12 April 2007

thinking abt Snub

when you give yr whole life to yr art you suffer ups & downs. last year's headliner in unemployment line. poet with dozens of books gets rejection from a kid. painter of the year disappears from the art mags.

disappearance can be tricky. is the lost poet still churning out some epic? does yesterday's painter have an attic of art waiting discovery? but what abt movie stars? hard for them to disappear. o sure..... there are the classic stories of Wanda Hawley becoming a prostitute & Veronica Lake being discoverd as a waitress. & then there are those who don't leave Hollywood & who keep working even if it means becoming an extra.

an entry or so ago I mentiond Snub Pollard. he was an important silent screen comic. second tier but nonetheless important.

he workd in films for half a century. there are silent films in which he had top billing. & then there are appearances in such classics as "All About Eve" & "Singin' in the Rain" in which you can't look down at yr popcorn box or you miss him.

last nite he was on TCM again. the film was Wellman's "Stingaree." I endured Irene Dunne's singing just for those few moments of Snub. he's always a joy to see. somewhere between silent stardom & mid-century bits Pollard did a batch of cheap westerns. in the late 30s he was Tex Ritter's sidekick PeeWee. he always brought presence to a role. I suspect Snub was a favorite of filmmakers. in the last decade of his life he appeard under direction of Chaplin   Fuller   Brando   Capra.

I love movies. but sometimes I'm heartbroken watching them. every time I see a forgotten star standing in a crowd scene I can come close to tears. & seeing Snub Pollard can do that to me. often I think I'm the last one alive to remember some of these names. but Snub recently got some justice. there was a film series in NYC calld "Forgotten Clowns Ride Again." & sure enuf there was an evening which had just a few of his more than 450 film credits. I wish I cd've been there. I know it wd've been laughs mixd with tears but I wd've been on my feet cheering for a movie star who was finally back on the marquee.

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