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Perry Werner

"no Good Ever Comes From A Concertina Squeezer!"

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Howdy:

Just doing a little surfing and located a concertina related film which I am not sure has been mentioned in past concertinacinematic discussions here.

 

The 1936 film is "The Princess Comes Across" starring Carole Lombard and Fred (the original flubber master) MacMurray as the concertina playing King Mantell.

 

A review on Amazon.com reads.........

 

"The 1930's gave birth to a hybrid type of film which mixed comedy and mystery with a certain type of glamour. Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray have fun in this splendid example of the genre fans will enjoy. Based on a story by Philip MacDonald adapted from a novel, there are many amusing moments as the irreverent and lovely Lombard spoofs Garbo. The versatile Fred MacMurray matches her as a smitten concertina player trying to protect her when things go south.

 

Lombard is Wanda Nash of Brooklyn, posing as a Swedish Princess, Olga, and heading for Hollywood by ocean liner to star in a film for Transcontinental Pictures. Alison Skipworth is her traveling companion, Lady Gertrude. A cabin mix-up has them meeting concertina player King Mantell (MacMurray) and his pal William Frawley, of I Love Lucy fame. There is an instant attraction between the two, but Lady Gertrude is afraid Wanda will slip up and ruin the charade if she and Mantell hook up. As she explains to Wanda: "No good ever comes from a concertina squeezer!"

 

An escaped murderer who is a master of disguise is on board the ship, but luckily for the captain, an international convention of police detectives, which includes Mischa Auer as a Russian cop, is along on the cruise as well. When a slimy blackmailer named Darcy ends up dead in Wanda's cabin, the vulnerable Princess turns to King Mantell and his pal to get her out of the jam. King, on the verge of big success but with a shady past also, throws caution to the wind and moves the body.

 

It isn't long, of course, until King is on to the Princess, but by this time he has fallen for her, and puts himself in danger by announcing he will reveal the killer after his concert. Can any good come from a concertina player? It's fun to find out in this somewhat tame but very entertaining film. The sets are delicious and so is Lombard. The camera shows off her beauty while the story gives her a chance to poke a little fun at the `nose up in the air' variety of prestiege star popular during the 1930's. A fun little film and a must for Lombard fans"

 

Sounds like fun and a gotta see.

I just ordered a copy on VHS through Amazon and it appears that this is not available (yet) on DVD.

Sounds like a hoot.

Just hope it's a concertina and not a "concertina"

 

Anyone out there familiar with this masterpiece???

Additional reviews and the Amazon.com link are at

 

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...?v=glance&s=dvd

 

 

Have fun,

Perry Werner

Edited by Perry Werner

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Lady Gertrude Allwyn: What is that?

 

Princess Olga: Why it's one of those things, you know, one of those come-to-you go-from-you things.

 

Lady Gertrude Allwyn: A concertina. And very vulgar. A definite symbol of the lower classes. Put the thing on the floor and it crawls.

 

from IMDB

~pb

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.....Sounds like fun and a gotta see.....

 

That does sound good! I'm tempted to order a copy...probably will do so.

 

"No good ever comes from a concertina squeezer!"

 

...Well, you know, this quote almost makes me feel 'right at home,' then! I am often secretly a little bit thankful when I sense that someone I'm talking to about my concertina acts like they're a little put-off by the thing (...it's just not as wonderful as the piano, etc.). It's kind of like the....I dunno, the joy of being free to eat more chocolate brownies becaue I'm already overweight, anyway...heheh...

 

...What I mean, is, if I played the piano with much skill, I'd have to please all these family members or people that either aspire to play the piano or that want to make me feel like I'm socially useful. (I guess it's all a part of that 'keeping-up-appearances' type of syndrome.)

 

Or, I guess it could be that they just want to be sure I remember that no good will come from me...so, as long as I'm playing the concertina, I'm safe...

 

In other words, I'm just another one of those oddball squeezebox players, maybe!! :D

 

I'd go eat more chocolate but I've already had enough, today.

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......What I mean, is, if I played the piano with much skill, I'd have to please all these family members or people that either aspire to play the piano or that want to make me feel like I'm socially useful. (I guess it's all a part of that 'keeping-up-appearances' type of syndrome.)

 

Hi. I trained as a concert pianist (yep, really) and I have reached the conclusion that all those years of Dohnanyi exercises were for the sole purpose of making me a better concertina player, even though I have played piano' for 30 years and concertina for 30 months! I am also taking the 'tina on rugby tour in April - you can't do that with an 88.

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......What I mean, is, if I played the piano with much skill, I'd have to please all these family members or people that either aspire to play the piano or that want to make me feel like I'm socially useful. (I guess it's all a part of that 'keeping-up-appearances' type of syndrome.)

 

Hi. I trained as a concert pianist (yep, really) and I have reached the conclusion that all those years of Dohnanyi exercises were for the sole purpose of making me a better concertina player, even though I have played piano' for 30 years and concertina for 30 months! I am also taking the 'tina on rugby tour in April - you can't do that with an 88.

 

Oh, I don't mean that I don't thoroughly enjoy good piano playing (which does not include my own)! Just that it's kind of a relief to feel 'excused' from having to meet the expectations of those people who don't really have a taste for concertina music (mainly because they haven't heard them much). (Ironically, I like some modern/mainstream pop and pop-rock music, even adapt it for concertina.)

 

I think that studying music for piano -- bass clef and all -- offers the best and most thorough understanding of western music theory. I am not a piano player, outside of what I've taught myself, but I have really enjoyed studying chords and intervals and all that. I don't feel that time spent studying piano theory is 'wasted' on the concertina, though, at all -- I agree with that thought!

Edited by bellowbelle

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Howdy:

Just doing a little surfing and located a concertina related film which I am not sure has been mentioned in past concertinacinematic discussions here.

 

The 1936 film is "The Princess Comes Across" starring Carole Lombard and Fred (the original flubber master) MacMurray as the concertina playing King Mantell................................................

 

Just mentioning that I did order a copy of this movie. Got it today, haven't had a chance to watch it, yet, of course!

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Just mentioning that I did order a copy of this movie. Got it today, haven't had a chance to watch it, yet, of course!

 

Hmm...

 

Okay, not the best 1930s-era movie I've ever watched, but, if nothing else, it offers a bit of hope for concertina players.

 

At the start of the movie, the heroine (the princess) wants to punch the guy (concertina player) in the face, and by the end of the movie she says she's in love with him.

 

Amazing!

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At the start of the movie, the heroine (the princess) wants to punch the guy (concertina player) in the face, and by the end of the movie she says she's in love with him.

 

Ouch!!

 

what did I do wrong? ;)

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The concertina makes another appearance in "The Gay Divorcee," a Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers movie from 1934. Without giving away the plot, Astaire's character hires this Italian "gigolo" to woo Rogers' character. When he arrives to begin the wooing, he has with him various wooing accessories, and dangling from one hand is an anglo concertina. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I believe there's even a tiny shot of him playing it. Here's a quote from the movie, taken from the scene described above.

 

Egbert Fitzgerald: Your life, Mr. Tonetti, must be full of excitement.

Tonetti: Full of excitement, and full of danger.

Egbert Fitzgerald: Oh, yes, of course... from the husbands.

Tonetti: No, from the ladies.

Egbert Fitzgerald: Oh, how interesting!

Tonetti: But, Tonetti, he know what to do. Yes, sometimes, the lady and I have the conversation... somtimes, I play the concertina... sometimes, I play the solitaire... but, mostly, I practice my singing. At home, my wife, she do not like me to sing.

Egbert Fitzgerald: Unquestionably a woman of great perspicacity.

Tonetti: Oh, si, si, signor, you bet!

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So do they play concertina or just say "I'm a concertina (piano, drum, cucumber) player"?

What I think is police officers must chase gangsters, singers must sing, dancers - dance kind of thing.

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Lindsay Pollock plays the cucumber I think. I know for certain he plays the carrot.

He also plays the music stand, and gaffer tape.

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In "The Princess Comes Across," Fred MacMurray (as the concertina playing King Mantell) doesn't appear to be actually playing the concertina -- just faking it. However, I did get the sense that it was actually him singing along while he 'played,' and THAT was good.

 

Whoever actually WAS playing the concertina in the movie (...not sure I can find any credits re that, or see them lately with my blurry-vision eyes) did a pretty nice job...Flight of The Bumblebee, as I recall.

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The flight of a Bumblebee?

So it could be an EC behind the curtains or a PA in single reed mode.

Was the sound really a concertina? Those movie freaks, they're liers.

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I saw the Gay Divorcee several years ago, before I knew much about concertinas, but the fellow (Tonettie) does play it in the film. I think it was an Anglo.

There's also nice concertina playing in Twelfth Night (96). Ben Kingley as Feste plays the concertina, since they reset the play in the nineteenth century. You don't actually see his fingers, so I assume someone did the playing for him.

Jim M

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The flight of a Bumblebee?

So it could be an EC behind the curtains or a PA in single reed mode.

Was the sound really a concertina? Those movie freaks, they're liers.

 

'The Flight Of A Bumblee' was included as concertina music in the show, but wasn't what 'King Mantell' was singing along to...it was later in the show, he sang something like 'When I Play My Concertina.' I need to check out the info again, when I can take the time to find it all.

 

Anyway, I was impressed by the sound of 'The Flight...' and I do think that it was actually a concertina...certainly a free-reed instrument, I know that much.

 

I have a recording of The Fayre Four Sisters playing 'The Flight...,' but it's not the same recording. Also, the sisters played English and in the movie it was more likely a ... chemnitzer, maybe? (...Sounded pretty nice, anyway!)

 

I'll have to check this out more later...am bogged down by household and holiday chores and all that.

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Howdy:

Wow.

Another one!!!!!

Just finished watching "LUST FOR LIFE", the Vincent Minelli film about Vincent van Gogh.

There is a quick scene in a tavern where Vincent is getting what seems like his hourly ration and in the background a guy who I have tracked down on the "Internet Movie Database" to be actor Al Haskell is playing an Aeola English (I think) or maybe a duet.

The scene went by so fast that I could not really discern what he was playing but it was definitey a concertina.

I'm still in the dark ages here technically so no IO or recorder. This was on TCM.

Have fun,

Perry Werner

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