Reviews written by registered user
|23 reviews in total|
This is a great episode from perhaps the best season of the "Andy Griffith Show." Ronny Howard is especially good as he asks his "Paw" about the rules between dads and sons and as he tries some of the methods recommended by the "spoiled kid" for manipulating parents. Howard's deadpan delivery is just right. The writing is perfect, the acting is superb -- and, as in the best of the AGS episodes, a life lesson is taught in a warm, funny, subtle way. The relationship between Andy and Opie is well summarized in this episode. Overly doting 21st century parents would do well to watch and see the effects indulgence can have on their children. Oh, for more kids like Opie and fewer like the spoiled kid!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Films from earlier times reflect values that are contemporary to the makers this is a given of artistic evaluation. But it is hard to believe that people of the early 1960s were as sexist, stupid and shallow as this film portrays them. No wonder some people don't like old movies! Sandra Dee plays a young woman who takes her mother's bizarre, manipulative 'advice' and quickly lands a husband, played by Dee's real-life spouse Bobby Darin. The plot revolves around such infantile ploys as inventing a lover to make your spouse jealous, using a dog-training manual as a guide to 'train' your spouse and interfering in the marriage of your adult child. The only thing to be said in favor of this film is that it is definitely glossy in typical Ross Hunter style beautiful, glamorous people in gorgeous clothes and picture-perfect settings. Otherwise, it is useful only as an example of how not to live one's life!
It is incredible that this hopeless mess of a movie was Robert Stevenson's follow-up to Mary Poppins! It is episodic to the point of incoherence, the 'monkey' of the title (actually a chimp, of course) barely appears, Annette's charm was wearing thin, and the sets, music and general production level are poor indeed. Tommy Kirk appears to be barely awake throughout much of the film; he was probably wondering why he ever signed that long-term contract with Uncle Walt. Worse is seeing Arthur O'Connell, Leon Ames and other dependable character actors flailing away with what must be one of the worst scripts ever churned out by Disney. This is another of those pictures that gave 'family films' a bad name. Of minor cultural interest is the appearance of the Beach Boys, who function as a back-up band for Annette during the opening credits! They then disappear and are never seen again another example of the filmmakers' total lack of interest in anything that might sustain interest from beginning to end.
That this achingly unfunny program is part of the CBS Monday night comedy block shows how bad things have gotten in TV land. The network that carried "I Love Lucy" and "The Andy Griffith Show," among other classics, now gives us a weekly half-hour of irritating characters and lame, crude jokes. The character "Greg" has to be one of the most repellent boors ever to appear in a sitcom. He is a one-note whiner who is many times more childish than the children on the show. The other characters are simply idiotic. With characters this puerile and one-dimensional, it is really no wonder that the writers resort to moronic plots and bathroom humor. It is a mystery to me how this program has survived so long. CBS, please cancel this show!
Fast-paced and well directed, Man Wanted is a compact entertainment that
provides a window to early 1930s attitudes on several subjects but doesn't
sermonize on any of them. Kay Francis and David Manners are sufficiently
colorless to be easily molded by director Dieterle, who adds interesting
pictorial touches throughout. Also of great interest is Gregg Toland's
remarkable cinematography. The fact that the film is somewhat hard to
categorize - is it a melodrama with comic touches or a satire with
occasional pathos? - indicates the cleverness of Dieterle and writers
Lord and Charles Kenyon. The filmmakers are anything but heavy-handed in
their commentary on gender roles, leaving the audience to reach its own
conclusions about thorny workplace issues that persist in the 21st
Adding to the general delight of the film are Andy Devine and Una Merkel
unexpected roles, with Elizabeth Patterson and Edward Van Sloan also
glimpsed in very different parts than those for which they are most well
known. This gem, seen occasionally on TCM, is well worth your time.
The studios cranked out a lot of this type of film in the 1930s and 1940s, and this is an example of how cheap and silly they could be. The film overuses what begins as an interesting plot device - a radio dramatization of the news - so that it becomes flatly ridiculous. The story is way too complicated and progressively harder to follow as the picture progresses. The acting ranges from colorless (Kent Taylor) to hilariously over-the-top (Lilian Bond). In short, this is a real time-waster.
This programmer's plot doesn't always make sense, but it is nonetheless an amusing way to spend an hour and 10 minutes. Young is appealing as always, but quite a bit scrappier than in his later, long-running TV roles as Jim Anderson and Marcus Welby. Evans also is very likable. With a supporting cast including such dependable 1930s performers as Nat Pendleton and Claude Gillingwater and future 'Today' regular Betty Furness, this breezy comedy is well worth a look.
There is considerable energy in this Joan Crawford vehicle, and it
favorably with some of her other films of the period - it is much more
engaging than Laughing Sinners, for example. A number of scenes are very
short, and the story moves along briskly. Perhaps the biggest surprise is
the performance of Pauline Frederick as Crawford's mother - she is
believable and touching, and evokes great sympathy as a woman in a
situation. The settings, of course, are sumptuous in that art deco MGM
that is so appealing from the distance of more than 70 years. Also
noteworthy is that although this is a drama, there is a fair amount of
throughout. It is not one of the depressing, heavy-going melodramas
of the period.
While one can admire Harold Lloyd's willingness to plunge into sound films, this effort is a huge letdown after the brilliance of his silent films, culminating in `Speedy.' Many of the gags go on WAY too long, and sound makes much of the slapstick more painful than funny. It may be that sound also contributes to making Lloyd's character extremely annoying, especially in the early reels. If that weren't enough, the dubbing process used in the scenes not reshot for sound is very primitive and distracting. Worth seeing for Lloyd fans, but not too funny.
This film is sociologically fascinating but dramatically rather weak. It also would make a good case study for a psychology class, as Norma Shearer's character (Lally) has to deal with others who are variously manipulating, controlling and irresponsible (I won't spoil it by telling you who does what). The sociological fascination comes from the depiction of the idle rich who ride polo ponies, go to Lake Michigan resorts, dress smartly and tolerate `modern' young women like Lally - and from the dynamic between men and women. The dialogue seems unusually terse by 1929 standards - much is left unsaid, and the film is better because of it. Shearer is quite good; she carries the film with apparent ease. Unfortunately, Belle Bennett is clearly ill at ease with sound. She was quite popular and acclaimed for her silent work, especially Stella Dallas, but here she brings little life to her role.
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