Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Happy Birthday To The Urbane, Sophisticated, Ever-Suave William Powell
July 29, the birthday of "The It Girl" Clara Bow and winsome comedienne Thelma Todd is also the natal anniversary of yet another all-time movie great: William Powell (1892-1984).
The versatile actor was the embodiment of S.S. Van Dyne's Philo Vance, as well as Dashiell Hammett's sophisticate-sleuth Nick Charles.
The unsophisticated, the not-very-bright, the functionally illiterate, the reality-TV addicts and the signature 21st century "attention span of a gnat on crystal meth" crowd do not know what they are missing. . . nor will they, ever.
Remarkably, in all the years of this blog, there has not been an "And This Blog Loves William Powell & Myrna Loy" post.
Well, we do love them and that is quite an oversight!
We dig Nick & Nora Charles the most - they know how to live!
The Powell and Loy magic extends to all their non-Thin Man movies as well. Class + willingness to make oneself look ridiculous = comedy gold.
William Powell could ace drama, mysteries or comedy, no problem - all with aplomb.
Here he is, taking a pratfall worthy of Roscoe Arbuckle in Libeled Lady.
One of this blogger's favorite movies and all-time favorite William Powell turns is the title role of My Man Godfrey, directed by Gregory LaCava.
As 1930's movie buffs know very well, it is a film packed with stellar work by Powell, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick, Eugene Pallette and especially Carole Lombard.
Powell's performance as a former Boston blueblood literally hurled into the gutter by life setbacks, heartbreak, hard times and especially the bottle - and going incognito as manservant to the goofy, exceptionally eccentric Bullock family - is thoughtful and affecting.
This calls for a few more trailers and clips from great movies featuring memorable William Powell performances.
Bear in mind, I did not even get to One Way Passage, I Love You Again, Love Crazy and The Senator Was Indiscreet!
Thanks to actor and showman William "Philo" Powell for making our lives a better place, in your heydey and now. Cheers!