"Rusty" Cammeron tries to get out of debt by doing some free-lance newsreel photography, but his efforts fall woefully short and end in some kind of mishap. Lucia Corlaine rescues him from drowning and he falls madly in love with her. Lucia, a wealthy young lady, is trying to build a real estate project but a group of crooks and swindlers are out to stop her. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Very enjoyable but not really a remake of "The Cameraman"
According to IMDb, "Watch the Birdie" is a remake of the old Buster Keaton film "The Cameraman". While the newer film did borrow a few bits, the plot is so different that I wouldn't consider it a remake at all. This is great, because I hate remakes and both films are a lot of fun.
Red Skelton plays Rusty Cammeron--a nice schnook who works at his family's camera store. Like "The Cameraman", Rusty decides to make money by taking newsreel shots and selling them for bit bucks--exactly like in the Keaton film. However, this portion of the film doesn't last long at all and in the process he ends up meeting Lucia Corlane (Arlene Dahl) and he is instantly smitten. However, she's rich and successful and he's just a bit of an idiot--a very nice and likable idiot, nevertheless.
While working for Lucia, he's filming the groundbreaking on her company's big housing project. However, unintentionally, he films her trusted adviser making an underhanded deal to destroy the company! When Rusty and Lucia discover this, they rush to the police with the film--with the baddies in hot pursuit.
As I watched this film, I was surprised by my wife's reaction. She just thought Red was cute and very, very likable. In fact, she liked him so much, she was willing to forgive the few missteps the film took (such as having Lucia TELL the baddies that she's on her way to the police....who is THAT dumb?!?!). I would agree but do think the high-speed (or not so high-speed) chase did go on a bit long and because of this, I give the film a still respectable 7. Pleasant and worth seeing.
By the way, when everyone is viewing the film Rusty took from the roof of his truck, the camera angle is all wrong--like it was filmed about 5 feet lower. I am surprised they didn't notice this discrepancy. Also, make sure you watch all the movie--even the opening credits. It's rather funny listening to Skelton walking about the cast and crew as the credits roll.
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