminology and sayings, and had a few books detailing such. Sometimes one has heard a phrase for years, without ever looking it up, and then they learn accidentally its origins, for example just yesterday I heard the saying "A thing of beauty is a joy forever" was from Keats, which I had not known even though the saying was so familiar. I guess we learn new things daily, which is fun since knowing it all might be a bit boring. I am not familiar with Congreve's play "The Mourning Bride" but now find I want to research it, so thanks for this new tidbit to explore, Miss Wonderly. Learning new words or the true meaning of old words is always so entertaining and rewarding I feel and I enjoyed your post.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

Apropos of nothing:  I cannot and do not pretend to be a knowledgeable person, whether we're talking film noir or commonly used quotations and expressions  (or anything else, for that matter). So I will freely admit I am often wrong.

And so you share faults that we all have and are quite an interesting human bean.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/7/2018 at 6:52 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

i was visited by the Angel of Migraines Saturday night and missed Eddie's comments, but I'll go out on a limbsy here and say it: I THINK "THE LETTER" (1940) is a film noir.

I mean, c'mon:

Shadows. Night. THE MOON. Palm fronds. The dripdripdrip of sap from a rubber tree into the bucket.a gunshot. Another. Another.Another.Another.Another. Click. click. click. Smoking barrel. WINDCHIMES. Shadows. Curtains. Blind slits. "AM I SO EVIL?" MILE WIDE EYES. MORE SHADOWS! MAX STEINER SWOOPS IN WITH THAT MARVELOUS MANIC DEPRESSIVE SCORE FOR STRINGS!MORE SHADOWS! MORE WINDCHIMES! MORE PALM FRONDS!BLACKMAIL! MURDER! "there is in existence a letter...""WITH ALL MY HEART, I STILL LOVE THE MAN I KILLED!"

NIGHT. THE GARDEN. THE MOON. ORCHIDS.

A KNIFE.

(if that ain't film noir, I dunno what is.)

 

 

*****out 5

I love it when you do this.

//

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, CaveGirl said:

Powell is dull as ditchwater, Vautrin. But Muller continually overpraises and overrates this routine film. One would think he has some personal attachment to its theme and I will say Muller looks a bit like a second string Dick Powell. Maybe this is the noir that Muller relates most to, hence he can't get it out of his head. Often one is drawn to films which relate to one's own life, and many men live lives of quiet boredom even if they are on television and touting less than Swank-y cufflinks and wine continually.

I seriously doubt that the fascinating Lizbeth Scott would go for either Powell or Muller, since she likes to drive her speedboat faster than ten miles per hour and would find both inducing somnambulance daily. No surprise, since Eddie thinks Jane Wyatt could be a femme fatale which is like saying Miss Jane from the Beverly Hillbillies could give Ava Gardner a run for her money in the allure category. These noir lover men who write the books and herd up old stars for their own aggrandizement at festivals, are just like the men in the noir movies they adore, lame-o and as interesting as watching wallpaper peel off in some dump boarding house!

By the way, Freddie boy as Walter Neff was as sexless as Jane Wyatt but at least he could play an instrument. Next time I'll tell you what I really think though...so excuse my reticence.

Yeah, despite trying so hard, Powell never made much of an impression on me as a

tough guy, mainly because he looks like a medium wind could knock him over. He's okay,

but no big deal. This isn't because of the contrast between his noir roles and his earlier

persona as the grinning boy next door in musicals since I've never seen many of the latter.

There is likely a noir fantasy where instead of being the handsome good guy with a lot of

spending dough, it's one of lowlifes who swill booze, crack wise, and slap the women around

just for fun. Hey, whatever gets your motor running. I think Fred is a bit more sexy than

Powell if only because Barbara Stanwyck can't help but lend him a little bit of hers. Right

to the end of the line.

I think Eddie was talking about this Saturday's movie where Jane Wyatt plays a femme fatale.

We'll see. IMHO dishwater is duller than ditchwater. You can never be sure what you'll find

in ditchwater, whereas you pretty well know about the contents of cold dishwater.

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

Yeah, despite trying so hard, Powell never made much of an impression on me as a

tough guy, mainly because he looks like a medium wind could knock him over. He's okay,

but no big deal. This isn't because of the contrast between his noir roles and his earlier

persona as the grinning boy next door in musicals since I've never seen many of the latter.

There is likely a noir fantasy where instead of being the handsome good guy with a lot of

spending dough, it's one of lowlifes who swill booze, crack wise, and slap the women around

just for fun. Hey, whatever gets your motor running. I think Fred is a bit more sexy than

Powell if only because Barbara Stanwyck can't help but lend him a little bit of hers. Right

to the end of the line.

I think Eddie was talking about this Saturday's movie where Jane Wyatt plays a femme fatale.

We'll see. IMHO dishwater is duller than ditchwater. You can never be sure what you'll find

in ditchwater, whereas you pretty well know about the contents of cold dishwater.

 

Normally Babs has sex appeal to spare, but with that horrid wig which looks like it was made for George Washington, as Billy Wilder mentioned, I find her appearance in the film a bit disturbing. Her acting was on target though throughout. Yeah, Muller was talking about this week's film "The Man Who Cheated Himself". I probably could never imagine good old Margaret Anderson from "Father Knows Best" show as a femme fatale, even if she was hitting on Robert Mitchum. She is just way too much a stiff, straight-laced looking New England type of woman. Attractive, yes...sexy, no!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CaveGirl said:

Normally Babs has sex appeal to spare, but with that horrid wig which looks like it was made for George Washington, as Billy Wilder mentioned, I find her appearance in the film a bit disturbing. Her acting was on target though throughout. Yeah, Muller was talking about this week's film "The Man Who Cheated Himself". I probably could never imagine good old Margaret Anderson from "Father Knows Best" show as a femme fatale, even if she was hitting on Robert Mitchum. She is just way too much a stiff, straight-laced looking New England type of woman. Attractive, yes...sexy, no!

Even with the awful wig I find her fairly sexy. Maybe it's the anklet that Walter hones in

on. And stepdaughter Lola was easy on the eyes. I always got a laugh out of her boyfriend's

name, Nino Zachetti. Mobbed up? No way.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Powell's "boringness" is actually his appeal.  I agree that Murder My Sweet is a better movie with a better script (in which he shines) but Pitfall does have its charms and he holds it together.  And man, is Burr a terrific bad guy.  Considering how often he was cast this way, it's sometimes amazing to me that he was so completely rehabilitated as good guy Perry Mason. I still remember than "knowing smile" he did in one version of the open to the TV show!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, overeasy said:

I think Powell's "boringness" is actually his appeal.  I agree that Murder My Sweet is a better movie with a better script (in which he shines) but Pitfall does have its charms and he holds it together.  And man, is Burr a terrific bad guy.  Considering how often he was cast this way, it's sometimes amazing to me that he was so completely rehabilitated as good guy Perry Mason. I still remember than "knowing smile" he did in one version of the open to the TV show!

Yes, Burr is incredible as both a "heavy" and as a courtroom star. I used to always watch the opening credits for exactly that moment you refer to, as his "knowing smile" as he sat at the table, as he just is so great when he rolls those eyes around and actually appears to be thinking. It would make me wonder, if he thinking about Natalie Wood, with whom he was supposed to have flirted or is it more likely that he's dreaming about someone like Ray Danton or George Nader. After reading all about some of the possibly misleading stories given out by him regarding marriages and dead spouses, one does wonder. I finally had to buy the "Perry Mason" boxed set as I was getting tired having to wake up early just to see the opening credits daily for the series. As for Powell being "boring" as I said, mostly I see that about him in only this film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just starting watching Perry Mason on DirecTV 323. It's now the 1962-1963

season where Perry sits alone in the courtroom at the defense table and has that

smile on his face. Who can blame him. He knows he's going to beat ol' Hamilton

for the umpteenth time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us