Love vs. Selfishness
“He wanted as many kids between him and the audience as possible.”
Eddie Foy, Jr.
The Seven Little Foys (1955) is a highly interesting Bob Hope comedy/drama. It is amusing like most Bob Hope films, but I have also found it intriguing because Hope portrays Foy at the beginning of the film as a selfish loner who wants absolutely nothing to do with a wife, let alone kids. In the film his ambitions to lead a selfish solitary life are thwarted by love. First, love for his wife and then, after her death, love for their numerous children. At the end of the film we even see love of God starting to enter into Foy’s life, as he goes to Mass for the first time in years. His attempt to lead a life devoted to self alone ends in flat failure!
Like most Hollywood films some of the details of the actual Foy and his children are distorted, but it does not deter from the central message of the film. Humans only have true happiness by loving others and doing good for them. It seems a simple enough concept, and it certainly lies at the heart of Catholicism, but most of the evil in the world is a testament to how elusive many people find this core truth of human life.
Seeing Foy throughout the film grow into the role of father, with many hurdles, makes it a great film for Father’s day. Go here for film clips from the film.
I cannot leave this film without showing the clip of the legendary dance routine between Bob Hope and James Cagney, reprising his role from Yankee Doodle Dandy as James M. Cohan. Cagney had his salary for the role donated to charity, regarding it as a tribute to Eddie Foy, who in the twenties had helped out struggling young actors, including Cagney.
What do you need friends for?… you’ve got all the friends and enemies you need right here in the family.
Eddie Foy (Bob Hope), The Seven Little Foys (1955)
When I was growing up in the late Sixties and early Seventies the number one sex symbol going away was the actress Raquel Welch. What little I had heard of her opinions seemed to be those of a conventional Hollywood liberal. Therefore I was shocked by this column she wrote for CNN on the anniversary of the invention of the birth control pill:
Margaret Sanger opened the first American family-planning clinic in 1916, and nothing would be the same again. Since then the growing proliferation of birth control methods has had an awesome effect on both sexes and led to a sea change in moral values.
There is only One World, but there is a big dividing line between those who are comfortable, happy, healthy, and safe, and those who are in pain, miserable, sick, and in danger. We cross the lines involuntarily at times- but we can also choose to cross over for periods of time from the happy place to the places of sorrow. This is being poor in spirit, this is compassion, this is prayer, this is where we love our neighbor as ourselves, where we love our enemies, where we develop our Christ-likeness. We cross over not because we have to, but because we choose to love.
I am a single man that believes that my vocation is that for marriage. So when I came across this article I thought it prudent to read it since I have much, much to learn about marriage. Me being the type that I would like to prepare for it the best I can rather than “learn on the job”.
Regardless, this struck home, not because of any past sin, but because it is rare to see a good priest speak truth to power. Once cloning technology gets perfected I plan on mass-producing this priest. Yeah, I know, cloning destroys the dignity of man so I was only speaking rhetorically.
So here is a warning for you all before you read the article. Of course the author issues his own warning, but it is best to be safe than sorry!