Another Reel Infatuation Blogathon has come and gone! The sharing of fictional crushes was, as always, almost too much fun. Thanks to all of the readers and bloggers who joined us this year.
See you next time!
Before you go, please check out these awesome entries from Day 3! If you participated and don’t see your entry here, or if you finish it after this post goes live, just let us know and we’ll add it!
LEMON SHARK: Spike (James Marsters) in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
PURE ENTERTAINMENT PRESERVATION SOCIETY: Jerry Flynn (Lew Ayres) in King of the Newsboys
REALWEEGIEMIDGET REVIEWS: Hank Moody (David Duchovny) in Californication
THE MIDNITE DRIVE-IN: Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
THE FLAPPER DAME: Paul Verrall (William Holden) in Born Yesterday
OLD HOLLYWOOD FILMS: Wally (Jack Carson) in Mildred Pierce
Wally and Mildred
4 STAR FILMS: Christine Doinel (Claude Jade) in Stolen Kisses, Bed & Board, and Love on the Run
FILM MUSIC CENTRAL: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in The Avengers and Thor
CARY GRANT WON’T EAT YOU: Doug (D.B. Sweeney) in The Cutting Edge
KM SCOTT’S THE CRAZY BACON SHOW: Rose (Lili Taylor) in Dogfight
FONT AND FROCK: Hamilton Burger (William Talman) in Perry Mason
Perry and Hamilton
Thanks so much to my co-hostest with the mostest, Ruth of Silver Screenings.
Integrity is not considered an aphrodisiac. It is usually given a place-setting at the moral banquet, but rarely makes an appearance during discussions of sex-appeal.
Rebels dominate this conversation. Six-pack abs and an air of danger are optional; attitude isn’t. But rebels, like all culturally celebrated things, don’t need my words in order to shine. They are ubiquitous in the American pop culture landscape. Finding them attractive and charming is not only acceptable, but, by this point, to be expected. It is, dare I say, the norm.
This brief post is my attempt at adding a faint notch in the other, largely overlooked column.
Here are ten bullet-pointed reasons why I have a crush on Hamilton Burger (William Talman), the beleaguered District Attorney on Perry Mason, who is the embodiment of the phrase I’m just doing my job. And his job–that of putting away criminals–is a worthy one. He’s not a hitman or kitten killer. He doesn’t whack old ladies on their kneecaps or push toddlers off of swings. He prosecutes suspected murderers.
- Hamilton Burger is a consummate professional. He never enters a courtroom less than fully prepared. His demeanor, although occasionally tetchy, is always proper. He follows the rules. Facing off against California’s most gifted defense attorney is difficult, but he holds his own. Only H.B. can approach Perry Mason in lawyerly skill. When he loses a case to P.M., he does so graciously…and is relieved by the fact that an innocent person is now free. Why? Because…
- His only goal is for justice to be served. Even when it is at the expense of his own prosecutorial record (which, let’s be real, must be perfect when he is not facing P.M., or he wouldn’t have a job). Which brings me to…
- He controls his ego, his ego doesn’t control him. Or he wouldn’t survive in an environment where P.M. constantly has the winning hand.
- His self-esteem is healthy. Losing to P.M. does not make him neurotic or doubtful. He maintains his self-worth regardless of what happens on the job, but is never arrogant.
- He is flexible and open-minded. H.B. changes his opinion as new facts are presented. He moves where the flow of information takes him, even when it is against his professional interests.
- He’s smart, and smart is sexy.
- He’s witty. H.B. has the perfect voice for, and a nice way with, sarcasm, which he uses often.
- He’s honest and upstanding. No one ever seriously doubts his integrity (including P.M.). He’s scrupulously ethical, and everyone knows it. True decency is a turn-on.
- There are no hard feelings. Burger and Mason are more-or-less friendly acquaintances outside of work. They respect each other and occasionally have post-case drinks together.
- He has a nice smile, and more lawyers should have smiles like his.
Perry Mason (1957-1966)-Starring: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper, Ray Collins, and William Talman.
Lawyers Perry Mason and Hamilton Burger, January 1958
This is my final post for the 2017 Reel Infatuation Blogathon, which I am co-hosting with Ruth of Silver Screenings.
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Dear Mr. Kolchak,
You don’t know who I am, but I’ve been following your career. Not the public side of it, although the articles that make it to print in newspapers across the country are fine. You’re a talented newsman, no matter what you write about. I know that your editor at the INS forces your hand. It’s understandable why he wants to play it safe. I don’t really blame him. Or, at least I wouldn’t if you weren’t so good at the other thing. You’ve really a natural calling, and, well, thank god. Thank god, because there are so few people willing to do what you do, and fewer still who do it as well.
You’re probably wondering how I know about this shadow vocation of yours. I can’t say, of course. I’m confident that you’ll appreciate my need for circumspection. I also hope you will accept my word of honor that I’m not only aware of all you’ve done, but am sincerely thankful and much relieved at your continuing success as a vanquisher of the highest order. This is the truth.
And I’m not alone.
I’ve been tasked by the others with writing this letter. I’m not sure why they chose me, other than I’m decent with a turn of phrase. The reason behind this missive is clear enough: we’re all afraid–terribly afraid–that you’ll burn out. It always happens. Please don’t worry, though. If anyone is capable of overcoming the risks associated with this way of life, it’s you. How do we know this? Why, you’re the best we’ve ever seen. Here’s why.
- You’ve got style. Not sartorially speaking (although I dig your seersucker suit and that hat, which is a controversial opinion in my circle), but, well, in the way that you do things. You have aplomb. It sets you apart. If you were more reputable, it might even be called charm.
- You have the kind of bravado that opens doors. Too many of those thresholds lead to dangerous places. Oh, well! One cannot find vampires and zombies by staying in the office counting column inches.
- You’re tenacious, sometimes to the point of foolhardiness. When it comes to hunting the supernatural, there’s a fast-moving line between being stubborn and being dead. But you walk it well, my friend. Keep up the good work.
- You know that resources are for the resourceful. If anyone fully uses his contacts, both to and beyond the law, it is Carl Kolchak.
- You understand that research is your best life-line. Killing the undead requires study, dedication, practice, and fidelity to certain strange or mystical laws. Straying beyond a certain point is lethal. Which brings me to…
- The need to think on one’s feet, while staying more-or-less on course. You know when to take seemingly ridiculous chances, and when to adhere to the plan at hand. Smart, ballsy choices save lives.
- You’re a regular habitué of some pretty shady, scary places. The pursuit of werewolves and ghosts doesn’t exactly take you into the light. You spend considerable chunks of time in dark, closed-in, fetid spaces, following and fending off depraved, insatiable, murderous creatures.
- Hunting evil comes first for you. You’ve no personal life to speak of, and we are sorry about that. Life is a series of choices. Thank you for constantly making the correct ones, Carl Kolchak.
- You’re perfectly ordinary. Are you a superhero? An Olympian? A world-renowned expert on anything? No, no, no. Your actions are proof that anyone can make a positive difference in the world.
- Other people’s opinions don’t matter to you. Law enforcement and government officials think you are, at worst, insane, a murderer, or both. The best you come off is as a charlatan. I won’t mention how your co-workers feel…You persist.
- You persist. Through everything. You trudge past your own ignorance and unbelief only to meet up with that of others (who, unlike you, rarely change their minds), live with a sketchy reputation, are willing to look foolish and misunderstood, and put your life at risk for the greater good of humanity. All for little to no thanks.
We hope this letter stands as proof that your courage and selflessness have not gone unnoticed. You are appreciated, Carl Kolchak. You are necessary. You are the nightstalker. For the love of all that is good, please stay true to your principles. Don’t stray from the light. We need you. Desperately.
This post is part of the 2017 Reel Infatuation Blogathon, which I’m co-hosting with Ruth of Silver Screenings.
Darren McGavin Reel Infatuation Banner
- Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975)-Starring: Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jack Grinnage, Ruth McDevitt.
We had so much fun with the first Reel Infatuation Blogathon, that we’ve decided to do it again!
You can find all of the details here.
We hope you can join us.
As a teenager, I was obsessed with the Ida Lupino films, The Light That Failed (1939) and Moontide (1942). The former had the bonus of Ronald Colman, the latter of Jean Gabin. Ida was magnificent in both.
Ida Lupino in The Light That Failed (1939)
Ida Lupino enriched cinema with some of the most nuanced performances of the 1940s, only to outdo herself as a pioneering director and writer. She deserves that rarest of titles: One of a Kind.
Here’s to a glamorous and entertaining 2017, with an assist from Alice White…
Alice White Wishes You a Happy New Year