25 February 2010

rod in a towel

my poem "In the Beginning" begins
    Richard Barthelmess wearing a barrel
    Rod LaRocque a towel
    William Haines with his trousers down

I'm referring to images in Daniel Blum's A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen -- a volume as important to my development as any work of literature. & of that trio of images the most memorable is that of LaRocque.

Rod LaRocque had the sexy kind of name Henry Willson creatd. however the actor predates Willson & that's his real name. he had a significant career in silent films. with talkies he was leading man to Joan Crawford & Barbara Stanwyck in some of their earliest features before drifting into supporting roles. his career came to an end in the Capra classic "Meet John Doe."

this still is from "The Cruise of the Jasper B." I finally saw it at the 1979 Cinecon in NYC. but I had no clear memory of it so when I saw Grapevine Video had it on DVD I orderd a copy. it's a minor film with a silly script (partially written by a young Tay Garnett). the only cast member to challenge the star is the wonderful Snitz Edwards with his pliable face. but the film belongs to LaRocque who spends its entirity wearing as little as possible.

so after decades of that still in my mind it was thrilling to see it come to life again.


cinemage books said...

Yes that large film book was also important to me in my youth, the picture of aldo ray in his bathing suit did it for me at 11 & 12.

cinemage books said...

Oh my I was talking about Blum's large pictorial history of the talkies I guess that was the title wasn't it. Had no interest in silent films as a kid.

AlexG said...

yes Daniel Blum did 2 volumes. one on silents then one on talkies. I loved them both. & of course that Aldo Ray picture did it for many of us.

Stephen said...

Rodrique la Rocque de la Rour was quite an eyefull...he always got my full attention.