OK, it’s officially Cartoon Week. This one’s from 1938, three years into the swing era. The music is decidedly different from 1932’s “Freddy The Freshman.” — CC
It’s inevitable that things wind down at the end of the week, but to devolve into Cartoon Week? Sheesh….
On the plus side, it may be a short week. I did some extensive googling for collegiate-themed animated shorts from the ’30s, but couldn’t actually find anything. Suggestions appreciated. Were there any Madison Avenue spoofs? — CC
All those holiday cartoons are for kids. This one’s for college men.
Does this man look guilty to you? Does it look like he’s hiding something?
In fact he is: he has fastened only the top button on his three-button jacket.
Pictured above is Tyrone Power from the fantastic 1957 Billy Wilder film “Witness For The Prosecution,” which features an incredible performance by Charles Laughton as a celebrated barrister who takes one final case, defending Power’s character from the charges of murder.
The film is set in London, but Power plays an American who stayed in Europe after the war. To sartorially separate him from his environment, Power is dressed in an Ivy-cut herringbone sportcoat. It features a hook vent, so likely not Brooks, correct? J. Press? Norman Hilton?
Regardless, I’ve no idea if it was the idea of the actor, director or costumer, but when Power first shows up on screen to plead innocence of the charges against him, his jacket is buttoned in this odd fashion, visually sending a signal to even the least clothes-observant audience member that something is slightly off. Call it a 3/1 roll, and for Power, the “roll” of a lifetime.
“Witness For The Prosecution” is currently available from Netflix streaming and is well worth a view. — CHRISTIAN CHENSOVLD
Tonight the SyFy channel debuts a new series called “Ascension,” inspired by the JFK administration’s Project Orion. The premise is that in 1963 a group of men, women and children were launched into space as part of a secret government program. Now it’s 50 years later, and they’re suddenly questioning the truth behind their mission. Meanwhile, the changes that has taken place back on earth have completely eluded them.
It’s a fun idea to play with.
So let’s say you’d been gone since the Ivy heyday — in space, on a desert island, in a coma — and came crashing back to present reality:
In the 1984 prepsloitation movie “Making The Grade,” protagonist Eddie gets invited to a black-tie event. To learn how to properly deport himself, he and two of his prep-school buddies study Cary Grant, the master of looking cool and elegant in a dinner jacket.
The entire movie is up on YouTube, so you can sneak glimpses of your favorite scene while at your workstation, or watch it on your mobile device while waiting at the dentist’s office. If you haven’t seeen it, it’s worth a few chuckles, and, like “The Official Preppy Handbook,” is an important social document of the ’80s preppy trend. The Cary Grant scene starts at 42:42. — CC