Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Snappy Pre-Code Dialogue Is Always in Fashion

I've been amusing myself at Film Forum's Breadlines and Champagne series this week but regret not having brought a notebook to any of the shows. What use is all that fabulous, snappy pre-code yammering if it slides out of my grasp as soon as I hear it? So from now on I'll not only jot the stuff down, I'll transcribe it, too, since the only thing worse than my memory is my handwriting.

A few dillies from last night's Warren William letch-fest:

Employee's Entrance (1933)

William's cold-hearted department-store boss gets a number of good lines off, but my favorite is this exchange with local hussy, Polly:

Kurt: When did YOU develop principles?
Polly: Oh, I saved a couple out of the crash.

Skyscraper Souls (1932)

A jeweler and a clothing model with loose morals are in a crowd of people buying bank stock. While pressed up against the broker's counter, the following exchange occurs:

Jake:You shouldn't gamble.
Jenny: No? But what are you doing here?
Jake: Well, I can afford it. I'm established;
I'm in a very old business.
Jenny: Yeah? Well, so am I.

(Update: I just remembered my dream! I was trying to draw Loretta Young's face. I remembered just now when I looked at her eyes and eyebrows and realized I was trying to draw those perfect arches in my sleep. Also: why doesn't *my* hair do that?)

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