Lord Windermere appears to all -including to his young wife Margaret - as the perfect husband. But their happy marriage is placed at risk when Lord Windermere starts spending his afternoons... See full summary »
A young bride who comes from a rich family has a hard time adjusting to life in a boarding house with other soldiers and their wives. Her spoiled ways cause resentment from the other wives ... See full summary »
It is a toss-up as to who is most displeased when Patrolman Moe Finkelstein is given the duty of guarding the German consulate run by Karl Baumer; neither Moe nor Baumer is too happy with ... See full summary »
A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.
Two aging playboys are both after the same attractive young woman, but she fends them off by claiming that she plans to remain a virgin until her wedding night. Both men determine to find a way around her objections.
Perhaps the best thing about Centennial Summer is it's story and the way it's acted; it's just a light family drama-comedy and a love triangle, but the characters and plot have a bit of novelty and bite that keeps them fresh rather than cliché.
In the acting department, what's most interesting is Walter Brennan and Dorothy Gish. Rather than his usual crusty old man and/or comic sidekick, Brennan convincingly plays a husband, father, working man. Sometimes I like to conjecture about might-have-been casting choices. I suspect that his role was written with Don Ameche in mind, but Ameche had recently left Fox in a contract dispute. This is the only sound film role in which I've seen Dorothy Gish; she shows she has the acting chops, gravitas, and a nearly identical voice as her film-great sister, Lillian.
What's disappointing about this musical is that most of the songs seem unimaginatively inserted into the plot, rather than integrated as part of the story. After well integrated musical films like "Meet Me In St. Louis" and Fox's "State Fair" this is a backward thing. And Centennial Summer seems about 3 songs short; I noticed a couple of obvious places in the script where songs would be expected but were not there. The song "I Woke Up With The Lark This Morning", used in the early part of the film where it belongs, is also used to end the film, where a more appropriate song is called for. Apparently, Jerome Kern was not able to provide a full complement of songs (due either to poor health or his death) but the filmmakers ought to have adapted and used appropriate songs from his very large catalog.
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