More gems from Scorn with Extra Bile edited by Matthew Parris (1998)

Pop music

This man has child-bearing lips

Joan Rivers on Mick Jagger

You have Van Gogh’s ear for music

Billy Wilder on Cliff Osmond

Wood Green shopping centre has been committed to vinyl

New Musical Express on the pop group Five Star

Bambi with testosterone

Owen Gleiberman on Prince in Entertainment Weekly.

Television and movies

A vacuum with nipples

Otto Preminger on Marilyn Monroe

It’s like kissing Hitler

Tony Curtin on kissing Marilyn Monroe

The face to launch a thousand dredgers

Jack de Manio on Glenda Jackson in Women in Love

As wholesome as a bowl of cornflakes, and at least as sexy.

Dwight Macdonald on Doris Day

This was Doris Day’s first picture; before she became a virgin

Oscar Levant on Doris Day in Romance on the High Seas.

A face unclouded by thought

Lillian Hellman on Norma Shearer

Guido Nadzo was Nadzo Guido

Brooks Anderson on Valentino look-alike Guido Nadzo

Compare this clever pun with ‘Me no Leica’, a review of I am a  Camera.

She cannot change her face, which is that of a worried hamster.

Review of Prunella Scales playing all six female parts in Anatole France by David Tylden-Wright.

A bore is starred

Village Voice review of A Star is Born starring Barbara Streisand.

The T is silent as in Harlow.

Margot Asquith explaining that her name should not be pronounced ‘Margot’. The reference is to Jean Harlow.

Denis Quilley played the role with all the charm and animation of the leg of a billiard table.

Bernard Levin on Denis Quilley as Charles Condamine in High Spirits ( a musical version of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit).

It is a generous role for womanly and impassioned actresses, and many performers have essayed it. I can think of four, however who have not: Totie Fields, W. C. Fields, Tutankhamen’s mummy and a trained monkey. Not until now, that is. Miss Gordon’s performance combines elements of all four.

John Simon on Ruth Gordon in the title role of Mrs Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw. 

An acting style that’s really a nervous breakdown in slow-motion.

John Simon on Diane Keaton

Katherine Hepburn ran the whole gamut of emotions from A to B.

Dorothy Parker reviewing The Lake by Dorothy Massingham and Murray Macdonald.

You can pick out actors from the glazed look that comes into their eyes when the conversation wanders away from themselves.

Michael Wilding 

Directors are people too short to be actors.

Josh Greenfield on film directors.

Television ? No good will come of this device. The word is half Greek and half Latin.

C. P. Scott.

TV is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.

David Frost

You know, I go to the theatre to be entertained….I don’t want to see plays about rape, sodomy and drug addiction…I can get all that at home.

Peter Cook, caption to cartoon in the Observer.

To be continued.

R. M. Healey

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