Search the Western Clippings Site

An Interview With…
        - Archives

Will "Sugarfoot" Hutchins
    - 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
    - December 2009
    - 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

AUGUST 2016

Howdy Foks! I remember the good ol’ days of the Academy Awards. At the ‘32 Oscars, Wallace Beery and Fredric March tied for Best Actor. They both took home golden statuettes. Beery for “The Champ”, March for “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. Before the ceremonies Beery was all afret. He went to a Cockney fortune teller. “Will I win?” he asked. She looked deep and long into her crystal ball. Finally, she said, “Guvnor, beware the ‘yde of March!” They really oughta lose the Best Song category. Where’s Irving, Cole, Hoagy, Harold, Jerome, Richard-and-Lorenz, Richard-and-Oscar II? They’re all gone, gone with the woodwinds.

Met a charming chap t’other day in line at the post office. He uses a computer to write music for the movies. He can’t imagine how Mozart wrote all those symphonies on all those bulky scrolls, pens a’drippin’. “What about Beet-hoven?” I asked. “How could he tell if his stuff was any good?” I told him that I miss the haunting love themes of yore: “Wuthering Heights”, “Laura”, “Somewhere in Time”, “City Lights”, (fill in your favorite).” “Hmmmm,” he said, “I just might give ‘er a go!”

Movies today are geared toward the young. (That’s where the money is.) They are concept-driven, they are rife with ear-splitting devastation of every stripe. Look! Here come the hero and heroine, running at us for dear life, a mammoth explosion and conflagration in their wake. By comparison, the burning of Atlanta was a hot foot. Back in the day, movies were family-oriented, story-driven. Mitchum said, “In movies, the story is king. Always has been.” Critic Jon Ruskin wrote, “The work of the artist is to be two-fold only: To see, to feel.” I, too, want to see, to feel. What we have here is sorta the numbing-down of America. So, I turn on TCM—“Dark Victory” (‘39). Every time Bette Davis goes upstairs to her bedroom to die, and the music swells, I’m like Pavlov’s dog—I blubber. Every time! Babs hates this.

Long ago, when I worked at Warner Bros.; I got no respect. In the early a-yawn, bleary-eyed, I’d show up on the set. Script girl Mae Wales would announce my arrival with bombast—“Fooger Shoot!” “Meshuga Foot!” Stu Luther up in Elmira, NY, calls me “Honey Heels” and “Syrup Soles”. Hmmmm. Anyhow!

"A Place in the Sun"--Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift.Sometimes the script called for Sugarfoot’s getting the audience to feel that he was feeling some sorta emotion, maybe something a tad deeper than the bliss of Swiggin’ a shot of sarsaparilla—with a dash o’ cherry. I’d resort to filmflammery. Before the director hollered “Action!” I’d think about the love theme from “A Place in the Sun” and the final scene between Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. I’m a sucker for farewell scenes. This is one of the great ones. This is one of the great love stories. Liz comes to visit Monty in his Death Row cell. He has a rendezvous with Old Sparky. Time is up. Liz starts to go. She stops and turns—with all the love and sorrow in the world mirrored in those ultra violet eyes, she says, “We always seem to be saying goodbye.” And then, a smile, a sigh, a shrug—and she goes. Pardon me, while I gather myself.

Joseph Mankeiwicz.Somewhere in time, Babs and I sat in the Motion Picture Academy theatre for a tribute to Joseph Mankiewicz (Biggest turn-out since Mae West gave a talk there on stage in her boudoir set, in her neg+ligee, baby blue and pink lighting, harkening back to those halcyon days of the queens of burlesque). Gregory Peck paid his respects. Ditto Roddy McDowell and Vincent Price. Mankiewicz, himself, spoke. Then, the Jewel of the Nile, La Liz, made her grand entrance amid applause and ahhhs. Suddenly, I noticed four weirdoes facing the audience, standing against the wall adjoining the stage. Scary gargoyles. “Bodyguards,” said Babs. I said, “More like goombas in a police line-up. Ah, fuhgeddaboudit! Let’s go!” “No!!” We were in a captive audience. No one escaped.

Ah, Hollyweird! I never got the hang of it. So many unspoken laws of survival. Let’s say you’re struttin’ down Rodeo road in Beverly Hills, feelin’ finer than frog hair. Hey! Here comes good old Charlie Werkle! Years before, you met at the unemployment office. You joined forces. All aboard the ship of success, laffin’ and scratchin’. Good buddies, evermore! You stand waiting, arms spread, a warm grin. Charlie is just back from Europe. He worked on a Croation-Swiss-Turkish production, “Nov Shmor Kapop”. You? You are between jobs. Might as well be Claude Rains, sans dark glasses, sans gauze, sans clothes. Good old Charlie Werkle looks right thru you, passin’ on by, nary a word. Someone ought to write a book: Subtect City—The Game of Hollywood. The rules of their game make Chess look like Tiddly Winks.

       —Adios