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

Seminal Image #683

The Roaring Twenties
(Raoul Walsh; 1939)


Vanwall said...

Poor Panama -

Panama Smith: He's dead.
Cop: Well, who is this guy?
Panama Smith: This is Eddie Bartlett.
Cop: Well, how're you hooked up with him?
Panama Smith: I could never figure it out.
Cop: What was his business?
Panama Smith: He used to be a big shot.

Some of the best dialogue ever written, when Gladys George says it.

Tom Sutpen said...

Agreed. I think it's her finest moment (among many fine moments for this criminally underrated actress). It's not that her voice breaks when she says that line . . . which is, I think, a choice most actresses would have made . . . it's how she keeps it from breaking, leaving it just at the edge of sorrow. Amazing.

Bellotoot said...

Yup, Gladys George is wonderful throughout the movie. And, yeah, the last line deftly summarizes the late Eddie Bartlett. But don't you think questions two and three from the cop are at least a trifle odd?