Friday, September 25, 2020

Harry Plotter

Sis Lettie will not let him go
She mettles and plots don't you know 
She'll keep and enjoy him
Or bleeping destroy him
She's getting the hots for her bro. 

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry 1945 - YouTube

Geraldine Fitzgerald gives a chilling performance as Lettie, controlling sister of Harry (George Sanders) in The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (Robert Siodmak; 1945). 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Crappy Ever After

They struggled a lot with the ending
Some mugs thought the plot needed mending
From the stalls came a scheme
"Let it all be a dream!"
With a shrug, this was shot. Condescending.

David Cairns

George Sanders and Ella Raines pretend to be thrilled that the studio changed the ending to The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (Robert Siodmak; 1945). From David Cairns: "Test audiences of TSAOUH were offered six endings to choose from, and opted for perhaps the worst. The best solution is to pretend the last scene isn't there. The penultimate one is the true climax to the story." Not only did they run the above admonishment over the end, but in the new closing scene someone made Raines wear that ridiculous hat.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Trouble With Uncle Harry

Consider the strings on this mope
From a sister who clings to a hope
She's a brat and he blames her
For fratricide frames her
And insists that she swings from a rope.

In The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (Robert Siodmak; 1945), George Sanders feels trapped by his sister Geraldine Fitzgerald.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Say Uncle

The sister, conniving and cruel
The miss, so alive and so cool
At stake is the brother
One will make him, one smother 
There's a twist: who survives this film duel?

Geraldine Fitzgerald and Ella Raines in The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (Robert Siodmak; 1945).

Monday, September 21, 2020

I'm Just Wild About Uncle Harry

No fella can hope to resist her
He fell at the moment he kissed her
To cherish and wed
And share a warm bed
With Ella, you dope, not your sister!

Ella Raines, George Sanders, and Geraldine Fitzgerald form a twisted triangle in The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (Robert Siodmak; 1945). Title by wild man David Cairns.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Western Schwing

When Ella, her guns drawn, is winking
The swells in this one-horse get thinking
Her shorts have such shape
They down quarts as they gape 
This belle star's hot buns lead to drinking.

David Cairns

Ella Raines in a publicity shoot for Tall in the Saddle (Edwin L. Marin; 1944).

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Calamity Raines

Where she dwells there's no Gucci or furs
No rich swells there to smooch, no monsieurs
Just musty old garments
On crusty old varmints
So Miss Ella goes butch and wears spurs. 

David Cairns and Surly Hack

Ella Raines plays Arly Harolday in Tall in the Saddle (Edwin L. Marin; 1944).

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Even Cowgirls Get to Choose

With each kick of her heels sharply spurring
The depiction of 'female' she's blurring
In plains drifter gear
Miss Raines would appear
And wicked strange feelings start stirring. 

Ella Raines portrays a very sexy tomboy in Tall in the Saddle (Edwin L. Marin; 1944).

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Hard Raines

In boots and chaps dressed no gal's greater
Galoots way out West want to date her
"Can't stand 'em!" she'll say
"Ride tandem? No way!"
First shoots and asks questions much later.

Ella Raines comes out shooting in Tall in the Saddle (Edwin L. Marin; 1944).

Monday, September 14, 2020

Wife Sentence

Uxoricide! Something is rotten
Abhorrent, and coming from Laughton
His wife is downstairs
Sans life, but who cares?
He adores this new chum that he's gotten.

David Cairns

Henpecked Charles Laughton falls in love with Ella Raines in The Suspect (Robert Siodmak, 1944).

Friday, September 11, 2020

Prim Suspect

Though her love is exceedingly strange
Seems this husband is needing a change
Their "affair" is platonic
So it's fairly ironic
Wife-murder he speeds to arrange.

ellaraines100 hashtag on Twitter

Edwardian noir? Why not. Henpecked by his wife, bank teller Charles Laughton falls in love with Ella Raines in The Suspect (Robert Siodmak, 1944). Like he needed an excuse to fall for Ella Raines.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Casting Grouch

The brush-off: some studio bore
When rushes are viewed, starts to roar
Seems the Paramount "brains"
Find their star, Ella Raines
Too lush to exude "girl-next-door."

David Cairns

Ella Raines and Eddie Bracken in Hail the Conquering Hero (1944). From David Cairns: "Director Preston Sturges put up with pressure to recast Raines' role in Hail the Conquering Hero. Luckily for us, he refused."

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Ella Raines Supreme

This knockout surprises on screen 
An ocular prize in each scene 
When Ella's in color
All else will seem duller
Her sockets hold eyes vivid green.

Above: Ella Raines in Singing Guns (John Sturges; 1950). Top: A glamour publicity photo. August 6th, 2020, marks the centennial of the birth of actress Ella Raines.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Franchot Tone Poem

Tone muses on hands and their powers
The bluesman just stands there and cowers
It's all wrong, dark and bleak
From the strong to the weak
And on cue Franchot stands up and towers.

David Cairns

This is what happens when Ella Raines isn't around. Franchot Tone and Elisha Cook Jr in Phantom Lady (Robert Siodmak; 1944).

Monday, September 7, 2020

Saddle Champ Posterazzi Ella Raines Seated in Cowgirl Attire Photo ...

You slackjaws had better skedaddle
This crack shot rides tall in the saddle
A tomboy in chaps
She dominates saps
Her backside John Wayne wants to paddle.

Pistol-packin' Ella Raines and John Wayne co-star in Tall in the Saddle (1944).

Friday, September 4, 2020


His zeal at the skins is insane
The appeal of her pins makes him strain
He sure works up a sweat
Cause the jerk is all wet
What he feels as he grins is quite plain. 

David Cairns

Elisha Cook Jr. excitedly beats his drums in Phantom Lady (Robert Siodmak; 1944).

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Sex Cymbals

This drummer's propelling the beat
He's crummy, but Ella's all reet
She's hep to the jive
And adds pep to his drive
Is it summer? He swells from the heat.

Ella Raines spurs on Elisha Cook Jr's frenzied drum solo in Phantom Lady (Robert Siodmak; 1944). Title by sexy David Cairns.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Out of the Pasta

This sicko with mood-swings will wrangle
For kicks, dripping noodles he'll dangle 
When he knows all are fed
It goes to his head
Coming quickly unglued he will strangle.

Franchot Tone, Thomas Gomez, and Ella Raines enjoy a lighter moment in Phantom Lady (Robert Siodmak, 1944).

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The Phantom Lady Menace

Till closing she sips in saloon
Gets cozy with hipster jazz goon
Playing dick on a trek
She sticks out her neck
Exposed to the grip of a loon.

Franchot Tone and Ella Raines in Phantom Lady (Robert Siodmak; 1944). #ellaraines100

Monday, August 31, 2020

Raines' Man

She's a swell looking, perky young frail 
But the fella she works for's in jail
Seems his alibi's riding
On a gal who's in hiding
It's one helluva a quirky noir tale.

To clear boss Alan Curtis, secretary Ella Raines turns detective in Phantom Lady (Robert Siodmak; 1944).

Friday, August 28, 2020

Lust in Space

In the days before space gal Sigourney    
Most alien races seemed corny
More funny than strange 
But one thing won't change:
The way-out skirt-chasers are horny.

Planet Comics #23, 1943. Art by Dan Zolnerowich. Title by David Cairns.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Cover Girly

The editor bought it and ran it
Doc Wertham’s advice was “Just ban it!”
But comic-book lovers
Still treasure the covers
Of every dumb issue of Planet.

Paul Truster

Cover art by Dan Zolnerowich. Psychiatrist Fredric Wertham wrote Seduction of the Innocent, a book which asserted that comic books caused youth to become delinquents.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Hero Tolerance

He'd tell the kids "Drugs! Don't go near 'em!"
To safer diversions he'd steer 'em.
He'd add "Look at me!
Completely drug-free...
Except for that government serum."

Donald B. Benson

Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs #1, 1991. Cover by Jose Marzan Jr and John Romita Sr.
Donald refers to the Super-Soldier serum, which turned the physically frail Steve Rogers into Captain America, "a nearly perfect human being with peak strength, agility, stamina, and intelligence."

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Prey of the Locust

This guy, who's a grave man of science
Could die in a wave of bug giants!
Though lab work is fun
He grabs a big gun
Lets fly with some brave self-reliance!

Pistol-packing agricultural Scientist Peter Graves battles giant locusts in Beginning of the End (Bert I. Gordon; 1957).

Monday, August 24, 2020


To the nightclub they come and they gawk
'Cause this sprite of a dummy can talk
And tell terrible jokes
But he'd scare all the foks
If the nightmare Tom Thumb took a walk.

Tales of the Mysterious Traveler #9, art by Charles Nicholas and Vince Alascia.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Bobby Sox Drawer

When Herbie grabs mic, starts to sing
He burbles just like Crosby, Bing
At each meaningless tune
The teens scream and swoon
The nerve to waste Lake in this thing.

Out of This World (Hal Walker; 1945) is in part a satire on the Frank Sinatra 'bobby soxer' cult. The gimmick is that Eddie Bracken's character Herbie sounds exactly like Bing Crosby--because it is Bing Crosby doing the singing. Sadly, Veronica Lake plays second fiddle to Diana Lynn.

This week has been Out of This World!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Paint Misbehavin'

Expressing my terror and dread
Is messy and garish and red
I used to be modest
But now I'm the oddest
Did you guess I'm not wearing a thread?

Out of this World #10 (1956). Cover art by Charles Nicholas and Vince Alascia.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Not a Miss But a Myth

Three people, two clearly mammalian
One creepy thing, near to an alien
No red on that blade --
Not dead but unmade?
Asleep, till appears her Pygmalion.

Donald B. Benson

Out of This World Adventures #2, December 1950. Cover art by James Bama. A pulp magazine which also featured a comics section, with stories by Joe Kubert, Gardner Fox, and John Giunta.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Out of This Lunchbox

What fun is our new techno-toy!
An unwary ship we'll decoy
The crew we can shake out
Like sushi from take out
Wish one of us brought sauce of soy!

Donald B. Benson

Through the skies zooms the great X-B2
A surprise that booms out of the blue
Remotely we steer it
We float, dive and veer it
Just green guys who love humans to chew. 

David Cairns

Out of This World #1, 1956.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Guy, Robot

To their rocket this robot will scamper
Without knocking, he'll probe him, and clamp her
Seems this thing made of cans
Is a swinger with plans
A mad doc with his program did tamper.

Out of This World #1, 1950. Cover art by Gene Fawcette. It's OUT OF THIS WORLD WEEK!

Friday, August 14, 2020

Out of the Fast Lane

You'd run but you know you can't hide
Your punishment won't be denied
No wedding bells loom
You're heading for doom
You're done. Time to go for a ride.

Virginia Huston, Robert Mitchum, and Jane Greer in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur; 1947).

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Out of the Pasture

This private detective for hire
Decided he'd better retire
But the past pulled him back
Where it's nasty and black
Now his licence is set to expire.

Robert Mitchum as Jeff Bailey starts one of many cigarettes in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur; 1947),

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Expat Expressions

She seems like a right-thinking kid
But her gleam in the night is well hid
Sure, she plugged her last man
Things got ugly, she ran
He's still steamed, so she's staying off-grid.

David Cairn

Jane Greer is Kathie Moffat in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur; 1947).

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Out of the Gas

Though he's tough as they come, super cool
Sure enough, he's played somebody's fool
She looks hot, but she's ice
And she's not very nice
Looks hot, cold as ice
One last puff, time to plumb the black pool.

Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur; 1947).

Monday, August 10, 2020

Look Out For the Past

The past, it won't let you alone
Die cast, your fate's set, can't atone.
Once fallen, you're stuck
And all out of luck
"Lived fast, no regrets" set in stone.

Surly Hack with Donald B. Benson

Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur; 1947).

Friday, August 7, 2020

Change Your Neptune

On Neptune new love is in bloom
As alien brides seek a groom
But spaceman, beware
You'll step in their snare
And with tentacled creeps get a room!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

His Drowning, Gory

The wheezy old wreck under water
Now squeezes your neck for the slaughter
Assaults from his grave
In a salt water cave
You shouldn't have checked out his daughter.

Cover for Tomb of Terror #16 from Harvey Publications Art by Lee Elias. Title by Donald B. Benson.