October 1, 2013 at 11:27 am (By Ron)

In the comments in the “Word of the day” post, Icepick mentions that McArthur’s dad would be a good subject for a movie and I agree!  But I nominate Merion C. Cooper for a biopic as well…  Former head of RKO, fought in the Russo-Polish War, had an Indiana Jones life of exploring the world, wound up on the deck of the Missouri for the Japanese surrender in WWII (retiring a two-star general), produced several of John Ford’s movies after the war, and early proponent of both Technicolor and Cinerama.   He’s most famous for directing King Kong…he has a cameo in it as the guy in the plane who knocks the Big Ape off the brand-spanking-new Empire State Building.  I remember from an old TCM documentary that after Kong’s success, they asked him what he liked for the subjects of the next film ( a musical!) and he said, “I like airplanes….and South America.”  Thus did RKO make Flying Down to Rio which not only have Fred Astaire in it, but would include as Astaire’s partner…Cooper’s girlfriend!  But when he proposed to her, she decided she would be marrying the head of the studio and didn’t want to act anymore.  So they gave her part to some dame under contract to RKO….Ginger Rogers.  A fascinating life!

Neat-o link about Cooper here.



  1. SM_Icepick said,

    It’s amazing that some of the more incredible life stories don’t get made into movies. For that matter, Jacques had a life worthy of movie treatment.

  2. mockturtle said,

    Yes! I have the book, Donbas and there are events in it that will stay fixed in my mind forever. [The woman with the turban and head lice, for example]. A very straightforward and absorbing account.

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