Friday, March 23, 2007

What the Friday?

For your enjoyment, a cinematic gem from 1918: The Mystery of the Leaping Fish. I first saw this way back in the day on Night Flight (Thanks, Beckeye, for the correction.) and was reminded of it yesterday when catching up on The Pop Eye.

It starts out with some credits for the people who put this on the web now that it is in the public domain... OK, I guess. About 20 seconds in, we hit the actual credits, and for the next 20 seconds or so, things will be pretty normal.

Douglas Fairbanks, silent film actor, director, and all around legend. (Senior, not Junior [repeat the description])

Wow. Bessie Love, despite being saddled with a name more appropriate for a porn star, is going to continue acting for another sixty-five years after this movie, according to IMDB. I refuse to comment on the fact that she is credited in this role as "The Little Fish Blower".

You might remember the director John Emerson as the writer of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes... if he had written the 1953 version instead of the 1928 version.

Tod Browning is listed as the writer. This is pretty cool since he is now a zombie. According to IMDB, he wrote London After Midnight a good 40 years after he died. (Yeah, yeah, I read the details, but my version is funnier.)

IMDB kicks up aother writer: D. W. Griffith. Yes, that D. W. Griffith. Birth of a Nation, Intolerance... that guy.

So far, this looks like it is a big time movie with big time players... well, big time 1918 players, anyway.

Then we find out the name of the main character. Coke Ennyday, Scientific Detective. And yes, 60 seconds in, that large box on the desk does say "Cocaine". One minute, nine seconds in, Coke Ennyday shoots up for the first of many times in this film, and suddenly we begin to understand how this ended up on late night television in the Eighties.

But here... see for yourself.


Johnny Yen said...

I loved Night Flight! They had cable in the dorms, so I could watch it when I lived there.

Remember the "New Wave Theater" segments? The guy who hosted it ended up murdered.

BeckEye said...

Thanks for the plug. :)

I was convinced, up until recently, that Lynn Hoffman from VH1 Classic was the same announcer/VJ from Night Flight. I finally looked it up a couple of weeks ago and found out I was totally wrong. Her name was Pat something-or-other. I'm usually very good at voice recognition. I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself. DJs/VJs all kind of have the same voice.