Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jack Palance On The Mall In Washington, D.C. At The Dedication Of The World War Two Memorial

The picture above was not taken on The Mall. But I think it is a nice picture of Jack Palance so I am leading with it.
Click on the photos to enlarge them.

When the World War 2 memorial was first opened on The Mall in Washington, D.C. there was a big ceremony where they invited back all the veterans from that war.

Tents were set up on The Mall and they had interesting people come to speak like the Code Talkers and a man who was one of the interrogators at the Nurenberg Trials. He got to interrogate the top Nazis. And he said they did it without torture.

  Enrest Borgnine and Jack Palance were advertised as coming to speak of their WW2 experiences. Borgnine did not appear(no reason given)but Jack Palance did show up. I made it a point to go and hear what he had to say. So did another 2 or 3 hundred people. It is hard to say just how many people were in the big tent he was speaking in but it was completely full.

I learned that Palance had flown a plane during the war up and down the West Coast as a patrol plane. He was in a firey crash that scarred his face and that gave him his menacing look.

Before the war he told us he had played football on scholarship at the University of North Carolina for a year.  He said he used to hitch hike through Washington, D.C. during the time he was at the University of North Carolina. Then he transferred to Stanford.

   He was funny and entertaining and answered many questions from the audience.
He also got up and performed his famous one arm pushups.
  The WW2 Memorial opened in May of 2004. Jack Palance died November 10th in 2006.

  Now I like all of his movies but the one I like best is PANIC IN THE STREETS. It was his first big role. He is billed as Walter Jack Palance. It is set in New Orleans and is directed by Elia Kazan.

   After he finished speaking they said he would sign autographs and for people to line up. As they were lining up(it looked to be over a hundred people in the line)and he was just sitting down at a table I went up to him and told him how much I liked PANIC IN THE STREETS and  in particular how much I liked the ending. He smiled and agreed. I could tell he liked that picture.
In the link above click on (Panic in the Streets film) to get to the full page.

   At the end of the picture he is a man with the plague running from the police. There is a big shootout in the  coffee and banana warehouses along the New Orleans wharfs.  He is trying to make it on a freighter but as he is climbing the rope which runs from the dock to the ship he encounters a large metal disc. It is there to keep rats from coming on the ship. Or getting off. What a great ending. You can see the trailer for the movie at the link below including a shot of Palance climbing that rope. You can also watch the entire movie via this link below. It is free and in the public domain.