February 1, 2007

"Eh, he's a nice old man, isn't he?" "Oh yeah, he's very clean."

"Clean" -- the word that ruined Joe Biden -- was a running joke in the old Beatles movie "A Hard Days Night":
JOHN: Eh, he's a nice old man, isn't he?

PAUL: Oh yeah, he's very clean, y'know....

GEORGE: It's Paul's grandfather.

SHAKE: Oh aye, but I thought ...

JOHN: No, that's his other one.

SHAKE: That's all right then.

JOHN: Clean though, isn't he?

SHAKE: Oh yes, he's clean all right....

MANAGER: Lord John McCartney, he's the millionaire Irish Peer, filthy rich of course.

CUSTOMER: Oh I don't know, looks rather clean to me....

GRANDFATHER: Lookit, I thought I was supposed to be getting a change of scenery and so far I've seen a train and a room, a car and a room and a room and a room. Well, that's maybe all right for a bunch of powdered gee-gaws like you lot but I'm feeling decidedly strait-jacketed. This is no life for a free-booting agent of my stamp. I'm a frustrated man and that class of McCartney is a dangerous McCartney.

GIRL: What a clean old man....

JOHN: You see. You know your trouble -- you should have gone West to America. You'd have wound up a Senior Citizen of Boston. As it is you took the wrong turning and what happened, you're a lonely old man from Liverpool.

GRANDFATHER: But I'm clean.....

The BOYS giggle and slap him on the back.

A train and a room, a car and a room and a room and a room. I think Biden will be spared the tedium of excessive traveling soon enough.


MadisonMan said...

Wow, posting a comment take real patience and perserverance these days.

A Hard Day's Night is such a great movie. I wonder what the man in the movie looking for something new -- who says the new thing is to care passionately and be right-wing -- would think of Mr. Biden. (Or what would any Beatle say to puncture the Senator's ego).

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks for putting in the effort. Seeing that this post had a comment raised my spirits.

Thanks for the reminder of that right-wing quote. Here it is:

SIMON (to secretary) Make a note of that word and give it to Susan. I think it's rather touching really. Here's this kid trying to give me his utterly valueless opinion when I know for a fact within four weeks he'll be suffering from a violent inferiority complex and loss of status if he isn't wearing one of these nasty things. Of course they're grotty, you wretched nit, that's why they were designed, but that's what you'll want.

But I won't.

You can be replaced you know, chicky baby.

I don't care.

And that pose is out too, Sunny Jim. The new thing is to care passionately, and be right wing. Anyway, you won't meet Susan if you don't cooperate.

Peter Palladas said...

Wilfred Brambell - Grandfather - was one of the stately homos of England. Is that what Biden was supposed to be saying: the other guy is gay?

Brambell once turned up at our monastery front door asking for tea and the RAC (his Roller having broken down), complete with a very hunky and an extremely dory 'driver.' Odd couple indeed.

Hazy Dave said...

Wilfrid Brambell played Paul McCartney's grandfather A Hard Day's Night. The running joke of his character being "a very clean old man" is in reference to his on-screen son, Harold, in "Steptoe and Son" constantly referring to his father as "you dirty old man!" But, perhaps you already knew that. They must have referenced that in the Beatles Anthology videos or perhaps I read it somewhere...

TMink said...

Hear that sound? It is the Biden campaign sinking into oblivion.


Ann Althouse said...

Peter: Great theory. And, are you a monk?

Hazy: I didn't know that. It was always just odd. Looking back on the script, I'm stunned by how good it is, especially the lines given to the characters who weren't Beatles. Those guys were really funny, and it's nice to know some things about Brambell and what the inside (English) jokes were.

Eli Blake said...

All I have to say is that Joe Biden should stick to plagiarizing other people's speeches.

At least used words have been test driven.

Jon Swift said...

As I pointed out on my blog the day before, quoting A Hard Day's Night was actually Biden's way of comparing Obama to Redd Foxx.