Today’s Summons are more of a pair of ‘Honororable Mentions’, as the gentlemen named were not regularly associated with Genre Films, but were in some notable (and semi-notable) fantasy films.
First off, on this day in 1981, Prince Sirki took Robert Montgomery, after Mr. Jordan messed it up the first time. Mr. Montgomery played Joe Pendleton/ Robert Farnsworth in Here Comes Mr. Jordan (Later re-made with Warren Beatty as Heaven Can Wait). Joe was a boxer who died almost 50 years too soon, due to the Grim Reaper’s clerical error. He was then escorted back to earth by Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains) to inhabit industrialist Robert Farnsworth’s body after he gets murdered, as a fill-in life while they try to find a new, final life for Joe. I recommend picking it up to see the outcome!
Our second ‘Honorable Mention’ is a song and dance legend, famous for physicality and slapstick acrobatics in his routines. In SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, Donald O’Connor amazed audiences with the rough-and-tumble number, Make ‘Em Laugh. But Mr. O’Connor also ventured into the Fantasy Genre of films, as the straight man to a talking mule. That’s right, years before Alan Young talked to Mr. Ed, Donald was the best friend of Francis, the Talking Mule through six films. Ironically, he kept missing out on parts, or finishing other films because the studio wanted to ‘trot out’ Francis movies every year. Because of a disease he caught FROM the mule, Donald missed out on playing Bing Crosby’s pal in WHITE CHRISTMAS, and the part went to Danny Kaye. His other flight into fantasy was as the main character in WONDERS OF ALADDIN (1961). The less said about THAT, the better.
Prince Sirki assured Donald that the damned mule wasn’t going to be anywhere near him anymore, when he took him on this day, in 2003.