Saturday, January 5, 2008

I ain't yellow, I tell ya, except in the litter box.

Movie Madness, our local (and quite excellent) video store, has an Edward G. Robinson shelf. I'm telling you this because no one on the staff seems to know about it. Or at least no one we asked knew about it. Which makes you wonder how anything ever gets shelved there.

But we didn't have no time for yellow-bellied wonderin. We'd come for Little Caesar, see, and we weren't gettin out of the joint till we had it, and had it big. I'm the boss of this DVD player, and when I want a three-day rental, nobody better stop me, get it?

Little Caesar is the best movie ever. And I'm not just saying that because Edward G. Robinson looks so much like my cat Isabelle (aka The Ugly Mug).

Yeah, I know, now I'm that person blogging about their cat. But for the record, I was really blogging about Edward G. Robinson, who just happens to look like my cat.

It's always upset me that Edward G. Robinson is like the only actual Jew in The Ten Commandments, yet he plays Dathan, who's pretty much the Kapo of the chosen people's Egyptian sojourn. But it turns out Robinson got the role because Cecil B. De Mille was a big anti-communist, and Robinson had named names to the House Unamerican Activities Committee in order to avoid being blacklisted. Which maybe isn't Kapo level exactly (and doesn't make him the worst person to look like your cat) but still is nisht gut.

Mervyn LeRoy, who directed Little Caesar, belonged to the same synagogue as Robinson, Hollywood Temple Beth El. Other well-known Hebes in the congregation included Carl Laemmle, Max Factor, Eddie Cantor, and the Warner brothers. I lived across the street from HTBE for years, but by then it was past its era of glamor. The only time I ever went there was to vote (it was the local polling station). Oh, and once for a rummage sale, where I bought my favorite armchair. It was, needless to say, a bargain - after I Caesared them down on the price.

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