Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
This movie should be a mandatory viewing for all students in the various theatrical curriculum in Universities. The directing is very, very poor (to say the least) having Murphy, Anders, and others perform in a stilted, confined manner. The "tough guy", Ted de Corsia, constantly overacts to the point of being obnoxious at times. Most of the extras look like they were recruited from the home for the aged just prior to filming, with some seemingly enjoying their first time as an actor/actress. What I find amazing is that at nights the entire "town" has more lighting then in any normal sunny day. The clothes everyone is wearing appears to have been cleaned and pressed just prior to that scenes filming. Perspiration drenched clothes are dry and well pressed in what is supposed to be the next scene a few minutes later. The close up camera work is OK, but there are far too many wide shots that don't fit the action of the time. Merry Anders is a beautiful person; but the outstanding hairdo could not possibly have been accomplished during the time frame the movie represents. And on and on and on Unbelievable!!! I like both Audie Murphy and Merry Anders very much as performers. They certainly didn't deserve to be displayed in this shoddy film. The movie could have been excellent, but it was just the opposite, I'm very sorry to comment.
A typical fast paced Pat O'Brien movie that includes the alluring
Deloris De Rio, the normally befuddled Edward Everett Horton, Leo
Carrillo - popular 1930s talent, and much music and dancing. Watch for
Judy Canova doing a great scene as "the Lady in Red" with Edward
One error that is repeated in both the IMDb cast listing and a number of viewer comments, is that the "Sally" De Marco in this film is actually "Renee" De Marco (Tony's second wife/dancing partner). Sally didn't start dancing with Tony until 1941, this film was made in 1935! Also, Sally and Renee had very different dancing styles, with Sally always having a most exciting and polished performance. I suspect because Sally had been a ballet dancer and had a very intense stage presence plus she was quite beautiful. Renee was a good solid dancer, but typical smooth Ballroom dancer, not flashy but very, very smooth. Sally's performances, in comparison, would cause you to watch in awe.
All in all a very entertaining, albeit sort of "whacky", movie to watch!! Don't miss it!
The first 2/3 of the flick has Buster Keaton rambling around movie
sets, pretty much getting into trouble. While the last roughly 1/3 of
the movie focusing on the "Free and Easy" dance presentation, very
entertaining (at least to this writer). If you are at all interested in
the 1930's movies then this is a must have for your collection, and you
WILL enjoy it!
Incidentally, it's easy to see why background dancer, Ann Dvorak went from an 18 year old dancer in this film to co-starring in a major movie (Scarface) only two years later. She really captures your attention a beautiful gal!!
Regarding the singer/dancer listed as "Marion Shilling", IMDb indicates that Marion Shilling is the "Singer and Dancer in 'The Free and Easy' Number (uncredited)". The girl dancing with Keaton most decidedly is not Marion Shilling.
"Free and Easy" was released March 22, 1930. I have a number of DVD's featuring Marion Shilling in co-starring roles: "Shadow of the Law'with William Powell (released a couple months later on June 6, 1930). I also have DVD's of Marion Shilling in "Rio Rattler" (released Aug 1, 1935) and "I'll Name the Murderer" Jan. 27, 1936. The dancer with Keaton in "Free and Easy" bears little resemblance to the Marion Shilling that co-starred in the DVD's I list above.
In his review of Free and Easy, Kidboots states: "Elmer is teamed with a cute dancer (Estelle Moran)". This may well be; however I could find no movies or pictures of an actress named Estelle Moran (or "Estelle Morgan") from that period. So the identity of the singer/dancer remains unclear except it is not Marion Shilling. Perhaps if you listed the dancer as "Unknown" it would be more accurate.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A typical Lanza flick that had limited audience appeal with a weak
story line that was put together simply to justify Lanza's MGM contract
at the time.
As reported by member Lastliberal (above) Grayson could not stand Lanza because of his obscene advances towards her off (and sometimes on) camera. In addition, his gutter mannerism and the continual smell of alcohol in her face during scenes they did together were intolerable. After doing their second (and last) film together, "Toast of New Orleans", the normally quiet Grayson stormed into Louie B. Mayer's office and told him in no uncertain words that she would never work with Lanza again period. Mayer felt that Grayson was much more valuable to MGM then Lanza, so Grayson's statement stuck. Grayson went on to star in a number of widely received (and far more profitable) musicals with Howard Keel and others. Later in life when asked to compare Lanza and Keel her reply was that there was no comparison between them, and that Keel was great to work with and had much more appeal to the "real people" in the audiences.
This is a cutesy short, well worth watching. The color is good for it's
day, and there are enough movie personalities to make it interesting.
There actually is a plot of sorts. Winners of dance contests from across the U.S. are invited to Palm Springs for get together with celebrities of the day. The only sad part is that a disproportionate amount of time is allowed at the end of the short for Fuzzy Knight to play and sing - what a waste.
However, as mentioned earlier, it's an interesting and entertaining piece of Hollywood history that is worth watching...
It appears from time to time on the Turner Classic Movie channel.