November 7th, 2016

It’s the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” election

This from Ann Althouse made me chuckle:

“Both campaigns live in fear of one thing: the last seven days of the election being a referendum on why they stink.”

Said Mike Murphy (the Republican strategist) on “Meet the Press”…

And the NPR host Audie Cornish chimed in:

“I think for that last few months, we’ve learned that any time one of them is under the spotlight, they get roughed up in the polls. They don’t look good. There’s never a time they’re in the spotlight and people say, “Gee, I think I like that person after all.”

It made me [Ann Althouse] think of the line from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”: “I frighten you. I am very ugly, am I not? Do not look at me…”

Wow, I had completely forgotten that movie, one of those I watched in my youth many times It was played incessantly on TV back on those non-PC days. Charles Laughton was amazing, fascinating—you just had to look at him, despite his asking you not to. He was like a walking, talking, King Kong (including his love for the beautiful lady, and the towering height of the building involved).

I didn’t understand a bit of it, really, but I loved it. I don’t recall a single thing about the twistings and turnings of the plot, nor any of the non-hunchback scenes. All I remember is Quasimodo himself, and of course Esmeralda the gypsy girl (who didn’t look anywhere near as gypsy-ish as I did). Laughton held nothing back, nothing:

20 Responses to “It’s the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” election”

  1. carl in atlanta Says:

    1939 was quite a year for the movies, no?
    Wizard of Oz, GWTW, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Stagecoach, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Of Mice and Men….

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    carl in atlanta:

    Indeed. And quite a year for the world as well.

    Don’t forget “Wuthering Heights.”

  3. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    That’s a 19 yr old Maureen O’Hara playing Esmerelda.

    And I compared Trump to Quasimodo but a few days ago. His flaws too terrible to look upon, apparently leading some to risk Hillary.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I’ve often thought of what a remarkable year that was for movies and it just occurred to me that arguably it was Hollywood’s high point with a slow slide down from there…

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    I prefer Laughton in the patriotic movie that explains what used to be americas classless society:

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Ruggles of Red Gap is a 1935 comedy film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, Charlie Ruggles, and ZaSu Pitts, and featuring Roland Young and Leila Hyams.

    In 1908 the Earl of Burnstead (Roland Young) gambles away his eminently correct English manservant, Marmaduke Ruggles (Charles Laughton). Ruggles’ new masters, crude nouveau riche American millionaires Egbert and Effie Floud (Charlie Ruggles and Mary Boland), bring Ruggles back to Red Gap, Washington, a remote Western boomtown. When Ruggles is mistaken for a wealthy retired Englishman colonel, he becomes a celebrity in the small town. As Ruggles attempts to adjust to his rough new community, he learns to live life on his own terms, achieving a fulfilling independence as a result. // The climax of the film is Laughton’s recitation of the Gettysburg Address in a saloon filled with rough Western characters who are held spellbound by the speech. Newly imbued with the spirit of democracy and self-determination, Ruggles becomes his own man, giving up his previous employment and opening a restaurant in Red Gap.

    actually the BEST part is Laughton musing on how a manservant could somehow come to this great land and start a business and be free and no longer a cog in a class system he once belonged to and which established his station in life..

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    IF we saw that movie, understanding why the rough and tumble forgotten man wants trump…

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    “Demosthenes was the son of a cutler,” it began. “Horace was the son of a shopkeeper. Virgil s father was a porter. Cardinal Wolsey was the son of a butcher. Shakespeare the son of a wool-stapler.” Followed the obscure parentage of such well-known persons as Milton, Napoleon, Columbus, Cromwell. Even Mohammed was noted as a shepherd and camel-driver, though it seemed rather questionable taste to include in the list one whose religion, as to family life, was rather scandalous.

    More to the point was the citation of various Americans who had sprung from humble beginnings : Lincoln, Johnson, Grant, Garfield, Edison. It is true that there was not, apparently, a gentleman s servant among them; they were rail-splitters, boatmen, tailors, artisans of sorts, but the combined effect
    was rather overwhelming.

    From the first moment of my encountering the American social system, it seemed, I had been by way of becoming a rabid anarchist that is, one feeling that he might become a gentleman regardless of his birth and here were the disconcerting facts concerning a score of notables to confirm me in my heresy. It was not a thing to be spoken lightly of in loose discussion, but there can be no doubt that at this moment I coldly questioned the soundness of our British system, the vital marrow of which is to teach that there is adifference between men and men.

    To be sure, it will have been seen that I was not myself, having for a quarter year been subjected to a series of nervous shocks, and having had my mind contaminated, moreover, by being brought into daily contact with this unthinking American equality in the person of Cousin Egbert, who, I make bold to assert, had never for one instant since his doubtless obscure birth considered himself the superior of any human being what soever.

    and the Son of God was a carpenter…

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    For a moment, I repeat, I saw myself a gentleman in the making a clear fairway without bunkers from tee to green meeting my equals with a friendly eye; and then the illumining shock, for I unconsciously added to myself, “Regarding my inferiors with a kindly tolerance.” It was there I caught myself. So much a part of the system was I that, although I could readily conceive a society in which I had no superiors, I could not picture one in which I had not in
    feriors.

    The same poison that ran in the veins of their lordships ran also in the veins of their servants. I was indeed, it appeared, hopelessly inoculated. Again I read the card. Horace was the son of a shopkeeper, but I made no doubt that, after he became a popular and successful writer of Latin verse, he looked down upon his own father. Only could it have been otherwise, I thought, had he been born in this fermenting America to no station whatever and left to achieve his rightful one.

    So I mused thus licentiously until one clear conviction possessed me : that I would no longer pretend to the social superiority of one Colonel Marmaduke Ruggles. I would concede no inferiority in myself, but I would not again before Red Gap s county families vaunt myself as other than I was. That this was more than a vagrant fancy on my part will be seen when I aver that suddenly, strangely, alarmingly, I no longer cared that I was unshaven and must remain so for an untold number of days. I welcomed the unhandsome stubble that now projected itself upon my face; I curiously wished all at once to be as badly gotten up as Cousin Egbert, with as little thought for my station in life. I would no longer refrain from doing things because they were “not done.” My own taste would be the
    law.

    In 2014, the film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry

    the year of is creation several laughton movies fought for the awards… ruggles, les miserables, etc… 🙂

    seeing such a movie would remind one of what this country WAS about before the communists decided to treat it much like the monarchies and colonial states of yor… when it really never was…

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    GB:

    Actually, most of us here—and most of the country—have gazed with great concentration and at great length on both Trump’s and Hillary’s flaws, for well over a year.

  7. M J R Says:

    . . . and at the end of the clip, as an extra added attraction: Mrs. Laughton, a k a Elsa Lanchester, a k a the Bride of the Frankenstein monster.

    Wooo hooo! Terrific clip.

  8. Susanamantha Says:

    I loved “Ruggles of Red Gap”. It was a great vehicle for Laughton and also for the real Ruggles, Charlie Ruggles, who was typecast, as usual, as a friendly but rather bumbling soul, and became a beloved character actor.

    Laughton was also great in “Witness for the Prosecution” which also starred his wife as his long suffering nurse.

  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    neo,

    That their flaws have been minutely examined here is a given. That some here find Quasimodo’s flaws so objectionable that they are willing to chance Hillary is my point.

  10. parker Says:

    Loved the book and the movie. Victor Hugo created a character worthy of a Shakespearean tragedy. We read The Hunchback of Norte Dame in English class my junior year in high school. (BTW, I went from 1st through 12th grade with the same 34 classmates, we had wonderful teachers, I can still remember all of their names. Mrs. Kalsem was our high school English teacher. She was demanding and skilled at making young minds think and reason outside of the box.)

  11. Alan W Says:

    Speaking of Charles Laughton, he also directed “The Night of the Hunter”, a splendid picture. Unfortunately, it was a little odd, and was not very well received which might be what ended his aspirations to be a director. I especially liked the confrontation between Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish.
    “It is a hard world for little things.”

  12. Big Maq Says:

    If trump loses, the question will be just how much of a “repudiation” will it be. If clinton squeeks by with 270 ec votes full stop, we can say “not much”. But, beyond that it might not be so clear.

    Here lists some suggestions of historical markers to look for as a basis for comparison.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/some-helpful-history-to-remember-on-election-night/2016/11/04/572f51a4-a2ad-11e6-a44d-cc2898cfab06_story.html

  13. T Says:

    Let me add to Big Maq’s link above the link to Pat Caddell’s essay posted yesterday. I think it is profound (in the literal, thought-provoking sense). This isnot an election prediction essay. He discusses what he sees as underlying forces in the American psyche and essentially argues that a new electoral paradigm is slowly being established.

    I, personally have always given credit to Caddell, who, IMO, has brought a great sobriety to his analysis of politics and elections over the years. He may not always be correct, but I would never call him a party tool.

    The link:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/11/07/patrick-caddell-real-election-surprise-uprising-american-people.html

  14. Big Maq Says:

    @T – thanks for the link – a good read, and, though I don’t agree with Caddell on everything, he has raised some great points over the years.

    One of the things I’d have liked is if he would have comparisons of those eight questions he measure responses on.

    I have the sense that there would almost always be a directionally similar response dynamic (e.g. majority probably always would agree that “Political leaders are more interested in protecting their power and privilege”), but what would be more interesting is if there is a trend one way or the other over time.

  15. Big Maq Says:

    Incidentally, Frank Luntz seems to have similar findings reaching back to the last election cycle.

  16. T Says:

    “. . .what would be more interesting is if there is a trend one way or the other over time.” [Big Maq @11:41]

    Good point. I think that is precisely what Caddell is implying, but your right he doesn’t really provide any evidence to that end. His observations are more a snapshot in time rather than a history or evolution of a trend.

    What is interesting about your point, though (“. . . e.g. majority probably always would agree that “Political leaders are more interested in protecting their power and privilege”) is tha, growing up int he 1950s and 60s, I don’t think that was the prevailing attitude in the 1960s during the Eisenhower, Kennedy and early Johnson adminsitrations. Now it seems to me to be ingrained into the national attitude. But I was young then, and certainly not very politically attuned.

  17. T Says:

    “. . .what would be more interesting is if there is a trend one way or the other over time.” [Big Maq @11:41]

    Good point. I think that is precisely what Caddell is implying, but your right he doesn’t really provide any evidence to that end. His observations are more a snapshot in time rather than a history or evolution of a trend.

    What is interesting about your point, though (“. . . e.g. majority probably always would agree that “Political leaders are more interested in protecting their power and privilege”) is that, growing up in the 1950s and 60s, I don’t think that was the prevailing attitude then during the Eisenhower, Kennedy and early Johnson administrations. Now it seems to me to be ingrained into the national attitude. But I was young then, and certainly not very politically attuned so I could easily be mistaken.

  18. T Says:

    “. . . but your you’re right . . .

  19. Brooklyn Boy Says:

    What a gorgeous woman Maureen O’Hara was and what a great film! This film along with the 1935 version of A Tale of Two Cities are two of my favorites.

  20. Big Maq Says:

    “I don’t think that was the prevailing attitude then during the Eisenhower, Kennedy and early Johnson administrations” – T

    Not my era, but I can believe it, coming out of WWII. I would guess that Vietnam eroded any positive trust, and may have been the turning point. Of course, Nixon and Watergate conceivably blew the lid off this.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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