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ON HIATUS ... or something like that

Michael Cortiz teaser

      

My blog posts for ONE WAY STREET will be missing in action as I attempt to complete my biography of Michael Curtiz in 2014.

 

Best Regards,

 

Alan

 

 

ONE WAY STREET

Alan's sporadic takes on Film Noir and other aspects of pop culture

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Posted by on in Actors and Actresses
  No actor exemplified the downtrodden film noir schlemiel better than Percy Helton. If his hunched frame and marsupial-like features weren’t enough to convince audiences of his servile timidity, there was always the unique Helton voice which made his screen characterizations permanently distinctive. Never was a vocal inflection more perfectly suited to a performer. Percy Helton uttered his lines with a breathy vocal lilt akin to the sigh of an exhausted calliope. When alarmed or threatened- a frequent occurrence- he reached a higher octave reminiscent of a damaged ukulele. Even though the diminutive performer seemed to be specifically constructed as a mid-century urban whipping boy, Helton’s thespian roots dated back to the nineteenth century. He made his stage debut in 1896 with his vaudevillian father, Alf Helton, at the Tony Pastor Theatre on 14th Street in New York City. Percy Helton was two years old. At age eleven, he appeared with...
robinson helton
©Alan K. Rode

Posted by on in Commentary
  Watching Horror and Science Fiction movies from the 1950’s is a serendipitous journey back to my boyhood. Yes, Virginia, before film noir, I was a Monster Kid. Growing up in the greater New York metro area during the pre-cable and video era, I feasted on scary fare shown during weekend evenings on WPIX-11’s Chiller Theatre, WOR-TV-9, Supernatural Theatre and Million Dollar Movie and WNEW, Channel 5’s Creature Features. This trailer may bring back some fond memories for 1960's era denizens of the N.Y./N.J. metro area. In retrospect, a lot of these films can’t endure the slightest critical scrutiny, yet I retain a soft spot for many of them: She-Demons, The Cyclops (featuring the worst special effects in movie history), The Hideous Sun Demon, (made by RKO contract actor Robert Clarke and some film students for about $1.50), Indestructible Man (a mute Chaney Jr. running amuck through mid 20th century downtown...
creature features
©Alan K. Rode
  WELCOME! THRICE WELCOME ALL -Behind these curtains, tightly drawnAre Brother Masquers, tried and true,Who have labored diligently, to bring to youA Night of Mirth - and mirth ‘twill be,But, mark you well, although no text we preachA little lesson, well defined, respectfully, we’d teachThe lesson is this: Throughout this Life,No matter what befall-The best thing in this troubled worldIs LAUGHTER, after all-And that’s the slogan of our club -From cradle days to shroudIt brings the sunshine back againAnd drives away the cloudSo - now, tonight, let joy be yoursLet LAUGHTER ring out clear!I pray - be not too critical, in judgment, too severe!These are all our pals we’re here to see,There shafts of wit have zest! But should theyTouch a tender spot, remember - ‘Tis a Jest!...And, as you leave our house tonight,Midst Music, LAUGHTER, Din,Remember, friends our slogan -We laugh- WE LAUGH TO WIN! The Masquers Creed - Harry...
©Alan K. Rode