Saturday, August 15, 2015

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. day

Today's star in TCM's Summer Under the Stars is Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Fairbanks was the son of popular silent actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr., of course, but not the son of Mary Pickford, whom Fairbanks Sr. was well known for marrying and who helped co-found United Artists. Pickford would have been about 16 at the time Fairbanks Jr. was conceived, and Fairbanks Sr. was married to another woman. Apparently he also had an interesting career in the military during World War II that I didn't know much about and that he wrote about in a book called A Hell of a War.

As for the movies that are airing today, I see that I've already blogged about Little Caesar, which is airing overnight at 3:15 AM. It's a really good movie, although Fairbanks' role is decidedly secondary to that of Edward G. Robinson.

Perhaps more interesting, because it's rather less well-known, is Parachute Jumper, preceding Little Caesar at 2:00 AM. This one has Fairbanks as a pilot who, because of the depression, gets involved in whatever work he can, which results in his working for a drug smuggler, who wants him to fly drug shipments over the border. This one has a young Bette Davis, before she really hit the big time with Of Human Bondage.

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