Saturday, 19 February 2011

Eric Blore (1887-1959)

From the quiet charm of Felix Bressart to the utter ham of Eric Blore. If you love Fred and Ginger then you've sat through an awful lot of Mr Blore. If your tastes run to Preston Sturges, then ditto. If you wanted a hammy comic English butler in the 1930s, Eric Blore was close to the top of your list. The thing about Mr Blore is that all too often he turns up in truly wonderful films, and to be honest he isn't the most wonderful thing in them. Well it's tough competing with Fred and Ginger on song in Top Hat, or Barbara Stanwyck seducing Henry Fonda in The Lady Eve. I will admit that sometimes I tire of his antics. He has dated a bit. Or is that a lot? But every now and again, he redeems himself. For me, it's the scene of the phone call in Shall We Dance. He plays the concierge of the swanky hotel where Fred and Ginger are staying, with the rather fabulous name of Cecil Flintridge. The plot is clearly ridiculous and not that memorable - as always for Fred and Ginger - but somehow Mr Flintridge has got himself arrested and is now phoning from the police station to get himself out. What follows is an absurd sequence in which he tries to explain just where he is by spelling out the name of the station (Susquehannah street)... and more.

Annoyingly I can't find a clip of this for you, so you will have to please yourself with this one, also featuring another ham of the same era, Everett Edward Horton (more I should imagine on him in due course).

Eric Blore's biography on Wikipedia (read about his death - great comic timing!) and listing on IMDb
Top Hat (1935)
Shall We Dance (1937)
The Lady Eve (1941)

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