The Man Who Reclaimed His Head

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Now & then you see a movie that, though not being the best, nevertheless sticks with you. I grew up in the central Southern Tier of New York State. Our cable company carried the TV station out of Elmira which was something close to UHF + a parody of SCTV’s premise. Every Saturday afternoon they showed obscure black & white films from the 1930s & 40s, probably because they were cheap. A plus side to this was I watched quite a few movies you’ve never heard of & never will. One such film was The Man Who Reclaimed His Head, starring my favorite male actor, Claude Rains. It’s one weird ride. It’s also stayed with me all these years.

The story takes place in 1914-15 France. Paul Verin (Claude Rains) is a writer, specifically about politics. He is a Pacifist. He is also poor & married to Adele (Joan Bennett gone blonde, as wooden & stilted an actress as ever, totally miscast. Her scenes drag. Just talking truth here.) Adele wants to ditch their town & move to Paris. The couple has a daughter, Linette (played by Baby Jane, real name: Juanita Quigley.)

Another fav actor, Lionel Atwill, plays Henri Dumont, a politician with big dreams who, though disagreeing with Verin on many subjects, acknowledges the writer’s brilliance. Dumont makes a deal with Verin: In exchange for ghost writing editorials (to be published under Dumont’s name) Verin will get paid handsomely. Deal done, Dumont gets nationally hailed as a friend of the People & Peace; Adele gets to return to Paris & spend Verin’s new wealth. Then Archduke Franz Ferdinand goes to Sarajevo…..

War! Uh-oh. Pacifism loses a lotta cachet. Rich weapons manufacturers meet with Dumont suggesting he change his views. Dumont, being the politician he is, accepts. Now how to deal with Verin? Why, start charming Adele, who being Adele, is easily swayed by francs, lots of ’em. Dumont rises to power; voters believe him to be a man of integrity based on his editorials. Verin, disgusted, leaves Dumont, eventually ending up in the Army. Rumor gets to Verin that Dumont & Adele are more than just good friends. Verin goes over the edge & gets back to Paris, walking in on Dumont & Adele. Verin pulls out his bayonet & kills Dumont. Not just kills: the title of the movie gives away how Verin does in Dumont. Btw, Verin carries the, uh, trophy in a satchel & takes it with him when he goes & confesses. Yep.

After recounting this oddly affecting movie, I have to say it remains relevant, as far as lying, user Politicians, Arms Dealers & Financiers exploiting war for profit, a gullible Public wanting & willing to believe a message when slickly offered in an uber Patriotic atmosphere, presented with an oh-so-professional believability. I certainly don’t condone violence or murder. Just how far can one be pushed before acting to reclaim your life? Your Country? Funny what a movie from 1934 continues to say even today. Any one listening?

More Posts by SYWNY


Spicer’s Brain Breaks Wind Again

Sean Spicer …

  • forgot about Hitler’s gas chambers, Uber him to Holocaust Museum right now!
  • apologizes for forgetting about Hitler gas chambers. Sorry is still stupid.
  • doesn’t understand history, makes up stuff. Perfect spokesman for his boss.
  • says Hitler didn’t gas “his own people” — guess all those Jews he killed were somebody else’s.
  • calls Nazi gas chambers “Holocaust Centers” — guess he thinks they were just roadside attractions.
  • says Hitler didn’t use gas “in the same way” as Assad. Sure, systematically murdering 6 million so low key. Happy Passover.

Communications 101 Mr. Spicer, Hitler comparisons NEVER work. You can’t dumb down his evil.


Kim and Donnie In Charge

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump: Thelma and Louise in bikini bombs.

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump: Nostradamus sez, “I didn’t see this shit coming.”

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump: Just a couple of narcissistic personality disorders with Nuke apps.

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump: If not for their man-crush on Dennis Rodman we’d all be dead.

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump: Heil meets Hype. Achtung!

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump: Even Putin thinks they’re weird.

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump: When they were kids somebody should have said something.

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump: Like Abbott and Costello on uranium.

[Cross-posted via The Huffington Post]


Cat In The Box

By Jamie, a Trail Mix Contributor

Copies of this wonderful story by Dana Michel of the well loved little grey cat are very rare and you can’t have mine.  More than a half century ago, this was my daughter’s favorite book because it went up and down from the little cat in the box on a chair in the room in a house on a street with five trees in a city in a state in a country in the whole wide world and back down again to the box on a chair each trip going from the detailed & specific to faster and faster as adjectives and adverbs were omitted to speed the trip until finally you got to “Now Go To Sleep”.  She loved it for its view of the safety of the little box to all the places outside her door.

Little gray cat inside a square box. Square box on top of a big striped chair. Chair in the room. Room in the house. House on the street. Street in the city. City in the state. State in the country. Country in the world. Oh, where in the world is my little gray cat?

In the world a country. In the country a state. In the state a city. In the city a street. On the street a house. In the house a room. In the room a chair. On the chair a box and inside that box is my little gray cat.

So how is this political?  I’ve come to the conclusion that Conservatives, Libertarians in the US and the extreme right wing movements around the world, simply don’t have a clue how big anything is, and they really need to read this book.   Their views barely reach beyond the limits of their family to the street and colors every issue from employment to taxes to refugees.  They need to read this book.  The Liberals, Democrats and general left wing see the big big picture with a wide wide world of variables, possibilities and interests, but forget that many of those issues can feel like an alteration of all that is normal in a culture and that the majority of people live and look at a street with five trees.  They really need to read this book.

So where are you on the spectrum?  How to adjust to a globe that in communications and movement is shrinking almost by the second?  How does your view from the little box on the chair to the whole of the globe color your political attitudes?

More Posts By Jamie