Sunday, May 16, 2010

The French Thomas Mitchell: Marcel Dalio

Well, I'm FINALLY writing that post I promised positively centuries ago! Sheesh! Anyway, for those of you hoping for a post on Audrey or Sabrina...I pulled a cruel trick on you! ;-D The post is going to be about Marcel Dalio. The little old French-man who made a perfect souffle, when Audrey forgot to even turn the oven on! Haha!

When I used to be on the TCM Message Boards (From early '08-early '09) there was always a joke about Thomas Mitchell being the actor everyone could recognize, but hardly anyone could name. It was brought up so often that it was almost a catchphrase. "Well, he's very Thomas Mitchellian"; "It was such a Thomas Mitchell moment". (Well, actually, *I* was the only one using his name as a catch-phrase, but everyone else was CLOSE to doing that! ;-D).

ANWAY, all this brings me to the fact, that Marcel Dalio is the French Thomas Mitchell. The man was in every stinkin' movie ever made. SERIOUSLY. Yet, I doubt more than a few can recall his name to his face.

My favorite Marcel film is Pillow Talk; it's one of his larger supporting roles in an American film. He plays Doris Day's interior designer boss. When I first saw Pillow Talk a few years ago, I loved it so much that I watched it continually for about six months. Marcel's "That woman has the taste of a water buffalo" is permanently ingrained in my memory. This is also the film where I started my "Marcel Sightings". It's really crazy just how many movies I have seen that also contain Marcel Dalio. Sometimes it's just a blink and you'll miss him bit part, and other times it a more substantial supporting part, but he's ALWAYS amazing!

I took a few screen-shots from the movies I personally own that Marcel happened along in!

Pillow Talk


How to Steal a Million


Gentleman Prefer Blondes

And those are just a FEW of his many film appearances; others include:

Pepe le Moko
La grande illusion
The Constant Nymph
The Desert Song
The Song of Bernedette
Pin-Up Girl
To Have and Have Not
On the Riviera
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Lovely to Look At

Lucky Me
Anything Goes
The Sun Also Rises
Song Without End
Donovan's Reef
Lady L

And of course there are a zillion others as well. You can see them all here.

So many "famous" bit-character actors were famous for portraying one type of character in many films. That was a reason why they were in so many films, because they played the same character each time in a different setting. Not so, with Marcel! I think the most fascinating thing about Marcel, is that he was in so many different types of films. Even as a bit-character player...he was NEVER TYPE-CAST! And in each one he was distinctively Marcel-- and distinctively interesting and original. He was also "in the business" for quite a while. He appeared in his first film in 1931 and his last in 1982, stopping only shortly to escape from Hitler.

I love Marcel Dalio so much, that I will actually go out of my way to see a film, just because I know he's going to be in it...even if it's just for three seconds. Is that strange?! ;-D

(In fact, I think I'm gonna need to ask to borrow Song Without End from Kate....haha!)

I guess this is actually a rather dull and uneventful post, but I just REALLY felt the need to post of my love for THE Cool Marcel. And, I wanted to try and see if there were any other Marcelites out there!?

And I PROMISE MORE POSTS COMING CRAZY-CRAZY-CRAZY-CRAZY-SOON! All those series I never post new installments for...will be getting a new installment. And also start getting excited to find out a new favorite actor of mine! It's gonna be a shocker (not really)!


Just guess who happened to be Mrs. Dalio!


Miss1941 said...

Love, love, LOVE the post! Thanks for writing it! Marcel gets overlooked so easily, but can you imagine anyone else playing his roles? Never. :)

Kate Gabrielle said...

Amazing post, Millie!! I love Marcel Dalio, and he really deserved this post! I'd be happy to send you Song Without End by the way :)

Raquelle said...

I'm always tickled pink by Marcel Dalio. I love his lines in Pillow Talk.

"We do not wire, 14th century crematory urns!"
"She has the taste of a water buffalo."

LOL! I loved seeing him in Casablanca too. Thank you SO MUCH for this post Millie. You rock.

Richard Hourula said...

Dalio was in lot of great films in both the U.S. and France. Was a much bigger star in his home country. The story of his escape from Nazi occupied Europe could be made into a film. (But who could play him?)
Nice post, Millie, thanks.

Matthew Coniam said...

Seriously? He married Leonid Kinskey???

Rachel Kovaciny said...

Very awesome and informative post! I wasn't aware of Dalio, but I'll definitely keep an eye out for him. Especially since you've got me in the mood to watch "Pillow Talk" now :-)

Frances Magnusson said...

I recently bought the DVD of Casablanca, and since then have watched it 2 times a day, every day, partly because I love Marcel Dalio. I also have To Have and Have Not, and thought I recognized him in it. Thanks so much for your website!

Taylor Sartre said...

Marcel Delio has been my latest favorite- and now, I stumbled across your fabulous blog! Thank you!


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