Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Murders in the Rue Morgue

"Murders in the Rue Morgue" with Bela Lugosi,
like you've never seen it!
Arlene Francis included her stint as a bit player in the movie in "Arlene Francis: A Memoir by Arlene Frances" by (guess who?!) and Florence Rome, Simon and Shuster, New York, 1978, pages 19 - 21:
I did get something in a movie called Murders in the Rue Morgue. I was asked if I could swim, and I said yes I could, because the part called for me to float down the Seine, having been dropped through a trap door. Do you know some people can't float? I was one of them, and I went to a friend's house and practiced floating in her pool until I was blue and water-logged, only to have that bit cut out of the picture. No matter, I got some billing:
A Prostitute--Arlene Kazanjian
They also used me on the poster. I was nailed to a cross, dressed in a nightgown which had been ripped off my shoulder, and it was certainly pretty risque for its time, but I imagine that now it would seem as salacious as Mary Poppins.
In those days it didn't take months of cutting and orchestrating before a picture was released. Once it was finished, it went in the can and got shipped around the country to be shown. Which meant that while Mother and I were still vacationing in California, the picture opened at Loew's State in New York, and sure enough, the poster featuring A Prostitute, Arlene Kazanjian, was prominently displayed in front of the theater. News got around pretty fast, and in no time my father shot off a wire which said, "I HAVE JUST SEEN YOU ALMOST NUDE IN FRONT OF LOEW'S STATE AND SO HAS EVERYONE ELSE. COME HOME AT ONCE." For the time being, that was the end of my movie career.
Can you imagine a day in America when having THAT much clothing on was worse than Bela Lugosi "doing things" to you?!?!
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