Friday, January 7, 2011

Be careful when naming files

Butterfly McQueen in Mildred Pierce (1945)

Butterfly McQueen (1911-1995) was born on this day in 1911. Most of you probably know her best as Prissy in Gone With the Wind ("I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no ^@#$%!%#@$ babies"). To be honest, though, I've always enjoyed watching her in Mildred Pierce, which is airing this afternoon at 12:45 PM ET on TCM. There, she plays the maid Mildred (Joan Crawford) takes in to help her bake the cakes and pies that get Mildred started as a business tycoon. The picture above comes from one of those earlier kitchen scenes, when McQueen is telling her boss that she doesn't know how the boss has the energy to work two jobs. In some ways, the scene is really insulting to McQueen. That having been said, I do find it a bit difficult at times to take McQueen seriously because of that voice. It might be even more off than Jean Arthur's voice, or the one Jean Hagen uses in Singin' In the Rain. In Hagen's defense, she wsa trying to portray ditzy; I don't recall her voice being much like that in The Asphalt Jungle.

Of course, I wrote a post about McQueen's voice on her birthday last year. This year, I was looking for a suitable photo of her, preferably with Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce, since I didn't really want to illustrate the post with a photo from Gone With the Wind. I found one, and was going to save it with the name "mcqueen.jpg" -- until I remembered that when I look through the file names later, I might mistake that for Steve McQueen. Not that Steve would have been old enough to play in Mildred Pierce. I suppose he could have played one of the Pierce kids; although a mother/son dynamic would have been quite different from the mother/daughter dynamic between Crawford and Ann Blyth. Perhaps Butterfly could have played in The Blob....

No comments: