Always trying to angle it towards Warren William I was pleased to see TCM schedule Upperworld to air late in the afternoon marking the 116th anniversary of William’s Aitkin, MN birth in 1894. Sure, I was disappointed that he’d only get one movie instead of an entire day, but hey, he must have something to do with all those pre-codes jammed into the Thursday daytime schedule, right? Uh, no, it’s day 1 of TCM’s tribute to their worthy choice for December’s Star of the Month, Mickey Rooney*. Oh well, I’ll at least keep right on thinking some kind programmer got the WW connection when they slotted Upperworld in at 5:30 pm EST.
*I really had a hard time remembering Mickey Rooney in Upperworld — Dickie Moore was the kid — and sure enough checking the IMDb I see they credit Rooney but mention his scenes were deleted.
Warren William really had a great 115th year and all indications are that year 116 is going to be his best since at least the 1940’s! This site continues to grow despite my not paying it nearly enough attention; I’ve noticed other bloggers begin to give Warren William a little extra coverage (The most recent instance that I caught being The Hollywood Review including Skyscraper Souls in their 30 days of pre-code films reviewed throughout November); a second Warren William blog has popped up courtesy of John Stangeland, the man behind the most important element in the Warren William revival going forward, Magnificent Scoundrel, which has been available for about a month now.
Let’s hope it all snowballs and maybe, just maybe, we can get 12 hours of so of Warren William movies next December 2 from TCM. Even better, how about a day for William during August’s 2011 Summer Under the Stars?
Update: December 2, 2013: Well, we got the birthday bash in 2011 and 24 hours during Summer Under the Stars in August 2012. Not too bad! TCM snubbed us for 2013, so here’s hoping we’re back on TV for Warren’s 120th in 2014!
As for December 2, 2010, I’ve chosen to celebrate the day with Warren right from the time his alarm rings:
And what pre-code fella wouldn’t want to wake up next to Joan Blondell? But wait, she’s not there, it’s only a picture. Warren’s startled awake by Joan’s note explaining that she’s just run out for some diced carrots and decides to get this birthday started on the prowl:
Unfortunately this was about as far as our hero could go with Miss Marsh as she was appropriately about a month shy of her 18th birthday at the time of this shot.
Warren swears that Miss Bruce seemed receptive, but Melvyn Douglas had other ideas including playing this MGM lead that Warren surely could have handled himself.
Just not a lucky birthday for this Scoundrel so far, so he even considers the unthinkable:
But he left that Dark Horse candidate behind deciding this would be a wiser option:
The day looking up after having that great spread all to himself, Warren is greeted with a birthday disappointment from Helen Lowell of all people.
Thanking Miss Lowell kindly for the empty box, Warren decides to let his playful side out some and goes sleuthing with Gracie for awhile:
But that just wound up going terribly wrong:
Terrified more by his failure at world domination then the death plunge from several stories high, Warren wakes up to find it was all a dream:
He’d been working too hard! It wasn’t Joan Blondell on his nightstand at all, it was Helen, his beloved wife since 1923.
Off to a real life night on the town with Helen and then back to being a screen louse tomorrow!
I loved this.Keep up the good work.Cheers.
Patricia Nolan-Hall says
That was a wonderful “day in the life”. Absolutely perfect!
Happy Birthday to Warren William, whom I’m learning lots about now that I’m reading the Stangeland biography. I’m sure if Warren William could see your efforts Cliff that he would be very proud and grateful to you. Keeping his memory alive the way you do.
That photo with Marsh is tres sexy. And she’s only 17? So scandalous. But we all know that Warren William much preferred his older wife! Ha ha.
What fun! Thanks, Cliff! (Regarding the “Dark Horse” rumors … it’s begun to cross my mind that Bette Davis looked LESS UNLIKE Helen, particularly Helen in her younger days, than any of WW’s other co-stars; so maybe there was some kind of untoward fascination there?)
Thanks everyone! This was really fun to put together too, it was only going to be 2 or 3 images at first and then I got going!
Yeah Raquelle, I love that shot with Marsh. It’s actually a card. I’ve used it at least one other time in a post here, probably more!
Not so sure, Jeffers, I don’t see it so much. You never know though, it’ll probably differ eyeball to eyeball with WW’s own eyes holding final judgment.
I did say only “less UNlike,” but I gladly yield in visual acuity to almost anyone!
John Stangeland says
Jeez, I only noticed this a year late, but it’s hysterical! And I’ve never seen that still from The Match King before – unless I’m remembering wrong, that’s not in the movie, is it?
Hard to believe Warren’s 117th is only 3 and a half months away!
Oh, this was a fun one, John, and I’m sure I’ll be linking back to it this December 2nd as well because I don’t think I have it in me to top it!
Hope you liked my alteration on “Smarty”
Pretty sure that’s not in The Match King, maybe the censors cut it since it seems like an odd choice for a posed shot. Without pulling it out if memory serves we just see a quick glimpse of a heap of WW on the ground.
John Stangeland says
Yeah – If I recall correctly we just see him from the balcony after he’s shot himself. And – yes – I found your alteration of the still from Smarty to be laugh-out-loud funny. Great stuff.
Mike Gattopardo says
Just caught Warren in Skyscraper Souls on TCM. I know he was a cad but not the worst sort. There was a redeeming quality about his love for the building and his refusal to take advantage of the drunk Maureen O’Sullivan that made me think I might not mind being a cad just like him. Happy Birthday, Warren! Hope to catch your follow-up performance here or in the next life.
Just discovered this site. All I can say is, Thank You and keep going.
Cliff Aliperti says
Thanks, Roger. I’ve gone a bit inactive over here as I mostly post at my other site, Immortal Ephemera–Actually I posted about Madame X (1937) earlier this morning and was just over here adding the link to the Filmography page. It’s HERE if you’d like to check it out. I’ll either make a comeback over here at some point or possibly reorganize the site. It all comes down to time. Thanks again for the kind words!
I am a fan of Warren Williams, thanks for this site. I have a question was Warren’s wife Helen 17 years older than him?