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Breakdowns of 1941

Breakdowns of 1941(1941)

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teaser Breakdowns of 1941 (1941)

Maya Angelou famously said "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights." In that spirit, this blooper reel of "breakdowns", compiled for private amusement at the annual Warner Club party for executives and stars, reveals more about the actors in the Warner Brothers stable than anything else they've done on screen. Some take their flubs in good humor (Jimmy Stewart, Rosalind Russell, James Cagney) and some most certainly do not (John Garfield, Bette Davis) -- often with saltier language than ever would have made it past the Hays Office. Edward G. Robinson reveals a peculiar habit of spitting raspberries after blown takes, and James Cagney has a particularly difficult time getting out of one scene in Torrid Zone (1941), with co-star, furniture, and even the venetian blinds conspiring against him. Sure, the screw-ups are funny, but what's most illuminating about these unguarded moments is how so much of that mysterious quotient "star power" is really the ability to transmit the best of one's true self onto the screen.

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