Friday, December 18, 2009

Speaking of English literature

I know it may seem curious for "Dr. Frank C. Baxter, Professor of English, University of Southern California" to be introducing a film as lovably kooky as 1956's The Mole People. (By the way, you know that a film is "lovably kooky" when it never inspires a remake.)

But he was a real guy, and a real professor, with real experience in the entertainment biz!

And here's a real sun, and a real moon, and then a rather shadowy and formless mass of electric potentiality with little bright sparks in it, and they give us the sense of our stars.

You may in fact remember Professor Baxter from such edutainment classics as "Hemo the Magnificent," directed by Frank Capra. (I sure do. Third grade science class, if I recall correctly.)

Unfortunately, the good doctor passed on long before my tenure at USC -- but I'd like to think that something of his goofy irreverent academic spirit lived on in those hallowed halls, and eventually made its way into an IJG tune or two.

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