Freitag, 16. Dezember 2011

Let's watch.. ..The Great Rupert (1950)

In my last post I told you about one B-movie - here we have another - actually one of my favourites:


It’s Christmas eve. The Amendola family is awfully unsuccessful in show business and due to that very poor – but at least they now have found a home.

When Mama (Queenie Smith) prays to the lord for some help suddenly money starts falling from the ceiling. Now she can buy a beautiful Christmas tree, a fine meal and some new shoes for daughter Linda (Terry Moore). Papa (Jimmy Durante) is more than happy to be able to pay the rent for three months in advance to his closefisted landlord Mr. Dingle (Frank Orth).

Soon the Amendolas and the Dingles are celebrating Christmas together. All would be wonderful – when Peter Dingle (Tom Drake) wouldn’t get jealous of Phil (Chick Chandler) to whom Linda shows way too much interest in Pete’s opinion..

...And if it wasn’t actually the money of Mr. Dingle the Amendolas are spending: Mr. Dingle had hidden it between the walls of the Dingle’s and the Amendola’s residences – which happens to be the home of “the world greatest entertainer “ (so called by his manager): Rupert.

Just by the way: Rupert – who had just a short career before his manager (Jimmy Conlin) set him free - is a squirrel. He had of course to clean his home by throwing the money out when some rude person stuffed his home with it..

And Mr. Dingle is about to hide even more money in this place – where so much money seems to have room..

~ Swanky neighbours: Jimmy Durante and Rupert ~

Frankly – I don’t like animals being stuffed into fancy outfits – But I am very happy to tell you that most of Rupert’s costume (and dance) stunts were done by a Rupert dummy – in stop motion technique. These tricks are wonderfully done – well stop motion is just amazing.. In this special case is was done with the help of Academy Award winner George Pal.

In case you are (Mid-)European: Rupert is an Eastern Grey Squirrel - which means he is a native American – he is by that not of the red fur colour we are used to from "our" squirrels..

(With the help of wikipedia.org - thank you very much!:)

This is an Eastern Grey Squirrel:

And here we have an Eurasian Red Squirrel (one of those yours Irene just adores):

And it breaks my heart to think that “ours” are about to disappear – in favour of the much stronger American ones.. Evolution seems to be “Anti-red”.. ahem.. Yes, I am a bit worried about my beloved red furred friends.. Not that the American ones aren’t cute and all that – and of course I am wishing for them to have a long, happy live full of pleasure and with a happy and big family - I just want that for ALL kind of squirrels.

But back to the film:

It is also known as A CHRISTMAS WISH.

I really like Tom Drake – he seems to be the perfect boy next door. I am pretty sure most of you know him from MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) – where Judy Garland gave him a real good punch.. And Terry Moore – who I also like - looks indeed dashing in a sweater.. -and the shoes she wears here are for sure worth a look.. She later claimed that she didn’t see this film until over 30 years later – she was way too busy back then when the film was released – which was apparently about two years after filming was finished.

Jimmy Durante is – well.. just classic Jimmy Durante.. And I could believe that he would think of buying a polar bear rug/ radio if he had some money to spend.. He was quite late added to the cast – they even dropped Terry Moore’s name from first to second billing and altered the script for him.

Please watch out for Mrs. Dingle – it’s Sara Haden – who also appears in THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940)..

~well - isn't that a lovely sweater Terry Moore is wearing? Though Tom Drake doesn't seem to care too much.. ~

Again this film was colorized for the DVD release.. The result is quite nice – only thing bothering me is, that Tom Drake’s hair now and then seems to be of a yellowish-green colour.. Anyway: I think it is a nice thing to choose for yourself whether you like to see a film in b/w or in kitschy colours. Both do have their pros.

It’s a really lovely film to watch with the whole family. I didn’t try that actually – but I could imagine it has appeal for each age.. – maybe not for too young folks because there is one scene in which a very sensitive child – like yours truly still is – might be a bit too worried for Rupert’s life..

And now - just because I love them soo much - here you have another picture (from the same source like the others before) of a very young Eurasian Red Squirrel:

Hope you're enjoying the show!



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