Friday, October 29, 2010

Irving Bacon - The Early Years

In my post about Blondie, I mentioned a bit player named Irving Bacon (1893 - 1965).  With 515 titles listed on IMDb, I thought he was worth a closer look.

Bacon started working in silent films, and made almost 70 films at the Mack Sennett Studios.  While many silent movie stars had difficulty moving into sound films due to heavy accents or poor voices, Irving Bacon flourished.  By that time, though, he had found his niche playing "regular Joe" parts as milkmen, mailmen, carnival workers, etc., which he continued for most of his career.

In 1933 Bacon worked with Bing Crosby (1903 - 1977) and Franklin Pangborn (1889 - 1958) in one of the last Mack Sennett (1880 - 1960) films, a 19 minute short called Sing, Bing, Sing.  He made ten more films with Bing, including Holiday Inn (1942)

Irving worked with many of the early greats.  He made 9 movies with W.C. Fields (1880 - 1946).  He is in 12 Frank Capra (1897 - 1991) films, including some early silent shorts.  Look for Bacon in It Happened One Night (1934) with Clark Gable (1901 - 1960) and Claudette Colbert (1903 - 1996), and also in the 1930s he was in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and You Can't Take it With You (1938). 

I can't seem to get out of the 1930s!!  Just two more...A Star is Born and Topper, both in 1937...oh, and Blondie (1938) of course.  (Actually, several Blondies in the 1930s.)  Whew!  And I can't forget Gone With the Wind (1939).

1940 starts with His Girl Friday and The Grapes of Wrath, plus 25 other movies that year.  This is going to be a long post!  Let's cover the war years and come back tomorrow.

Just to quickly touch on some highlights:
The Return of Frank James (1940) with Henry Fonda (1905 - 1982)
Barnacle Bill (1941) with Wallace Beery (1885 - 1949)
Great Guns (1941) with Laurel and Hardy
King of the Cowboys (1943) with Roy Rogers (1911 - 1998)
Action in the North Atlantic (1943) with Humphrey Bogart (1899 - 1957)
This is the Army (1943) with Lt. Ronald Regan (1911 - 2004) which was really a George Murphy (1902 - 1992) film, but Regan is on the cover.
Spellbound (1945) by Alfred Hitchcock.

Pick ANYTHING above that is in bold, and watch it!  You will not be disappointed.

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