The Loneliest Jukebox

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Payton's place

I'm flying back from D.C. tomorrow after doing some archival work and seeing friends. The trip included a chance to watch some old film noirs - I write about them from time to time - on DVD. That means finishing off some days with a glass of wine and something like The Set-Up, All the King's Men, Sorry Wrong Number or Pick-up on South Street. To each his own...

A while back Jukebox profiled the movie Detour, mentioning its unsavoury star Tom Neal and his knock-out brawl with Franchot Tone over actress Barbara Payton. "The former college boxer Neal inflicted upon Tone a smashed cheekbone, a broken nose and a brain concussion", says the IMDB. For fans of Payton, at least one D.C. bookshop has a rack of cheap movies from the same distributors who recently sold me Too Late for Tears. And amid that cranky collection she takes second billing to Lloyd Bridges in Trapped. Looking closely at the packaging, the reader learns that her 'later years found Payton drunk, shooting heroin and prostituting herself in the back seat of her rusty red convertible for $5 a trick'.

Real classy guys. Does Alpha Video pay royalties from its back catalogue sales to living relatives of long-dead cast members? I don't suppose so, but I wonder if they also send them such charming prose for approval.

* The D.C. trip also allowed me to attend this event on the future of blogging.


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