I’m going through an old movie binge on TCM. There is a series on the first sound movies and Ronald Colman is the star. I was interested in the legend that John Gilbert couldn’t make the transition to talkies because of his thin voice. That wasn’t the case. There were other issues including the fact that L.B. Mayer actually had the sound department raise the pitch of Gilbert’s voice to ruin his career because of a contract dispute.
Anyway, Colman’s voice was said to be remarkable and I remember mimics from radio days doing him as a spoof.
The film was BULLDOG DRUMMOND and seemed to be an unlikely role for an urbane personality like Ronald Colman. I think I may have mixed up BOSTON BLACKIE with BULLDOG DRUMMOND. Anyway, the film started in an English Gentlemen’s Club and I was blown away as the opening of the film was exactly like a commercial for Henry Weinhard’s Beer that I had filmed for Hal Riney. I mean EXACTLY!
Then I remembered that Hal had written a line for a continuing character in Blitz Weinhard commercial we had done earlier. The line was ‘well, now…’ with a specific interpretation that Hal wanted in each spot. The line was familiar to me and I wondered why?
Time goes by.
I’m watching one of my favorite westerns, MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, and toward the end of the movie, Walter Brennan, playing Old Man Clanton, says the precise line in the Hal way as the final gunfight is about to begin at the O. K. CORRAL.
I don’t think so. Picasso is said to have said, ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal.’
Hal was great.