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Shills, Plants, Stooges and Denizens of the Deep


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I know I don't even have to go outside this message board to find some, but it might be nice to reflect upon the great ones that the movies have given us.

 

Now I think I first noticed this kind of behaviour in a W.C. Fields' movie, where he might have been trying to sell some patent medicine to the crowd, and had a plant in the audience to tout it.

 

Touting things that are basically not that wonderful or need a strong selling approach has been used for years in the US, and even today we can find one right in our milieu I bet.

 

The word goes back to the early 1900's and probably came from some kind of carny talk, like rube but no one is sure.

 

Name your favorite movie shill or even message board shill, and I will be eternally grateful.

 

As for denizens of the deep, well...it's your call.

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I've decided that since I usually enjoy talking to myself that I would answer my own post.

 

So, here's my answer:

 

Why yes, Cave Girl I would like to volunteer my favorite movie about such and it is "The Hucksters".

 

Here's the synopsis from IMDB:
 

The Hucksters (1947)
Approved |  1h 55min | DramaComedyRomance | 27 August 1947 (USA)
MV5BMTIwNjQxNDM2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMjM2
A World War II veteran wants to return to advertising on his own terms, but finds it difficult to be successful and maintain his integrity.

 

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CaveGirl--Favorite denizens of the deep--"War-Gods of the Deep" (1965), starring Vincent Price.

 

Favorite shill--Kay Thompson, who dictates womens fashions ("Think Pink") and just happens to sing and dance, in "Funny Face" (1957).

Well, you are just a film aesthete also, FL as anyone who knows a lot about Kay Thompson is sine qua non in my book.

 

Didn't she also teach Garland how to hold herself and give a pose while singing. Up to Kay's intervention Judy would appear to be a bit perplexed but from then on she looked so stylish in her moves onscreen.

 

"Think pink" is a motto to live by!

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I'd say Burt in this particular role here just might very well fit the criteria of your thread's premise, CG...

elmergantry32.jpg

 

 

Oh, and then of course in a more lighthearted vein, there's always Mr. Preston here in his signature role...

tumblr_nova2e70tr1trkd46o1_500.jpg

 

(...that is unless you REALLY were talkin' more about the character's that assist these two fast-talkin' charlatans in their endeavors...and so then in the first case you'd maybe have Jean Simmons' Sister Sharon Falconer, and in the latter you'd have Buddy Hackett's Marcellus Washburn)

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I'd say Burt in this particular role here just might very well fit the criteria of your thread's premise, CG...

elmergantry32.jpg

 

 

Oh, and then of course in a more lighthearted vein, there's always Mr. Preston here in his signature role...

tumblr_nova2e70tr1trkd46o1_500.jpg

Marvelous additions, good buddy!

 

Thanks for adding to the fun.

 

I totally forgot that "House of Games" might qualify also as a movie about shills in a way.

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Marvelous additions, good buddy!

 

Thanks for adding to the fun.

 

I totally forgot that "House of Games" might qualify also as a movie about shills in a way.

 

Wow...weird. RIGHT after I posted that, HOUSE OF GAMES came to my mind TOO!!!

 

And I thought of Ricky Jay and Mike Nussbaum assisting Joe Mantegna in his conning of Lindsay Crouse.

 

(...what's that they say about "great minds"?!!!) ;)

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Wow...weird. RIGHT after I posted that, HOUSE OF GAMES came to my mind TOO!!!

 

And I thought of Ricky Jay and Mike Nussbaum assisting Joe Mantegna in his conning of Lindsay Crouse.

 

(...what's that they say about "great minds"?!!!) ;)

All followers of Julius Marx are great, Dargo!

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All followers of Julius Marx are great, Dargo!

 

LOL

 

HEY! Speakin' o' which...

 

Groucho HIMSELF often played variations on the confidence man role, ya know.

 

(...I mean, doing his best at keeping the information that he was really a veterinarian and not an M.D. from Margaret Dumont and Sig Ruman at the Standish Sanitarium was no mean feat in that flick about horse racing, ya know!!!)

 

;)

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I find: I Sell Anything (1934) an interesting movie of this type. Pat O'Brien is fast-talking salesman who uses shills. The main plot of the movie is that he becomes involved with others who are better at his game than he is. I know this movie has been on: TCM.

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I'd say Burt in this particular role here just might very well fit the criteria of your thread's premise, CG...

elmergantry32.jpg

 

 

 

 

Good one.  And this reminds me of Burt Lancaster's earlier turn in 1956's The Rainmaker, where his character came across a bit "shill-ish" in relation to his self-described talent.  That film certainly gave him an opportunity to perfect the Level One Sales Technique of holding one's head upward and in earnest--eyes closed, arm positioning and bible optional--which later, as you so clearly display, came in handy for Elmer Gantry.

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