Saturday, January 30, 2010

From Pier to Eternity

The love scene was carefully planned
The actors both sexy and tanned
Their roll in the waves
drew critical raves
but filled up their suits with wet sand

Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr get wet in From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann, 1953). Image: Doctor Macro.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Firearm in Arm

A girl and a guy and a gun:
he thought that it sounded like fun
She handled his pistol
and then, clear as crystal,
he knew that she wasn't a nun

Hidegarde (K)Neff and Tyrone Power in Diplomatic Courier ,1952; Alan Ladd and Lizabeth Scott in Red Mountain, 1951; Claire Trevor and Fred MacMurray in Borderline, 1950. Photo sources: Starlet Showcase,; Film Noir: Through a Lens Darkly.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fade to Blackjack

I'm dizzy and flat on my back
Things swirl and are fading to black
I stuck out my neck
was struck, hit the deck
Concussed by a sneak sap attack

Noir glossary: A blackjack is also called a sap.
Image: Force of Evil (Abraham Polonsky, 1948).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Depressed Request

I tell you I'm tired of living
So me with the murder start giving
You heard what I said
now fill me with lead
My fluids the bullet holes sieving

Please Murder Me! (Peter Godfrey, 1956). Images pilfered from Noir of the Week.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Routine 66

Two characters take to the road
in a beat generational ode
Cross-country ennui
on network TV
Its pseudo-profundity showed

With the existential on-the-road scripts of co-producer/head writer Stirling Silliphant and rare location shooting, Route 66 made for truly unique television from 1960 to 1964. Photo: Stars George Maharis and Martin Milner as Buz Murdock and Tod Stiles.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jean Simmons, R. I. P.

An 'angel' whose looks are deceiving
A dangerous
 web has been weaving
What Jean can't enjoy
She needs to destroy
Stay away from her car if you're leaving.

Actress Jean Simmons has died. Images: Simmons drives Robert Mitchum to the edge in Angel Face (Otto Preminger, 1952). Photo source: Dvd Beaver.

Cholesterol Points Bulletin

On highway patrol with a paunch,
enforcing the law he was staunch
His crime-pursuit slowed
by wide, heavy load,
he mostly fought crime on his haunch

Broderick Crawford starred as Chief Dan Matthews
in the TV series Highway Patrol (1955-1959).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gene Barry, R.I.P.

What debonair dude roamed the west
and kept his cards close to his vest?
From guns would refrain
but wielded a cane...
Bat Masterson, maybe you guessed

Television, film and stage actor Gene Barry died on December 9, 2009. On television Barry had a featured role in Our Miss Brooks, and starred as derby wearing dandy Bat Masterson from 1958 to '61, and later in Burke's Law and The Name of the Game. His films include War of the Worlds, China Gate, Forty Guns, Thunder Road and Naked Alibi. In 1983 Barry received a Tony nomination for his performance in the musical La Cage Aux Folles on Broadway, where he had started out in the 1940s. Photos (top to bottom): Bat Masterson (from this Gene Barry tribute site); with Ann Robinson in War of the Worlds (George Pal, 1953); AP file photo.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Have Pun, Will Travel

Whenever the going got dire
to Paladin folks sent a wire
He'd come to their aid
but had to be paid
to launder his all-black attire

A life in the West could be hard
so Paladin passed out his card
He liked both his wine
and gals to be fine
and quoted at length from the bard

The TV western Have Gun, Will Travel aired from 1957-63. Actor Richard Boone starred as the cultured gun-for-hire and knight-errant, Paladin.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Up Chuck

His idol, without any flaw
the boy was in awe of his paw
Akin to a God
with statuesque bod
The biggest the West ever saw

Top: Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford in a
publicity photo for The Rifleman. Above: Connors is credited to be the first professional basketball player to break a backboard when he played for the Boston Celtics in 1946. He later switched to baseball and played first base for the Chicago Cubs in 1951.
The Rifleman Week is out of ammo. The top photo, as well as many others used earlier this week were found at the McCain Ranch episode guide.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chubby, Was He?

He often was gruff and looked grubby
So heavy he could be dubbed 'Tubby'
But Johnson had folks
who liked dirty jokes
Why else would they call their kid Chubby?

Character actor Chubby Johnson played Kansas Sawyer on 3
episodes of The Rifleman. Johnson appeared in such Westerns as
Bend of the River and The Far Country, and was a regular in the
Rocky Lane series, as well as on the television show Sky King.
Photos (Top to bottom): With Stepin Fetchit in Bend of the River;
TV's Sky King; As Kansas Sawyer on The Rifleman.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Western Schwing

He does all his chores as he should
like chopping and stacking the wood
But Mark should avoid
this pose out of Freud
so as not to be misunderstood

Top: Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford as Lucas and Mark McCain, on a cover to The Rifleman comic book. Crawford started out as one of Disney's original Mouseketeers. During the height of his Rifleman popularity he recorded five Top 40 hits. He now leads the Johnny Crawford Orchestra, which specializes in vintage dance music. The band's first album, Sweepin' the Clouds Away, was released in 2008.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ranch Un-Dressing

The Rifleman, Lucas McCain
had muscles he couldn't contain
When he would exert
he'd strip off his shirt
to give his physique a free rein

Here are shots from three of the many episodes
of The Rifleman where
star Chuck Connors--and
Johnny Crawford--bare their
chests --not including
the episode where Connors is stripped to the waist,
hung by his wrists and left to die in the desert by
Martin Landau as
a Mexican bandit.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stick a Northfork in It

A widower raising his son
would teach him how things should be done
Then outlaws would shoot
the lessons were moot
and out came his really big gun

Photo: Chuck Connors, as Lucas McCain in The Rifleman, which was
set in the fictional town of North Fork, New Mexico.
The Rifleman is
a fine example of that vanished TV format, the half-hour drama.
followed the story of a father and son building a ranch during the
taming of the West, mixing sentiment and brutality.
The show was
created by Sam Peckinpah, who fought with the producers and left
after writing and directing several episodes. Joseph H. Lewis
directed a total of 51 episodes. For more on the series go to

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The D.A.'s DTs

A loser as district attorney
his life was a long downward journey
So Burger would drink
and further he'd sink
until he stopped dead on a gurney

Photo: Actors William Talman and Raymond Burr as D.A. Hamilton Burger and lawyer Perry Mason. "Ham-Burger" is what Mason made of the D.A.'s case each week.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Case of the Laughable Losers

The game plan of Burger and Tragg
each week hit a Mason-made snag
They'd think they were winning
until the ninth inning
and then were left holding the bag

Photo: Actors William Talman, Ray Collins and Raymond Burr as D.A. Hamilton Burger, Lieutenant Arthur Tragg and Perry Mason. Source: The (Slightly Paul-Centric) Perry Mason Photos.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Perry Masonry

His record for winning was vaunted
but Mason, by failure, was haunted
For losing one case
he lived in disgrace
and by Hamilton Burger was taunted

Info on the case(s) that Perry Mason famously "lost" to D.A. Hamilton Burger can be found here, and our earlier limerick on Hamilton Burger is here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Why outrage and critical sparks
at Limbaugh's post-earthquake remarks?
He daily spouts drivel
that's false and uncivil
equating Obama with Marx

Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson have drawn fire for their "insensitive" comments in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti.

---Surly via Norm

Marquis Player

Like sadists and film's Vincent Price,
on torture he doesn't think twice
Inflicting the cruel
just makes the guy drool--
Dick Cheyney is not very nice

Vincent Price and Sandra Knight stretch a scene from Tower of London (Roger Corman, 1962). Photo: A still we forced out of Starlet Showcase.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hannibal Lecter was Busy


Are Palin and Fox a good fit?
Consider the facts for a bit:
She coined the "death panels",
the wing-nut of channels...
You betcha! They're both full of sh*t!

Sarah Palin is joining the Fox News Network.

Scoff the Mark


A "legend" is now a misnomer
Who knows if the juice helped him homer?
When Mark was a Card
did the steroids go yard?
His record will bear an aroma

Mark McGuire has finally admitted to using steroids when he broke Roger Maris' record for the most home runs in a single season.

Undercutting a Rug

To boldly go, sure, but not there
And Captain, don't go with that hair
That thing on your head
you'll have to keep fed

and going through customs, declare

The photos above of William Shatner as Captain Kirk (from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek: The Motion Picture) were found at a blog called Shatner's Toupee. I kid you not.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Glaring Contest

My dear, what the heck are you wearing
The camera lenses are flaring
That outfit's too shiny
and ever so tiny
No wonder the Trekkies are staring

Joseph Ruskin and Angelique Pettyjohn in Star Trek.

Monday, January 11, 2010

He's Red, Jim.

On Star Trek beware where you tread
when wearing a shirt that is red
Don't beam down until

you've made out your will
Stock characters there will drop dead

Redshirt is a slang term for a minor stock character in
an adventure drama who dies violently soon after being
introduced to dramatize the dangerous situation faced
by the main characters. The term originated with the
science fiction television series Star Trek, from the red
shirts worn by Starfleet security officers, who frequently
beamed down with a landing party, only to become the
first, and sometimes only, victims within the party.
Photo: Eddie Paskey plays dead as late security officer
Lt. Leslie, on the original 1966 tv series. (From Wikipedia)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hate Balls of Fire!

So terror's returned to our shores
Through error it burned someone's drawers
The nutjob who tried
to kill as he died
had genitals melted like s'mores

Dour Boudoir

Can't count all the lies she had said
Her crackers left crumbs in my bed
But under the covers
She's the lover of lovers
Without her I'm better off dead.

Haunted Love Week ends where it started, with a still from
The Killers (Robert Siodmak, 1947). Don't forget to change the sheets.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cool Hand Spook

She tenses, she's chilled to the bone
She senses she isn't alone
In dreams she's held fast
by hand of the past,
embraced by a love she'd once known

Image: Murders in the Rue Morgue (Robert Florey, 1932).

Friday, January 8, 2010

Route of the Past

On memory lane elders tarry
as backwards their memories carry
And there, across time
recall the sublime:
A girl wearing white on the ferry

"A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all, but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that girl." Mr. Bernstein (Everett Sloane) in Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Abandoned House Calls

A phantom ascending the stair
An echo that hangs in the air
In each empty room
her memories loom
She's present, but not really there

Image: The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
The Obscure Hollow

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Love in Gloom

Each night as you sleep in your room
a shadow-man creeps in the gloom
He muffles your screams
as he enters your dreams,
your nightmare affair to resume

Image: Horror Island (George Waggner, 1941).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Descent of a Woman

She died and now dwells in a tomb

yet still you can smell her perfume

You know she's not there
although you would swear
she'd just spent the night in your room

Carroll Borland in Mark of the Vampire (Todd Browning, 1935).
This 'screen capture' was stolen in the night from Arbogast on Film.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Die Old Flame

An ember ignites in your head
Inflamed, your mind's eye's seeing red
A memory burning
With passionate yearning
A vision that smolders in bed.

Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster in The Killers (Robert Siodmak, 1947). Welcome to Haunted Love Week at Limerwrecks.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sauce Cartwright

Tahini sauce tops a falafel
and syrup is great on a waffle
And béchamel, creamy
makes croque monsieurs dreamy
But eaten together they're awful

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Potato Salad Surgery

Like spiders they crawl on the floor
They bend till their spines should be sore
Then fold, do the splits
but don't call it quits
You think that they're done but there's more

The singing, dancing and contorting Ross Sisters from
Broadway Rhythm
(Roy Del Ruth, 1944). The image
quality is poor, but watch all of this astonishing clip.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Daze

I'll greet the new year with resolve
to better myself and evolve
But first I must drain
myself of champagne
and make the damn room not revolve

I groan as I slide out of bed
I crawl on my knees to the head
The booze that I drank
I spew in the tank
and now I just wish I was dead

Happy new Year! Sorry--not so loud.

Image: Ahora Soy Rico (Rogelio A Gonzalez, 1952),
from that super blog, Six Martinis and the Seventh art.