Mickey Rooney (1920-2014)

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Jeff
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
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Mickey Rooney (1920-2014)

#1 Post by Jeff » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:03 pm


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domino harvey
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Re: Passages

#2 Post by domino harvey » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:09 pm

Another of the old guard gone, fewer and fewer left. Never forget that he managed to marry Ava Gardner too, that guy did all right in life!

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swo17
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Re: Passages

#3 Post by swo17 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:15 pm

For anyone interested in a memorial viewing, might I recommend his excellent turn in Richard Quine's underseen noir Drive a Crooked Road.

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: Passages

#4 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:17 pm

domino harvey wrote:Never forget that he managed to marry Ava Gardner too, that guy did all right in life!
In Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations, Gardner tells a story of hers and Rooney's disastrous wedding night when the famous womanizer tried to christen the marriage and clammed up. All her stories about their courtship are worth reading.

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domino harvey
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Re: Passages

#5 Post by domino harvey » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:26 pm

That book sounds interesting, I'll have to check that out! As for my own viewing recommendation, I'll put in a good word for the Human Comedy, especially in light of the War list going on. I'd also put in a preemptive un-recommendation for whoever comes in here and recs Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy, that video art piece (of shit) that loops and reedits an Andy Hardy movie like the modern editor has some special superior position in which to mock and make alien popular entertainment from decades ago

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knives
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Re: Passages

#6 Post by knives » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:44 am

swo17 wrote:For anyone interested in a memorial viewing, might I recommend his excellent turn in Richard Quine's underseen noir Drive a Crooked Road.
That one's great and really the whole string of noirs he did in the '50s is superb. I know it's not Dom's favorite movie, but his absurd sort of square performance in an other Quine movie, the fab for me Operation Mad Ball, is a real joy.

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Black Hat
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Re: Passages

#7 Post by Black Hat » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:39 am

domino harvey wrote:Never forget that he managed to marry Ava Gardner too, while making his way around to every starlet known to man
fixed

He had to have been hung like Milton Berle right?

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feckless boy
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Re: Passages

#8 Post by feckless boy » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:03 am

Black Hat wrote:
domino harvey wrote:Never forget that he managed to marry Ava Gardner too, while making his way around to every starlet known to man
fixed

He had to have been hung like Milton Berle right?
Fuck eulogy, let's deduce!

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Passages

#9 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:25 am

I love the story that when The Who smashed up their equipment on The Smothers Brothers Show, that he was behind the curtain loving every minute of it. And of course his appearance on The Simpsons

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Gregory
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Re: Passages

#10 Post by Gregory » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:48 am

domino harvey wrote:I'd also put in a preemptive un-recommendation for whoever comes in here and recs Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy, that video art piece (of shit) that loops and reedits an Andy Hardy movie like the modern editor has some special superior position in which to mock and make alien popular entertainment from decades ago
Not that a comment like this really invites any kind of differing viewpoint, but given how prevalent repurposing, sampling, and recontextualizing things is in art in the recent era, I'm surprised anyone would ascribe such simple and unflattering artistic intentions as mocking or superiority to one particular example like this. Arnold is as serious a filmmaker as anyone, and rather than commentary about the source elements, I think he's more interested in finding something new within the familiar by totally changing the way it works and exploring the possibilities of repetition and working with sound than making something else alien. (The description of mocking and commenting on recontextualized source material would apply far more readily to parts of Star Spangled to Death, but not to Jacobs's work in general.)

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
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Re: Passages

#11 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:42 pm

There was that interesting return to films in the late 70s about horses too, probably inspired by his role in National Velvet. Rooney also turns up supporting the young heroes in The Black Stallion, the spin-off series in the 1990s and the much lesser known Cannon film rip off Lightning, The White Stallion.

I also thought he was quite good in the incongruous seeming role opposite Michael Caine in Pulp!

All of those Andy Hardy films in which he starred with Judy Garland are fun amusements, though the non-Andy Hardy films he did at the same time with Garland that were directed by Busby Berkeley are probably better. I can't think of a better tribute to Rooney now than this enthusiastic scene!
Black Hat wrote:He had to have been hung like Milton Berle right?
I'm checking the obituaries but it looks as if both died of natural causes.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Passages

#12 Post by zedz » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:44 pm

Gregory wrote:
domino harvey wrote:I'd also put in a preemptive un-recommendation for whoever comes in here and recs Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy, that video art piece (of shit) that loops and reedits an Andy Hardy movie like the modern editor has some special superior position in which to mock and make alien popular entertainment from decades ago
Not that a comment like this really invites any kind of differing viewpoint, but given how prevalent repurposing, sampling, and recontextualizing things is in art in the recent era, I'm surprised anyone would ascribe such simple and unflattering artistic intentions as mocking or superiority to one particular example like this. Arnold is as serious a filmmaker as anyone, and rather than commentary about the source elements, I think he's more interested in finding something new within the familiar by totally changing the way it works and exploring the possibilities of repetition and working with sound than making something else alien. (The description of mocking and commenting on recontextualized source material would apply far more readily to parts of Star Spangled to Death, but not to Jacobs's work in general.)
I think the real reason for not bringing up the film in this context is that it has nothing to do with Mickey Rooney. Arnold could have - and indeed has - used any other piece of footage to make his point. But hey! The real classy way to commemorate the life of a famous actor is to use it as a pretext for randomly shitting over a filmmaker you don't like!

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domino harvey
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Re: Passages

#13 Post by domino harvey » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:02 pm

Yeah, I can't imagine why I would bring a movie notable for perversely reconstituting one of Mickey Rooney's signature roles into a discussion of Mickey Rooney and his legacy

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zedz
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Re: Passages

#14 Post by zedz » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:33 pm

domino harvey wrote:Yeah, I can't imagine why I would bring a movie notable for perversely reconstituting one of Mickey Rooney's signature roles into a discussion of Mickey Rooney and his legacy
To signal your distaste for the film, obviously. But I still don't know what your distaste for post-modern experimental filmmaking has to do with Mickey Rooney.

Rooney often seemed happy to occupy a particular niche, but he could be really effective when working outside that comfort zone in films like Drive a Crooked Road and especially The Comedian.

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Ashirg
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Re: Passages

#15 Post by Ashirg » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:25 pm

Rooney's first starring short, Mickey’s Circus, has been discovered in Amsterdam and made news just last week...

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George Kaplan
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Re: Passages

#16 Post by George Kaplan » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:44 pm

zedz wrote:
domino harvey wrote:Yeah, I can't imagine why I would bring a movie notable for perversely reconstituting one of Mickey Rooney's signature roles into a discussion of Mickey Rooney and his legacy
To signal your distaste for the film, obviously. But I still don't know what your distaste for post-modern experimental filmmaking has to do with Mickey Rooney.

Rooney often seemed happy to occupy a particular niche, but he could be really effective when working outside that comfort zone in films like Drive a Crooked Road and especially The Comedian.
What zedz said.
I enjoy Martin Arnold's work generally, and find ALONE. LIFE WASTES ANDY HARDY particularly rewarding and haunting, but would not list it as a Rooney work, per se. And the issue of repurposing film material of Rooney leads directly to the issue of the MICKEY MC GUIRE shorts. What entries in the series have been available to us, video consumers, to date, have been re-edited, re-scored, and often re-titled versions of the originals, so as to avoid copyright infringement. I think it's a fascinating footnote, that the very young Joe Yule, Jr. initially changed his name to Mickey McGuire legally so that (Columbia, and later RKO) could produce and distribute the series and avoid copyright infringement of the wildly popular Toonerville comics, by Fontaine Fox; as the main character of the series, as readers knew, was named Mickey McGuire!
I've been fortunate enough to view two entries in the series, in their original form, and attest, and in fact insist!, that they represent a much higher level of production with regard to photography, editing and performance (No offense Spanky & Alfalfa, but IT IS Mickey Rooney!!!) than the contemporaneous OUR GANG series.
Last edited by George Kaplan on Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bamwc2
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Re: Passages

#17 Post by bamwc2 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:58 pm

With all of the fond reminiscing of Mickey Rooney, I'm a little shocked that no one's mentioned his good natured self parody in the "Radioactive Man" episode of The Simpsons.

Image

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Passages

#18 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:02 pm

I did, but it is worth mentioning twice.

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swo17
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Re: Passages

#19 Post by swo17 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:02 pm

I would have, but wasn't sure in which decade to categorize his time as the number one box office draw.

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George Kaplan
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Re: Passages

#20 Post by George Kaplan » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:14 pm

Ashirg wrote:Rooney's first starring short, Mickey’s Circus, has been discovered in Amsterdam and made news just last week...
In fact, this discovery was preceded by an unpublicized domestic discovery of several dozen entries in the series which have since been deposited with the Library of Congress. As many reports of the spectacular Dutch discovery note, MICKEY'S CIRCUS has been "restored" by the LoC. I believe that the McGuire material found in Amsterdam, while significant and highly publicizable, was actually redundant to the LoC material.

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George Kaplan
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Re: Passages

#21 Post by George Kaplan » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:24 pm

Many of us could, and no doubt should, wax on for pages here (this is the place for it!) about Rooney performances - the breadth of his career is staggering! - but for now, I will recommend his Puck in Dieterle's/Reinhardt's/Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, which is on a sublime and appropriately preternatural level of perfection all its own...
Image

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Max von Mayerling
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Re: Mickey Rooney (1920-2014)

#22 Post by Max von Mayerling » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:32 pm

I thought Rooney was tops in The Comedian, in the Golden Age of Television set. He does a great job playing a raging megalomaniac. One of my favorite things in that set.

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Feego
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Re: Mickey Rooney (1920-2014)

#23 Post by Feego » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:02 pm

Turner Classic Movies' video tribute.

I swear they must already have these things made up in advance for Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, Luise Rainer, and every other TCM favorite who is at the far end of 80.

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Drucker
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Re: Mickey Rooney (1920-2014)

#24 Post by Drucker » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:06 pm

Feego wrote:Turner Classic Movies' video tribute.

I swear they must already have these things made up in advance for Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, Luise Rainer, and every other TCM favorite who is at the far end of 80.
I know for a fact radio and television news stations absolutely do this, so that wouldn't be surprising at all.

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domino harvey
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Re: Mickey Rooney (1920-2014)

#25 Post by domino harvey » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:11 pm

I remember standing in line at the grocery store and seeing a tabloid proclaim Doris Day was on her deathbed. That was about seven years ago. Doris Day will outlive us all.

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