Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Woody Allen Tonight double bill: Hitler's barber remembers! -- Part 2 of "The Schmeed Memoirs," plus Part 1 of "Count Dracula" (from "Getting Even")

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Generaloberst Heinz Guderian (1888-1954)
Chief of mobile forces for the Wehrmacht

"When General Guderian heard [that Hitler ("in part on the advice of Goebbels") was dealing with his "dry, unruly hair" by washing it every day], he immediately returned home from the Russian front and told the F├╝hrer he must shampoo his hair no more than three times weekly . . . the procedure followed with great success by the General Staff in two previous wars."
-- from tonight's conclusion of "The Schmeed Memoirs"

by Ken

Last night we met Friedrich Schmeed, "the best-known barber in wartime Germany," and read several excerpts from his memoirs, the account of his tonsorial mediation to much of the Nazi high command during World War II, beginning with the episode in the spring of 1940 when Hitler appeared at Schmeed's shop at 127 Koenigstrasse and tried to cut ahead of von Ribbentrop for a light trim, "but Ribbentrop insisted it would look bad for the Foreign Office if he were passed over" -- and wound up being transferred to the Afrika Korps. Tonight's excerpts spotlight the dispiriting final year of the Third Reich.

Tonight we also begin Woody's "Count Dracula," a harrowing tale in which the legendary Count lands himself in one heck of a pickle. Both "Count Dracula" and "The Schmeed Memoirs" seemed to me a bit too long for single-installment presentation but maybe not quite so long as to demand two full installments apiece, and besides, I really wanted to present both in the space of three nights. I realize that this middle installment wound up kind of large, but I think we've got good "break" points for both pieces. I guess we'll see how it works.


FOR PART 2 OF "THE SCHMEED MEMOIRS" AND
PART 1 OF "COUNT DRACULA," CLICK HERE


SO FAR IN "WOODY ALLEN TONIGHT"

from Getting Even (1971)
"A Look at Organized Crime"
"Death Knocks," Part 1 and Part 2
"A Twenties Memory"
"Hassidic Tales, with a Guide to Their Interpretation by the Noted Scholar," Part 1 and Part 2
"The Schmeed Memoirs," Part 1
Coming tomorrow: The harrowing conclusion of "Count Dracula"

THURBER TONIGHT (including WOODY ALLEN, ROBERT BENCHLEY, BOB AND RAY, WILL CUPPY, WOLCOTT GIBBS, RING LARDNER, S. J. PERELMAN, JEAN SHEPHERD, and E. B. WHITE TONIGHT): Check out the series to date
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