Driving Through Mythical America

Annotation by John Harris

	Four students in the usual light of day 
	Set out to speak their minds about the war


Near the crest of Blanket Hill, the guard turned and 28 guardsmen fired between 
61 and 67 shots in 13 seconds toward the parking lot. Four persons lay dying 
and nine wounded. 
	Unaware that Eddie Prue was on the way 

[Dave Jones (Midnight Voices) adds:


( -- from the Internet Movie Database)
EP is a character in "The Brasher Doubloon", released in 1947 by 20th Century Fox 
and scripted by Raymond Chandler, based on his novel "The High Window".]

	Things had to snap before they knew the score 

	They were driving through mythical America 

   	A Rooney-Garland show was in the barn


Babes In Arms (1939) 
Busby Berkeley directs Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in a rousing rendition 
of Rodgers and Hart's famed Broadway hit. They're children of vaudevillians 
who want to follow in their parents' footsteps. 

	Fields was at the Pussycat Cafe


Had to ask around. Reply: 
	"That's an easy one! 
	The Black Pussy Cat Cafe, where Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges 
	tended bar, was the favorite hangout of Egbert Souse (Fields) in 
	The Bank Dick (1940). 

        ---Rod Crawford, Seattle, USA <puffinus@u.washington.edu>" 

	No-one had even heard of Herman Kahn


Hudson Institute is a private, not-for-profit research organization 
founded in 1961 by the late Herman Kahn. 

	And Jersey Joe was eager for the fray


Walcott, considered an excellent boxer and slick 
defensive fighter, challenged Joe Louis for the title 
in December of 1947 at Madison Square Garden. 

	Four students had to take it in their stride 
	And couldn't feel the road beneath the wheels 
	Of the car they didn't know they rode inside 
	Across the set and through the cardboard hills 

	They were driving through mythical America 

	They sold their Studebaker Golden Hawk


	And bought a Nash Ambassador Saloon


	Bogart said "Even the dead can talk" 

[MV member Bernie Seerzak reminds me (MV Forum 18.02.06) that I never inserted 
here the answer to the question "in which movie?", which occupied the minds of 
thousands of Atkin fans for 30 years. In fact Clive provided the answer via Pete 
in MV6157, 1st May 2001: "Clive reveals that Bogart said 'Even the dead can talk' 
in a 1951 movie called 'The Enforcer' (title changed in UK - why?! - to 'Murder, 
Inc.'), directed by the deliciously named Bretaigne Windust." 

MV member Jan (MV6263) transcribed the relevant dialogue from the DVD:

MENDOZA:  I'll have a better memory:  You looking like a chump in that
courtroom today.

FERGUSON:  If you think you can get away with this, you're crazy.  You
think you can shut people up by killing them, but you're wrong.  Even the 
dead can talk. Maybe not in a courtroom, but they'll be talking to you, 
Mendoza.  At night when you're trying to sleep ....

MENDOZA:  I don't have to listen to this.

SJB, 19.02.06]

	And suddenly the coats were all raccoon 

There's a picture somewhere with a racoon coat and Spencer Tracy that I can't focus on.

	Four students never knew that this was it 
	There isn't much a target needs to know 

	Already Babyface had made the hit 


"Baby Face" Nelson was born Lester M. Gillis on December 6, 1908, in Chicago, 

	And Rosebud was upended in the snow 


The very wealthy newspaper mogul Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) dies 
alone in a great fortress uttering the last word "Rosebud".

[Roy Brown (Midnight Voices) adds the following explanation:

Very early in the film, you see Kane as a young boy, dragged off in the
middle of sledging (I forget quite why - parental divorce?), leaving
behind forever his beloved sledge, Rosebud, upended in the snow.

It's suggested that Kane's whole life thereafter, his whole acquisitive
drive and all that went with it, stemmed from an unstoppable, but
subconscious, desire to compensate for that early, irredeemable loss.

At the very end, after Kane has died with "Rosebud" on his lips, we see
two workmen clearing up in the great fortress. One says "I wonder what
he meant by that?" The other, throwing something in the furnace, says "I
guess we'll never know". The camera tracks in for a close-up on the
burning item, just in time to see the "Rosebud" brand name on the sledge
(for that is what it is) blister and burn in the flames.

Kane was modelled on William Randolph Hearst, 1863-1951, newspaper
magnate, who married a famous silent film star, Marion Davies IIRC.

In real life, 'Rosebud' was apparently WRH's pet name for her clitoris.
A little Wellesian in-joke. Of course, you may not wish to know that...]

	They were driving through mythical America 

	Gatsby floated broken in the pool 


What does The Great Gatsby say about the American Dream? 
F Scott Fitzgerald 

	The Kansas City Seven found a groove 


Count Basie's Kansas City Seven, "Lester Leaps In" 

	Barrymore and Lombard played the fool 


Twentieth Century (1934) Comedy Howard Hawks 

An egomaniacal Broadway producer 
makes an untutored shop girl a 
star. When she leaves him for 
Hollywood, he does everything he 
can to woo her back on a lengthy 
train trip. 

(also appeared together in True Confession 1937) 

	And Cheetah slowly taught John Wayne to move 


[Cheetah was a chimp in the Tarzan movies -- hence the Duke walk -- S]

	Four students watched the soldiers load and aim 
	And never tumbled they were on the spot 
	Moose Molloy pulled ten years on a frame 


Raymond Chandler, Farewell My Lovely 

Marlowe seems initially to be involved in two separate cases. 
He gets drawn into the first when he witnesses a senseless 
murder and goes searching for the man who committed it, a huge 
ex-con named Moose Malloy. 

	The dough was phoney and the car was hot 

	They were driving through mythical America 

	Henry Ford paid seven bucks a day 


Inventor of the production line and the Model T. 

	Rockwell did the covers on the Post 


NORMAN ROCKWELL The Saturday Evening Post 

Norman Rockwell captured Americans as they wanted to see themselves. He once 
said, "The view of life I paint excludes the sordid and ugly. I paint life as 
I would like it to be." Rockwell and his artwork are quintessentially American. 

	FDR set up the TVA 


President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration and his New 
Deal for lifting America out of the Depression 

	TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority)--One of the most ambitious federal 
	projects, the TVA proposed building dams and power plants, thus bringing 
	electric power to rural areas along the Tennessee River in seven states. 
	Private power companies were outraged, although for many Americans it 
	was their first chance for getting electricity. In addition, the TVA
	gave work to thousands of unemployed construction workers. 

	And the stars rode silver trains from coast to coast 

	Four students blinked at ordinary skies 
	But the sunlight came from thousands of motels 

Don't know

	A highway through the night was in their eyes 
	And waiting at the roadblock Orson Welles 

From memory, unless I mistake the reference: 


Touch of Evil (1958) 

A Mexican government investigator and his young American wife 
put their honeymoon on hold in an American border town when they 
become embroiled in a frame-up planned by the town's chief 
investigator. Featuring one of the longest continuous shots in 

	They were driving through mythical America 

   	Four students never guessed that they were through 
   	Their history had them covered like a gun 
	It hit them like a bolt out of the blue 
	Too quick to grasp and far too late to run 

	They crashed and died together in the sun 
	They were driving through mythical America 

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