Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Scalded to Death by the Steam

I think this is what is called character development. Newlywed Cesca (Ann Dvorak) romps through a disturbingly peppy rendition of the most gruesome lines of the railroad disaster ballad "The Wreck of the Old 97." Just off-screen is her husband, mobster Guino Rinaldo (George Raft), who is about to get his at the hand of her brother, Tony Camonte (Paul Muni), whose relationship with Cesca is itself more than a little creepy. From Scarface (1932).

The lyrics to the ballad are sung out of order, as the death of the engineer here occurs before the train crashes. Ann Dvorak was not related to the subject of the previous post.


Michael Leddy said...

Life was different before the Code, eh?

I just realized that this song is the DNA of “M.T.A.,” the Kingston Trio hit.

Chris said...

Yes, that's right!

Chris said...

It occurs to me that the joke here is in one of the verses that we don't hear: "Never speak harsh words to your true lovin' husband / He may leave you and never return." Because that's exactly what happens shortly after.