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Beauty and the Boss (1932)
Some Movies Even Warren William Can't Save
While "Beauty and the Boss" isn't a total loss - no movie with Warren William and Charles Butterworth could be - it's darn close, and the fault, dear Brutus, lies with its leading lady, Marion Marsh.
I'm a connoisseur of bad performances, and always held Wheeler Oakman's wooden acting in "Lights of New York" as the gold standard, but Marsh has taken the title in a first-round knockout.
Either director Roy Del Ruth was too busy to direct Marsh or was deliberately trying to end her contract, but the decision to let her speak all her lines as rapidly and with as little inflection as possible was fatal. Every time she's on screen, she kills the picture with her lack of ability to act.
Mary Doran, who plays the "other woman" is so far superior to her in terms of personality and intelligence that it's baffling how William's character throws her over for such a dimwit.
I blame Del Ruth, ultimately. Any director who let Marsh get away with that performance -and- cuts away from Butterworth doing the tango is clearly having a bad time of it.
The Sea Gull (1968)
Don't be fooled by the other positive reviews. It's shocking how so many talented people could so egregiously misunderstand Chekhov and his intentions in this play. He wrote a comedy (despite the shocking ending); a satire on artistic pretensions, artists, and those who refuse to take responsibility for their lives and actions. This film succumbs to every cliché about the gloominess and static inertia that Chekhov supposedly deals in. Despite some efforts that aren't half-bad (Mason isn't bad, but is decades too old, and Redgrave tries her best), this film never misses an opportunity to take a misstep and do exactly the wrong thing.
In a word, awful.