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Published March 29, 2009 2.3k views More Info ยป
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Old 1932 film called "The Monster Walks."
Foxy momma Gloria Stuart of "Titanic" fame isn't in this, nor is Lillian Bond-- I only bring that up, because I just seen those two chicks in "The Old Dark House" flick, and I want to nail them both SO BAD.
Check out this actress: http://www.youtube.com/user/Eliseharris
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Published March 29, 2009
Blacks In Early Hollywood-- Willie Best

http://www.youtube.com/user/Eliseharris < Check her out!  She's a fine Londoner based actress.

Poor Willie. What a gem I bet he was.
Okay, how a 1932 grainy video and scratchy audio quality film got on a pirate download web-page, I don't know. I was looking for Boris Karloff stuff and found this "The Monster Walks" thing as well.

I was curious about the black actor being listed as "Sleep N' Eat" as his real name? Turns out that he was endearingly tagged as that because of his skill at playing the stereotypically early Hollywood "Lazy Negro"-- the dude that would say "I's a houngry," and then be slapped by a barber and handed a broom in Tin-Pan-Alley plays and Penny Operas of the day.

My camera's audio capture made this film worse, then when it processed to my files it worsened more, and then YouTube's uploader finished it off. What the hell, YouTube tells us 30 fps is recommended, and this crappy video is evidence as to why. Maybe if I'd turned the volume down it wouldn't have overwhelmed my camera's mic. There's a corny Hollywood sound stage thunderstorm going on all through the 59 minutes of this film, and I think my camera got confused and tried to blend and extend the bass of the thunder.

Anyway, say hello to William "Willie" Best; motion picture actor of the 30s-40s(two gigs in '50-'51), and television '52-'56.
Born May 27, 1916
Died February 27, 1962 at age 45.
Was buried by the Motion Picture Fund in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery .
(Note: If this film "wrapped" before May 27th of 1932, then Willie is being seen here as a 15 year old.)

Little synopsis here:
The patriarch of the family has died, and the heiress daughter returns with her Doctor fiancee that stormy evening for the reading of the Will.

"Exodus"(Willie Best)is the chauffeur of the Doctor.

--First scene: Willie is spooked about staying all night in a house where a person has died recently. Says he would rather "Takes a walk to the movies or play pee-wee golf in town."(paraphrasing, here) Says he'd take his shoes off and play in the rain, and even skip all the way there(11 miles in to town). (Note: "Skip" was the slang for "Jive" back then in the 30s.)

Second scene: Willie is nervous about the deceased patriarch's pet chimp, and also don't like the idea of sleeping in a house where a dead man is still lain out for viewing.

Third scene: Willie agrees to come inside, but tells "Hans" the servant, "You keep a hold of that Yogi(chimp)and I'll go sleep up on the roof(attic)."

Fourth scene: Willie is asked by the family Lawyer to assist in seeing that Yogi(the chimp)is properly secured in his cage for the night.
Willie wants nothing to do with going down in the basement where the chimp is, and hand his gun off to the Lawyer to go it alone.
Willie says, "I wouldn't go down there with President Hoover!"
When the Lawyer descends the basement steps willie says, "Now they gonna be another dead one..."

Fifth scene: Willie is in nightclothes and nervous about the racket the chimp is making. Willie says, "What's with that Yogi a yodeling like that... not nobody gonna sleep in this house tonight."

Sixth scene: Willie can't stand the chimp's racket, but as the servant of the Doctor he figures he better check it out. Willie says, "I bet the Doctor went down there to give Yogi a calm down pill."
Then the comedy scene, with Willie thinking Yodi has got his foot when it's actually the bear-head rug.

Final scene: Willie comes down in the basement after the Doctor and Lawyer discover that the servant had tried to feed the Heiress to the chimp.
Willie says, "What they keep a thing like that around for, anyway?"
The Lawyer explains that the Patriarch was a scientist doing Darwinian Theory experiments on the chimp.
Willie is confused.
Lawyer says, "Darwin says Yogi is much the same as us."
Willie says, "Well... I don't know. I gots a grand-dad that looks a bit like him(Yogi), but sure not as active..."

(Note: I liked that Exodus(Willie Best)was allowed to pack heat like nobodies business, as the trusted servant and protector of his Doctor employer. Willie Best should be a valued hero to actor Richard Roundtree of "Shaft" fame.)
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