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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Louise Fazenda is always worth a look

7/10
Author: Christopher Craig (iluvms@msn.com) from Atlanta, GA
10 October 2004

This "B" filmed by Mascot and released by Republic is no better and no worse than some of the "A" comedies and most of the programmers made at the major studios at the time. This is not to say, however, that it is any kind of lost gem. On the contrary, it's routine and the filming is mundane. But the plot - streamlined, slightly complicated, and satirical - sometimes rises to the level of better films, and the screenplay contains an occasional sharp line ("Everyone will be here. The very cream of society." "The cream of today becomes the cheese of tomorrow."). Still, it also contains too poorly paced bits and broad humor. Some of this, however, is the fault of the inadequate direction by Lewis D. Collins.

The delight of the film is Louise Fazenda. A veteran from the earliest silent comedies - her career dates from 1913 - and a solid supporting player in musicals and comedies, Fazenda plays her part with an interesting range: adept physical comedy to poignant moments of pure drama. Her pairing with Maude Eburne is uneven: occasionally, the two hit a rhythm that's fun to watch; yet, as often, they totally miss the mark. Eburne seems at fault here, occasionally playing her character with the wrong tone and inadequate line-readings.

Other positive points of the film include the casting of a young Ann Rutherford and the always-reliable Franklin Pangborne. Still, it's worth a look for Fazenda.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Eburne and Fazenda

Author: boblipton from New York City
16 April 2003

Maude Eburne and Louise Fazenda play off each other wonderfully, as two long-time friends and partners in a doughnut shop who part when one of Eburne's harebrained investments pay off and she leaves to get her daughter into society. The two bring an sense of cameraderie, irritation and mutual sympathy that is reminiscent of Laurel and Hardy and the supporting cast, including the ever dependable Franklin Pangborn and a young Anne Rutherford are fine.

The script, however, veers from beautifully played small moments of pensiveness to to unfunny moments of forced slapstick. Eburne plays her role as if she is playing the snobby wife in RUGGLES OF RED GAP instead of the down-to-earth Maw Pettingill, which role she did take. The comedic partnership is very uneven and the net result is generally ill-humored. Still, it's worth a look to see what these two old pros can do with their opportunities.

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Maude Eburne at Her Best

Author: HarlowMGM from United States
25 August 2014

DOUGHNUTS AND SOCIETY is a surprisingly good comedy-drama from Mascot Pictures that looks to have a rather impressive budget for a "B" from poverty row. Obviously an attempt to make a Marie Dressler & Polly Moran type-comedy of two older best friend broads to scrap as much as they pal around (it even picks up the familiar theme of each being the mother of a child in love with the other's kid), this movie is at least as good as most of the Dressler/Moran efforts in part because while Polly Moran was really no rival for the magnificent Marie, Louise Fazenda and Maude Eburne are rather evenly matched in terms of talent, two very good dependable character actresses able to work wonders when the material is not always there.

These old gals co-own a doughnut dive but Maude is obsessed with high society and dreams of crashing it, spending her money for years on stocks and claims much to the much more sensible Louise's irritation. To the surprise of one and all, a woman representing a major corporation shows up to buy Maude's claim of a mine for $50,000 and 10 percent profit, believing oil may be in it. Maude in no time moves into a mansion with teen-aged daughter Ann Rutherford in tow. She asks Louise and her son to move with them but too proud Louise refuses which leads to one more spat as they separate for some time. Maude meanwhile tries to crash society with help of professional party thrower Hedda Hopper and while Maude proves a bit earthy for a socialite, it's actually pal Louise (attending the party after her initial declining it) who wreaks havoc on the proceedings, chasing a dog who has stolen her wad of cash around the mansion and turning the event into a farce.

Louise continues to look down on her old pal but does feel she needs to move up financially if not socially herself for her son's sake and the mother and son open up a parking building downtown to proves to be an enormous success, so much so that a rival tries to buy it and when Louise declines, sets to wreck her business.

Maude Eburne is terrific in this movie in a terrific performance as a crude old gal who wants the best things in life but can't quite polish herself up enough to be at home in this new world. Louise Fazenda, a great hayseed comedienne herself, has the more knowing role but in some way's it's also the most thankless part.

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