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February 17, 2011


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Stephen Winer

Very nice, but have you seen the films he made as half of the comedy team of Noonan and Marshall? That would be future Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall as straight man, and I will say no more here in case you wish to add to your Noonography.

Lou Lumenick

Eagerly awaiting Glenn's report on "Swingin' Along''/"Double Trouble'' (1961), a Noonan-Marshall musical co-starring Barbara Eden, Ray Charles, Bobby Vee, Roger Williams, Mike Mazurki, Connie Gilchrist and Alan Carney.


I respect his offbeat comic chops, but Tommy Noonan's greatest screen moment comes near the conclusion of Cukor's A STAR IS BORN when, in a complex torrent of anger, frustration and unrequited love, he tells Judy Garland she can't withdraw from public life. Noonan's Danny McGuire -- who has been remarkably patient with Garland's Vicki Lester/Esther Blodgett, an old love, for the picture's long running time -- literally explodes with rage. He tells her bluntly that late husband Norman Maine had been a drunk and "he wasted his life, but he loved you... and took great pride in the one thing in his life that wasn't a waste -- you... Now you're doing the one thing he was terrified of -- you're tossing aside the one thing he had left." Noonan is little remembered, and never remembered as a dramatic actor, but he misses no nuance nor expression of regret or pain in his performance here -- and his words hit Garland like a sledge hammer; we can see the blows, feel the recoil. It's an unforgettable scene.

Noonan and Marshall have a cute bit in Warners' all-star Korean War morale booster, STARLIFT. I also recall Noonan as doing some solid work as a nightclub comic on a '60s Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Crying Comedian."


Wow, never noticed these connections -- so Noonan was the half-brother of John Ireland, who was married to Joanne Dru, sister of Peter Marshall, who was part of a comedy team with Noonan.

VIOLENT SATURDAY is great. One of my favorite bits is when J. Carroll Naish gives candy to a mouthy Amish kid and says, "Stick these in your kisser and go suck on 'em."


Oh, Mr. Lumenick! That sounds like heaven!


I learned A LOT from this--and of course the comments. Can't wait for more High Noonan.

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