Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


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Wednesday 29 October 2008

Wonderful Style: George Sanders

George Sanders. Image Source, here

For reasons I can only hint at, the late George Sanders is one of my favourite actors. I cannot remember when I last saw a film in which he appeared - you might say that it is simply a sort of cultural memory.
His appearance was part of it, but best of all it was his magnificent voice: I once had a girlfriend who would turn almost to a jelly when she heard him speak (I recall feeling pangs of jealousy as we watched the fim together).
For some reason I decided to research him a little today. I came across a site, salon.com, which included the following story, which to me epitomises my image of Sanders:

In "Memoirs of a Professional Cad," Sanders recalls an early movie called "Lancer Spy" in which, he writes, "I wore a monocle to some effect. As a result of this, when my next role came along, that of a pirate in a thing called 'Slave Ship,' I was again called upon to wear a monocle. It was useless for me to protest that at the time of this particular story monocles had not yet been invented. Such pedantry made little impression on the film's producer, and I duly became history's first monocled pirate."
One can scarcely blame the film's producer for making use of Sanders' capacity to carry off Cyclopean eyewear, however: as Time magazine noted, Sanders was "the only actor since Erich Von Stroheim and Charles Coburn who can wear a monocle without looking as if he is going to drop it into his soup."

The following delightful clip from "Jungle Book" provides an example of Sanders' wonderful voice when playing the character of Shere Khan, the tiger.

Sanders died in 1972, by his own hand. Depressed and with failing health he left the following note:

"Dear World. I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck."

Stylish to the end.

Until the next time

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