Monday, October 19, 2015

In Hell with Titles

I wonder if The Letlander should be titled A Letlander. The trouble with The anything it does sound as though there is only one of them. I remember The Quare Fellow. A Play set in an Irish Prison, Dublin I think. The Quare Fellow was about to be hung, we never saw him, he was back there somewhere and he was lurking, and no one was quite certain what he'd done to deserve hanging, but whatever it was, it was something pretty horrible. Yet no one in the prison cared too much because there was another prisoner, everyone in the play called The Other Fellow, who the prisoners had a special revulsion for. The Other Fellow was something like Oscar Wilde and he was in prison because he was a gay man. And the questions raised in the play were interesting.

 Then there are the John Wayne Movies. A lot of them start with The. The Quite Man. The Searchers. The Cowboy, The Shootist, The Alamo etc. Enough to put anyone off ever using The as the first word of a title. Now had The Quare Fellow been titled A Quare Fellow, the play was such that in the dialogue The Quare Fellow could have been called The Quare Fellow and the Other Fellow could have been called The Other Fellow without distressing the questions raised by the play. But the playwright was an Irishman, and from my own experience the Irish will say something like "Ah The Boiled Potato" and are able to make it sound as though Heaven itself had been moved. John Wayne has no such excuse, except perhaps in The Shootist were in some very radical opinions John Wayne had a go at an Irish Accent. Incidentally in John Wayne's The Conqueror, where he plays Genghis Kahn I think, he doesn't sound anything like a Mongolian and nor does Rita Hayworth.

No comments: