Thursday, May 20, 2010

This is my Quest

About a year ago I was glancing through IMDB, as I do quite often, and I clicked on some bit actor's name to see what else he was in.  I wish I could remember who that was!  When I looked at his list of hundreds of movie parts, spanning decades, I thought to myself, this guy had quite a career!

As you know I was involved to a large degree in the Sons of the Desert.  That club is all about Laurel and Hardy and anything that is relevant to them.  There are probably hundreds of fan clubs out there for other actors, living and deceased.  You can even become a Trekker if you like "Star Trek."

There are probably classic film clubs, and silent film clubs that study and enjoy those films.  There may be dance groups who idolize Fred and Ginger, or Gene Kelly; and musicians who love the big Hollywood musicals; and they may have clubs.

As I looked at that list of movies, I thought that it would be fun to start a film club named after that actor.  His was a name that nobody would know, because he always played the cab driver or bartender, the man lighting a cigarette or ordering a drink, the elevator operator or the butler...the nameless part, played by an unknown actor or actress.  At our club meetings, every time that actor would come on the screen, even if it was only for 10 seconds...with no dialog, everyone would cheer!

BUT, he or she was in hundreds of movies.  Movies that appealed to all sorts of people who watch movies.  Maybe a club like that would attract a wide range of members who came to see their favorite kind of movie, but stayed to learn about what else was out there for their entertainment.  An interesting idea for a club, don't you think?

Here's an example, though maybe not the best.  My wife and I watched 1948's Easter Parade not too long ago, so I looked up the full cast.  A cab driver in the movie was played by Jimmy Dodd.  You probably remember that name from only 8 episodes of the Mickey Mouse Club from 1955 to 1957.  I sure do.

Dodd played in 89 parts from 1940 to 1955, when he went to work for Walt Disney.  He made all sorts of movies.  Westerns, mysteries, war movies, comedies, and he played cab drivers more than a few times.  I would love to see Hillbilly Blitzkrieg from 1942, complete with Snuffy Smith and Nazi spies.  He was also a composer, with hit tunes like the Mickey Mouse March.

Alas, Jimmy Dodd isn't the one I will name the club after.  His filmography is a bit short.  But it will be fun to continue my quest!  Write to me if you have a suggestion.

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