Happy Birthday, John Gilbert!

I’m lucky to share a birthday with my favorite silent film actor, John Gilbert!

Here’s to you, Jack. 

John Gilbert

John Gilbert

Garbo and Gilbert in A Woman of Affairs

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#ReelInfatuation 2018 – Day 3

The 2018 Reel Infatuation Blogathon was such a blast! Thanks to all who participated in any way., especially my co-hostess Ruth of Silver Screenings.

Silver Screenings

Image: The Vintage Glitter Box

The Reel Infatuation Blogathon is terrific fun. Discovering people’s character crushes is an enjoyable experience, but it’s also uplifting.

Essays that praise the good in others are refreshing. We could use a little more of that, wouldn’t you say?

Thanks to Maedez of Font and Frock and A Small Press Life for her ideas and for asking me to join the party. Thanks also to all participants for your enthusiasm, and for giving us some “new” films to watch.

Today is the last day of the blogathon, but if you post an entry later this evening (or tomorrow), we’ll add you to the list. Just leave a comment below.

Now, sit back and enjoy today’s Reel Infatuations.

Font and Frock
Artemus Gordon from The Wild, Wild West (1965-1969)

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society
Dennis Mulvy from Luxury Liner (1948)

Life’s Daily Lessons…

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[2018 Reel Infatuation Blogathon] Artemus Gordon, the Secret Service Agent of My Dreams

At this time last year I was super busy writing about not one, not two, but three of my biggest character crushes! Narrowing it down to a single fictional person was too hard, so I went large with ambition. 

First up was the irrepressible Archie Goodwin from the Nero Wolfe series of books by Rex Stout. (Read the original post here.) Archie is witty, sly, highly intelligent, and almost too charming for his own good.

Then it was The Night Stalker‘s Carl Kolchak’s turn to be honored. (Read the original post here.) Carl is an irreverent, sarcastic every-man who always manages to do the right thing, even when the right thing requires an almost super-human amount of courage.

Last, and in no way least, was Hamilton Burger from Perry Mason. Hamilton gets an immense amount of flack for doing the very things which make him such an honorable man. He is a dedicated public servant whose sense of fair-mindedness and justice never wavers. (Read the original post here.)

Why this trip down memory lane? It’s neither for kicks nor clicks, rest assured. No, it’s simply because my choice of character crush for this year’s Reel Infatuation Blogathon embodies ALL of the above-mentioned characteristics.  In one merely human man, you ask? In one merely human man, I reiterate.

Here’s why Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) ticks off as many boxes as three extraordinary people.

Artemus Gordon

***

ARTEMUS GORDON, THE SECRET SERVICE AGENT OF MY DREAMS:

Artie

Being a Secret Service Agent in a steampunky version of the Old West is quite demanding. In addition to dealing with all of the usual hazards (assassins and villains of every stripe and motive), they must face, outsmart, and defeat countless other challenges, as they work to shield the president and ordinary folks alike, including: magic/magicians, mad scientists, the supernatural, and impressive weapons the likes of which have never been seen. Fortunately for the sleepy citizens of the burgeoning United States of America, James T. West and Artemus Gordon are at the top of their field.  There isn’t a scary or violent situation they won’t run into, head-first, with a first class plan. Sometimes they emerge beaten or broken, but emerge they always do. Thanks, guys!

Jim and Artie

Jim is serious (and seriously handsome), dedicated, smart, fearless, and quick-thinking. He even has a sense of humor, making him pretty fine character crush material in his own right.  I won’t be upset if you prefer him. After all, the show’s title refers to both a place and a person. This person:

Jim

Of course, a team requires at least two people. Jim couldn’t do what he does so well, without the help of another, even more impressive agent. That agent is, of course, Artie. Or, “Gordon, Artie Gordon,” if you prefer. (Series creator, Michael Garrison, called the show “James Bond on horseback.”)

Agent Gordon is, well, remarkable. By any metric. Seriously remarkable. He meets and exceeds all of the standard Secret Service requirements as well as Jim does, but Artie is an overachiever of the highest caliber. Jim doesn’t do anything that Artie couldn’t, but Artie does things that Jim couldn’t master given a time frame of one hundred years. 

Jim and Artie (in disguise)

Artie is basically the Lon Chaney of the 19th century. His impersonation skills are legendary. If a disguise is necessary, he creates one…no matter how complex. He doesn’t stop with the visual, but completes the package with a believable characterization and appropriate accent (taking advantage of star Ross Martin’s fluency in a half-dozen languages). Not one to master a task or two and call it a career, he is also the inventor of cool high-tech gadgets which serve to get our heroes out of any jam, no matter how fraught. 

In or out of costume (his repertoire consists of 100+ people), Artie is quick with a quip or put-down. He’s defused many a potentially deadly situation with well-timed sarcasm or clowning, and isn’t above cunning and conning. The man IS a government agent, after all. 

What he does, and however he gets there, is always for the greater good of both individuals and collective humanity. He’s there to see evil vanquished and justice prevail, fairly, in a wonky world composed of every shade of grey. 

Artie

Perhaps his most shining asset is, however, a fully developed ability to charm. No matter the situation, he’s equipped with a winning smile and what can best be stated  as a little something extra, or: that amorphous, elusive thing known as magnetism. Ya have it or ya don’t. Jim wears that fine blue suit to match his sparkling eyes and perfect physique, but Artie has it. And for that, we should all be thankful. 

***

THE WILD WILD WEST (1965-1969):

The Wild Wild West (end credits for Episode 17, Season 2)

(Thanks MeTV for the screenshots. That’s the wonderful Victor Buono in the bottom right corner.)

  • 4 Seasons
  • 104 Episodes
  • Starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin

Ross Martin as Artemus Gordon

This is my entry in the Reel Infatuation Blogathon, hosted by Silver Screenings and yours truly.

2018 RI Banner (Flesh and the Devil)

#ReelInfatuation 2018 – Day 2

Silver Screenings

Image: The Vintage Glitter Box

It’s been another fabulous day here at the Real Infatuation blogathon. We’re feeling the character crush love!

Bloggers: If we missed your post today, fear not – we’ll include you in tomorrow’s recap.

Haven’t signed up, but still want to join the fun? You bet! Just leave a comment below.

Meanwhile, please enjoy today’s Reel Infatuation entries.

Whimsically Classic
Moondoggie from Gidget (1959)

I Found it at the Movies
Constant Doyle from Perry Mason (Season 6, Episode 16, 1963)

Thoughts All Sorts
Mr. Nobley from Austenland (2013)

James Garner, Best-Dressed POW. Image: Showpass

Silver Screenings
Hendley the Scrounger from The Great Escape (1963)

Join us tomorrow for Day 3 of the Reel Infatuation Blogathon!

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#ReelInfatuation 2018 – Day 1

Silver Screenings

Image: Reaction Gifs

It’s difficult to think of anything more fabulous than a day at the spa, unless you’re talking about the Reel Infatuation Blogathon.

We’ve just spent a glorious day reading about characters who are admired, and why they are special. It’s joyful and refreshing, and it helps restore a little faith in humanity. Thanks to Maedez, of Font and Frock and A Small Press Life, for asking us to co-host this wonderful blogathon. This is her brainchild.

Bloggers: If we missed your post today, fear not – we shall include you in tomorrow’s recap.

Until then, please indulge in today’s Reel Infatuation entries.

The Story Enthusiast
Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Movie Movie Blog Blog
Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

Words Seem Out of Place
Angela from Married to the Mob (1988)

Caftan Woman
Lee Chan from the Charlie…

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