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Rich playboy Drogo Gaines is in imminent danger of marrying a gold digger, and escapes by feigning insanity. The joke's on him when he wakes up in an asylum full of comical lunatics. There he befriends Colonel Carraway, and together they escape, catching a ride with a beautiful blonde who proves to be Penguin Moore, carnival owner. The adventures of Drogo and the Colonel with Moore's Carnival are replete with Hal Roach slapstick. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The opening scene in "Road Show" is one of the funniest scenes I can recall from all the movies I've ever watched. This is another of those crazy comedies produced in Hollywood during the tough economic times of the decade plus before World War II. I remember watching some of these gems when TV first began running them as afternoon and late night movies. Some, I don't recall ever having seen, including this hilarious romp, until I bought it on DVD. Movies such as this don't really need much for a plot they just need to present scenes for the players to do their zany antics and dialog.
What's interesting about these old black and white films is that their humor isn't dated. Sure, some of the situations in this case, a traveling carnival are dated. But that can be a little educational for a modern audience, as well as it is entertaining. Although few people have rated this film as of the time of my review, most of the reviewers saw it for the zany and fun humor vehicle it is.
"Road Show" moves from one zany scene and incident to another. Adolphe Menjou was a master in delivery of off-hand wit in his comedies. But here, he also shows physical aptitude in some slapstick scenes as Col. Carroway. He and Drogo Gaines, played by John Hubbard, make a great comedy duo. Carole Landis plays just about the only straight part in the movie as Penguin Moore, owner of the carnival. Several other roles are hilarious and add to the fun.
In a scene toward the end, Col. Carroway has upped the prices on the signs of the carnival booths. Penguin asks, "Don't you think you've raised the prices too much?" Carroway replies, "Too much? Why these people couldn't have a good time unless they paid too much." A few songs add to the enjoyment, with an appropriate tune, "Calliope Jane," sung by the Charioteers.
Incidentally, this film was based on a novel of the same title by Eric Hatch. Hatch also wrote a novel and the screenplay based on it by the same name "My Man Godfrey" (1936). He wrote more than 20 novels and worked for The New Yorker Magazine.
I highly recommend this comical farce for movie fans who like zany humor and real laughter.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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