Friday, January 8, 2010

La Publicité!

Despite an onslaught of unrelentingly creative guesses, ranging from Sophie Tucker to the Queen Mother (and including the popular favorite, the highly likely Mr. Peenee), the identity of our Edwardian mystery lady remained unsolved. She was, of course, the roguishly charming matron seen above, Miss Mary Boland. With no prizes to hand out, it just means wee drinkies and radio cowboys in the bar car for everybody.

Boland's was a fine career, encompassing everything from turn-of-the-century Broadway to a solid place in moviegoers' hearts for more than two decades after the her appearances in early talkies. As in her best-remembered role as Flora, Countess de Lave in The Women, she generally played vague, funny ladies, frequently of the upper classes.

In her last picture, an obscure 1950 indie noir curiosity called Guilty Bystander, she apparently played against type as "Smitty," a flophouse manager. Sadly, despite being third-billed, she didn't make the poster. From the look of it, she could only have helped.


  1. I remain convinced it's Peenee.

  2. I believe Peenee's corsetting would have involved more leather and less coverage.

    And aren't we ripe for a "from the novel by Wade Miller" film festival?

    We'll have The Manhunter to open the festival on Friday night with an appearance by Madeleine (Reverend Mother Superior from The Flying Nun) Sherwood who played Sandra Dee's mother in the TV movie.

    Saturday will be a double bill of Guilty Bystander followed by Kiss Her Goodbye. There will be a post screening appearance and chat (hosted by Muscato) with ...Goodbye's star, the always-performing Elaine Stritch.

    Sunday will wrap it all up with the craptastic Kitten with a Whip. Of course, its star, Ann-Margret will sit for a post-viewing Q&A with Muscato. Also appearing will be Bob Wade, surviving member of the psuedonymous team (with the deceased Bill Miller) that was Wade Miller.

    I'm calling DeNiro to set it all up in Tribeca. Who needs tickets?

  3. Oh, honey, I'm up for anything that involves La Stritch - let alone Madeleine Sherwood.

    Speaking of the former, I do hope somebody we know will be heading over to see her at the Carlyle and report back. I'm concerned about this "frailty" the Times mentioned...

  4. ooo, kay medford & sam levene WITH zach, faye and mary....what a yummy cast!

    muscato: when i saw elaine a few years ago, i was lucky enough to talk my way backstage post show. of course, we all know what a dynamo she was in "at liberty". when elaine finally emerged from her dressing room to greet her well wishers, she'd become an old lady. no other way to put it. the verve, the vim, it was gonzo. she was spent. and that was 2003. i'd say she's lucky to be "frail" considering the alternative.

  5. Last time I saw Elaine was in 2005 at the Allen Room. She had plenty of piss and vinegar left in her then. I waited for her post-show. When I offered my CD of Sail Away for her to sign, she made me bend over so she could lean on my back to sign it. When I tried to stand up, she admonished, "I'm not finished!" and pushed me back down.

    I'm hoping to glide from a day at the NY Int'l Gift Show into an evening with Stritch at the Carlyle later this month, but have yet to drop that pricey bomb on Ed yet.

  6. Oh, you just tell that skinflint Ed that it's a service to all those brave American cabaret-aficionados slaving away in the far corners of the world.

    And a night at the Carlyle is always an investment in future memories...