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CaveGirl

The Man-Child Persona in Movies

61 posts in this topic

5 minutes ago, MerryPickford said:

 

Pickford had many types of "characters" she played. Much like Chaplin had the little tramp, Pickford had "the little tomboy girl", "the slavey" or simply "ingenue". She played the type, even getting creative and building oversized sets. She developed a very strong pathos and intimate connection in her teenage characters that became incredibly impressive even though her audience knew she was in her 20s. 

Great post! Thanks for your insights. 

I had read somewhere she was supposed to do a version of Alice in Wonderland but decided she was too old to be convincing in the role. So at some point she "aged out."

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6 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Great post! Thanks for your insights. 

I had read somewhere she was supposed to do a version of Alice in Wonderland but decided she was too old to be convincing in the role. So at some point she "aged out."

Correct. During the early 1930s, Pickford held a great admiration for Disney and wanted to work with Walt on some innovative projects he was toying with. One of them was a feature length movie based on the Lewis Carroll whimsical novel that would combine live-action elements with animated elements. There are actual test photos that still exist of Pickford dressed as Alice next to a Mickey Mouse doll. Ultimately the test shots indicated that Pickford would not be able to pull off another ingenue role no matter how much she dressed the part. The project ended up being scraped by Disney and eventually he did create feature length films that combined those elements together. Disney's Alice in Wonderland ended up being just a full animated film. Pickford ended up retiring from acting after Secrets(1933) but continued producing pictures until the 1950s. 

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Correct. During the early 1930s, Pickford held a great admiration for Disney and wanted to work with Walt on some innovative projects he was toying with. One of them was a feature length movie based on the Lewis Carroll whimsical novel that would combine live-action elements with animated elements. There are actual test photos that still exist of Pickford dressed as Alice next to a Mickey Mouse doll. Ultimately the test shots indicated that Pickford would not be able to pull off another ingenue role no matter how much she dressed the part. The project ended up being scraped by Disney and eventually he did create feature length films that combined those elements together. Disney's Alice in Wonderland ended up being just a full animated film. Pickford ended up retiring from acting after Secrets(1933) but continued producing pictures until the 1950s. 

Darn, beat me to it--

Also, by that time in '33, Paramount had optioned the popular Broadway production for their all-star disaster, so there was no hope of anyone else doing a version.

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2 minutes ago, MerryPickford said:

Correct. During the early 1930s, Pickford held a great admiration for Disney and wanted to work with Walt on some innovative projects he was toying with. One of them was a feature length movie based on the Lewis Carroll whimsical novel that would combine live-action elements with animated elements. There are actual test photos that still exist of Pickford dressed as Alice next to a Mickey Mouse doll. Ultimately the test shots indicated that Pickford would not be able to pull off another ingenue role no matter how much she dressed the part. The project ended up being scraped by Disney and eventually he did create feature length films that combined those elements together. Disney's Alice in Wonderland ended up being just a full animated film. Pickford ended up retiring from acting after Secrets(1933) but continued producing pictures until the 1950s. 

And we should also mention, around this time, Paramount did a live action version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND...with 29 year-old Charlotte Henry in the title role.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_in_Wonderland_(1933_film)

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Getting back to the topic at hand, maybe we can say Jack Oakie & Roscoe Karns' characters in ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1933) were of the man-child variety:

Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 3.24.51 PM.jpg

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4 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Getting back to the topic at hand, maybe we can say Jack Oakie & Roscoe Karns' characters in ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1933) were of the man-child variety:

Eww...  ?

The Trying-to-be-Tenniel makeup (which worked better on the stage than in closeup) was but one reason why Paramount's movie was an early studio-crippler.  The script's complete at-sea unfamiliarity with Lewis Carroll was another.

5 hours ago, TopBilled said:

The baby voice was probably chosen by Radner because of the letters in Walters' name, which were fun to mispronounce. But she still could have mimicked and caricatured Walters without the baby voice. 

Barbara Walters' hints of a non-rhotic impediment was a comic-target trademark all over TV in the 70's--with or without Radner, we still today joke about "If you were a twee, what kind of twee would you be?"--and that she was NBC's most "prestige" news star at the time made her an even richer biting-the-hand-that-feeds SNL fodder.

It wasn't "baby talk", it was just more in-house NBC heckling, like Dan Aykroyd's Tom Snyder imitation.

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23 hours ago, TopBilled said:

CG, 

Who is the source for this? I'm curious to know more about the author you are quoting. Did this come from wiki, or from somewhere else?

Obviously I don't agree with the first line which I put in bold.

Hey, TB!

I have no idea where I got that write-up, but shall try to refind it.

It was not that I totally believe the article's validity, but it seemed to express my original belief that the one big difference between the "Man-Child" persona versus the "Woman-Child" one is that the term is used much more pejoratively in the male version. For example, one might say the character played by Yvette Mimieux in "Light in the Piazza" was a Woman-Child but she would still be seen as a much more appealing person than a character like some played by Jerry Lewis or Adam Sandler. I think women are allowed to be childlike and it is acceptable, much more than when the qualities are in a male. Just my take though, and I did think characters you mentioned like Baby Snooks actually are on the same strata as a Jim Carrey or other Man-Child in their motifs.

Will try to find the original article I ripped it off from...

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