1934 film 'The Firebird' provides good laugh to start the day
As overly devoted readers of this blog will have learned, Turner Classic Movies plays practically round the clock at our house on a little set in the kitchen. We don't turn that particular TV off (the button disappeared into the set years ago and it's a major pain to get the thing rebooted if it ever does lose power), and we keep it tuned to TCM most of the time.
Overnight, it's in mute position and part of the fun for me when I crawl into the room for my early morning tea is to see what's playing and, if it's unfamiliar, try to judge whether it's worth turning on the sound. Something from the '30s was playing today and, although it looked very stagey, something made me go for it.
A young, obviously upper crust woman was dancing in a big room of some mansion to music on the Victrola, which, as I un-muted the TV, turned out to be ...
Stravinsky's Firebird. So far so cool. But it gets better.
Her mother walked in, immediately stopped the record and said something to the effect of: "It's a good thing your father didn't hear this. Don't listen to this again. We believe that classical music is enough for you." Hilarious.
I can't wait to see the whole 1934 movie, which, as I discovered, is titled The Firebird and directed by William Dieterle. It's a murder mystery involving a guy who, I gather, lures women to his pad with the promise of playing that daring Stravinsky's ballet score for them. What a pick-up line. It sure beats "Do you want to see my etchings?" Now I'm dying to find out if the composer approved or loathed the use of his music in this ever so tawdry manner.