Topic: "Claymore Gregg" (3)
Hope Lange and Edwin Mulhare played the "Ghost and Mrs. Muir" on TV. Frodo had not yet been introduced to the incomparable Rex Harrison movie. So the entry into "Gull Cottage" by the newly-widowed Mrs. Muir, and the role of the impish real estate agent, Claymore Gregg, delighted Frodo no end when the owner of the "Monkey-Puzzle Tree" tried to stake claim on his possessions even after the Sea had reclaimed her Captain. Charles Nelson Reilly, portraying Claymore Gregg, who passed away this week, made Frodo laugh.
Stan Laurel, Richard Pryor, Gilda Radner, Jack Benny, Flip Wilson, Jackie Gleason, and so many others always had the capacity to send Frodo to spasms of uncontrolled hilarity. Frodo likes to laugh, and humor is greatly appreciated, but Charles Nelson Reilly offered comic relief to an honest-to-goodness love story that Frodo wishes that he had authored. The TV character would not have been appropriate for the book, but he caught the attention of the Halfling and drew him into the story.
Frodo will never forget the first time he watched the movie. He would never again see the highly-talented George Sanders in the same light; no more would he be "The Saint" in Frodo's eye. He would be the conniver who came between the time-crossed lovers to finality. It would probably be the last movie viewed in black-and-white which Frodo would appreciate for that medium. The addition of color would demean the artistry. Ansel Adams could not communicate in comparison.
"The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" is a part of Frodo, and it was the comic relief of Charles Nelson Reilly that drew him to this marvelous addition to the Shire. Thank you Sir, good job!