The Entertainer: Movies, Magic and My Father's Twentieth Century, Margaret Talbot, was at the AFI-Silver Saturday to introduce the pre-Code film Three on a Match, starring Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, Bette Davis, and Margaret's own father, Lyle.
The film is a terrific little example of a Warner Brothers-style pre-Code film, 63 lightning-quick minutes of gangsters, booze, drugs, fast women and actresses in their skivvies (here, Bette Davis rather than Joan Blondell, who must have been grateful to keep her clothes on for once). (By the way, it occurred to me, after watching Davis rolling on a pair of stockings on a screen thirty feet high, to do a Pre-Code Stocking Stuffers piece in a few days. I guarantee you, if you want to make Junior happy for the holidays, give him a couple of pre-Code movies—that'll keep him busy.)
Normally, I wouldn't pester someone at a public appearance, but since she actually dropped by the comment section and made me swear I would, well, what was I going to do? I'm as compulsively honest as Abe Lincoln and the only promise I've ever willingly broken is the one to finish writing this blog.
Not only was Margaret Talbot kind and gracious—not surprising, if you've read the book—but it also turns out she's a faithful reader of the Mythical Monkey!
dog, Angie, off whom I bounce ideas as we walk two miles in the morning and another two in the evening. She never comments, but I'll bet she knows more about silent movies than any other canine on the east coast.
I guess this means I need to start paying a bit more attention, huh. (Looking for a quick entree into the Mythical Monkey? Click here and here.)
For my part, you'll be glad to know that upon meeting Margaret, the Monkey was as smooth as a schoolboy who's just turned a corner and run headlong into the homecoming queen. "English second language my is! Also only language!"
Did I really used to litigate in federal court? No, you must mean two other Monkeys.
Of course we didn't have a camera, and my cellphone is so old, you have to crank a handle and ask for Sara at the switchboard, so I have photo-shopped the encounter for you. That's me on the left.
(Read the latest from Margaret Talbot, a piece for the Wall Street Journal, here.)