Friday, October 3, 2014

O Canada Blogathon: Dudley Do-Right and Canadian Manhood

This is my contribution to the O Canada! Blogathon hosted by Speakeasy and Silver Screenings. Click here for more wonder from the Great White North.

English men are charming, 
Italians romantics, 
And Latins can sway you
with their amorous antics.
But Canadians are stalwart and
Prolific of chin.
Their backbones are upright and
and they are free of all sin.
They love with a pure heart,
Their fidelity a bounty,
And none is so pure
As the Canadian Mountie.

Yes, those Mounties. They are not suave, or sophisticated and they can't drape a gal in diamonds on their salary, but boy are they loyal. And none was more loyal than that Mountie Deluxe, Dudley Do-Right.
Dudley Do-Right was handsome, thick as a plank, well-meaning and hopelessly in love with Nell Fenwick, the daughter of Dudley's boss, Inspector Fenwick. Dudley's love was true, but Nell, like most adolescent girls, held more affection for Dudley's horse, Horse. Dudley was usually kept busy rescuing Nell from the clutches of the evil Snidely Wiplash (voiced by that old smoothie, Hans Conreid). Snidely seemed a lot smarter than Dudley, but he was no match for the intellectual prowess of Horse. Plus, his karma was probably bad.
Okay, I know this was a cartoon, but each episode played like a mini silent movie melodrama. Created by Jay Ward and shown during the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, Dudley was the virtuous pale male, Nell the damsel in distress and Snidely the dark villain who twirled his mustache, tied women to train tracks, threw widows and orphans out of their homes when the mortgage wasn't paid and peered over his shoulder wrapper in a sinister black cape. All of this was set to the sound of a lone, melodramatic piano. No wonder I love silent films.
The Perils of Pauline showed Jay Ward how to depict a damsel in distress
So, Dudley do-Right was my vision of the Canadian Mountie:

No - not that one, this one!

Thank you, Canada, for a man so straight and true!


Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Dudley Do-Right was my first love. Maybe the correlation you draw between the cartoon plot and silent movies is why I love silents too.

Inge Gregusch said...

The O Canada blogathon has a winner! (I know it's not a contest). The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show was a family favorite, filled with juicy puns and brilliance. Dudley and the gang were a highlight. We would laugh until our sides hurt. Thank you for this gorgeous blog post!

Silver Screenings said...

I adore Dudley Do-Right with that pronounced Kirk Douglas chin and that head of hair. This series is so cleverly done, with a wink and a nod to silent films.

Thanks for honouring Dudley in the O Canada blogathon. I'm off to YouTube to find more of his Adventures!

Kristina Dijan said...

This was great :D thanks so much, no Canadian pop culture discussion would be complete without this "icon"!

Stephen Reginald said...

Loved this post. Watched Dudley Do-Right as a kid. I have most of them on VHS with The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Good job.

Clay Walter said...

I have both that Bobble-head and the drinking glass! Dudley is wonderful stuff! A very fun post.

I have the best of Dudley Do-Right disc, so now I have to watch. Thanks for the fun write-up! Maintiens Le Droit!

Clayton @ Phantom Empires

FlickChick said...

Jacqueline: I think a lot of little boomers had a crush on Dudley!

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Inge. And, as long as I can have Cary, Dudley is all yours!

FlickChick said...

Ruth - thanks for hosting this totally awesome event!

FlickChick said...

Kristina - and thanks to you for co-hosting this event - so many participants - you gals did a great job.

FlickChick said...

Stephen - thank you! I had no idea how many fans Dudley still has out there.

FlickChick said...

Cay - you are a man of refined tastes!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this introduction to Dudley Do-Right, he clearly hasn't made it across the pond to London!

The Lady Eve said...

LOVE your take most amusing and astute on Dudley Do-Right and "Canadian manhood" for the "O Canada" blogathon. You bring back memories of watching "Rocky & Bullwinkle" - religiously - with my brother, way back when. For some reason, though, I had it wrong, in my memory the horse was named "Nell." Ha! Wonderful piece, M.

FlickChick said...

Girls - oh, what you Brits have been missing!

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Patty. I was always kind of rooting for Snidely (and Sylvester, and the Coyote, etc.), but I was fond of the horse.

Caftan Woman said...

I always adored Dudley's single-minded focus on doing the right thing. I wanted to slap him a couple of times, but adorable always won out in the end.

I'd tell you how much I love this post, but my Canadian reticence holds me back.

FlickChick said...

CW - Oh, I can read between the lines (you old softie, you).

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to think of my favorite Dudley moment. I think it's the one where Snidely has been tricking Dudley into helping him tie damsels to train tracks (and tying Dudley's finger in the rope in the process), and after the second time this happens, Dudley says, "Curses, foiled again." Anyway, enjoyable write-up!


Canada always reminds me of the Mounted Police, and two guys are the personification of this Police: Dudley and Gary Cooper (in North West Mounted Police). I loved the parallel between the cartoon and silent films... it makes sense!
Don't forget to read my contribution for the blogathon! :)