Google Groups no longer supports new Usenet posts or subscriptions. Historical content remains viewable.
Dismiss

OT: Everybody must get BONED !?!

67 views
Skip to first unread message

radioacti...@gmail.com

unread,
Feb 20, 2024, 4:15:24 PMFeb 20
to
While scrutinizing John Huston's exquisite "The Asphalt Jungle" the other day for about the dozenth time--it was screened on TCM as part of its 31 Days of Oscar series, earning Sam Jaffe a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his third-best role* ever--I was again confronted with some simply inexplicable slang.

That is, no fewer than FIVE TIMES, the character Dix (wonderfully portrayed by sailor-first-actor-second Sterling Hayden's**) says some variation of, "He was tryin' to bone me!" But it's NEVER clear what the character Dix--essayed by Mr. "Precious Bodily Fluids" himself--MEANS by the odd phrase!

And try as I might--including consultation of the usually-comprehensive Urban Dictionary--I can find ZERO mention anywhere of what the slang infinitive "to bone" means. (And yeah, yeah, even good ol' naive me is aware of the well-worn SEXUAL meaning of the verb...but hey, TAJ was a 1950 film, when the dreaded Hollywood Code would have nixed Dix's quintuple employment of the word, had it meant THAT.)

Taking it purely from the context in which the character Dix used it, it SEEMS to have meant he was being conned or otherwise extorted in some sort of way, but again, that wasn't at all clear. (A wise pal counsels me that this was merely some early '50s slang that just never caught on despite the serious success of the film, but I'm not sure he's correct about that.)

Anyone else wonder about this dialogue quirk in this terrific, everlasting film noir? (And yes, I know some film historians instead classify it as a "heist" picture, but whatever slot you fit it into, "The Asphalt Jungle" was Hollywood at some of its mid-century finest.)

BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
===================
* His best two, in my view, were as Professor Barnhart in "The Day the Earth Stood Still", and later as Dr. Zorba opposite young Dr. Ben Casey on ABC all those seasons.
** Died Friday, May 23, 1986...as it happened, the day after Arlene Francis husband Martin Gabel--and her frequent co-panelist on "What's My Line?" !--expired at 74.

radioacti...@gmail.com

unread,
Feb 20, 2024, 5:42:25 PMFeb 20
to
Just in case you thought little o' ME was tryin' to bone YOU, here are some of those bone-mouthed employments; maybe not as memorable as "precious bodily fluids" (or even the manner in which he repeatedly intoned Mandrake's name to Peter Sellers), but some indelible Hayden Hollywood nonetheless.

STYBLE/Florida
=============
"Don't bone me!": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=don64Gmu310

Louis Epstein

unread,
Feb 20, 2024, 8:04:30 PMFeb 20
to
radioacti...@gmail.com <radioacti...@gmail.com> wrote:
> While scrutinizing John Huston's exquisite "The Asphalt Jungle" the other day for about the dozenth time--it was screened on TCM as part of its 31 Days of Oscar series, earning Sam Jaffe a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his
> third-best role* ever--I was again confronted with some simply inexplicable slang.
>
> That is, no fewer than FIVE TIMES, the character Dix (wonderfully portrayed by sailor-first-actor-second Sterling Hayden's**) says some variation of, "He was tryin' to bone me!" But it's NEVER clear what the character Dix--essayed
> by Mr. "Precious Bodily Fluids" himself--MEANS by the odd phrase!
>
> And try as I might--including consultation of the usually-comprehensive Urban Dictionary--I can find ZERO mention anywhere of what the slang infinitive "to bone" means. (And yeah, yeah, even good ol' naive me is aware of the
> well-worn SEXUAL meaning of the verb...but hey, TAJ was a 1950 film, when the dreaded Hollywood Code would have nixed Dix's quintuple employment of the word, had it meant THAT.)

Is it beyond conjecture that the literal meaning of using a sharp knife to separate his flesh from his bones,that the former
might more easily be consumed as a foodstuff (or otherwise disposed of) was intended?
In just what context had Hayden's character been confronted by the one he spoke of?

> Taking it purely from the context in which the character Dix used it, it SEEMS to have meant he was being conned or otherwise extorted in some sort of way,

A metaphorical evocation of literal boning applied to finances?

> but again, that wasn't at all clear. (A wise pal counsels me that this was merely some early '50s slang
> that just never caught on despite the serious success of the film, but I'm not sure he's correct about that.)

Were there prototypical Plastics "trying to make bone happen" ?

> Anyone else wonder about this dialogue quirk in this terrific, everlasting film noir? (And yes, I know some film historians instead classify it as a "heist" picture, but whatever slot you fit it into, "The Asphalt Jungle" was
> Hollywood at some of its mid-century finest.)
>
> BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
> ===================
> * His best two, in my view, were as Professor Barnhart in "The Day the Earth Stood Still", and later as Dr. Zorba opposite young Dr. Ben Casey on ABC all those seasons.
> ** Died Friday, May 23, 1986...as it happened, the day after Arlene Francis husband Martin Gabel--and her frequent co-panelist on "What's My Line?" !--expired at 74.

Two months and three days before the wedding of the Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson.

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
0 new messages