Last Days of Warner Oland: On Anniversary of Death

DATELINE: Charlie Chan & Curry College

WO Oland in character

Ten years ago a little documentary biography was put together on actor Warner Oland. It can be found online.

We have long been a fan of his gentle, Method-acting style, immersing himself into playing (and living life) as the legendary Charlie Chan, Earl Derr Biggers’s famous detective.

Oland, with his exotic name, was the first and best of all the Chans—so much so that many thought he was Asian. His heavy eyelids made him look the part. However, he was born in Sweden, next to Garbo, one of their earliest American immigrants to acting.

Oland loved playing Chan, and even gave interviews in character—but his drinking problem seemed to have exacerbated with a doomed marriage in 1938.  On the set of his last film Charlie Chan Ringside, he simply walked off the studio lot and disappeared.

The movie was shelved, and Oland went back to his native Sweden in the pre-war turmoil of Nazi troubles. There, welcomed home by Swedes, he caught pneumonia and died. His last Chan film was Charlie Chan in Monte Carlo, a delightful performance. His close friend Keye Luke loved him as a Number One son might! Oland was cultured and cerebral.

Oland caught our attention years earlier, of course, on old-TV film festivals—but our real fascination came when we discovered he graduated from Curry College, then located in Boston as an elocution/speech school for actors.

We cut our own teeth at Curry for 30 years as a professor, of film studies, no less.

When we watched a Chan film this week, we went to the ubiquitous Youtube to find all our favorites. To our shock, we learned Warner Oland died 79 years ago the day we found a slight biographical movie called Charlie Chan is Missing: the Last Days of Warner Oland.

Charming and mysterious, Oland preferred his home in central Massachusetts, not far from our preferred home, and his wife had his body brought back to Southboro where his gravestone was the step to his beloved home in that town.

The film is short and chock full of info, but the clues to Warner Oland’s strange character disappeared with him.

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Sumo Like It Hot for Tom Brady

DATELINE: Great Wall of China Meets Great Brady

sumo like it hot

When Under Armor sends Tom Brady around the world in eight days, you can expect some great moments.

Phileas Finn had his sidekick, and Tom Brady had his young son along for the ride.

So, the Greatest of All Time in football quarterbacking met the Greatest of All Time in Walls. It was enough to make President Trump jealous. Or, perhaps Tom was there to give Trump a report on how well walls work in the world.

Great Wall Meets Great Brady

Sublime met the ridiculous again when Brady decided to doff his shirt (not stolen by agents of North Korea) and do a tag team wrestling match against some heavyweight Sumo guys.

Tom is not quite the Pillsbury Doughboy when it comes to muscle, but he is not Arnold either. He posed, rather ill-advisedly with Sumo wrestlers in their diaper wraps. Tom had the good taste to wear his patented sleepwear pantaloons.

Some Brady groupies are agog at the fleshpot photos of Brady among the Sumos.  We are less impressed that Sumo like it hot.

Pictures like these generally come back to haunt. In this case, it may never go away long enough to be missed. We may take a long time to try to expunge the image from our memory banks.

We can’t imagine that Tom will sell his sleepware to many wrestlers who seem to revel in having their hot flesh bare in bed.

We aren’t sure who is advising Tom on this latest cavort. At least he managed to escape the clutches of his own Passepartout, Julian Edelman, for a few days.

A Bridge Too Far to Play

DATELINE:  Gamblers Anonymous

Our Bridge Team Under Fire!

As an avid bridge player, you have to worry about the latest crackdown. The card game is now bridge over troubled waters.

Senior citizens in Thailand were arrested for being dummies.

The actual suspected crime is gambling, but the oldsters were arrested for having illegal playing cards. Perhaps it was the deck with pictures of Playboy bunnies—or some other sexual deviance well known to Thailand.

Bridge is best played nowadays with a computer that holds all three hands—and surrenders to you when it is your partner as dummy. We suspect Roger Clemens, A-Rod, and Barry Bonds all play bridge.

We have found that computers cheat at bridge. And, everyone knows that computers are programmed by cheating human beings. Machines come naturally into the world as innocents (sort of like playing cards). It is the environment that corrupts games and cards.

Just ask the skilled experts who guess winners of the NFL each week on  FanDuel or DraftKings. The corruption quotient is creeping in from the coasts. Hawaii is now joining New York in banning these games of corrupt chance.

We never thought you could make millions playing bridge.  Now that the word is out, we expect more young people under age forty will buy a deck of cards and build their empire.

We have decided to cancel any notion of a trip to Thailand. It joins Hawaii and New York as places that are kill-joys when it comes to get rich quick schemes.

Was Bernie Madoff a bridge player? We wouldn’t be surprised.

Trump Follows the Money to Win War

DATELINE:   SUNNY TZU, The Twitter War

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Donald Trump showed once again what a master of logic and history he is. When asked his plan to fight ISIS, he said it was important to cut off their money supply: oil. He would look to their funding and put his fight there. If that meant using Twitter, he would make it a war machine.

The last brilliant war technician and business mogul who used this strategy was Sun Tzu. Yes, the ancient war philosopher who knew that war was expensive and costs were the central consideration.

You go for the jugular, which Trump correctly identifies as oil, which has made ISIS so well oiled in its war machine. Trump would take their oil and look at other banking sources that keep ISIS well stocked.

If you put boots on the ground, they should be used with due diligence to stop the money flow.

Someone is funding ISIS, and to find that culprit is to cut the head off the snake.

Not many media, nor his opponents, has a grasp on the Chinese military strategist whose opinions of winning war have been used by acute businessmen too.

We doubt that many of the other candidates are familiar with Sun Tzu and, if asked, probably think it is a Florida resort area for senior citizens.

Trump said follow the money and then cut off its flow. He is correct!! The ancient Chinese General Sun Tzu said war is the most expensive undertaking of a country or government’s leader and Isis is FULLY FUNDED.

Few on this planet control that type of wealth—but Trump knows who they are.  He will follow the money and let the truth be told and with it the heavens of the desert kingdom fall. You want to crush ISIS and castrate it from its money sources.