Monday, October 29, 2012

Pocket notebook sighting

[Dana Andrews and notebook.]

State Fair (dir. Walter Lang, 1945) is corny, goofy, and — I cannot tell a lie — delightful. With six Rodgers and Hammerstein songs, three love stories (two human, one porcine), and two judgings (mincemeat and pickles), there’s something for each member of the family to enjoy.

Another delight: seeing Dana Andrews in the role of the Iowa newspaperman Pat Gilbert. For me, Andrews will always be Mark McPherson, the detective who falls in love with a painting in Otto Preminger’s Laura (1944), and Fred Derry, the bombardier haunted by the horrors of war in William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). Pat Gilbert is no McPherson or Derry: he seems to be a regular guy who rides the rides and joins in on “It’s a Grand Night for Singing.” But since he’s played by Dana Andrews, I can’t help thinking that Gilbert is in truth a tormented soul working hard to pass for well-adjusted. Thus a value-added viewing experience. Intertextuality FTW.

The little six-ring notebook seen above used to be everywhere. I can’t remember the last time I saw one being used in real life.

More notebook sightings
Angels with Dirty Faces : Cat People : Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne : Extras : Journal d’un curé de campagne : The House on 92nd Street : The Lodger : Murder, Inc. : The Mystery of the Wax Museum : The Palm Beach Story : Pickpocket : Pickup on South Street : Quai des Orfèvres : Railroaded! : Red-Headed Woman : Rififi : The Sopranos : Spellbound : T-Men : Union Station

comments: 3

Adair said...

There was something so deep about Dana Andrews in his best roles. To Laura and Best Years of Our Lives, I would add Fallen Angel, where he plays a smooth-talking con-man running away from failure and a dark past. From the opening scene on the Greyhound bus, you're hooked by this penniless, mysterious character, slick on the outside but obviously full of inner-torment and passion. Few actors have ever moved me as much as Dana Andrews---only the Mitchum of Out of the Past comes close.

Adair said...

I forgot to mention---I love the red edges of the notebook paper. Mead still makes these little notebooks, out of vinyl, but the paper lacks that beautiful red fringe.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Adair. Fallen Angel has been on my Netflix list for a long time — “long wait,” it says, but worth waiting for.