A “NOVEL” NOD TO JOHN GILBERT

Novel dust jacket, featuring John Gilbert and Mae Murray waltzing in THE MERRY WIDOW (MGM, 1925).l

Novel dust jacket, featuring John Gilbert and Mae Murray waltzing in THE MERRY WIDOW (MGM, 1925).l

I listed many titles of John Gilbert’s films in THE PRINCE IN THE TOWER and alluded to others.  Some are mentioned outright, but most of them are hidden in the text.  If you’ve read the book or plan to read it, look for the following film titles: THE APOSTLE OF VENGEANCE; SEEKING HAPPINESS (disguised as “Sea King Happiness”); REDEMPTION; WAY FOR A SAILOR; THE CAPTAIN HATES THE SEA; A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS; THE SIN YE DO; MASKS OF THE DEVIL; A HATER OF MEN; THE SERVANT IN THE HOUSE; GLEAM O’ DAWN; FLESH AND THE DEVIL; SHELL 43; THE BIG PARADE; THE PHANTOM OF PARIS; MATRIMONY; DOWNSTAIRS; MONTE CRISTO; HONOR FIRST; THE GREAT REDEEMER; THE LOVE GAMBLER; LOVE’S PENALTY; LOVE; ARABIAN LOVE; DESERT NIGHTS; FAST WORKERS; THE YELLOW STAIN; ST. ELMO; MAN, WOMAN AND SIN; THE DEVIL DODGER; HELL’S HINGES; THE BAIT;  WIFE OF THE CENTAUR; THE MILLIONAIRE VAGRANT; THE MERRY WIDOW; A GENTLEMAN’S FATE; LA BOHEME; THE WOLF MAN; CAMEO KIRBY; THE MADNESS OF YOUTH; [HIS] GLORIOUS NIGHT; FOUR WALLS; THE MAN BENEATH; SHACKLED; THE MOTHER INSTINCT; and TWELVE MILES OUT.

In some instances, films are referenced without being named.  For example, two minor characters are names after fictional characters that Gilbert portrayed in films:  “Jeffery Dwyer” and “Jack Reiner.”

Mentioning the song “One Little Kiss and I’ll Say Goodnight” and the expression “stiff to the eyes” was deliberate.  The song is used in DOWNSTAIRS; the expression in THE CAPTAIN HATES THE SEA.

In Chapter 21 (page 144) “Effie” asks “Rev. Baldwin” why he decided to become a preacher.  He answers, “Preaching wasn’t my first choice.  When I was younger than you are, I changed my mind about what I wanted to be a dozen times.  One day I’d want to be a magician, the next day a reporter, then a smuggler, a sailor, a chauffeur, a swashbuckling hero.  I even thought about working for the Mob. When I was a child, I wanted to run away from home, join the circus, and ride bareback.  But most of all, I wanted to be an actor because that way I could be all of the above.”

“Your mother said you wanted to be a playwright.  What made you decide to become a preacher?” she repeated.

Nine films are alluded to within that conversation: THE PHANTOM OF PARIS; MAN, WOMAN AND SIN; TWELVE MILES OUT; WAY FOR A SAILOR; DOWNSTAIRS; BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT; GENTLEMAN’S FATE; HE WHO GETS SLAPPED; and LA BOHEME.

Leatrice Joy was John Gilbert’s second wife and the love of his life.  I worked several of her films, EVE’S LEAVES and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS into the dialogue.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s