Search the Western Clippings Site

An Interview With…
        - Archives

Will "Sugarfoot" Hutchins
    - September 2017
    - August 2017
    - July 2017
    - May 2017
    - April 2017
    - January 2017
    - December 2016
    - October 2016
    - September 2016
    - August 2016
    - July 2016
    - May 2016
    - March 2016
    - February 2016
    - January 2016
    - December 2015
    - November 2015
    - September 2015
    - August 2015
    - July 2015
    - May 2015
    - April 2015
    - March 2015
    - February 2015
    - January 2015
    - December 2014
    - November 2014
    - October 2014
    - September 2014
    - August 2014
    - July 2014
    - May 2014
    - April 2014
    - March 2014
    - February 2014
    - January 2014
    - December 2013
    - November 2013
    - October 2013
    - September 2013
    - August 2013
    - July 2013
    - June 2013
    - May 2013
    - April 2013
    - March 2013
    - February 2013
    - January 2013
    - December 2012
    - November 2012
    - October 2012
    - September 2012
    - August 2012
    - July 2012
    - June 2012
    - May 2012
    - April 2012
    - March 2012
    - February 2012
    - January 2012
    - December 2011
    - November 2011
    - October 2011
    - August 2011
    - July 2011
    - June 2011
    - May 2011
    - April 2011
    - March 2011
    - February 2011
    - January 2011
    - December 2010
    - November 2010
    - October 2010
    - September 2010
    - August 2010
    - July 2010
    - June 2010
    - May 2010
    - April 2010
    - March 2010
    - February 2010
    - January 2010
    - November 2009
    - October 2009
    - September 2009
    - August 2009
    - July 2009
    - June 2009
    - May 2009
    - April 2009
    - March 2009
    - February 2009
    - January 2009
    - December 2008
    - November 2008
    - September 2008
    - August 2008
    - June 2008
    - April 2008
    - March 2008
    - February 2008

Do You Remember?
    - Archives

Comic Book Cowboys
    - Archives

Westerns of...
    - Archives

Heavies and Characters
      - Archives

The Stuntmen - Neil Summers
    - Archives

Western Treasures
    - Archives

Circus Cowboys
    - Archives

Rangeland Elegance
    - Archives

Western Artifacts
    - Archives

Film Festival Fotos
    - Archives

Silent Western Reviews
    - Archives

Serial Report
    - Archives

Research & Consulting

Subscribe to Western Clippings

Other Western Links

COLLECTIBLES FOR SALE:

Western Clippings Back Issues

Serial Report Back Issues

Daily Comic Strips

Sunday Comic Strips

Books

Miscellaneous Collectibles

Lobby Cards

Laser Copies of Lobby Cards

Movie Posters

Home

NOVEMBER 2015

Howdy! A New Year is a-comin’! Every December 31st my liver begins to cringe.

What Ho! For the open highway—on a November to remember Babs and I drove to Southold on Long Island’s North Fork for a shoot—not a turkey shoot—a movie shoot. “The Romantics.” Book, script, direction by a magical lady, Galt Niederhoffer. I asked her if she remembered meeting me once in Cincinnati. “No,” she said, “I’ve never been to Cincinnati.” “Oh,” I said, “Must have been another Galt Niederhoffer.”

Will and Barbara Hutchins.Babs and I portrayed guests at an outdoor wedding at the Oldfield Vineyard, abutting the swirling Peconic Bay. ‘Twas colder than a teacher’s wit. Handsome Josh Duhamel was getting hitched to beautiful Anna Paquin, daughter of Candice Bergen. Elijah Wood and Katie Holmes were fellow shiverers. Watching off camera was visitor Tom Cruise, dandying baby Suri on his knee, a fringe benefit. Suddenly, rowboats pulled up. An army of paparazzi came ashore, set up camp, and shot us all day. They ran through more film than our cameramen.

The bearded preacher was a jolly Irishman, sporting his family shillelagh. I asked him if that was a rod or a staff to comfort us. He said it used to be a rod. Alas! Now it was just a staff.

The landscape–seascape ceremony was interrupted by a sudden downpour, courtesy of a big truck carrying ‘rain water’ and pipes, sending us all a’scurry. Most of us were not (repeat: not!) alerted to this dampening of our spirits. All of us got drenched. Babs was wearing snazzy duds. Later, she got on her cell phone and gave our agent what for— “You’ve heard of ‘Mad as a wet hen?’ Well, I’m mad as a wet Puerto Rican!” All of us wetbacks cheered her on.

Conversely, when Peter Cushing was young, he came to America for a spell and acted as one of Laurel and Hardy’s student-tormentors in “A Chump at Oxford.” The Brit bugabooers were required to get thoroughly soaked in Hal Roach’s famous dunking pool. “Cut! Print!” The cold and wet actors emerged from the un-heated water, only to be welcomed by Laurel and Hardy, all smiles, who presented them towels, coffee, donuts, and hearty handclasps.

The following week we worked nearby at a yacht club. Hoorah! We were sheltered, enclosed by canvas roof and walls. Very intents. We were seated at tables for the pre-wedding dindin. During the meal, members of the family and friends rose to the occasion and proffered toasts to Josh and Anna.

Now, years before, I tried out for the lead in the National Company of “How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”. I walked out onto a stage. All was dark, save for a puny glow from the required upright lamp. I sang “Everything’s Up To Date in Kansas City” with gestures. All was silent. Then, quietly, out front, “Thank you.” “How do I get out?” “Same way you came in.” Since then, I have a recurring dream—I’m opening tomorrow night in an outdoor production of “How to Succeed,” flying bugs and all. Una problema. I don’t know my lines, my songs, my blocking—It’s called “The Actor’s Nightmare.”

Now, here on “The Romantics” set, my dreams came true! I was Josh Duhamel’s foxy grandpa McDevon. I thought I was a silent witness to the proceedings. Rutt Roww! The cameras pointed to our table. Director Niederhoffer handed me some pages. I saw straight off that grandpa gave a toast, a rather x-rated toast. Words, words, words, and I’m slow of study. Good stuff! I prayed. “Please, Lord, don’t let me flub the dub.” We rehearsed. I had laryngitis from the previous week’s chill. I sounded like a Welsh coalminer. I rose and tapped my jigger of whiskey with a knife, shattering the glass. “Ooops!” got the first line ok. What’s next? Stalling for time, I brushed shards from the salmon-colored dress of the lady next to me. I plucked slivers from her hair. Old granddad was sloshed. I ad libbed, “I love your outfit. Makes me want to swim upstream.” I managed a take. Ms. Niederhoffer wanted more angles of the same speech. I gave her lots of choices, no two alike. I picked up a dinner roll. “I propose a toast!” Next, I toasted with a chunk of the broken glass. Next, I plum forgot a line, mid-toast. The show must go on! (Why?) I came up with, “I will now whistle and dance to the tune ‘Nola’.” Would have done ‘er, too, but grandson blared my bawdy line. I carried on. I could have gone over to Candice Bergen and sat on her lap. I could have moved my lips. Candice could have said my lines without moving hers. I could have sipped a glass of water as she spoke. Actor’s nightmare, indeed! Here was I blurting out one of the raunchiest wedding toasts in filmdom history to a tent full of strangers. Babs says I made ‘em laff, the crew applauded, the extras lauded. Galt Niederhoffer hugged me, my first ever hug from a director. My fate lies in the editing room, not on the floor, I hope. Seňor Scissors, please be kind. Babs says I had a small part—nonsense! I had a cameo~ there are no small parts. Only small dressing rooms.

All I know is what I read in WESTERN CLIPPINGS. I was happy to read in an issue that ol’ Sweet Toes is rated #42 in the Western Writers of America’s list of top 50 western TV shows. Happy to see that there is still a bunch of western writers out there.

The ghost of Hamlet’s father intoned, “List, list, o, list!” The American Film Institute loves lists: The 100 Best Flicks, The 100 Best Flick Music Scores, The 100 Funniest Comedies, etc. I love lists. Here’s a sampling of my 100 long-forgotten flicks (entire list on request); “Lassie Get Down” (UK title: “The Big Heist”); “Charlie Chan in the Wac’s Barracks”; “Preggers Sue Gets Married”; “The Haunted Outhouse”; “Abbott and Costello Meet the IRS”.

       —Adios