Monday, May 21, 2012

School-Teacher in Clover(An article in Movie and Radio Guide Magazine): Part 1

The following article is from September 7th 1940 and was written by James Street. I just thought it would be really cool to put in an article about Jeffrey Lynn. It obviously won't be all of it, but a good portion of it, and hopefully it will hold your interest, as much as it did with me.

Mr. Jeffrey Lynn scuttled his real name, Ragnar Godfrey Lind, because the boys either called his "Rags", or misspelled it. That scorched the sensitive spirit of a young man who once taught English in New England, where English sometimes is maltreated but never torpedoed as it is in Hollywood.

As a former teacher, Mr. Lynn is reported to have a conservative respect for the civil rights of words and to dislike the pronoun I. With this in mind, he gives us the following bit of verbmongery about modern girls:

"They're sleek dressers, the A-plus girls. No feminine frou-frou like ribbons and ruffles and jiggers that trail in a man's eye when you dance with them. And they are not even a distant relation to the hollow-eyed, dieted damsels who were considered glamorous yesterday. I'm a stickler for exuberant health in a woman. The way nature made them is good enough. Certainly she never intended to have them slimsy caryatids holding up cocktail bars at five o' clock. That may have been fascinating in the roaring twenties. But not in these fair forties."

Please, teacher, may we be excused...

Any woman who can hold up a bar at five o' clock p.m. or a.m. must be in exuberant health. I've never seen a slimsy caryatid hold up a bar, but one time in Brooklyn I saw a girl hold up a caryatid, which, after all, is a sculptured female figure used to hold up things, even buildings.

Mr. Lynn has much to say about women, particularly his dream girl. She must be neat, trim, personable and gallant. A female Beau Geste. She must have an alive, sensitive face and a beautiful voice. She must be an outdoor girl, "equally at home hopping fences or on a dance floor." Mr. Lynn likes outdoor girls because the first time he fell in love his sweetheart was "up an apple tree, straddling a limb with bare feet."(The girl had the bare feet, not the limb.) That was in Boston, and before you get the wrong impression of Boston girls and Boston apple trees, we hasten to explain that Mr. Lynn was ten then. and the girl was younger. It's all right for little girls to go barefoot in Boston and climb apple trees, but just try it when you're old enough to be a slimsy caryatid!

Mr. Lynn's ideal must be a good cook, just in case his option is dropped. She must have a sense of humor. She must be bewitching and enjoy good books, plays, dancing. In fact, she must be something that we believe does not exist, such as a slimsy caryatid.

Mr. Lynn is a bachelor...

He'll either compromise, a hard thing for a New Englander to do, or he'll die one.

Yet Mr. Lynn is one of the few actors we'll drive twenty miles to see in a movie, which is what you have to do in New England where we live.

Mr. Lynn has been many things in life. We don't know how good he was as a teacher, a theater-usher or a telephone- company employe, but he is an actor. Any many who can get away with the role he played in "It All Came True" is tops.

Out at Warners, where Mr. Lynn gets paid, they say he is striving for film success to prove to the folks back home that an actor isn't a bum. We hazard the suggestion that Mr. Lynn works for success because he likes success. Surely he knows, and Warners should, that New England does not think actors are bums, although some of them are.

Mr. Lynn has been called snobbish and colorless. He certainly is not colorless, and as for being snobbish-- well, a man still is known by the company he keeps. And Mr. Lynn keeps some company with a few tried friends and lot of company with himself. He does not play the H0llywood game. He won't throw big parties, kowtow to the tycoons, get drunk, defame women or dress to impress people.

Mr. Lynn is a gentleman. He has ideals and he will not compromise them. He had his first date while he was a sophomore in college. He never saw a movie until he was fifteen, a legitimate play until he was seventeen, New York until he was eighteen. He reached Broadway at twenty-four.

Mr. Lynn was born in Auburn Massachusetts, on February 16, 1909. His family name was Lind. Just why Warners changed his last name is a mystery. The name was all right for Jenny Lind.


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