Larson E. Whipsnade runs a seedy circus which is perpetually in debt. His performers give him nothing but trouble, especially Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Meanwhile, Whipsnade's son ... See full summary »
Edward F. Cline
A filmmaker sets out to discover the life of Joyce Vincent, who died in her bedsit in North London in 2003. Her body wasn't discovered for three years, and newspaper reports offered few details of her life - not even a photograph.
A Romanian police officer teams up with a small crew of old friends from the World War II Jewish Resistance to pull off a heist by convincing everyone at the scene of the crime that they are only filming a movie.
On New Year's Eve, Geraldine ('Jerry') Trent decides to break up with her boyfriend Jim Woodward, having finally grown tired of his dishonesty and his infidelities. Soon afterward, Geraldine meets and falls in love with novelist Anthony Blake. Blake knows that she has had a man in her past, but he is content as long as he never finds out who it was. All seems well until her sister Joan returns from a trip, and happily introduces Woodward as the new man in her life.Written by
Not by any means a good film (which even director McCarey admits -- see his interview with Peter Bogdanovich in "Who the Devil Made It"), but nonetheless an interesting one. As McCarey points out, the beginning of sound was a difficult period in the film industry, and this one suffered from the "no more musicals!" diktat which followed -- of course -- several musical flops. So the script -- originally a musical by the great team of DeSylva, Brown and Henderson -- was divested of most of its songs and rewritten in ten days. "How was that?," asks Bogdanovich. "Lousy," says McCarey. Well, yes, it's strangely unfocused, veering nervously between comedy and melodrama, and making the viewer nervous withal. Yet it is fascinating to watch Miss Swanson, who, in one of her first sound pictures, combines the gestural grace of the best silent acting with an already secure command of the more naturalistic technique of sound film acting (and has a better than decent singing voice, besides). As with many 1930-31 releases, this one is plagued by a very uneven soundtrack -- one marvels that these problems were so fully overcome within a year or two. Supporting players include Maude Eburne, charmingly blowzy in a Marie Dressler role, and the actor whose most famous performance is that of Katherine Hepburn's father in "Holiday" -- here playing more pleasantly a similar (though slightly less obnoxious) role. Arthur Lake, best known as Dagwood Bumstead, is not easy to watch, but Ben Lyon makes quite a reasonably handsome and charming leading man. Obviously a very uneven film, but worth seeing for its minor virtues.
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