In our talks I find I've been mentioning older movies he hasn't seen. This is an easy trick, since he considers a film like AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999) 'old school'. Ouch. And anything in black and white? Smithsonian.
In my Beginner's Guide to Bette Davis,
I confess to having had a similar bias against black and white films from early last century. That they felt dark and depressing somehow.
Take this image (above). It depicts three men who deliver ice for a living, listening to a distant customer at the top of countless stairs. This short film was made back when many people couldn't afford an electric refrigerator, and so they kept ice boxes that held huge chunks of ice. How's that for dated? Worse, you'll note the fat one in the middle is holding the reins, as in a horse drawn carriage. And that customer is yelling because no one has a cellphone yet.
The crime here is that this image depicts a rather hilarious sequence of the Three Stooges short AN ACHE IN EVERY STAKE. Moe (Annoyed), Larry (Stoner), and Curly (Bonehead) must find a way to get a giant chunk of ice up all those stairs before it melts. It would sound easy enough, but realize we're investing our faith in three... stooges.
Crackle has posted the entire short on YouTube. If you've never seen it, give it a few minutes. The scene I'm referencing is in the opening sequence --
I've been living in Los Angeles since 1997. Over the years I've hoped to stumble upon this very staircase. I had an idea of where it might be and have found several staircases something like it... but none this long or high. I started to accept the likelihood that said stairway crumbled some time ago. Or that it was victim to a hillside condo development.
Not so, it turns out. It's alive and well. At 2258 Fair Oak View Terrace, Los Angeles, CA 90039-ish.
One day soon I hope to have a field trip. If you believe I'm a chowderhead to wish such a thing, know that I'm not alone. Author Jim Pauley has researched this location and countless others and has written a book for Stooge Stalkers like myself.