Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yeah Yeah Yeah Celebrate Edward G Robinson's Birthday

Edward G Robinson was born December 12, 1893 in Bucharest, Romania. He shares his birthday with Frank Sinatra, Bob Barker, Connie Francis, Dionne Warwick to name a very few. How did he feel about being imitated? It's a Thursday Talk-Alike!

Raquel Welch Edward G. Robinson
The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968)
Original 8x10" Photo
The Martha Raye Show ran 1954-1956. A regular who appeared with the actress on the show was retired middleweight boxer Rocky Graziano.

Early in an episode where Robinson is guest star, they do an imitation of his Little Caesar character. 

He rushes onto the stage talks about how aggravating it is to be associated with one character when he's done so many movies.

Actually to be truthful, he did play that sort of character in more than one film, but the character of Rico in Little Caesar is maybe the most famous. Still what he's saying is right and lots of actors have this problem -- if they're lucky enough to be famous.

What he has to say on the show:
"I can't take these imitations any longer! More than 20 years ago I made a picture called Little Caesar and ever since then the imitations have been going on. Yeah, yeah yeah!

"Since then I've made hundreds of pictures, wonderful pictures like Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940) where I played a nice sweet lovable German scientist. But do people imitate Dr. Ehrlich? No! It's just Yeah, yeah, yeah! ....

"The day my little baby was born. The first time that I picked him up in my arms... All other babies say, 'Goo Goo, Dah Dah.' He looked up at me and he said, 'Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!'" 

** There's a bit more about Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet below

[See him (for the first time) about 03:36 into the video]

In a documentary on Little Caesar they talk about the perennial popularity of characters like these. They also mention Bonnie and Clyde.

In 1937 he made a film with Bette Davis, Kid Galahad. Here's a little promotional video the stars made that includes a short behind-the-scenes introduction.   

In 1963 John, Paul, George and Ringo realized the power of Yeah, yeah, yeah! 
The Beatles had an early hit with the song She Loves You, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, released July 1, 1963.

Robinson was awarded an Honorary Academy Award in 1973. Apparently he knew of the award, but sadly he died two months before the award ceremony. His widow accepted the statuette in his honor.

So don't worry Edward G, with all due respect, as I'm a big fan of The Beatles and Edward G. Robinson....

They love you, yeah, yeah, yeah
They love you, yeah, yeah, yeah
And with a love like that
You know you should be glad.

Edward G Robinson Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet
Clipping Magazine photo 8x10 2pg orig

The 1940 film, Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet, met with some controversy due to the subject matter. With a strong script by script by John Huston, the film also featured Ruth Gordon and Otto Kruger. It was produced by the legendary Hal Wallis and directed by William Dieterle.

"Working under the puritanical restraints of the Production Code of the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors of America, Warner executives furthermore seriously considered not mentioning the word syphilis in the movie. 

"However, Hal B. Wallis, president of the association, while advising caution, wrote to Warner Bros. that 'to make a dramatic picture of the life of Dr. Ehrlich and not include this discovery [the anti-syphilis drug Salvarsan] among his great achievements would be unfair to the record.'"
-- short excerpt from Wikipedia

Producer Hal Wallis wrote in Starmaker: the autobiography of Hal B. Wallis that one of the reasons he was keen to make this film, despite objections from the Hays Office over the syphilis subject matter, was to help refute a widely-quoted 1938 statement by Adolf Hitler in which he said, "a scientific discovery by a Jew is worthless." (Ehrlich was a German Jew.)
-- info thanks to TCM. In the book, Wallis calls it "Hitler's widely quoted statement." There are many reasons for watching the film and films like it.

Books that cover medicine, doctors, illness, science and its history as it's portrayed in film. These studies can be so interesting and often they're either written by people in the field or have consultants who are doctors or other types of scientists.

They Called Me Mad: Genius, Madness, and the Scientists Who Pushed the Outer Limits of Knowledge From Dr. Frankenstein to Dr. Jekyll, the image of the mad scientist surrounded by glass vials, copper coils, and electrical apparatus remains a popular fixture. In films and fiction, he's comically misguided, tragically misunderstood, or pathologically evil.

The Picture of Health: Medical Ethics and the Movies

The Science of James Bond: From Bullets to Bowler Hats to Boat Jumps, the Real Technology Behind 007's Fabulous Films  

Medicinema - Doctors in Films 

A podcast from Chemistry World about Dr. Ehrlich's discovery of Salvarsan. The film is hailed by doctors, scientists, microbiologists in particular as one of the best.

Links to Related Pages:

Read More info about Mr. Robinson and his career

Bette Davis Impersonations on a Tuesday Talk-Alike : Sammy Davis talks like Jimmy Stewart talks like Bette Davis Imitations

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