Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lady Street Fighter: Postscript

From this blog I learn the unwelcome news that Jody McCrea, the male lead of Lady Street Fighter (see below) has passed away at the age of 74. Best known for his work in the beach comedies of the 1960s, the son of Joel McCrea apparently took up ranching after giving up on the movies. While the New York Times only has the news today, the younger McCrea was already dead when I was disparaging his talents earlier this month. To be honest, I didn't know at the time whether he was dead or alive. Knowing now doesn't make me regret what I wrote. But it does make me a little sad to learn that someone I'd seen on screen just recently is dead now. I learned from Robert Youngson to be mindful of the mortality of the people on the movie screen, and that sensibility often lends bittersweetness to my experience of older films, even some of the lamest. A movie is both a work of fiction and a chapter of someone's real life, and there's always more going on on screen than meets the eye or the merely literary consciousness. So think of Mr. McCrea if you pick up that box set soon and the film may be just a little different than if you didn't.

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