Tag Archives: quickie

Quickie: Jack Carson & Andie MacDowell

22 May

So, Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) was on yesterday, and suddenly, after twenty solid minutes of Lombard and Montgomery screwballity, there he was. Jack Carson.

Jack Carson

Nope. Not funny.

I have observed in the first month of this darkling whistle solo a strict policy to follow the teachings of Thumper’s Father, and if nothing nice could be said, nothing was said at all. There’s enough of that floating around this web of ours.

But I must confess that I’ve never laughed once at Jack Carson and yet he is always presented in a context that implies I’m supposed to. The man had a string of third rate Not-Road movies with Dennis Morgan; someone thought he was funny. It has not been properly explained to me thus far.

And yet there he is in Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Destry Ride Again; Stage Door; Love Crazy; The Male Animal (the quintessential Carson role); Arsenic & Old Lace; Dangerous When Wet; The Strawberry Blonde. Movies I either love or at least like a heap in insomnia-/comfort- based viewing situations. And surrounded by the some of the finest casts casts ever assembled.

Then I remembered Andie MacDowell.

Andie MacDowell and Jack Lemmon

Andie MacDowell, somehow with Jack Lemmon

Groundhog Day; Short Cuts; Four Weddings and a Funeral; St. Elmo’s Fire; Green Card (well, maybe not Green Card).

And it hit me…

Andie MacDowell is to the 90s what Jack Carson was to the 40s: A harbinger of a terrific cast that will act as a reminder of how good the rest of that cast is.

Except mercifully no one ever gave Mac Dowell a series of third rate Not-Road movies.

I apologize profusely for this (I assure you) temporary but unavoidable detour into negativity. I will be steadfast in my attempts to avoid any such cheap shots in the future.