Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Good Morning, Gratuitous John Ireland

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I didn't think I was going to be able to scrounge up anything "Good Morning" related for the actor John Ireland, who was born on this day in the year 1914, so I was rather pleased with myself when I dug up that delightful little shot in the 1948 flick Open Secret (you can watch the entire thing on YouTube) which is about Ireland and his wife accidentally uncovering, and I quote, "a secret band of anti-Semitic thugs masquerading as a patriotic organization." Well that sounds dark. Anybody seen it? I only skimmed through it.

Anyway when I googled Mr. Ireland at first to see if I could do a post on him wanna know what the first thing I read was? The first thing I read was a quote from Bette Davis asking, "Why is it always the homely ones," in reference to John Ireland being hung like a horse.

That is the first thing I read. The internet is magical. But the internet doesn't lie in this case - as you can see from those shots it does appear John gave the studio seamstresses something to gossip about. Supposedly that wanton woman Joan Crawford...

... seen here with a stunned "I just got hammered by a horse cock" hundred yard glare (oh, I know it well), well supposedly Joan couldn't get enough of Ireland. Of course she couldn't. Take that, Bette. (And where were these scenes in Bette & Joan I ask you? You didn't do the right research, Ryan Murphy.) But I'm with Joan - Ireland wasn't "homely." Maybe he wasn't beautiful like Montgomery Clift but he certainly wasn't anything to sneeze at...

But speaking of Monty this intimate knowledge of Ireland makes me rethink the scene I always think of when I think of Ireland, which is his infamous pistol-swapping scene with Clift in Red River, aka the gayest thing ever put on-screen. We've posted about that scene before (I mean obviously we have) but now I know why Monty...

... seemed so delighted during it. I'd smile too, Monty. So TCM was just playing All the King's Men (which also stars Ireland) the other night and I watched a little bit - I'd never seen it before. I have to admit that I didn't pay much attention to him while watching it though - I was hypnotized by Mercedes McCambridge's surprisingly nasty performance in it. She was never afraid to go dark, was she?

I wish I'd watched the whole thing; maybe now with Ireland on my mind I'll go back and watch it properly and pay more attention to John (and his trousers) while I'm at it. Okay, so if you have a favorite John Ireland Movie that I didn't mention... like perhaps 1955's The Fast and the Furious...

.... opposite the sadly just-passed Dorothy Malone (who was ALSO born on this day, just ten years after John in 1924)... well if you have a favorite go ahead and share your other John Ireland Faves in the comments. John had a big, long...

... uh, career, I was going to say career! And he doesn't get talked about all that much anymore, it seems. It was actually kind of difficult to wrangle up a ton of pictures of him but I'll share what I did find after the jump...





















2 comments:

joel65913 said...

I think he's more interesting looking than beautiful but handsome after a fashion...and you know what they say after the lights go down it's either feast or famine. And in this case apparently it was a buffet!

He was a journeyman actor and I don't think I have any particular favorite "John Ireland" performance but he did make some decent film, and some trash but with a career of his length that's inevitable.

He made another film with the much lamented Dorothy Malone that sounds like it shares many plot points with Open Secret called Security Risk.

He also made another film with Mercedes McCambridge called The Scarf which is one of his better ones, and he looks quite sexy in it, and one of McCambridge's few starring roles (she even sings in it). A twisty little noir worth seeking out.

brotherfrancis said...

He's one of those actors who was always around on television when I was growing up, so I rather took him for granted. But he was in some good - or at least interesting - films. One I enjoyed was Queen Bee, featuring one of Joan Crawford's nastiest performances. And John Ireland manages to make an impression, which is no small feat in such a claustrophobic movie with Crawford sucking up all the oxygen in the room. I agree with joel65913 in that he was competent and dependable rather than great, which probably explains his 42-year long career, competent and dependable being cherished qualities by producers and executives.