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5/10
Fox On A Picnic With Chicken
23 January 2019
That sounds like a fraught situation, doesn't it? Foxes and chickens have such close, familial and neighborly bonds, that if a fox came by the hen house with such a proposition, it would meet with universal approval. Let's all go! I'll bring the bread crumbs and frying pan!

That doesn't even begin to consider the symbolic import of foxes in Japanese culture. It's all been subsumed under an English-Language, voice-over commentary, because, well, without it this cartoon would be nonsensical to me, with a fox and chicken hanging out amiably in the forest, with what appears to be an army troop marching by occasionally. The voice-over tells us they're boy scouts.

It's possible, I suppose, although I could write an entirely different story with the same images. Anyway, it's good to see the post-War Japanese animators get back on their feet.
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6/10
Adventures With Harry Carey
23 January 2019
Judith Allen has just ordered a cop out of her changing room when Matty Fain jumps out of a closet, points a gun at her and has her get her boss, Eddie Kane, there. When Kane shows up, Fain shoots him for squealing and kidnaps Allen. He's about to dispose of her when his driver orders him off. He dumps her with a warning. Pursued by the cops, she stows away on woman-hating Harry Carey's ship, bound for Shanghai.

It's a code-compliant bad-girl-in-the-South-Seas affair, reminiscent of movies like SEVEN SINNERS, and is an entertaining flick. While radioman Milburn Stone romances her, Carey drops her off at Jane Jones' bar, where they put on a show for slumming tourists to give them a thrill. Betty Compson has a funny turn as 'Chicago', wanted for something never specified. Miss Allen sings a couple of songs and Miss Jones sings a Sophie-Tucker style number. Meanwhile, Carey, who gives a light-hearted performance, gets involved with gun runners. Despite a weak set-up to the movie, the balance of the show combines melodrama and comedy expertly, with 'Snowflake' Toones helping to turn the tide in the big gun fight by clanging the chief badman's head with a noisy frying pan.

Writer-Director Karl Brown had entered the movies in the photo labs of Kinemacolour. Later, he became a cameraman for D.W. Griffith, then entered the ranks of auteurs with the well-received (and recently restore) STARK LOVE. His subsequent career never advanced out of the B ranks, but he wrote a nice reminiscence of his early days, ADVENTURES WITH D.W. GRIFFITH.
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6/10
Surprisingly Strong Flick From A Collapsing Studio
23 January 2019
Reporter Wallace Ford needs to raise $5000 so his sister can have an operation. No one can give it to him, so he goes to the local bootlegger, Fred Kohler, who's facing a crusading District Attorney. Ford offers to give him dirt on the DA so he'll lay off. Kohler knocks him to the ground for offering to rat on a pal, then tosses Ford the money. Ford says he'll never forget.

Seven years later, Ford is the Broadway columnist for a paper. He's sent to buy off a showgirl who's threatening the paper for libel. She refuses. The next morning, she's found murdered, and Ford is the suspect. He tracks down the real murderer. It's Kohler.

There's a lot that's bizarre in this Tiffany production, from the random title, to the fact that Lew Cody and Sally Blane are credited ahead of Ford, to the fact that I can't figure out who did the excellent camerawork on it. Despite these problems, it's a well directed movie, veering from melodramatic plot point to wisecracking chorines and then back to melodrama. Ford is a bit whiny in the role, but given the circumstances, it's understandable; we're not supposed to sympathize with his character. Cody is excellent as his editor, and Kohler gives a fine performance as the gangster.
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7/10
The Music Is Not The Perry Mason Theme
22 January 2019
When universally disliked theater director Dwight Schultz is killed, Jim Metzler faces a charge of murder, despite Raymond Burr stating he saw Metzler at the time of the murder. Perry Mason is cross, so he takes the defense case, so you know going in that there are half a dozen good suspects and the killer will confess on the witness chair.

William Katt is gone from the TV movie series as Paul Drake Jr., but his place taken by young attorney William R. Moses and his rich girlfriend, Amanda Cody.

Because the murder centers around a Broadway-bound musical, there are plenty of musical-comedy players, including Debby Reynolds as the diva of the company and Jerry Ohrbach as the producer. It's a typically fine entry in the series of movies starring Burr as Erle Stanley Gardner's lawyer.
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7/10
Ina Claire Steals The Show
22 January 2019
The Goldwyn production based on Zoe Akin's racy play about three gold diggers has Joan Blondell, Madge Evans and Ina Claire playing the trio, double-crossing each other as the mood suits them with the men falling like tenpins. David Manners, Phillips Smalley, even Lowell Sherman, the director, who doubles as a concert pianist is not immune to their machinations and *ahem* talents. Apparently George Barnes, the director of photography fell in love with Blondell on the set. They married the next year; presumably Claire would have stolen him from her, except every time she put on a new costume, she rushed over to show soon-to-be ex-husband John Gilbert how she looked.

The wisecracks fly fast and furious. Miss Claire, with her cigarette voice and scheming role steals the show every time she's on. It's a crackling Pre-Code, even though the lingerie shots are kept to a minimum
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A Dancer's World (1957 TV Movie)
6/10
Modern Dance Sixty Years Ago
21 January 2019
This half-hour TV special aired sixty years ago. Agnes Demille appears briefly, then speaks in voice-over as a troupe of a dozen dancers perform in a rehearsal studio; she then returns, talking about how dancers are examples of the "divine normal." Apparently, if you work really hard, you can perform in groups of four.

It's a joyless celebration of beauty, and Miss Demille is a lecturing, stern schoolmarm with a weird-looking giant hairpin drawing the viewer's attention, whose message is....

Well, I'm not sure. the dancing is very good, the camerawork byPeter Glushanok is beautifully composed and the editing by Eleanor Hamerow keeps the dancers in view, with enough variety to avoid boredom. I can only conclude that Miss Demille was possessed of a great talent which she could not explain in English.
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6/10
As Opposed To The Other Sort
21 January 2019
Irene Ware has lost her job and is broke. Sidney Blackmer has lost his fortune and is broke. They decide to raise enough money to take her to a rich man's watering spot and snag her a millionaire. However...

It's a surprisingly sprightly Poverty-Row comedy of manners, with a series of amusingly developed situations and a good cast, including Betty Compson, Edward Gargan and Dot Farley. Blackmer is pleasantly amusing in a rare comedy role; he winds up sounding like Charles Butterworth, instead of his more frequent turn as Teddy Roosevelt. Miss Compson winds up stealing the show as the lady who wants to marry him.

Director Charles Lamont, still working his way out of short subjects, had hit the ground running features the year before. This year, he directed nine features and a baker's dozen of shorts. When it came to comedy, he could handle anything from shtick to Abbott & Costello to stories like this: just another of the hordes of talented technicians ignored in favor of auteurs.
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6/10
Mladen George Sekulovich
21 January 2019
Karl Malden, born Mladen George Sekulovich in 1912, was one of the finest character actors of his generation. The people who know him at all know him from being the commercial pitchman for American Express. Although he appeared on the stage and in the movies -- his big-screen career stretched from 1940 through 1987, with two Oscar nominations and one win -- his homely, broken face and straightforward delivery were also on show for six years in the TV show THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO. There, paired with Michael Douglas as two police inspectors, he was nominated four times for an Emmy as Best Leader Actor in a Dramatic Series. Alas, STREETS was a well-regarded show, but its numbers were never great and he never won.

Twenty years after the show's debut, this movie was made. In it, time has passed and Malden (80 years old at the time of the broadcast) is now a police captain, dealing with the changes that time has wrought. He has to make recommendations as to which cop is to be promoted to Inspector, and which to the higher-ranking lieutenancy. One is Conor O'Farrell, a computer-smart man, and the other is Debrah Farentino, who Malden thinks is too hot-headed.

There's also a mystery to solve, when Michael Douglas' character turns up missing, and then dead.

I would like to rate this higher, but despite Malden's vigor and fine acting, and some good playing by the younger actors, it's a by-the-numbers effort, with the stakes raised through the this-time-it's-personal trope. It's still a solid TV movie, and it looks like an attempt to revive the series, with Malden in a senior role, and the two youngsters showing off their different personalities. It might have made a good series.
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Perry Mason Returns (1985 TV Movie)
6/10
Perry Mason Takes Up Beating Women
21 January 2019
Since William Talman, who played the game but always losing ADA in the original series died in 1966, a new ADA was needed for the first of 26 TV movies, and they settled on a woman. While only Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale survive from the original cast, you know as soon as Fred Steiner's memorable theme begins that Perry's client faces an unsinkable case, and that Perry will sink it.

And a good thing too, since his client is Barbara Hale. It seems that Perry has been spending some time as a judge -- he was probably appointed to give the Los Angeles DA's office a better win average -- but he resigns as soon as Della is arrested. With Della's son by investigator Paul Drake (played by Miss Hale's son, William Katt) we are treated to an investigation -- Katt providing some comedy -- in which there are more than half a dozen suspects, since we all know that Della didn't do the deed.

There are the usual trite "This Time It's Personal!" tropes, but it's a well-built and executed mystery. It's a pleasure to see Burr resume the signature role that changed him from a movie heavy to a TV star.
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4/10
The Parrot Has The Best Lines
20 January 2019
Sailor Ray Mayer wants to get married to Isabel Jewel, but his buddy, Wallace Ford, likes to have him around to do all the work. While Mayer is in the brig for something Ford did, Ford visits Jewel to tell her off, and winds up falling for the dame himself.

There are a few comedy gags competently performed in this one, but while Miss Jewel and her room mate, Mary Treen, have good comic timing, between Ford's lugubrious delivery and Mayer's dull character, and there's little in the way of sympathetic characters. In fact, the best jokes are from a "Chinese parrot" that Mayer gives to Jewel as a gift.

It's a purely by-the-numbers effort from director Raymond Cannon, who often wrote as well as directed his B movies. His career ended in 1945, although he lived another quarter century.
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Cold War (2018)
6/10
I'm In Love With You And All That Jazz
20 January 2019
Joanna Kulig is recruited for a Polish folk song chorus right after the War. Tomasz Kot is the arranger/conductor, and they soon begin an affair. When the chorus begins to become popular, however, it is suggested that the folk like to sing about Stalin. When they do, they are rewarded with an appearance in East Berlin, whence they plan to escape to the West. She doesn't show up, so he goes on. It takes ten years before she shows up in Paris, where he scores movies and plays in a jazz bar.

Pawel Pawlikowski's feature has been chosen as Poland's submission for this year's Best Foreign Language Movie Award, and it has a lot going for it. It has beautiful, crisp black-and-white photography - intended, no doubt to mark it as a period piece - two good looking leads and uses it's musical score to cover the flowering and eventual senescence of post-war Jazz as a metaphor for the couple's relationship. However, those are the bare necessities of a good movie, which it is. As a serious contender for an Oscar, it needs to offer more than a good story, told well; at least, I would hope it should. I think it's worth seeing, if not revering.
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8/10
On The Make
20 January 2019
It' s one of those "three girls in search of rich husbands" plots that were so popular from at least SALLY IRENE AND MARY through HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE. Margaret Lockwood runs away from boarding school to go on the stage. At her boarding house, she meets Renee Houston and Lilli Palmer, Soon enough, the object of their affections arrives in the person of Hugh Sinclair; unlike others examples of the plots, they're all in competition in between scanitly-clad chorus number. But everyone is on the make, from Hugh Sinclair sowing his wild oats to Naunton Wayne as a pickpocketing hustler to George Robey as a cheating husband. The girls are not friends; they're catty, greedy and too wise for their own good

It's director Carol Reed's fourth of seven movies with Miss Lockwood, and he directs for speed and laughs with a cynical and naughty air impossible in Hollywood since the production code had closed down sexy comedies. Everyone speaks fast to make the show come in at less than 90 minutes, and even when the plot kicks into high gear, it's very funny: a pleasure from start to finish.
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The Texas Kid (1943)
4/10
A Lot Of Details And Confusion For Very Busy Actors And Crew
20 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Marshall Reed is the Texas Kid. He's ready to quit Edmund Cobb's gang of road agents, and when one of them shoots his father, Reed guns him down and makes it as far as Robert Fiske's new-bought trading post, run by Shirley Patterson. Fiske is an amiable fellow, willing to help out the ranchers whose payrolls are falling prey to Cobb's gang. No one knows that Fiske and Cobb are in cahoots, gaining control of the area because a line is going to go through.

Wait a minute, you say. Isn't this a Johnny Mack Brown western? Yes, it is. It's his eleventh of the year and his sixth for Monogram under his new contract. Being spread thin that way, he enters the story at this point. He and Raymond Hatton are US Marshalls, out to clear up this mess and they don't know whether to trust Reed or not.

Despite Lambert Hillyer being the director, this story is a bit of a mess. The audience, having followed Reed from the beginning, should know what is going on. This makes Brown and Hatton seem a bit dull-witted, even though they should be forgiven for not having seen the entire movie up to this point; besides Brown's ten movies, Hatton was in six others. It's enough these fellows have been making all these movies. Expecting them to have seen them al is unreasonable. Fortunately the situation is sorted out in time for the big finale.

It's not one of Hillyer's more distinguished westerns. Still, he directed four other westerns that year, plus one serial and the aerial sequences of BOMBARDIER. Given the hectic schedules involved, we can give this one a pass.
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4/10
The Beautiful Miss Logan
19 January 2019
Jacqueline Logan tries to kill herself by jumping in a lake. Wealthy doctor Ian Keith rescues her, nurses her back to health and asks her to marry him. She agrees if he never asks her about his past. Soon, however, old associate Lee Moran comes by to blackmail her.

I'll look at anything with the beautiful Jacqueline Logan, and she's certainly worth looking at here. If you're looking for a well-told story, however, this is not the movie for you. Certainly the big mystery, which uses up two-thirds of the show's length, is made apparent by the title and behavior of Miss Logan within the first ten minutes. While the acting is good, the story is hackneyed and its course apparent from the very beginning.

The director, is Dallas Fitzgerald, a name I don't recall from anything else. He was quite prolific for a few years, starting that phase of his career in 1919, and directing ten movies in 1927 and 1928.... then nothing until a single one in 1933. He died in 1940, aged 63.
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The Brute Man (1946)
5/10
Acromegaly
19 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Acromegaly: abnormal growth of the hands, feet, and face, caused by overproduction of growth hormone by the pituitary gland.

Everyone in town is looking for a psychopathic killer called "The Creeper." He's been murdering, apparently at random. It's Rondo Hatton, a man with a hideously disfigured face. Looking for a hiding spot, he takes refuge in the apartment of Jane Adams, a piano teacher. Because she is blind, she does not realize he looks like a monster, and treats him kindly. She tells him that an expensive operation may allow her to see.

It's a well-produced if somewhat abbreviated horror movie produced by Universal. After shooting and editing wrapped, it was sold to PRC, all the Universal credits removed, and released. At the time it was claimed that Universal would no longer be producing B pictures. In reality, it was because Hatton wore no make-up.

Hatton suffered from acromegaly, a pituitary condition that caused his disfigurement and resulted in his death at age 51 before the movie was released. It is believed that exposure to gas warfare in the First World War had triggered the condition.

The movie has its moments of humor, principally in the scenes with Donald MacBride. At the end, Miss Adams expresses her regret. The police blithely assure her that he deserved it. He was a psychopathic killer and she's going to get her operation. It's a happy ending for everyone, except for Rondo Hatton.
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8/10
George Ade Was Onto Something
18 January 2019
Rod La Rocque has spent years working hard and it pays off. When his boss has a heart attack, Rod's put in charge. He looks up from the accounting books and sees Margaret Clayton, hash-slinging daughter of his landlord and adores her. She adores his bank balance, so they get married. As time goes on and her social ambition rises, she settles on tony Paul Harvey. One day Rod comes home late from the office. Guess what he finds?

George Ade's Fables took an honest if dyspeptic look at the social disruptions going on. Miss Clayton is not a vamp, she's a gold digger, and the lazy aristocratic classes -- if they ever existed in great numbers in this country -- were giving way to the new go-getter.

I've complained about how Ade's language has not aged well, but is there a brisker, brighter way of expressing this thought: "Joe believed Man was put on this Earth to be the Getter for the Mother of his Children, whether they had any or not."?

I think not.

Ade's fables were social comedies, pitched at the cynical urban dweller. His audience looked to get ahead and tried to get the latest, whether in attitudes or language. His individual expression may have been of the moment, and his choice of comedy may have marked it as less than it might have been if offered as tragedy. Even worse, it's comedy of manners, which is always set for a contemporary audience.

For the moment, Ade had the pulse and measure of that audience, and didn't need the bizarre costumes and behavior of Sennett and other slapstick masters. Ordinary people were just as foolish as white-faced clowns and often funnier. That's why within a year Harold Lloyd abandoned his "Lonesome Luke" character and began his long series as his normal-seeming but often bizarre character that became a classic.
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6/10
Boiled? Should Have Been Pickled in Lemon Ade!
18 January 2019
It's three of the George Ade Fables on one reel. In the first, Harry Dunkinson insists on telling jokes, so his wife, Gerda Holmes, decides to divorce him. In the second, Leo White spends so much time with Sue Burton that his employer thinks he should make it his sole job. In the third, Charlotte Mineau tries to teach Wallace Beery how to dance in a town where the speed limit is eight miles an hour.

The stories are fine, if brief, and it's interesting to see Wallace Beery when he was young enough to be skinny. However, for contemporary audiences, the point of these shorts was the lively language that George Ade used. He might refer to Dunkinson as being as funny as the back wheel of an ambulance, or Miss Burton being Leo White's baby doll. At the time, they were new and original and the audience got them. Now the first one seems labored and the second trite. It's no wonder that when I first encountered Mr. Ade, even though he had been dead for only twenty-five years, his language seemed as dead as Napoleon!
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6/10
George Ade
18 January 2019
Harry Dunkinson and Gerda Holmes are a married couple who go at it at the breakfast table and onto the front porch as he heads to work; that is to say, they bicker. Mr. Dunkinson finds a copy of a book on how to be happily married and takes it to heart. He send his wife gifts and calls her by terms of endearment. She, of course, decides he's guilty of something.

George Ade, who wrote these "Fables" for Essanay, was an American newspaperman and humorist (sometimes it seems as if the two roles are indistinguishable). When I first encountered him fifty years ago, he had already sunk beneath general consciousness. If you wanted to read his "Fables in Slang", you had to go to Dover Press editions. There you would find little stories in which the English language had rolled up its sleeves, spat on its hands and gone to work.

However there is nothing so dead as last generation's catchphrases, unless it is last year's Internet meme. Ade's language, as bright as it might have been in 1914, had only two places to go: it could 23 Skiddoo onto the junk heap, or become standard and unremarkable.

Fortunately the story is a good one and the actors are also. They've got expressive faces and carry out the business well.
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The Gay Bride (1934)
5/10
Gold Digger of 1934
17 January 2019
Carole Lombard knocks off the men in sequence: Nat Pendleton, Sam Hardy, Leo Carrillo. Gangsters all, they fall for her and endow her with all their worldly goods -- which, given repeal and the downturn in business isn't as much as she hopes -- and then they knock off each other.

The speculation is this started off a a racy movie, but was castrated by the Production Code. Lombard is fairly erratic. The careful modulation needed for her character isn't there, and while she's very good in her scenes with Zasu Pitts, director Jack Conway can't get her to tone it down with her scenes with Pendleton and Chester Morris. Morris, however, is terrific throughout.

Conway directs this for speed. He certainly gives it his all, but it falls a little flat.
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La chambre 81 (1911)
6/10
Could That Be A 3 And Not An 8?
17 January 2019
A man checks into room 32 at a hotel. He takes a writing desk from against the wall, and leaves. A woman comes to the hotel and takes room 31, right next to him.

At least, I believe so. The Eye Institute has jsut posted LA CHAMBRE 31 to their site. Like this one, it is a production from Lux in 1911.Like this one, those are the only facts on display. I think a transcriber or optical scanner has made a mistake.

I thought it was a fine film, well acted, with minimal titles. Also I like movies about confidence tricksters and this is definitely one of those. Take a look and see if I am right -- both about the actual title and whether this is a nice film.
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For Us George MacDonald Fraser Fans, Flashman Gets Libeled
17 January 2019
Jimmy Lydon plays the title character, but the point of view occasionally cuts away to Cedric Hardwicke as the radical and revered Thomas Arnold. Judging by this movie, his great innovation was to cast out liars and talk the Sixth Form into badmouthing bullying.

Even so, the performances are fine in a Code-compliant manner, with a solid juvenile cast including Freddy Bartholomew and Gale Storm in her feature debut. It's also director Robert Stevenson's first American movie. He would stay for the rest of his career and by the early 1970s would become the most successful movie director ever, if you went by unadjusted-for-inflation grosses of all his movies. He was not an auteur. He gave the producer and, it turned out, the audience what it wanted. At this point, he was becoming the go-to director for Ye Olde England movies. Like many a director, he retreated to TV in the early 1950s, but hooked up with Walt Disney in the latter half of the decade, and directed many of his gimmick live-action comedies.
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6/10
Herman Bells The Cat
17 January 2019
The cat has just eaten Louie, and the mice have played Taps. In comes Herman, bell salesman. He offers to actually bell the cat in this Famous Studios Noveltoon. The cat looks like Katnip, but a little more..... modular. Also, he has no lines, none of those ill-tempered, mush-mouthed ripostes to the mouse.

You may surmise from that description that the Herman (with or without Katnip) cartoons are not favorites of mine. You would be right. They are too bloodthirsty; when Bugs blasts Daffy with Elmer's shotgun, Daffy need only swivel his bill back into place and comb out his feathers. This movie starts with the mice running for their lives from a hungry cat. When one turns up missing, you know it's because the cat has eaten him, as he will try to eat Herman.

It's skillful work, it has its clear aesthetic and it clearly was popular enough that they made more. It's simply not to my taste.
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6/10
Some Very Nice Editing
17 January 2019
The Civil War is over and a group of mustered-out veterans head over to Flat Rock to homestead. However, night riders, vigilantes, are murdering outsiders. While the veterans, headed by Gabby Hayes, camp outside town and try to figure out what happened, Norman Foster goes into town to get a job as the schoolmaster.

It's a very nice version form the novel by Edward Eggleston and director Lewis Collins gets some interesting performances. There is a formality in the performances, from the high collar and tall hat that Foster wears, to the way Fred Kohler Jr. challenges him by putting a chip on his shoulder and urges the schoolmaster to knock it off, to the way people behave at the spelling bee, interspersed with urgent whispers and low-voiced arguments among conspirators and family members, and freely formed, torchlit lynch scene that was shot wild. Editor Carl Pierson came from Indiana, and he clearly knew how to cut this film to reflect that dichotomy.

Norman Foster was nearing the end of his acting career. The following year he would switch to directing. Although that career would never get him out of the Bs and TV work, his connections and professionalism would stand him and his movies well.
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Happy Landing (1934)
5/10
Jacqueline Wells Never Looked Prettier
16 January 2019
Robert Bradbury takes a break from directing B westerns to wrangle this chestnut for Paul Malvern. Ray Walker is the son of passenger liner captain Noah Beery. He's in love with Jacqueline Wells (long before she changed her name to Julie Bishop), who's the daughter of Border Patrol colonel William Farnum -- Walker's boss; he's a pilot for the service. The first half of this 61-minute quickie has him going through the usual hijinks, taking his plane larking about with fellow pilot Hyram Hoover and replicating Keaton's losing-his-pants-at-a-dance routine from COLLEGE..

The plot kicks in about halfway through. Some bank robbers hijack Walker's plane at gunpoint, have him fly over the border, knock him out and flee in a car. When he's back at base, he can't satisfactorily explain what happened, and Farnum allows him to resign.

20-year-old Wells never looked prettier, and the stunt flying is well shot by Archie Stout. There are a few plot holes that the more forgiving viewer will accept in the more exciting sequences, but I found the rhythms more suited to a horse opera than an aviation picture. Even so, it's a pleasure to watch Mr. Beery in a more sympathetic role, and Farnum gives a far more naturalistic performance than he usually offered in the early talkies. It's certainly no classic, but it has its moments.
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5/10
A Satirical Farce Falls Flat
15 January 2019
Eugene Pallette pays Carole Lombard $5,000. She has gotten his son, Norman Foster, to fall in love with her and go to work. He wants to keep him working, so he offers her an additional $5,000 and 25% of whatever he earns if he's still working in six months. Unfortunately for him, Norman has decided to go into the soap business, reasoning that if Pallette can make money in it, anyone can. Because Pallette and his biggest competitor, Lucien Littlefield have agreed to cut back on advertising, Norman and his press agent pal, Skeets Gallagher decide to go all out advertising their new soap. There's just two problems. They haven't any customers, which is just as well, because they haven't any soap to sell; they've spent all their capital on advertising.

Workhorse director Frank Tuttle has a great set-up for a satirical farce, but the only accomplished farceur in the bunch is Pallette. Gallagher is a distant second because he can talk almost as fast as Glenda Farrell, but Miss Lombard hasn't developed any comedy chops as yet. What's left is far too mannered and standard to be of much interest.

And Louise Brooks. She's in this movie, so she must be mentioned. She appears in the first couple of minutes as a stage dancer with whom Foster is baiting reporters for publicity for a stage show. She gets to show off her legs a couple of times, then disappears.

Tuttle himself would never gain great accomplishment as a comedy director, although he would direct a fair number of them in the course of his career. He was a director who could direct anything competently, although his real strength, it would turn out, was in crime dramas. He was a key man in the rise of film noir in America, directing the 1935 proto-noir version of THE GLASS KEY and Alan Ladd in THIS GUN FOR HIRE. This comedy, however, doesn't quite ring the bell.
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