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Smarmy Not Marmee


CaveGirl
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Though I don't like smarmy men in real life, in the movies, I adore them since it really is all about good acting and being able to portray such creeps.

 

For some reason, I never think of the word "smarmy" as pertaining to women, though I suppose it could. But thinking about Marmee from "Little Women" made me think that if she married a man named Smarmy, she would be Marmee Smarmy, which unfortunately made me think of this topic.

 

Even Stephen Foster was interested in depicting this type of man with his song "Way Down Upon the Smarmy River". I particularly like Roscoe Karns in "It Happened One Night" as Mr. Shapely and think he is rather smarmy. Having checked the definition I find that the word is not always about being sexually annoying, but could just refer to anyone and even Uriah Heep with this meaning below. Name your favorite smarmy movie person, male or female!:
 

smarm·y
ˈsmärmē/
adjective
informal
 
  1. ingratiating and wheedling in a way that is perceived as insincere or excessive.
    "a smarmy, unctuous reply"
    synonyms: unctuousingratiatingslickoilygreasyobsequioussycophantic,fawning
    informalslimysucky
    "his smarmy confessions make me sick"
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Jack Carson.

 

Pick your movie.

I love Jack Carson hitting on Judy Holliday in "Phffft" even though she's the wife of his best friend, Jack Lemmon.

 

His explanation of his "technique" with women, is definitely "smarmy" but it sure is fun to watch him work it.

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How's about...

 

Joseph Schildkraut in THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER...

 

the-shop-around-the-corner-william-tracy

 

(...good one, eh?!...I meant my pick, not his character...now THAT guy was "smarmy"!)

Sorry Dargo I can't agree with you on this one.

 

The most "smarmy" character in "The Shop Around the Corner" for me is definitely Pepi, as played by William Tracy.

 

Why he always has dates waiting around the corner, and I even think the wife of the boss, has hit on him when he delivers her medicine and shopping purchases.

 

I'm sure he grew up to be a real "smarmy" Lothario!

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Dan Duryea can be at times also.

 

Yes,  Dan can be smarmy but often he is a little more sinister.     His character in Manhandle fits the smarmy type especially how he treats his girlfriend,  Dorothy Lamour.     But when it comes to driving Dan does up the ante  (the most noir scene in the film).

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Yes,  Dan can be smarmy but often he is a little more sinister.     His character in Manhandle fits the smarmy type especially how he treats his girlfriend,  Dorothy Lamour.     But when it comes to driving Dan does up the ante  (the most noir scene in the film).

 

The application of smarmy can slide down to slimy when sinister is a part of it. I don't know about Dan in Manhandle but I think Sheldrake in The Apartment fits that.

 

Is there any distinction here separating those who are smarmy as a general personality trait, and those who are smarmy in the service of an obvious agenda. If so then it's kicking a dead horse. Someone mentioned Elmer Gantry and it is correct but smarminess goes so much with the territory of being a preacher in that instance. It loses its luster as a good example (to me). 

 

And yet being smarmy might be by definition deceptive or deceitful, otherwise why be smarmy.

 

:wacko:

 

=

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The application of smarmy can slide down to slimy when sinister is a part of it. I don't know about Dan in Manhandle but I think Sheldrake in The Apartment fits that.

 

Is there any distinction here separating those who are smarmy as a general personality trait, and those who are smarmy in the service of an obvious agenda. If so then it's kicking a dead horse. Someone mentioned Elmer Gantry and it is correct but smarminess goes so much with the territory of being a preacher in that instance. It loses its luster as a good example (to me). 

 

And yet being smarmy might be by definition deceptive or deceitful, otherwise why be smarmy.

 

:wacko:

 

=

 

Yep, laffite.

 

The definition of "smarmy" I was thinking of when I earlier brought up Joseph Schildkraut's role in THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER was the following definition I found on the online Merriam-Webster dictionary:

 

smarm·y
ˈsmärmē/
adjective
informal
 
  1. ingratiating and wheedling in a way that is perceived as insincere or excessive.
    "a smarmy, unctuous reply"
    synonyms: unctuousingratiatingslickoilygreasyobsequioussycophanticfawningMore
     
     

     

     

    And everyone who worked in that Budapest shop knew Schildkraut's character to act in just this manner. Well, everyone that is except the owner of the shop played by Frank Morgan, and then not until it was almost too late.

     

    (...and which now reminds me...CG, "smarmy" characters seldom become heroes, and if you remember, it was Pepi who saved Mr. Matischek's life who was driven to attempt suicide because of his discovery of Vada'(Schildkraut's) duplicitous manner in having an affair with Matuschek's wife...now THAT'S "smarmy"...and Pepi was just "cocky")

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