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Boston Blackie's Rendezvous


Janet0312
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How did you like this one? I thought it was pretty good. Steve Cochoran was spooky as the strangler. And Chester Morris kills me.

 

When **** got up out of bed, he pulled a cigarette from his pajama top pocket. Wouldn't you think a pack of butts would get crushed in bed? How about that autographed picture of himself to Runt? LOL!

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I happened to catch a pretty fair bit of it yesterday.

 

I really thought this post would be about the extremely long, *extremely unfunny* blackface bit that Chester Morris and his assistant underwent to catch the killer, dressing as two tap-dancing, simple-minded, black scrubwomen- Morris was particularly *awful.*

 

I like the fact that TCM doesn't edit out racist content or pick and choose certain films based on how PC they are, but I wouldn't have minded *at all* if Boston ****'s Rendezvous had been left in the vault...in a very warm, wet place where hopefully the negative could deteriorate more rapidly.

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Dec 12, 2012 8:32 AM

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> {quote:title=Janet0312 wrote:}{quote}Oh, yeah, no doubt about it. The blackface bit was pretty tasteless as was **** and Runt sharing the same bedroom. *Definately squicky*. But I am always happy to watch Chester Morris and equally happy to see a rare film.

"Squicky"- nice.

 

Chester Morris was a good-looking guy, I don't know if his personal life was nuts or maybe he just didn't want to play the HOLLYWOOD game, but he is an interesting study of someone who started out the thirties gangbusters, but whose career ebbed drastically- much along the lines of Richards Dix and Barthelmess, although he was a FAR more natural actor than either of them.

 

I wish someone had told him to ease up on the jaw-clenching thing though.

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> {quote:title=AddisonDeWitless wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=PrinceSaliano wrote:}{quote}I haven't watched it yet but think it's silly to be offended by blackface in a 1945 movie.

> Check out the movie some day and let me know if you still feel that way when it's over.

That's the kind of attitude that kept the Charlie Chans films suppressed.

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Definitely not my favorite BB film, but I'm glad TCM ran it. I do wonder if the reason they didn't show it in release order, when the showed the other BB films is because of the blackface bit. I can tolerate that sort of thing in a film from that era, but it was pretty bad.

 

I've always thought there was a hint of gay in BB and Runt's relationship, but even without that, I don't think that two adults sharing a bedroom was so strange, especially back then.

 

My biggest problem with the film was the plot that had **** ready to tell Faraday the name of the strangler, because a woman's life was in danger, but then changing his mind, and NOT telling, after another woman was killed. That made no sense whatsoever, and made **** look dumb, or callous.

 

I did like the guy who played the strangler, though. He did a great job.

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I'm not sure why this one wasn't shown with the other Boston Blackies last year, but it could be because it had a darker tone due to the strangling madman versus the others that might have had murder in them but the root of the plot was some theft. I don't think the blackface routine had anything to do with TCM showing or not showing the film.

 

As for The Runt and **** living in the same place, I think that might have been a one time thing. I don't remember the series ever mentioning that they were roommates before or after. At first I thought they were out of town and staying in the same hotel room until Arthur showed up and I realized they were actually at home! Then I did think it was beyond strange that two grown men of means would be sleeping in twin beds in the same room rather than each of them having their own rooms. The autographed picture business turned what should have been a tense moment into a laugh-out-loud one for me. I mean two guys having autographed pictures of one another prominently displayed in their apartment/suite???

 

I guess these B films were shot so fast nobody had time for real editing. I saw one once - not a Boston **** - where a guy was sitting at his desk in his office with a picture of himself on the desk! Another laugh out loud moment.

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> {quote:title=ValentineXavier wrote:}{quote}I did like the guy who played the strangler, though. He did a great job.

Steve Cochran. Good-looking guy, lots of charisma, B-Level star, showed up in a bunch of film noirs - White Heat, The Damned Don't Cry!, Private Hell 36- and I'm often stumbling over him in all sorts of things where I wasn't expecting to see him.

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQBvEktBdyz8PSLDWiNIJN

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Dec 16, 2012 9:46 AM

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most of the blackface bits I have seen heretofore have been in the context of musicals and have been, mercifully, shorter than the one in BB's Rendezvous. this one bothered me for a lot of reasons, but I think the primary one would be that they obviously thought black people, well- people everywhere, but primarily black people were *stupid.* That's a sentiment I don't entirely see in blackface bits in other movies, among them Holiday Inn and the assorted schticks of Mickey Rooney and Al Jolson.

 

It also fatally detracted from the story and tone.

 

But really, I like that TCM still puts this stuff out there, it takes cajones in this era of uber-hyper-political correctness.

 

*Props to you guys for that.*

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> {quote:title=AddisonDeWitless wrote:}{quote}most of the blackface bits I have seen heretofore have been in the context of musicals and have been, mercifully, shorter than the one in BB's Rendezvous. this one bothered me for a lot of reasons, but I think the primary one would be that they obviously thought black people, well- people everywhere, but primarily black people were *stupid.* That's a sentiment I don't entirely see in blackface bits in other movies, among them Holiday Inn and the assorted schticks of Mickey Rooney and Al Jolson.

>

> It also fatally detracted from the story and tone.

>

> But really, I like that TCM still puts this stuff out there, it takes cajones in this era of uber-hyper-political correctness.

>

> *Props to you guys for that.*

I'd have to wonder then, why doesn't TCM show any of Al Jolson's films other than "The Jazz Singer" and then usually only during Oscar month? All of the blackface in Jolson's films is musical in context. In the past six years they have shown "Big Boy" once - during Kentucky Derby week a couple of years ago??? - and "Wonder Bar" once in June 2007 as part of the "screened out" festival they were doing.

 

Jolson is actually the reason Warner Brothers (TCM's parent company) went from a poverty row studio mainly known for its Rin Tin Tin silents in the 1920's to a major studio by the 1930's. Jolson also discovered and then gift wrapped James Cagney and Joan Blondell and handed them over to Warner Bros.

 

I think the exclusion of Jolson is PC in origin. Jolson is known for his blackface numbers where blackface is unexpected in a Boston **** movie - I know it surprised me. Maybe nobody at TCM even knew the blackface part of BB's Rendezvous existed until after it had been scheduled and played?

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I can live with the Morris bit, because Boston **** as a whole is one of my favorite series, and because the blackface he uses is a one time gimmick in the context of a B-movie. But Al Jolson is another story. I wouldn't want to see TCM zap his films for poliltical reasons, since he's undoubtedly an important figure in film history, but his entire schtick with the blackface and the "Mammy!" is possibly the most painfully *AWFUL* bit of "entertainment" that has ever been foisted off on the American filmgoing public.

 

And when I say *"AWFUL",* I'm thinking of Jerry Seinfeld's reaction to his newly-converted Jewish dentist who started rattling off one lame "Jewish" joke after another, each one worse than the last. Jerry was asked, "So this offends you as a Jew?", whereby he replied, "No. It offends me as a comedian." Along that line, Al Jolson may be the most offensive "entertainer" who ever walked the Earth, at least relative to his popularity and fame. He's even more dated than The Birth of a Nation, if such a thing is even possible.

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