Americans used to have guns without shame

Fred and RitaThere are very few bad Fred Astaire movies, but there are a few. You’ll Never Get Rich definitely falls into that category.  Even Rita Hayworth, who is at her most lovely, cannot save this pathetic wreck of a movie.  The plot is convoluted, which is normal for an Astaire movie, but the movie makes the fatal mistake of casting Astaire as a cowardly, dishonest man.  Nobody expects a macho Fred, but nobody wants a quivering, cowardly, lying Fred.  The dancing is lovely, though, and TiVo means that you can just fast forward to the good parts.

There was one scene in the movie, however, that merited watching.  I’ll try setting it up as briefly as possible:  An unwitting Rita Hayworth opens the morning paper to discover a false headline saying she was engaged to Astaire.  She believes (erroneously) that Astaire planted the headline.  Hayworth’s fiance, a Captain in the Army, then calls her and, when he learns the headline is a lie, heads over to her apartment while wearing his civilian clothes.  Astaire also heads for Hayworth’s apartment to berate her, since he believes (erroneously) that Hayworth planted the headline.  The Captain reaches Hayworth’s apartment first.  When he, Hayworth, and her roommate hear Astaire banging at the door, Hayworth shoos the Captain and her roommate into the bedroom.  And here’s where this mess of a plot momentarily gets interesting.

Once in the bedroom, the Captain says something along the lines of “I’ve got a great idea to prank this guy.”  He then turns to the roommate and (I quote) asks, “Have you got a gun?”  Without so much as a blink, she replies “It’s in that drawer.”  He opens the drawer and grabs a large revolver.  Armed with his gun, the Captain bursts into the living room, pretending to be Hayworth’s outraged Southern brother demanding that Astaire marry his “sister.”  Astaire rabbits out of the room.  In the next scene, an agitated Astaire is telling his boss, who’s the real culprit behind the newspaper headline, about the threat to his life.  His boss says, “Buy yourself a gun.”

Can you imagine any Hollywood movie today showing a woman having a revolver just hanging around in her vanity drawer?  Can you imagine a gun being used as a playful joke in a happy musical?  And can you imagine that a Hollywood movie would show someone terrified of being attacked getting advice from a colleague to “buy a gun”?  It’s inconceivable (and I know what that word means, too).

And while we’re on the subject of guns, Charles C. W. Cooke notes that everything the Progressives tell you about the necessity for gun control laws is a lie.  Since all the elaborate registration requirements and background checks currently on the books don’t prevent mass shootings, small wonder then that Second Amendment supporters suspect that increased registration requirements are simply a predicate to gun confiscation or otherwise criminalizing gun owners.

I did mention, didn’t I, that the dancing is lovely?

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  • lee

    I am an old TV show fan, especially “Perry Mason.” It always (even now that I am up to Season 7–hoping to get Seasons 8 and 9 for Christmas) surprises me about the guns. One episode, I guy got he and his fiance a matching pair.

  • 11B40

    Greetings:
     
    I grew up in the Bronx of the ’50s and ’60s.  Back there and then, the Sullivan law covered handguns. The folk wisdom was that if you didn’t have a cash business, weren’t a retired police officer or weren’t politically connect, you had basically no chance of getting a permit.
     
    At the same time, in our small working class, lower middle class neighborhood, an undocumented handgun was never more than a week away; a specific make and model no more than two or three weeks away.

  • KellyM

    Book, I’ll disagree with you re Fred Astaire playing cowardly characters. His character in “Holiday Inn” wasn’t exactly the most stand-up of guys. In fact, you could say his conniving bordered on cowardly. 

    • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

      You’re right, KellyM, about his character in Holiday Inn.  The only is that, as Lee says, the real star was Bing.  Funnily enough, when I think about Holiday Inn, I always think of Astaire as having merely a guest part.

      • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

        I thought Holiday Inn was about the commercial…

  • lee

    He was a rotter in “Holiday Inn” but in the end, you forgive him, if I recall correctly. Bing gets his girl, and twue wove twiumphs.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Even if it did get rid of shootings, Book, why would I accept, as Brits and Aussies do, that it is better to be stabbed by crazies rather than shot? Especially since there’s not much untrained people can do against a knife, chains, or a bat without a firearm to equalize the force factor?
     
    It should be up to each individual to decide what their life is worth. Not a bunch of foreign Brits and Aussies to tell me what I should or shouldn’t be allowed to do in a country they don’t even Fing live in or pay taxes in. Who the hell do they think they are, to consider that their laws should just fit right in with us?
     
    If they want to live as livestock on the state farm and be taxed until criminals slaughter them, they should just make that choice and keep it to themselves while they die. We don’t want to hear their screaming and complaining.

  • Michael Adams

    In Texas, outside of Austin, and I do mean right outside, as in Pflugerville and Round Rock, people still own guns, women do indeed keep them in the vanity drawer, the common advice to anyone under threat is to buy a gun, with the usual response, “I’ve already got one.  I just need more ammunition.” That recent Bill Whittle piece was very clear about what free Texas looks like to people from the occupied territories.