Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Recommend Pleasant

Edward P. Dowd: "Years ago my mother used to say to me... 'In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.' Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Few actors in the history of cinema can measure to the likes of Jimmy Stewart. His mere presence brightened up any screen, and his persona unmatched, even by the most aggressive of actors. In 1950's Harvey Stewart delivered one of the greatest characters, and by most accounts my favorite, ever to stand in front of the camera. Kind, trusting, and all around gentlemen Edward P. Dowd is the model human being. Never questioning others regardless of whether or not they're a career criminal, or a 6 foot tall invisible rabbit.

Always accommodating those around him, all while they seek to prove his own insanity, at times I dream of how much more gentle the world would be if all of us had a little bit of Dowd inside. His kind attitude towards others makes even the most cynical of individuals smile, if only for a little while. And with the creative direction of Henry Koster we find out in the end perhaps he's not crazy at all, perhaps it's us who need a little bit of help. With the remake dead I have to say I'm kind of sad Dowd won't be revisiting the screen, then again even Stewart had trouble recreating his own character magic. Alas though Dowd is one for the record books. When it came to kindness he wrote the book.

Dowd: "I always have a wonderful time, wherever I am, whomever I'm with."

2 better thoughts:

The Mad Hatter said...

Not sure whether it's a co-incidence that you posted this today or not...but just yesterday it was announced that Steven Spielberg announced that he's abandoning his plan to remake this film. Good thing too, since I really don't think it can be remade.

I actually finally saw this for the first time this year...and loved it, especially the moment you quoted in the title! Great post :)

Univarn said...

@Mad well I've wanted to do the post for a while, but never did. the announcement of Spielberg stepping away from it re-ignited my desire to throw it up. I love that moment as well, one of my favorites in cinema period, just something so special about that character trait.

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