John is a timid student who works at the University Book Store. He is studying to be a botanist and has a secret crush on the lovely Julia. One day, one of his letters gets accidentally ... See full summary »
John is a timid student who works at the University Book Store. He is studying to be a botanist and has a secret crush on the lovely Julia. One day, one of his letters gets accidentally mailed and Julia receives it. When the letter says that he is a fraternity man and a big track star, Julia rushes right over to see him. But John is neither and Spike, Julia's boyfriend, is a track star at a nearby College. John does not want to enter the track meet so Julia tries to use psychology on him. That and a good wrestling hold makes John timidly agree to enter the race, but Spike still scares him. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
In September 1928, Warner Bros. Pictures purchased a majority interest in First National Pictures and from that point on, all "First National" productions were actually made under Warner Bros. control, even though the two companies continued to retain separate identities until the mid-1930's, after which time "A Warner Bros.-First National Picture" was often used. See more »
The plot, the budget, the playtime - even the slapstick - are modest in scope. As a result, the lead four actors and a camera with wonderful eye had what seems to me a "hands-free" opportunity to actually act and create a work with poetic charm. Joey and co-players are young, attractive, and exuberant, and share their humor with us across a gulf of seventy years. But that humor's consistently the stuff of which good comedy is made: incongruous play with high-tone ideas (Freudian dream analysis, botany), and characters battling their way through seas of foibles, inhibitions, mistaken word choices, vanities, and longings for things totally inappropriate.
From works like this evolved - to my mind - all the better comedies to follow, from My Friend Godfrey, to the Pierre Richard films, the best of Albaladejo and his superb team, Shall we Dansu, Woody Allen's best works, Mad, Mad, Mad, World, or films like The Loved One, or Christmas Vacation. This may be a low budget film, but its ideas are not cheap - they target a common, human soul riddled with weaknesses and self-doubts we all share. And wow! Did I like Joe E. Brown and his fabulous colleagues in Midsummer Night's Dream - what a treasure.
What a shame Hollywood all but dropped the baton - trading delicacy off in exchange for a bullying big-industry get-rich marketing clique to exploit ad tedium a totally different lowest common denominator.
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