Tuesday, October 8, 2013

TOM DRAKE (from my unpublished FADEOUT: the final film of ...)

Brooklyn, NY, 5 August 1918 -- Torrance, CA, 11 August 1982 (lung cancer)
A handsome but rather dull young leading man of the 1940s, the former Alfred Alderdice had the good fortune of having Judy Garland sing "The Boy Next Door" to him in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). They both looked beautiful in Technicolor, but then MGM made the mistake of letting him play composer Richard Rodgers in another colorful musical, Words and Music (1948). The words and music were, of course, delightful, but Drake was blandness personified and it was downhill from there. His rather obvious homosexuality may have been overlooked when wooing Judy Garland back in 1944, but it became a liability in the less forgiving 1950s, and he was soon forced to augment his movie income by selling used cars.

The final film if Tom Drake

CYCLE PSYCHO (Cinemation, 1975) D: John Lawrence. CAST: Tom Drake (Dick Ridelander), Amy Thompson, Stephen Oliver, Joe Turkel. In a massive comedown, the erstwhile boy next door plays a crazed killer blackmailing a businessman (Turkel) into procuring young girls to satisfy his erotic fantasies. A ho-hum "shocker" released on video as "Savage Abductions." Drake appeared in three made-for-television movies the following year, but then retired permanently.


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