8 April 2005 | jearly-2
Diamond Jim (1935)
I saw this movie a couple of days ago at Film Forum, one of a double feature with another Sturgis film, If I Were King. Almost missed Diamond Jim because had never heard about it before, and only wanted to see the other film. After coming in a few minutes late, I found it fascinating also because of actor Edward Arnold, who played Diamond Jim more as a sympathetic, rather than, e.g. a pathetic, man. Aghast at his eating habits, I thought it morbid and indicative of depression. When I later read his biography on the Internet, I immediately thought that his dining habits might be a substitution for not drinking alcohol. Certainly a Type-A personality, and an Alpha-male. Big in every way, his largeness of appetite(s) was endearing and sad, in equal measures. Likely he could not have become what he became without the morbid appetite! Or he would have become an alcoholic or a drug addict -- the latter maybe less likely in his time and place. Definitely glad to have seen it, I recommend the movie. The movie was perhaps a forerunner of Leonardo DeCaprio's Howard Hughes in The Aviator.