Friday, May 16, 2014

I’m Tired
Madeline Kahn
in Blazing Saddles (1986)


  1. Isn't that what the lady said, Thersites?

  2. Never cared for the film. The humor is just too heavy handed and obvious to be very funny.

    Not much of a satire of the great Dietrich.

  3. No question that Brookes always went too far, Ducky, and thus got in his own light. His work shows a lack of elegance, discipline and restraint verging far into the realm of Bad Taste. However the musical "production numbers" featured in both The Producers and Blazing Saddles stand on their own as great satire of the genres they so brilliantly ape.

    Does the Marlenesque spoof go too far? Yes, of course, but only at the very end, and by that time most of us normal people, still capable of enjoying ourselves, are laughing too hard to care.

    Besides, like so many of his tribe, Brookes's stock-in-trade was making flamboyant, excessive, unabashed exhibitions of Bad Taste -- i.e. doing on screen what no decent, respectable, well-bred, socially acceptable person would ever dare dream of doing in real life.

    He built a highly lucrative career on just that premise.

    I will not tolerate denigration of Madeline Kahn, who was a fine actress, an excellent singer, and one of the great comic geniuses of all time. She had a rare combination of beauty, sensitivity, wit, a wonderful voice, and great heart. The last showed in her appearances with The Muppets and MisteRogers, where she related to children in ways most touching, and in Paper Moon, where like Joan Crawford before her in The Women, she evoked empathy and even some admiration in her portrayal of a low-class, immoral, highly unsympathetic character.

    Medeline Kahn's death of cancer at the tender age of 57 was a tragedy. I felt the same about Judy Holliday -- another bright, beautiful, multi-talented comedienne -- and her untimely demise from the same disease.

    Both women had an uncanny ability to transcend the inherent limits of their material. I guess that's what makes a true star.

  4. Kahn was a capable actress but hitching your star to a hack like Brooks (Dietrich was wise to choose von Sternberg) inevitably cheapens that talent.

    It would have been interesting to see her in better dramatic roles.

  5. "Ah, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found thee!!!" §;-D

    Yes! Unforgettable, though vulgar as Elvls lewdly masturbating his guitar, thrusting his sequined hips and grinding his pelvis at underaged girls -- only HE wasn't FUNNY.

  6. It may well have been that Von Sternberg chose Marlene and not the other way 'round, Ducky.

    The Blue Angel is a very powerful film, but it disgusts me. To see a figure like Emil Jannings' portrayal of the stuffy old professor helplessly caught un the trap of lust so late in life, and his subsequent destruction through sadistic, ritualized public humiliation is ine of the most depressing, painfully degrading spectacles I've ever witnessed. Unforgettable to be sure.

    It was really Jannings' film. The very young Dietrich was little more than a prop really.

    I always enjoyed Dietrich, but -- for me -- the best thing she ever did was early in her career when she played a brave, magnificently dignified Russian noblewoman caught in the throes of the 1917 Revolution. I saw this at a very young age on TV, and it made an indelible impression on me. I "got it" right away. It had about the the ring of truth , and I have never doubted how evil Communism really is since seeing that film at te tender age of nine or ten.

    Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the film, bt could pick it out of Dietrich filmography.

    It's never shown anymore, since the media became so besotted with Marxism. Yu would hate it it, of course,

  7. Knight without Armor, FT.

    Odd about Jannings, he was terrific at getting humiliated. Myself, excepting the scabbed on studio ending, I think The Last Laugh is even more devastating.

    Still wish Kahn had taken more scripts like Paper Moon.

  8. Like the lady says: "Everything below the waste is kaput". Enough to make anybody tired I'd say.

  9. A little follow-up on the
    P.K. Subban kerfuffle, if you please.

    How about those big bad Bruins now, Beantowners.

  10. Say what you will, the Bruins are a great organization. This year they just couldn't seem to pull it together against Montreal. Sloppy play.

    They'll be back. Next year is a good bet.

  11. The Bruins have likely peaked since they can be beaten by faster skating teams that aren't intimidated by their goon tactics.

    Anyway Heeeere's Milan Lucic:"I'm Going to fucking kill you..."

    Keepin' it classy ...

  12. Goon tactics? Oh that's right, they must be goons, their a team from liberal Boston.

    Next year...

  13. I wish the fair Madeline K. had had better opportunities to, Ducky. Show Business is notorious for wasting great talent n pitiful projects. Look what happened to Brando and Burton among many others.

    Maureen O'Hara was well trained in classical theater in Dubln (I think?), and she had a perfectly beautiful singing voice. Not many know that, because Hollywood never gave her a chance to use it.

    She desperately wanted to play Mrs Anna in the King and I, and tried to buy the rights to it, but was outbid, so we got stuck with Marnie Nixon dubbing in for Deborah Kerr.

    Don't get me wrong. I adored Deborah Kerr, and she played Mrs. Anna very well, but I think Hollywood should have made more of an effort to find an actress who could sing. I dislike fakery.

    I would love to have heard O'Hara do it. She was another whose talented was largely wasted.

  14. Waylon, I'm not sure I understand all that, and what it might have to do with Madeline Kahn's brilliant take off on Dietrich, but okay.

    I offered this, because very frankly I AM tired -- VERY tired --, and after steeping ourselves in the rank, lugubrious atmosphere of contemporary politics too long and to no avail, I thought we all needed a good laugh.

  15. FT, it was just a play on the word in the clip which was "waist" at least in the complete context of it. Just trying to be "punny".

    As for the hockey reference there's no deep inference to it. Just trying to get a response from Ducky ... calling it another "cheap shot" or something.

  16. I see. Thank you, Waylin. As I said, "I'm TIRED, oh so TIRED" especially in the the Upper Storey. Addressing the issues that plague the nation -- and the world -- has rendered my poor, fevered brain KAPUT. ;-)

  17. FT,
    I wouldn't say that your brain is kaput. Rather, it's exhausted because of the futility of addressing the issues. Strange responses appear -- or no responses.

  18. I came to the conclusion some time ago that it's an impossible task to change anybody's thinking on certain things, if that is the goal. I believe it's possible to encourage others to expand their knowledge if evidence is presented at some point others may change their own perceptions if they can see they are being "hoodwinked and garroted" by malicious malingerers.

    So in that vein to consider before administering a shot of novocaine for the brain—"In The Shadow of Hermes"

    It's a documentary by an Estonian man in Swedish with English subtitles. There's a lot of history European, American and Russian contained in it. Not everyone has to agree but it's something that will definitely make people think and perhaps understand some of the important questions of the day.

    Sorry to see you throwing in the towel. I've enjoyed visiting your blog when I was able.

  19. Waylon @ FT,
    Sorry to see you throwing in the towel.


  20. KAPUT?

    Thank God. You won't be missed, you racist fascist creep. I hope you do a Hitler, and blow your brains out.



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