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In A Free Soul, a 1931 film starring Norma Shearer, Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable and Leslie Howard, Shearer's character says:

quote:
Said he:
"And suddenly the moonbeams turned to worms ... and crawled away."
Google turns up two references to the phrase, both quoting this movie.
Have any of you heard it in any other context?

The movie, by the way, is well worth watching. They just don't make them like that any more.
 
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"Oh, the strangers came and tried to teach us their ways
They scorned us for being what we are
But they might as well go chasing after moonbeams
Or light a penny candle from a star.

Galway Bay
 
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quote: Have any of you heard it in any other context?

Shakespeare brought together "moonbeams" and "worms" in a much happier context, though not one turning into the other.
    (Titania speaking, in Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 3, Scene 1)

    Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
    Hop in his walks and gambol in his eyes;
    Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
    With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
    The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
    And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs
    And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
    To have my love to bed and to arise;
    And pluck the wings from Painted butterflies
    To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:
    Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
 
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In a slightly less than classical vein, there is Moonbeam McSwine, Al Capp's creation in Li'l Abner.
 
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And maybe the most familiar moonbeam reference:
quote:
Would you like to swing on a star
carry moonbeams home in a jar
and be better off than you are
or would you rather be a ...

Someone in today's chat suggested looking up the screenwriter for a hint. There wasn't one, per se. A Free Soul was a novel, then a play, then a movie, all in 1931, according to IMDB. The author and the playright were apparently successful, but not remembered today. There is a credit for "adaptation" to the film.
 
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quote:
The movie, by the way, is well worth watching. They just don't make them like that any more.


They sure don't: I loved this dialog from IMDB:
quote:

Ace Wilfong, Gangster Defendant: Slouch, tell her why the Hardy mob tried to fix me up. Tell her the facts, Slouch.

Slouch: Well, the mug that was rubbed out, Miss, was a snooper of the chief's running with the Hardy mob, slipping us the lowdown. Hardy gets hep to it and he puts the rat on the spot. They nab the boss's "kelly" and plants it. Your old man jaws him out and the Hardy mob grabs the typewriters and the ukuleles.

I've never seen it, but I notice that it was made before the Production Code came into effect.
 
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The author and the playwright were apparently successful, but not remembered today.

Actually, Adela Rogers St. Johns appears to have had a very long, interesting and successful career.
 
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Neveu: You should make the effort to see it. It is set in San Francisco, with some of the action apparently in the St. Francis Hotel. Seeing the young Gable and Howard is also fun.

Pre-code: Absolutely, but barely. Another reason to watch it. I watched it completely blind. After the first 5 minutes or so, I expected a romantic comedy, with snappy patter. It is hardly a comedy.

The Eddie character, played by James Gleason, is also a good source of slang terms.
 
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The Castro Theatre had series of pre-Code pictures a few years back. The kids and I watched Design for Living, a startlingly modern comedy that never could have been made under the Code. Was A Free Soul like that?
 
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quote:
They nab the boss's "kelly" and plants it.
A man's hat, for those not conversant with '30s slang.
 
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Some interesting notes at TCM (link). I'd look for a copy of the novel, either used or through library loan. If the lines not in the novel, then either Willard Mack (the playwright), Becky Gardiner (the adapter), or John Meehan (continuity dialog), had a hand in it. But which one? Samuel French doesn't seem to have Willard Mack's play for sale. You might check out his biography and see if he left his papers to some university library. You can also check out the biographies, if any, of the others. It would be a lot of work, but you could probably write a paper or short book about the adventure ...

[Addendum: Just listening to some old recordings, and this popped out:

Makin' Wicki Wacki Down in Waikiki
by Sophie Tucker

Pack up your troubles, come along;
where lights are dreamy and life’s a song
In Honolulu across the sea:
makin’ wicki wacki down in Waikiki.

The hula dancers are sure good news.
These joy dispensers are a cure for the blues,
It’s absolutely the place to be:
makin’ wicki wacki down in Waikiki.

No evening clothes, anything goes,
believe it or not, and when the night shadows fall,
that’s when they’re all getting <i>hot</i> (on their ukuleles)

They use a <b>moonbeam</b> to light the light,
and every tune seems to sound just right,
It’s absolutely the place to be:
makin’ wicki wacki down in Waikiki.

Come with me all you whoopee makers,
all you wide awakers join me.
Boy I’ve just found a spot,
you’re gonna like it a lot,
Far away, off in Honolulu
where the hula hula greets you.
Hawaii’s the place to get a smile on your face: AND,

I wanna go where they shake their hips;
that’s where the sailors all shake their ships,
You wouldn’t blame me if you could be
makin’ wicki wacki down in Waikiki.

You get a feeling of pure delight;
your head is reeling, your heart is light,
Your eyes are dancing with revelry,
makin’ wicki wacki down in Waikiki.

You never saw dresses of straw like
they’re wearing there, and all those
Dances they do, there’s nothing you can compare (what a revelation!)

Hawaiian cuties with goo-goo eyes,
and they are beauties, you’d be surprised
You’re never lonesome for company –
makin’ wicki wacki down in Waikiki. ]

This message has been edited. Last edited by: zmježd,


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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