Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Klaus Kinski with an ax

with 4 comments

A few years back, Roger Ebert shared this story, which is one of my favorite Hollywood anecdotes of all time:

Jack Lemmon told me that he was in line at Ace Hardware in Beverly Hills, and the sales clerk kept looking past him. “I may not be the biggest star in the world,” he said, “but, jeez, usually when I stand in line, the clerk will notice me. I turned around, and there was Klaus Kinski with an ax.”

However, in Michael Caine’s new autobiography, The Elephant to Hollywood, which came out in October, we read:

It was in that [hardware store on Beverly Drive] that I had what still ranks as my most terrifying experience in America: I was browsing through the power tool display when I popped my head round the corner and there in the next aisle was Klaus Kinski buying an ax. Never has a shop full of DIY aficionados cleared so quickly….

Conclusion: either Klaus Kinski bought an ax on more than one occasion (which, frankly, is more plausible than it sounds); Lemmon, Caine, and Kinski were all at the hardware store at the same time; or someone is mistaken or confused. Any theories?

Written by nevalalee

December 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. The Aristocrats!

    snowdog74

    August 23, 2016 at 5:36 pm

  2. It’s because of the Shining, Jack Nicholson was portraying Kinski and Polanski.
    The recurring anecdote is a wink wink at Klaus Kinski’s eyes wide shut metaphors of how he and Polanski have short eyes.
    Remember the scene with Lee Lee Sobeski.

    David

    September 4, 2017 at 3:37 pm

  3. It’s because of the Shining, Jack Nicholson was portraying Kinski and Polanski.
    There is a picture of Klaus in a film with an axe.
    And there are several nods to him liking costumes and having a teddy bear collection.
    The recurring anecdote is a wink wink at Klaus Kinski’s eyes wide shut metaphors of how he and Polanski have short eyes.
    Remember the scene with Lee Lee Sobeski.
    What was at the end of the rainbow?

    David

    September 4, 2017 at 3:41 pm

  4. Klaus Kinski was in a film called the slaughter hotel about an axe wielding killer.

    David

    September 4, 2017 at 3:46 pm


Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

%d bloggers like this: