austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Than all the awful things that ever were

Turner Classic Movies showed the 1952 Monkey Business, a Cary Grant/Ginger Rogers comedy about the accidental and not-quite-deliberate discovery of a formula which causes personalities to revert to irritating youth, and the resulting and much-needed mess this makes of one of those very gray 1950s chemical companies.

On thing baffling me: one of the childish word games Barnaby (Grant) plays on the secretary (Marilyn Monroe) goes like this: ``Say `terrified'.'' She does. ``Say `tissue'.'' She does. ``Say them together.'' ``Terrified tissue,'' and Barnaby starts laughing.

Was this leading to anything, or am I completely missing a pun? What the heck was the joke? It seems faintly familiar, but what other bits of kindergarten lore have I forgotten? These are all questions I feel I cannot answer.

Otherwise it was a fun movie; you don't often see these days movie scientists who aren't either pretentious imbeciles who get shown their comeuppance or else Jeff Goldblum, but are instead decent, slightly brainy sorts who have reasonably normal emotional lives. You also wouldn't see a movie about characters turning behaviorally into children made these days without a lot more, and worse, overacting on the children part. It's kind of sad you can't be a dignified grownup eight-year-old anymore.

Trivia: The word `belittle' is credited to Thomas Jefferson. Source: The Story of English, Robert McCrum, Robert MacNeil, William Cran.

Currently Reading: 50 Short Science Fiction Tales, Isaac Asimov and Groff Conklin.


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