Who knew: I watched about twenty minutes of a Turner rerun of one of their four Philo Vance movies...he's more obnoxious on film than he is on the page. I remember when Fawcett reissued several of the Vance novels in very nifty packages. I made the mistake of buying two of them instead of the more cautious one. Whoa. Every once in a while I can enjoy a Golden Age Brit but a faux Golden Age Brit doesn't cut it for me. The only thing interesting was that even with all the hoity toity they managed to work a dumb NYC Irish cop into the story.
Later I caught a 1935 Bob Hope short introduced by Robert Osborne. He set it up by saying that the short was shot in Brooklyn and was a result of Hope's Broadway hit Roberta. He came complete even back then, the sort of mincing mannerisms, the wise guy patter, the dame-chasing and of course the cowardice. As Carol said Maybe that's really Hope writ large for the stage and screen. He was interesting but the rest was just tired vaudeville gags.
For western fans--I thought I'd seen all the major silent and early talkie stars in the various small town theaters I haunted after the war. But if I'd seen Hoot Gibson I have no memory of him. I watched a Hoot film--most of it anyway--on TCM and I have to say he's a worse actor than Autry and just about a as unlikely a star. If Gene reminded me of an insurance salesman old Hoot reminds me of a bartender. Roy looks better all the time, that sort sappy teenage enthusiasm wasn't so bad after all.