Today, please enjoy this highlight from Herschell Gordon Lewis' searing indictment of the smut industry, "Scum of the Earth", courtesy of the fine folks at Something Weird. Here we see a sweaty, sweaty man cussing out a teenaged girl for having the gall to be upset about being hoodwinked into posing for nude photos. Let's watch!
It's true that Eric Blore is not exactly a household name, so I wouldn't be surprised if you've never heard of him. But if you watch a lot of really old movies, you might recognize him if you see him; especially if you're a fan of those Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musicals such as "Top Hat" and "Flying Down to Rio" and all that. I'm not necessarily a fan of those musicals, but I happened to be watching "Top Hat" one day and as soon as I saw Eric Blore I was just delighted by him and wound up watching more of those musicals just to see him!
He's a round, smooth, smiling, dark haired little jolly British man who was usually cast in some comic recurring role as a waiter, a doctor, a butler. His facial expressions are always fun, but it's his voice I especially adore. Actually, I didn't know it but I'd already heard that voice in "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad" in which he played Mr. J. Thaddeus Toad of Toad Hall. But he has the most delicious way of saying his lines, which are always funny in an odd sideways manner. There's a tiny amount of stuff on YouTube where he's included in a couple of clips, but unfortunately they're really not a good enough example of just how much fun Eric Blore is. Nonetheless, I shall show you the best I could find:
My favorite line of Eric's is from "The Gay Divorcee": "Oh, 'whumsical' is much more whimsical than 'whamsical'!" I also particularly like a scene of his from a totally corny comedy called "Romance on the High Seas" which takes place mostly on a cruise ship. Eric plays the genial but strangely confused cruise ship doctor who is called in to Doris's cabin to look at her and find out why she's so exhausted or some such thing. He diagnoses her with something like melancholia and when Doris asks him what action he would recommend, he brightens and says excitedly "A sea voyage!!" You had to be there.
I was looking around for more information about Eric Blore and couldn't really find very much except the basics- the best bigraphy is on IMDB. The most colorful anecdote I could find about him was, unfortunately, about his death; seems that Kenneth Tynan wrote in the New Yorker that Eric Blore was dead, then Eric's lawyer fired off an angry letter about it or something and a kefuffle ensued. Then, the night before the New Yorker published an apology and a full retraction, Eric Blore dropped dead of a heart attack. Wow. I'm wondering if they had to publish another retraction, but there's no mention of that.