Another birthday for most handsome George, Happy 107, Georgie

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Well, before I start singing Tantalizing George’s praises I want to provide a link to a delightful youtube tribute to most Virile George. The photos are great and the song so wonderfully expresses one’s feelings for Glamorous George through all the years. As years go by Seductive George continues to fascinate.

This is a difficult post to write because I don’t think it can be as good as his last birthday post. How can one top Elegant George’s description of his arrival on this lucky Earth! I guess I will just ramble on in a sort of a “free association”.

I don’t have any information about what Charming George did on his birthdays, or if he even paid any attention to them. If anybody out there has some information I would love to hear it. I suspect if Delightful George were here to celebrate his birthday with us he would love to be out on his boat. I know you saw the very happy look on his face in the slideshow photos of a most captivating “Captain George”. I know I would love to be out on the water with him! That brings to mind the scene in “Appointment In Berlin” in which Handsome George looks so very happy as he steers the speedboat and Lucky Marguerite has the opportunity to fall against his side–what a thrill that must have been for her!

I saw on television the other night that the oldest man in the world had died at 116 years of age. The guy was nine years old when our George was born! Well, we know that Darling George was very unhappy the last years of his life so he never would have wanted to make it to 116.

Although Hunky George was born a tad earlier than I , we do have some similarities in our birthdays: George was born on a Tuesday at 6 am and I was born on a Tuesday at 5:30 am. As you know “Tuesday’s child is full of grace” and Suave George was definitely that.

As I have said MANY times before: there is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be a man as handsome, sexy, desirable, brilliant, witty, and talented as the inimitable, irreplaceable George Henry Sanders. The song “Unforgettable” as sung by Nat “King” Cole could have been written to describe Bewitching George. The lyrics are perfect for him. I would love to hear George sing “Unforgettable” with his beautiful voice. I probably would faint!

Well, one last bit of my musings. I have an article that George wrote for the April 1961 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. The article is “There’s a Lot To Like About Women” and it is written in George’s usual witty, eloquent style. What struck me most about the article was the last sentence where George writes “After all, we live in a hard, cruel world, and the softest and most endearing thing to be found in it still remains a woman”. This should put to rest any thought that George was a woman hater. It is also revealing that he should refer to the world as “a hard, cruel world”.

I will end this post as I did George’s birthday post last year: I hope all of you will join me in toasting George with a dry vodka martini on his 107 Birthday on Wednesday, July 3rd! Cheers, George, and the “best of British luck” to you!
We love you and we miss you!

George’s career as a screen detective, part 5, “The Saint In Palm Springs”

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At long last here is the promised post to complete the discussion of Glamorous George as The Saint.

RKO released “The Saint in Palm Springs” in early 1941. Comely George had just begun to  have his hair cut shorter and with a part on the right.  It is SO short you can barely see his pretty curls! :-(  I believe this is the first movie Lovely George filmed after he introduced the “new look” of his hair because in the other films released in 1941 his hair was slightly longer. Check out  Rage in Heaven,   Man Hunt,   Sundown,  and  The Gay Falcon  and you will see.  In Palm Springs if you look closely at Dazzling George (and who wouldn’t :-D ) in some scenes you can see his cute little cowlick.

I was curious to see if Palm Springs really was the first Handsome George film released in 1941 so I checked the release dates  for all the 1941 films and I AM correct.  Palm Springs , which was filmed from 1 October 1940 to 11 November  1940, was released on 24 January  1941,  Rage on 7  March 1941, Man Hunt on 13 June 1941, Gay Falcon on 24 October 1941, and Sundown on 31 October 1941.

In addition to the plot synopsis on the IMDb, to which I referred you  in the link above,  there is a very nice overview presented on the Turner Classic Movies database.  Also, TCM has an article about Saint George and Palm Springs, presumably because the movie will be airing on TCM in December.  Charteris described The Saint as being  “imperturbable, debonair [and] preposterously handsome”. Certainly Stunningly Handsome George was made for the part because this description fits him perfectly–particularly the preposterously handsome part!

Wendy Barrie appears again as Alluring George’s love interest  in this her third Saint movie.  Lucky girl!!  However, poor Wendy does not get a kiss in this movie but  watch for the scene in which Seductive George, after he and Wendy  have dinner, woos her on the patio.  It is a yummy scene.  See if you don’t agree with me.

We only see Inspector Fernack  (Jonathan Hale)  briefly at the beginning of the film when he explains to George how he needs The Saint’s help.(note that Fernack seems to have grown some new hair–no wait, he is wearing a hairpiece :-) )  It seems that Fernack’s old war buddy, Chris Johnson, from WWI, who had saved Fernack’s life, now needs Fernack’s assistance.   Chris had used his personal fortune to purchase three very rare Guiana penny stamps and had his brother, Peter, smuggle them out of the country to bring to the United States and deliver to Chris’ daughter, Elna (played by Wendy),  in California.  Two attempts had been made on Peter’s life since his arrival in the US and Fernack wants The Saint to escort the Peter and the stamps to California to give to  Elna.  Saint George is reluctant until Fernack tells him about the murder attempts.  Intrigued by the adventurous aspects of the situation, and smelling a whiff of danger, Intrepid George agrees to undertake the mission.

Good-Looking George arrives at Peter’s hotel room.  After some discussion Peter goes to the bedroom safe to retrieve the stamps, leaving Pulchritudinous George sitting on the sofa in the living room.  While getting the stamps Peter is shot to death and the villian enters through the window to be met by Corageous George. They engage in fisticuffs but the villian escapes.  Fernack is called in and Fearless George leaves to deliver the  stamps to Elna in Palm Springs.

In the scenes setting up the plot we get to see Dapper George in his new, white trench coat, in which he looks darling.  I know it is new because  I take careful note of coats that Fashionable George wears and this is the earliest movie in which he wears this particular coat.  You also can tell that it is new because in the scene with Peter at the hotel George has a little difficulty removing the coat because it is somewhat tight, as new coats tend to be.   We see this coat again in later movies such as Rage In Heaven Appointment In Berlin ,  and Lured.

Paul Guilfoyle   makes his second appearance as Pearly Gates.  This time Pearly is the house detective at the Palm Springs hotel where George and Margaret Forbes, whose acquaintance Charming George cultivated on the train trip to Palm Springs– well,  you know George’s fondness for lovely women– are staying.  Margaret Forbes ( Linda Hayes) is actually an agent from the country from which the stamps were smuggled and is intent on getting them from Gorgeous George.  The murderer of Peter is  staying at the hotel with his gang and is also seeking the stamps.   I won’t go into further details about the plot but will simply say that the stamps are stolen from George but, of course, he recovers them and delivers them to Elna, whose heart has been stolen by Enticing George.   Naturally, she is left watching sadly as Sexy George rides out of her life.

Palm Springs is a fun movie to watch.  It is such a pleasure to see George having a good time, riding a bike, riding a horse, and playing tennis.  George  soundly trounces  Wendy on the tennis court, and SHE is a tennis teacher.  Well, she was probably so mesmerized by Sinfully Handsome George that she was unable to watch the correct ball.  :-)  I sure would have been!  George is gorgeous in his tennis outfit with that nice white t-shirt that shows clearly what glorious shoulders George has!  And Statuesque George’s  legs are so long that he just steps over the tennis net. What a Man!

Well, enough about The Saint.  I wll be writing some posts about The Falcon series soon, but first I have some thoughts for two other, possibly shorter, posts.  The restored version of  Journey to Italy  will be shown at the National Gallery of Art Theatre  here in Washington on Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14.  Naturally I will be going to both showings.  The movie was restored by  L’Immagine ritrovata, Bologna  , in collaboration with CSC—Cineteca Nazionale, Rome .  I am hoping the restored version will be released on dvd in the near future.  I have sent an email to a press officer at CSC—Cineteca Nazionale, Rome  asking if they plan to do so.

Also I have found out that Journey  was shown at the Cannes Film Festival   last May.

Anyway, all this has inspired me to write a post discussing this movie and the first movie George made with Ingrid, Rage In Heaven , in 1941.  The second post will be one about the movies featuring European George with the buzz cut.

 

George’s career as a screen detective, part 3, “The Saint’s Double Trouble”

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The first Saint film that George made in 1940,“The Saint’s Double Trouble” , was filmed from November to late December 1939 and released on 26 January 1940.   I love all of George’s Saint films but I think this is my favorite for two reasons: (1) George plays a dual role so he is on the screen almost all the time (which is a visual delight), and (2) in my opinion George is his most handsome self in late 1939 and 1940.  The movie is also intriguing because  Bela Lugosi has a role and it is not as Dracula!  Interestingly, in 1947 George  made a non-Saint film “Lured”  in which another movie monster actor, Boris Karloff, aka Frankenstein, was featured.

“The Saint’s Double Trouble” is the first Saint film which wasn’t based directly on one of Leslie Charteris’ novels. However, Charteris did contribute to the developing of the story for the film. The second Saint film which George made in 1940, “The Saint Takes Over” (which I will discuss in my next post), was also not based on one of the novels.  In this film Saint George, master criminal turned crime-fighter, also plays the role of his doppelganger, Duke Bates, who has smuggled some diamonds into the U.S.  One of members of Bates’ “gang” , “”The Partner”,  played by Lugosi had cleverly concealed the diamonds in a mummy encased in a coffin. The mummy was sent to Professor Bitts who was a sort of mentor of Saint George’s when George was in college and to whom Saint George had promised to send the best specimen of a mummy he could find.  A note in the coffin tells Professor Bitts that the mummy comes from Saint George who is making good on his promise.  Consequently when the smuggled diamonds are discovered and several murders are perpetrated Saint George is blamed.  Saint George has his hands full proving his own innocence and getting the diamonds back.  Of course, he does accomplish this task beautifully and also regains the love of Professor Bitt’s daughter. You will see another familiar cast member of The Saint series in the film since Inspector Fernack (Jonathan Hale) is on vacation and visiting the Police Department in Philadelphis where the story is set.  You can find a more detailed overview of the plot at Turner Classic Movies.

Sorry not to have added “live links” to this post, but I wanted to publish it before I go on holiday tomorrow.   I wish George were here to enjoy the holidays with his dedicated fans.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah,  Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year to all you George fans!

How did she know George??

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Before I publish the post “George as the “Consummate Cad”, Part III, I want to share something with you. I had occasion to be reading a translation of some of the ancient Greek poet  Sappho’s (circa 630 B.C.)  poetry yesterday and I came across what I think is a very intriguing poem. I read it and I thought “how did she know George”?  I am going to offer to you two translations of  Sappho’s poem number 31.  See if you can figure out how she knew about George’s effect on women. Remember that these are fragments that have been discovered over time.  The  first translation is that of Anne Carson found on page 63 in her book “If Not Winter” (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002). The second translation is that of Willis Barnstone on page 73 of his book “Sweetbitter Love: Poems of Sappho” (Boston and London: Shambhala, 2006).  I have printed in italics the parts that I think voice the female response to George.  

He seems to me equal to gods that man 
whoever he is who opposite  you
sits and listens
close
to  your sweet speaking
 and lovely laughting–oh it
puts the heart in my chest on wings
for when I look at you, even a moment, no speaking
is left in me
no: tongue breaks and thin
fire is racing under skin
and in eyes no sight and drumming
fills ears
and cold sweat holds me and shaking
grips me all,  greener than grass
I am and dead—or almost
I seem to me.

SECOND TRANSLATION 

To me he seems equal to gods,
the man who sits facing you
and hears you near as you speak and laugh
in a sweet echo that jolts
the heart in my ribs. Now
when I look at you a moment
my voice is empty
and can say nothing as my tongue
cracks and slender fire races
under my skin. My eyes are dead
to light, my ears
pound, and sweat pours over me.
I convulse, greener than grass
and feel my mind slip as I go
close to death.

This poem seems to me so lovely and, from my perspective, so relevant to George that I had to post it. I hope you enjoyed it.  I prefer the Carson translation myself.
I have embroidered this post with a slide show of a few, a very few, of what I find to be particularly handsome photos of George at different ages. There are many more equally handsome ones that I had to leave out…

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