Ollie wrote:I'd probably list Franklin Pangborn as one of my favorite supporting actors, just because I notice him in so many favorite (and often, excellent) films. But we've only got 21 of his pieces on DVD. I was going thru his early work and I was counting, "5, 10, 11 - wow, I didn't know he was in so many Torchy films! Wait - uh - I didn't know there WERE that many Torchy Blaine films!"
Gulp. There aren't. This is another character called "Torchy" in the early '30s Shorts. But Franklin's in those.
Did Franklin receive his Ph.D in Hotel Management? I think so. He must have done 50 of his 200+ roles as a desk clerk. The original Basil Fawlty, too - he could have ALWAYS run those desks much better without any pest-customers!
Almost all of Pangborn's dutiful characters find themselves targets for humiliation, and as such Sis and I tend to see a lot of ourselves in him even as we laugh at his predicaments. He does resemble Fawlty in the sense that he always winds up with egg on his face despite that he's often only trying to get things done (and here I'll mention that Fawlty is another character we both find sympathetic despite his, well, faults
- and if you have a job that entails dealing with the public on a regular basis, odds are that you'll also find yourself siding with Basil).
I may have already posted about this, but I think my favorite Pangborn appearance is in W. C. Fields' The Bank Dick
. Every moment Pangborn and Fields are at odds in this film is comedy gold. Pangborn's straight-laced, easily flustered persona provided the perfect foil for Fields' shifty idler, and every time I revisit the film, I find myself wishing they'd made more together. I also treasure his brief appearances in Sturges' comedies. His mere presence lightens the emotionally taut first half of Now, Voyager