"Oooh, you son of a bitch."
March 16, 2012 1:45 AM   Subscribe

Classic Hollywood Guide on how to react when you screw up a scene. Movie bloopers with Bogie, Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Kay Francis, Edward G. Robinson, Jane Wyman, George Brent, Merle Oberon, Patricia Neal, Mickey Rooney and more.
posted by Wonton Cruelty (26 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man, I love me some bloopers and outtakes. I really like seeing that, albeit only 50-70 years ago, people still react to fuck-ups and flubs now as they did then.
posted by ZaneJ. at 2:52 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Funny stuff. The best description of a set of bloopers I've seen: from a Kevin Smith movie (maybe Zack and Miri) entitled "The reason why movies are so expensive."
posted by zardoz at 4:09 AM on March 16, 2012

I've seen some of those as extras on dvds of classic movies, so I imagine all the really harsh language ones got cut out to keep a low certificate... but even so swearing seemed so much classier back then
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:54 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Could someone please set this to the Cannonball Run closing theme?
posted by sourwookie at 5:53 AM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]

Humphrey Bogart was awesome. Got it.
posted by jeremias at 6:05 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

The swearing reminded me of my dad.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:16 AM on March 16, 2012

I miss old Hollywood.
posted by stormpooper at 6:20 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is the first time I thought Edward G. Robinson looked like he wouldn't be terrifying to hang out with.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:34 AM on March 16, 2012

My favorite Bogart story (apocryphal but presented as truth by one of my professors in film school) goes that during the filming of Casablanca Bogart was unhappy with a scene that he thought was running too long and was basically just two characters standing around trading lines.

He eventually grumbled to director Michael Curtiz, "if we have to do it this way, at least put a couple camels fucking in the background so the people have something to watch."

I love that story. It's also how "you need some camels here," became shorthand in our workshopping group for saying a scene was becoming too talky or static.
posted by Naberius at 6:35 AM on March 16, 2012 [14 favorites]

Thank you, Wonton Cruelty. These made my day.
posted by kuanes at 6:45 AM on March 16, 2012

It's pretty fun to see the old stars in such normal moments, considering how managed and squeaky-clean their on-screen persona were. Recall, for instance, the famous controversy as to whether Gable was going to be allowed to say "I don't give a damn" in GWTW.

As for this particular video...That added running timecode was pretty distracting, considering such things didn't exist back in the days of these films, and the dubbed sound effects over the really saucy language was disappointing. One holds out hope that the original footage and soundtracks still exist somewhere, and hopefully will come out someday, somehow.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:46 AM on March 16, 2012

That's it. I am now completely convinced that "fuck" is played out, and am upgrading my current profanity to "sonofabitch" and "nuts".
posted by padraigin at 6:52 AM on March 16, 2012 [4 favorites]

I know that swearing is nothing new, but to see it done in old Holllywood footage is surreal because you never saw it in the movie at the theater. Nice to know even the classics were acted by normal human beings that "act" just like today's people. It would have been a bit funnier to hear some more wholesome swears such as "Jeepers!" and "Confoundit!"
posted by byronshell at 7:02 AM on March 16, 2012

I defy anyone to act surprised at Bette Davis swearing.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:04 AM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

padraigin, you can "nuts", sure, but only General McAuliffe owns it.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:24 AM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]

That's it. I am now completely convinced that "fuck" is played out, and am upgrading my current profanity to "sonofabitch" and "nuts".

The fuck you say!?!
posted by Fizz at 7:30 AM on March 16, 2012

To me, it looks like the actors react more or less as they do now -- probably instinctively.

What's notably different is that now it's common to use these mistakes as part of the movie itself, sometimes in the cinema version, sometimes as an "extra" on a DVD. Admittedly, it doesn't seem to happen much outside of comedies, but even so, it contributes to a broader collapse of the fourth wall.

I kind of liked that wall.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 8:19 AM on March 16, 2012

Time for a "nuts" revival.

But my favorite has to be "Schmuck!". I love the in-character/out-of-character contrast.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:49 AM on March 16, 2012

Was "nuts" an equivalent to "balls" today, or no?
posted by davejay at 9:21 AM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Joel McCrea! ::siiiiigh::

How is it that when I see him in a (non-western) film, he comes off to me as a man more suited to our day than his own? Something about him strikes me as just so modern.
posted by droplet at 10:11 AM on March 16, 2012

You know, I never thought I'd say it, but now I kinda miss Denis Norden and his clip board (For Brits only, Americans please move on, nothing to see)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:20 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Oh! You're following me! I didn't know that..." -James Stewart
posted by ShutterBun at 12:25 PM on March 16, 2012

Here's another collection (no timecode!) which appears to have been officially compiled by Warner Brothers. (??)
posted by ShutterBun at 12:30 PM on March 16, 2012

MetaFilter: If I only knew the line now, how beautifully we could play this scene.
posted by Chuckles at 1:23 PM on March 16, 2012

"Nuts" was considered a strong enough curse to still be banned from the air as late as 1950, and for probably a while after that too.
posted by Spatch at 2:06 PM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]

Oh, this is fabulous, for the various reasons enumerated above.

Many of these actors seem *more* angry about flubbing than what we're used to in today's blooper reels. I suspect there's a sanitizing of those going on, and we don't see the real deal until a Christian Bale-like leak.

But I almost want to think it's because they took their craft more seriously back then and thus were madder about messing up.

And catch the director SCREAMING at one actress (who?) to not push her hair back. Finally she yells back: "I gotta SEE!"

Oh, and, Carole Lombard, such a sweetheart, died so young.

I defy anyone to act surprised at Bette Davis swearing.
I'm not as good an actor as she was so I can't.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:31 PM on March 16, 2012

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