Butter Rum Cartoon

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012


It's funny what we remember from our childhood. My sister Linda took me to a movie in Blaine, Washington, when I was nine. I remember nothing about the movie, not even its title, except that it was too adult for me, that the lead actor in it was a juvenile delinquent who scared me because he was a loose cannon, and that at one point he pulled a switchblade on some guys and cut a button off the shirt of one of the guys. I thought this was about the meanest thing I had ever seen!

I didn't remember the myriad of other emotional and physical violent scenes in the movie. Television was born when I was, and I had seen many fights and killings on TV, but this cutting off of a button was the worst. We all yell and argue at times and say things that hurt feelings, and I had lost count of how many times I had gotten beat up. But this button cutting rose above all in viciousness. Because my Mom made all my shirts. With love, she patiently made them in hopes that I'd like them and be proud to wear them. Usually I would pick out the material, with great designs, and wind up standing out in any crowd. Perhaps this helped make me a non-conformist in life, forever repelled by popularity. My shirts were very sentimental to me. And maybe this guy's mother in the movie had made his shirt special for him, having sewn on the buttons with care and patience; and then along comes this juvenile delinquent and thoughtlessly cuts one button off.

That cold, heartless scene haunted me all my life. Just the other day, while talking with my oldest son, it dawned on me that the same actor who played the juvenile delinquent also played in the movie, "Tom Thumb." And it was then easy online to rediscover Russ Tamblyn. I checked Russ Tamblyn's extensive filmography and found that he had played in many movies in the 1950's. I read through brief synopses of each one, and guessed that it might be "High School Confidential." I found a used DVD of this old, black-and-white movie on Amazon for a low price, and ordered it. It arrived a couple days ago, and this is it!  In the middle of the movie comes that terrible scene with the button!

So if ever you want to see a horrifically violent film that cuts you to the core and will haunt you all your life, see "High School Confidential"! When you come to a scene in the middle of the movie, when three guys approach Russ Tamblyn, and he pulls out his knife, you might want to close your eyes.

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1 comment:

  1. I saw a movie that was called 'Guerre Le Bottoms", or the War of the Bottons. It was a kid movie and what they did was form two armies and a victory was achieved when you cut someones buttons. Now that I read your story, I understand why it was so terrible to lose a button to the other gang. Thanks for the explaination.
    Wilfredo Morales