Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy 100th, Vincent Price

Born this day in 1911, Vincent Leonard Price, Jr. was a man of many talents, chef, art connoisseur, writer, and of course, actor.
I'll leave it to other sci-fi, fantasy and horror bloggers to cover his accomplishments in those genres, and mention a category he's rarely associated with, but had an incredible knack for...
Comedy.
His very first film appearance was in a little-remembered 1938 screwball comedy called Service de Luxe, playing the male ingenue opposite Constance Bennett.


After this, he went on to a singularly successful career in films and radio, playing heroes and villains with great aplomb, but not appearing again in a comedy until 1950 (a voice-only cameo as The Invisible Man in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein isn't really an 'appearance')
As insane ad exec Burnbridge Waters, Vincent steals the movie from Ronald Coleman in a performance that can only be classified as "mad", man...
Here's an audio interview from 1990 with both Vincent and Art Linkletter, who played the game show host/toady in the film. They discuss the scene shown in the lobby card above.

And here's the entire film at one shot! (but with commercials)


While most of his roles had humorous aspects to them, these were the only two outright comedies he did until the mid-1960s, when people finally started utilizing his funny side, unfortunately in only mildly-funny films like the Dr Goldfoot flicks.
(Here's the tv special Wild, Weird World of Dr Goldfoot, which was funnier than either of the films!)



Thanks for the memories, Vincent.
When you didn't have us screaming, you had us laughing!

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