Jun 16, 2006

Quote of the Week

Henry Fonda warns the host of BBC talk show Parkinson about longtime pal James Stewart's sensational storytelling abilities and penchant for embellishment (excerpts from the 1970 interview):


HF: If he tells you the story about how (John) Swope(s) and he and I and Josh (Logan) decided we were gonna tunnel under Garbo's fence - 'cause she'd built a fence around her house to make it more private - he dramatizes the story that we run out and dug and started, and we finally hit a water main someplace and it sprung a leak. Well, now, that's not it at all...the four of us sat around drinking and got drunk one night and started talking about 'Let's dig a tunnel under that fence!' We talked a lot about it and laughed a lot about it, but we never left the house.

(audience laughter)

Host: What happened here - when I interviewed him he told me that story, and he actually came up in Garbo's bedroom, I think!

HF: It gets better every time he tells it.


This is part of a wonderful and very personal interview with Fonda which is included with the supplementary material on the recent DVD release of Young Mr. Lincoln, the first of eight Fonda/John Ford pairings. For a similar recollection of his bachelor days with Jimmy, I recommend reading Fonda: My Life, in which Henry indulges in some wickedly funny tales of his starving artist years, like living on rice and grain alcohol when in between jobs or fending off a clan of wild cats that overran the boys' yard (maybe that's why Greta put up her fence?)

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