Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Tuesday 20 November 2007

Reading a book?

Hearing someone say (I hope as a joke) that they haven't read a book in a year reminded me of one of my favourite comic film moments, from Dinner at Eight, where a gangster's moll (Jean Harlow) accompanies him to a society dinner and makes polite conversation with a "stately galleon" of a hostess (Marie Dressler) about a book she's been reading.

I remember still the delight with which, twenty-odd years ago, a very camp friend of mine acted out the comedic exaggeration of Marie Dressler's reaction. Trying to describe it in words, at third hand, would be one of those "you had to be there" moments. It was months before I got an opportunity to see the original - but now, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, I can save you a tortuous description with just a finger-click:


  1. Another dumb blonde joke ;) I have to admit Marie Dressler is irresistible.

  2. I think its more of a put-down on her supposed "profession" than her general intelligence: I don't remember the film well, but I rather suspect the Jean Harlow character turned out to be the nicest of the lot.