Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tod + Todd (for Tod or Todd)

The other night I decided to take a break from the Edith Wharton essay "French Ways and Their Meaning" (assigned reading for a writing workshop I'm taking) to finally make time to view the 1936 sci-fi thriller The Devil-Doll by Tod Browning. Two tiny thumbs up, especially if you like miniatures. It's where creepy goes to meet cute and, if you know the Browning cult classic Freaks, you'll know the man was a master at precisely that sort of alchemy. He makes the appalling appealing! (I know, I know, that is pretty corny, but then so's the movie. Still, it's rather a thing of beauty in its own way. Wharton writes: "That a thing should be in scale—should be proportioned to its purpose—is one of the first requirements of beauty.") Watch The Devil-Doll if for no other reason than to see Lionel Barrymore in full-on drag—or, if you'd prefer, Rafaela Ottiano, whom TCM host Robert Osborne describes as always looking "as mad as a hatter," adding, "I love Rafaela Ottiano." So do I, although it's hard to fathom why she was never cast as the Bride of Frankenstein, since she totally looks the part! But you can always catch her here, and in 40-odd other old movies as well. Catch today's typo if you can (it was found 30 times in OhioLINK, with just over half being actual typos) and in doing so, shrink your own collection of errors down just a wee bit.

(Film poster for The Devil-Doll, from Wikipedia.)

Carol Reid

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