22 June 2018

Tchaikovsky Road Trip

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has some very interesting and only mildly controversial things to say about poutine.

According to Wikipedia, the first theme of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto was converted into the popular song, “Tonight We Love,” by bandleader Freddy Martin in 1941.  In Hitchcock’s Saboteur (1942), when Freeman and Barry Kane are being driven from Soda City to New York (and a tedious long drive it must have been), the driver and his seatmate wanly sing (or, it is only the ghost of singing, really) an exhausted phrase or two from “Tonight We Love.”  One needs to pay a bit of attention to know what it is they are singing (the characters are that tired – so, yes, there is storytelling in the scene);  it is quite a sharp little touch, I think, that for Saboteur, the selection is so fresh and topical.

The role of Freeman (he is not graced with a Christian name) was played by Alan Baxter.  (Freeman is asleep in the back seat next to Kane when we hear the popularized Tchaikovsky being sung, which is perhaps no criticism of the performance.)  I formed the (probably mistaken) impression that I have seen Baxter in something else;  reviewing his filmography in Wikipedia, I consider that I must have been mistaken.  Only from perusing this list, do I learn that his final appearance on film was uncredited, as a Military Officer in 1971’s Escape From the Planet of the Apes.

Heck of an arc, there.

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