There is a problem with foreign nationals using Cuba as a convenient jumping off point for illegal entry into the United States. So U.S. Immigration Service Agent Peter Karczag (John Hodiak... See full summary »
At a wedding party involving three beautiful women, a young man should choose the most charming. But a professor intervenes to prevent the verdict, remembering the troubles caused by Paris in a similar situation.
Peanuts White, a burlesque comic, is recruited by U.S. agents to impersonate international spy Eric Augustine (whom White resembles) in a mission to purchase a million-dollar microfilm in ... See full summary »
Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.
A harried, overworked advertising executive is being pursued romantically by one of his clients, a successful perfume magnate ... and his former fiancée. The latest client of the agency is ... See full summary »
The council of elders of outer space is deliberating on a very important subject: Must mankind be allowed to survive, or is it so esentially evil that it must be destroyed? A devil and an angel act as prosecutor and defense for the human race, and the movie presents in a very interesting way a series of episodes of the human history. What will be the final veredict? Innocent, or Guilty?Written by
Jose Beltran-Escavy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sir Isaac Newton published his famous paper outlining the law of gravity in 1666, but in the sequence in which Harpo Marx plays Newton he performs on the harp Stephen Foster's song "Beautiful Dreamer," written in 1864 -- almost two centuries later. See more »
Now, this is my final offer, 24 dollars and not a penny more.
Robbery! White man rob poor injun.
So, you think you're being robbed, eh? Be glad its not 300 years later. You might have been wiped out in the stock market. Now, is it a deal or isn't it?
That's quite true, but, eh, is it a deal or isn't it?
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The Story of Mankind when I saw it was a movie I initially found difficult to rate. Mainly because it is a big mess. Having said that somewhat, it is a mess that is worth seeing.
The production values are hardly high art, but they are decent. The sets are okay, the costumes are interesting and the cinematography is not exceptional but not exactly cheap either. I liked the premise as well, and it started off decently with Sir Cedric Hardwicke presiding over things nicely. There is also some good performances. Ronald Colman gives far from his best performance, but he is very suave and convincing, Marie Antoinette is nicely coquettish and Agnes Moorhead chews the scenery with glee. It was also nice to see the Marx Brothers, Harpo and Chico aren't really that funny but Groucho is though there was the odd moment not to do with Groucho more to do with the writing and the way the characters were written that came across as more offensive than amusing. Best is Vincent Price, with his powerful voice and magnetic presence, he is gleefully wicked.
However, the direction falls flat as if it is unsure of which direction to go whether it wanted to be a history lesson or an exercise in camp. The dialogue is mostly absolutely abysmal, but it is so hard not to laugh at how bad it is. The film goes at an uneven pace with some segments faster than others or better acted and written. The characters are little more than stereotypes and caricatures and badly explored ones at that, and there are some unintentionally hilarious ideas incorporated into the story especially with Joan of Arc. I liked the leads and Moorhead and Groucho, but the rest of the cast are just bizarre. Peter Lorre though isn't too bad, perhaps too young and somewhat too effeminate too but there are some moments of unexpected poignancy, but Hedy Lamarr is woefully miscast as Joan of Arc and a very over-the-top Dennis Hopper does nothing with the role of Napolean.
Overall, The Story of Mankind is a mess, but it was worth watching and I personally wouldn't put it on my worst movies ever list. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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