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The Mating Call (1928)
A contemporary look at the clan
Though the "Order" in the film is not referred to as the KKK, it is obvious who it is supposed to represent. The KKK of the 1910s and 1920s was the second generation of the clan which resurfaced in 1915, with the aid of "Birth of a Nation" The organization still held on to its racist roots and expanded to the anti-immigrant, anti-Jew and anti-catholic views. They relaxed their hatred of the "radical Republicans" to reach out to more white people as long as the Republicans who wished to join developed conservative views. This Era of the Klan was founded on concepts of Americanism, meaning Christianity and Patriotism; it was a White male social and fraternal organization organization out to stomp on "Niggers, Catholics, Jews...dope, bootlegging, graft, night clubs and road houses, violation of the Sabbath, unfair business dealings, sex and scandalous behavior." The organization practically ran Southern governments and appealed to small Northern towns as well. Robert Coughlan in "Konklave in Kokomo" stated "Literally half the town belonged to the Klan when I was a boy. At its peak, which was from 1923 through 1925, the Nathan Hale Den had about five thousand members, out of an able-bodied adult population of ten thousand. With this strength the Klan was able to dominate local politics." So, the portrayal of the clan was not too way off. The clan flogged many a white man and woman for "immoral behavior". I found the movie portrayed the clan in a neutral manner, politically correct for its time, but leaning toward the negative side as a bullying organization meddling into the private affairs of others. We all know that was the least of what they did. In fact, within a year or two of the release of this film, the clan quickly deteriorated from public backlash against the criminal behavior that came with their almost absolute power. On a whole other note, I was amazed at the nudity that was allowed in films back then. It was not prevalent but not new either. Of course this was the roaring 20s with mini-skirts, the Charleston and flappers. This was before the depression. Though I did not find the movie all that worth watching for the story line, looking at it to view the contemporary views that were abundant and conflicting makes this an historical gem.
No Sad Songs for Me (1950)
Not a bad movie
I fail to see how the movie was sexist or racist considering the timeframe. In fact, the movie shows a woman can perform well in a position tradionally held by men. Only recently up into the 70s were women being comepletely accepted in male dominated positions. Only recently were MDs required to give honest brutal but truthful information to their patients. They would withold some information if they felt is was beneficial to their patient. As far as patient confidentiality goes. HIPAA was not around then and a husband just as entitled to know about his wife's medical condition as she was. As far as a husband developing an affair with a coworker. Where and when does that not take place today? In fact, this movie may have predicted a complication of coed workforces that were not too common back then. It doesn't take much of a brain and a tiny bit of history to understand the setting of this movie. Now speaking from a medical professional, I can say the death was a little too clean for a person dying of cancer, but back then showing such misery and horror was frowned upon. Look at how people died in war movies back then. She would have shown progressive weight loss, signs of anemia, growing weakness, etc. But, even now I see people who seem to be doing fine, get hospitalized and are dead within a week or two. In the end, the movie was one of the pioneer movies to address the depressive and taboo subject of dying of cancer, something really only as recent as the late 60s and early 70s was able to be more open about. Though it is not a classic tearjerker, it is a sad and depressive movie about the real threat of carncer and I would recommend it to classic movie buffs and those wishing to study how Hollywood tackled death and dying in the films.
The movie was not that bad!
I am not one who likes police or public safety movies because I cannot relate to Hollywood's false renditions thanks to my experience as a cop in a large city. I can say that this was how police a precinct is with minimal exaggerated humor attached. Police stations may never have that many officers or detectives at one time except at shift change, but there was a scene where almost nobody could could be found at the station which was more realistic. I liked how the movie gave us a lot of different cops, unlike typical movies which show the same one or two cops doing all the work without any collaboration of anyone else. The movie even portrayed police as average boneheads, unlike the unrealistic super brains or Dirty Harry hard-asses usually portrayed in movies. I actually laughed through the movie. I was able to relate more with the cops in this movie than those on "Law and Order" or "CSI".
Now the movie was too short to unfold the characters better. I had hoped the cops would actually solve the case and prove they were not "inept" as "The Deaf Man" called them, but that was not to be. All was solved by consequence when all the main perps came together by chance. But, then again, only on TV or in the movies do the police solve all their crimes. I found the movie "Mother, Jugs, and Speed", a cult classic among ambulance people to this day, to be similar in humor.
Very funny-the Civil War fought all over again
I remember watching this as a child at the theater and then on TV (called "War Games") and have not seen it since the mid 70s and miss it. What appealed to me most was the recreation of the Civil War, where again, the American Yankees are forced into war and have to confront bigoted anti-American Southerners. The movie seems to poke fun at the sore losers of a war fought in the 1860s. You cannot help but cheer as a few Yankees take on a half-witted army of a Southern Sheriff as they plow into town riding an old World War 2 M-7 self-propelled artillery gun to liberate a friend from the jail. Compusive actions, however, must not go without consequences. What a funny movie with a good cast.