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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Most Idiotic Acting Note I Have Ever Given.

Do you remember a movie called "The Lady Eve"?

It was and is a great movie.
It was released in 1941.
Preston Sturges wrote and directed it.
It was when Sturges was THE best comedy director alive.
It starred Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck.
The were both brilliant.
The script, the pacing, and the direction were all brilliant.
William Demarest was also in it.
HE was brilliant.

So I'm watching this now 71 year old movie on Turner Classics recently.
And there is this scene between Fonda and Stanwyck.
Fonda plays a wealthy heir to a brewery, who is completely smitten by Stanwyck,
who is a con-woman.
Her nickname for him is "Hopsie"
They are on an ocean liner, where Stanwyck and her father, Charles Coburn, are successful cardsharps.
Fonda is picked up from a flatboat near the Amazon River, where, being a snake fancier,
he has been adding rare snakes to his collection.
The scene I referred to takes place as Stanwyck invites Fonda down to her cabin aboard
Fonda is gaga over her perfume.
As Fonda is mooning over her, Stanwyck turns to him and asks "What's the matter,
Hopsie? Don't you like my perfume?"
Fonda replies "Oh, it's not that. It's just, well, I've been up the Amazon the last two years, and they don't wear perfume."
He said this somewhat matter-of-factly, with no change of expression, and the line kind
of passes into the night.
Unfortunately, I can't watch anything without my Show Runner or Director's hat on.
So when I saw Fonda say that line, I actually yelled at the screen, "No, Hank, when
you say "I've been up the Amazon the last two years, you've got to pause and
reflect before you say ...and they don't wear perfume." This way we see that you have a vivid remembrance of just how
badly those natives smell. And it's much funnier."

I was giving an acting note to a dead actor for a movie made 71 years ago.
Where there were no chances for retakes.
How idiotic was that?
My only consolation is that I was right.
Sometimes it just does you a fat lot of good being right.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.




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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."