It’s Not Easy Being Green: Great Frogs of Hollywood

It hasn’t been uncommon for groups to avoid getting their due in Hollywood. For the most part, women were relegated to second class citizens in early Hollywood. Of course, they had pivotal roles but it was only through the male protagonists that most of them had any role at all. Eventually, this wrong was righted and more and more weighty roles went to actresses. A similar arc happened with African-Americans in cinema. But there’s one group that has never gotten the proper due from Hollywood- frogs. Today, I’m here to help the healing begin. Here are some great frogs of Hollywood.

Pete’s stunt double in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Not only did this frog do a magnificent job of convincing us that he was the Siren-bewitched equivalent of John Turturro. He also gave his life to a one-eyed John Goodman, just to prove to all the world how dedicated he was to his craft.

Kermit the Frog

The green pimp

I couldn’t possibly get very deep in this list without including Kermit. Do you want to know what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was 3 years old? Kermit the Frog. That’s how great of an entertainer Kermit was- he convinced a dumb 3 year old kid that he wanted to be a frog when he grew up.

Michigan J. Frog
This reclusive frog was the Halley’s Comet of Hollywood frogs, appearing briefly, shining brightly, and then disappearing into the great construction guy lunchpail in the sky for decades until re-appearing to ply his craft yet again.

Commander Toty, Hell Comes to Frogtown
So… yeah. Rowdy Roddy Piper lives in a post-apocalyptic world where giant mutant frogs are threatening to take over the world because there aren’t enough human men to reproduce with the human women. Piper is enlisted to, um… “propagate the species”… because he’s stuffed to the gils with testosterone. But also, he leads a force of humans into Frogtown to defeat the evil Commander Toty. If ever you’re looking for an example of frogs not getting their due in Hollywood, this is it. The lack of a place in the AFI Top 100 for Hell Comes to Frogtown is a clear instance of anti-frog bias in Tinseltown.

The frogs raining from the sky, Magnolia
Admittedly, out of all of the time I’ve spent watching P.T. Anderson movies, it’s the only scene that I haven’t loved. In fact, I hated it. But… but… I still go nuts for PTA’s movies and you can’t deny that the raining frog scene was pivotal. What it said, exactly, I’m not really sure, but it said… something.

The frog in The Princess and the Frog
Yeah, I didn’t see it. But I’m sure there’s a frog in there playing a pivotal role, unless it’s like that movie Naked Lunch, whose title is a lie (as Nelson Muntz has so brilliantly pointed out in The Simpsons).

The scads of killer frogs in Frogs
No. Seriously. This exists. From 1972, it’s a horror movie that features Ray Milland and Sam Elliot haunted by a plague of murderous frogs.


Filed under Humor, Movies

11 responses to “It’s Not Easy Being Green: Great Frogs of Hollywood

  1. Kelly

    Aww, I thought this was gonna be about French actors.

  2. I was hoping you’d have the frogs that terrorized Ray Milland in there. Nice work!!! I would argue that the film has maybe the greatest frog ensemble cast in cinema history. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure Altman directed it under an alias.

  3. Things got pretty bad for Milland towards the end!

  4. Do you know that the frogs raining from the sky was a biblical reference that was hinted at countless times throughout the movie, albeit incredibly subtly. Exodus 8:2, which goes something like this: “If you refuse to let them go, I will send down a plague of frogs.” The words ‘Exodus 8:2’ can be seen on a sign mere moments before the first frog falls from the sky. It’s one of my favourite scenes in movie history, I’m sorry to say, and the reason is because it has so much rich depth and meaning to it, as well as small and subtle touches that make it perfect. It’s certainly not as entertaining or beautifully captured as, say the tracking-shot in Boogie Nights or the final scene of There Will Be Blood, but nevertheless it’s a masterful work of amazing direction and accurate cinematography. There you have it, Magnolia explained. Rant finished.

    • That movie is a perfect re-watch candidate. I saw it the first time about six years ago, and haven’t seen it since. And I really liked everything about that film except for that final scene.

      • It’s okay. It’s not a scene that’s easy to accept, really, and like the monologue, it might seem out of place to the average viewer. Though I’ve baked it up to be some magnificent marvellous scene (which I still think it is), it’s certainly not my favourite scene in the movie. I don’t have a favourite ‘scene’ for movies, I usually attribute the parts I like to favourite ‘moments.’

        I highly suggest rewatching Magnolia for your next rewatchterpiece theatre post, or at least keep it in mind when it comes to choosing.

        • Sorry… I said monologue, I meant ‘prologue.’ The monologue in the movie is also one of my favourite scenes, and a testament to the entire career of Jason Robards. I’m finished.

        • I’m not sure when it’ll happen, but it’ll definitely happen soon. We’ll say within the next month or two, it’ll be a re-watch item.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s