The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Selling the Silents #11:
The April Fools' Edition


From the 1927 Paramount release book
"At last this great comedy star, the man who has convulsed millions in all parts of the world, is to appear on the screen. Wynn's tests reveal him as even funnier in pictures than he is behind the footlights! His first picture is a lavish, de luxe comedy production with a famous director and an all-star cast. Watch for further details."
Of course, after the release of The Perfect Fool, Ed Wynn would go on to become one of the biggest comedy successes on the silver screen.

4 comments :

Ivan G. said...

Maybe it's because I've been exposed to so many of Wynn's radio broadcasts, but I'm curious to see how his clowning would have played in a silent film.

swac said...

This is sort of a quasi-April Fool's post (mainly I was just going with the "fool" part), because there was no Ed Wynn picture called The Perfect Fool, although this ad is in fact legit, taken from the Paramount book. However, Wynn did make Rubber Heels around the same time, so presumably that's the film that A Perfect Fool was supposed to be. The cast includes Chester Conklin and Thelma Todd, which pretty much makes it a must-see, although I'm not even sure if a print even exists. On the IMDb there's a "review" by emminent film fraud F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre, from Minffordd, North Wales, who I believe claimed to have seen a rare collector's print of London After Midnight, until the IMDb took his post down. Anyway, if MacIntyre claims to have seen it, it's probably lost, but I'll check with the experts over on alt.movies.silent.

swac said...

Here is a still from Rubber Heels, although for the life of me, aside from Chester Conklin, I can't make out the faces of anyone in the picture.

swac said...

I've received word from on high (aka lost film expert Jon Mirsalis) that Rubber Heels is a lost film. Which I figured from F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre's IMDb posting (that lad gets to see the darndest tihngs).