Sorrowful Jones is a cheap bookie in 1930's. When a gambler leaves his daughter as a marker for a bet, he gets stuck with her. His life will change a great deal with her arrival and his ... See full summary »
Sonny Rogers has just gotten elected class president, he's a star baseball player, and has a cute girlfriend. But, thanks to the conniving of his rival, Harry Vanderpool, he and his whole ... See full summary »
Frank Coghlan Jr.,
There are so many films out there. And so many bad ones, or at least movies that you have to find a reason to like.
I'm watching a lot of movies for historical reasons, so I see many like this which is unlikely to be available for sale. But I want to have fun, and one way to do that is to watch in pairs.
For this, I paired it with "Son of the Mask," another project whose whole appeal is having a baby do "adult" things. And there's another layer as well.
This is a takeoff of "The Front Page,"("Runt Page," get it?) of the previous year, which you probably know in its remade form as "His Girl Friday." That was a fun and important movie. Knowing that, you can imagine this: four and five year olds wearing only diapers with 8 inch safety pins. They speak the dialog (pretty amazingly) which is dubbed over with tough guy voices.
You have an entire chunk of the movie: accused murderer hidden in desk with a three-knock code: bitchy mother in law, reporters gathered, last minute pardon and so on. In fact, if you don't know the original, this won't make any sense.
What's behind these things is the unavoidable awareness of actors. We know that we are watching dual personalities, both a character and an actor. Often, the filmmakers play up the similarities, but in recent films the norm is to create ironies or annotations. So we see a story and an annotation on that story.
I think this little film is important because the 30's was the period when movies decided what they were. Many candidates for genres and styles became extinct, with only an alarming few surviving.
The one that interests me is what I call "folding." We have it here: a "regular" movie where all the fun isn't in the movie itself but in the annotation of the actors.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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