Thursday, June 28, 2012

Holiday Inn - 1942 - Leon Belasco

It’s such a small part, but the flower shop proprietor in “Holiday Inn” (1942) is one of those classic film characters that stands out for no other reason than perhaps the eloquence of the moment.

In this case, the eloquence is purely physical communication. He has no lines. Marjorie Reynolds, trying to show off and impress Walter Abel, treats her boss -- Mr. Belasco -- like an underling, directing him to fill a last-minute order.

Leon Belasco is the silent shopkeeper, at first appalled at her nerve, then anxious that she might blow it and lose a customer, then pleased that she has succeeded in making a sale, and then hustles to do what she has condescendingly commanded. It’s a pantomime lasting a few seconds, but it is indelible. I can’t go into a flower shop today without thinking of him.

You may have seen Leon Belasco in dozens of film or TV shows, usually bit parts as a waiter or cab driver. He was a dealer in Rick’s gambling parlor in “Casablanca” (1943). He usually had few or no lines. Like so many bit players, he was just there.


Caftan Woman said...

Yep, he was "just there" making the whole thing work and living on in our movie memories.

Any arrangement of flowers makes the girls in my family quote Walter Abel, "Loose - lookin' like they don't care."

Okay. What's up? First Yvette looks at "Lady on a Train" and now you pull out "Holiday Inn". You have me anxious that I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

CW, your "...lookin' like they don't care" remark cracks me up. We must be related because I think of that line every time I see some flowers in a vase.

Yvette and I have just noticed with a shock that Christmas is only six months away and we're nowhere near done with our shopping.

Yvette said...

I love Leon Belasco. What a face. Perfect for the movies.

They had faces, then.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

A sweet face. I'm glad he had his moment in the sun.

Reel Popcorn Junkie said...

Irving Bacon's work when he drives his taxi into a body of water earned my biggest laugh when watching this film. The man worked - more than 500 credits.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

"Short cut to the short cut."

e.esquire said...

i always wish that scene was longer because i'm obsessed with that ultra chic flower shop . . . it's so inspiring !

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

My laugh for the day. You know something, though? I agree.

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