Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eddie Borden and Friends

Welcome to my 20th post on this new blog.  The counter has been advancing, and I have contacted some of my acquaintances to get their input.  Everyone seems to be pleased with what they see and I hope you are as well.  Please contact me with your thoughts at any time.

One person I have e-mailed is Scott MacGillivray.  Scott is the Grand Sheik of the Boston Brats tent of the Sons of the Desert.  I met Scott back in 1986 at our convention in Valley Forge, PA.  He is a writer and has several interesting books to his credit, not the least of which is about the later films of L&H, and has recently been revised.  It is available at the picture/link to the left.

Scott has also written a book on Gloria Jean, Gloria Jean: A Little Bit of Heaven, and an incredible catalog called Castle Films: A Hobbyist's Guide...remember Castle Films?!  I had quite a collection of 3 minute, drastically edited horror films on 8mm when I was a boy!

When Scott read this blog he suggested I take a look at the stars he highlights on his web site.  I came across Eddie Borden (1888 - 1955), who appeared in several Laurel and Hardy films.  Eddie did much more than that!

Borden came from a vaudeville background and according to IMDB, appeared in 141 films.  He was never a big star, so he fits in here very well.  In addition to four L&H films, he was in two Marx Brothers films, Flying Down to Rio with Fred and Ginger, State Fair in 1945, Broadway Melody of 1938 (take a look at the cast list for that film!), Buffalo Bill in 1944, and he worked with such great stars as Sidney Greenstreet, Robert Mitchum, Ida Lupino, Dana Andrews, Joel McCrea, Maureen O'Hara, and the list goes on and on.

To quote Scott, "He made small but telling contributions to the films he appeared in..." and I couldn't agree more.  It appears that his characters, especially in later films, didn't have names.  He was a civilian in the food line, a horse race spectator, a hotel clerk, a comic with a banjo, a poker player or the elevator operator at the penthouse.  It would be difficult to write his resume and make it sound good, but just look at some of his films.

Make sure you find a way to see these films if you can.  They are loads of fun, and a great way to spend a holiday weekend.  Have a nice one!

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