Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Quite a Pair!

There's a moment in the movie Sneakers, a slight, throwaway thriller with Robert Redford and Ben Kingsley, when Kingsley becomes suspicious of Mary McDonnell because she remarks that she'll never do computer dating again after her date, played by the wonderful Stephen Tobolowsky, has dragged her to his office accusing her of stealing information from him. Kingsley stops dead in his tracks and says, "Wait a minute. A computer matched you to him?"

When I saw the movie I immediately thought of The Wolfman made in 1941. I accept that Lon Chaney, Jr turns into a wolf during nights when there is a full moon. I accept that the only way to kill him is with silver, as when he is beaten to death with a silver handled cane. I can even accept that the also wonderful Maria Ouspenskaya chooses to live with a man she knows to be a werewolf. But Lon Chaney, Jr as Claude Rains son? That's a bit of a stretch.

So I ask myself, "What must Mrs. Talbot have looked like?" After all, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr) is what, nine feet tall and John Talbot (Claude Rains) four foot two? So I'm thinking John must've liked 'em big. They must have been one of those adorable couples where the woman towers over the man, can pick him up and throw him on the bed any time she likes and he takes care of her like she's a dainty flower. I would've like to have seen them together. And the fact that John went for a woman like that endears him to me even more. It shows he was a fun-loving guy with a depth of character. He wasn't fooled by a waifish pretty woman with a twinkle in her eye. He wanted character, substance. He wanted someone he could have a good time with, someone he could have great conversations with and someone who could make love to him with a passion that far exceeded a five minute roll in the hay performed by rote. I bet they were a great couple. They had to be to produce someone as sweet as Larry. It makes the tragedy of the ending all the more difficult to take. John has now lost both of the big lugs in his life, and the second by his own hand. I feel for him, I really do. And when I think of John and his dearly departed wife I can't help but think, "They must've been quite a pair!"