There is a lot to like about "Careless Lady". The story is very well written, there's a wonderful and clever singing duette you just need to see and the story is both funny and romantic. Well worth your time.
There is a lot to like about "Careless Lady". The story is very well written, there's a wonderful and clever singing duette you just need to see and the story is both funny and romantic. Well worth your time.
When the film begins, Henry (Nigel Patrick) has come to the realization that his family is broke. Despite their manor home and good name, they cannot afford to keep living the way they do and, God forbid, they might have to actually work for a living. However, this is apparently more distasteful than the notion of murdering the rich uncle (Charles Coburn) who is coming to visit from America. Amazingly, Henry's plans fail repeatedly...and in the process he helps to off members of his own immediate family.
The film is enjoyable and Coburn, as usual, is a joy to watch. But the movie lacks the comedic edge to make it a must see movie. Good...but hardly as good as it could have been.
In this story, Fred MacMurray plays a reporter. Through some contrived writing, he and a society lady (Madeleine Carroll) get married and they barely know each other...apparently due to a bet. Not surprisingly, things don't work out wonderfully. The husband resents the wife and her worthless rich friends and she thinks he's amazingly judgmental assuming they are all spoiled. Despite the problems, you know by the end of the film they'll somehow work through this.
No major surprises...nothing great either. Just a time-passer featuring a couple good actors.
This film is about a ring of crooks who operate escort services that shake down customers. They put them in a compromising situation and then blackmail folks for money. The police decide to investigate and one of the folks they follow is Ann (Anita Louise). When they are convinced she's legitimate*, they approach her and ask her to go undercover to investigate one of the worst of these shakedown artists.
The film is modestly enjoyable, action-filled and short. It won't change your life and is not a must-see by any stretch but it is competently made. My only serious complaint...the singing...yuck!
*By the way, at no point does the film even hint at the fact that many (or perhaps all) escort services are covers for prostitution..an odd omission but this was made in the earl Post-Code days when mentioning such things was strictly forbidden.
This biopic is about William Penn and follows him from his conversion to his founding Pennsylvania and the death of his wife. It's a bit idealized and at times seems a tad stagy, but it did stick reasonably close to the facts. In particular, I thought the court case was ridiculous and never happened...and I researched and found that the judges DID refuse to accept the jury's verdict AND did imprison them for their decision! Crazy...but true.
Overall, a good look at who William Penn was...but because it is close to the facts, it's also not among the more exciting films you can watch...and I can live with that.
I've seen quite a few of these shorts and "Bubbles", while enjoyable, is a lesser entry. The biggest reason is that there isn't a lot of plot...just lots of disparate things all having to do with bubbles. One of the plots, and it's a weird one, is Max betting Koko he can make the biggest bubble. The winner then gets to punch the loser in the nose!! That's not just awful but pretty weird. Apart from this, just a variety of bubble-related fun...and nothing particularly outstanding. Still, given how well the films were made, it's still very watchable.
In this case, a poor schmuck is married to a woman who is a 'neurosthenic'*. She is demanding, extremely jealous and a horror to live with. Despite this, her husband is loyal and loves her. However, she comes to believe he is having an affair with a neighbor...which is complete fiction. Eventually, she decides to kill herself and leaves a note saying that she killed herself because of the neighbor. When the husband finds the note...he burns it. After all, he doesn't want to implicate an innocent woman. But that leads to a problem...now the police think he killed her and some very unreliable people claim to know he's guilty!
This film starts off very slowly and I had difficulty sticking with it. Fortunately, it did improve significantly and turned out to be a dandy and interesting film. Well worth seeing.
*Neuresthenia is a term no longer used in the US. This is mostly because the symptoms are so vague. Instead, what might have been termed Neuresthenia now could be diagnosed Borderline personality and a variety of other disorders. But in 1932, such vague psychological terms were in widespread use. Try to ignore this and suffice to say the wife was both mentally ill and had some severe personality disorders.
There is a strange mystery at the hospital. A man was found dead in his bed in the hospital...and he was shot. But it gets much weirder. Later it turns out he already was dead...and he's not who he's supposed to be. In addition, the head of the hospital is an enigma--he's either completely incompetent or completely evil...or both. What is the dead man all about? Wait...the head nurse will eventually figure it out for us!
I liked Darwell. Her character was pretty neat...and it was nice seeing a competent and intelligent woman in an older film. Sadly, Joan Davis was NOT pretty neat...she was there for comic relief (part of the mystery movie formula) but her acting was simply annoying and over-the-top. She could be funny...here she was just bothersome. As for the rest, there were no problems and Sig Ruman was nice as the awful chief of staff. Not a brilliant film but worth seeing if you like the genre.
Taken in context, "Golden Harvest" is a great look at the 1930s. At that time, farmers were abandoning the land to move to cities and the Depression took its toll on the farmers who remained and worked the land.
The story is about two brothers who grew up on the farm. Walt (Richard Arlen) loves farming and can imagine himself doing nothing else...and so on the farm he remained through the story. Chris (Chester Morris) on the other hand longs for something else and soon moves to Chicago to try his hand at working the commodities market. With his background as a farmer, he's got a bit of an edge on his competition. However, at times, Chris makes a ton of money when the farmers are in dire trouble and prices are at their lowest. Eventually, Walt and Chris work together to try to create a stronger market for wheat...that way they'll both win...if it works.
The story of farming and the like may not sound that interesting, but it is a nice history lesson and the film has some excellent performances. Not exactly a must-see, but a very good film and one worth your time.
The story begins with an obnoxious and entitled rich lady (Frances Drake) driving 72 in a 30 mile per hour zone. When she's stopped, she is not just ticketed but brought in to face the Lieutenant (Scott) because it was her fourth ticket that month. He gave her a stern talking to and sent her to traffic school. Later, the lady's brother is drunk driving and kills a kid and injures many others in a bus. She, however, is thought to be behind the wheel and she is on trial for vehicular homicide. Will the truth come out eventually AND is her budding relationship with the Lieutenant doomed?
In addition to repeatedly hitting the viewer over the head that reckless driving is bad, the film also has a huge logical problem. Why would the woman let herself go on trial for vehicular homicide and NOT tell anyone she was not driving the car?! Why let her drunk brother get off scott free and risk a lengthy prison sentence?! In other words, why would anyone WANT to take the rap for this obnoxious little coward! It just didn't make sense...and the viewer doesn't care very much because she is reprehensible as well as her brother.
Bill Morgan (Fred MacMurray) is upset that he keeps getting rejected for military duty in WWII. He wants to do his part and get girls. So, when he discovers a magical vase and releases the genie, he asks to be able to fight in the war....but the dopey genie keeps sending him to the wrong wars and the film takes a trip through history.
Fred MacMurray is oddly cast in this film. This is because it's a musical and his singing talents are fair at best. His voice is thin but not unpleasant...but not the sort of guy you'd expect in the lead in a musical. Additionally, the comedy is limp and, combined with the songs, wears thin very, very quickly. Not fun to watch in the least.
By the way, trust me on this but the Columbus section repeats a lot of myths...such as that Columbus was trying to prove the world was round. Folks in 1492 KNEW the world was round...they just didn't want to head west because they had no idea what was there! The things you learn when you are a history teacher!
This film is like many Pre-Code pictures in that its moral compass is NOT like it would be in the Post-Code era. No, it has unmarried folks cohabitating, it has them talk about sex (without actually coming right out and saying it) and there's a character who curses. Definitely NOT what many would expect from an older film...but still extremely well written and enjoyable.
When the story begins, Fay (Ruth Chatterton) marries a rich British man and she's deliriously happy. However, she soon discovers that her husband has a mistress....and he has no intention of giving her up. So, Fay decides to stay married but to also live a gay lifestyle...with lots of men and excitement. Soon she meets an artist, Carl (Paul Lukas), and the two fall in love. He wants to marry her. She, oddly, wishes to remain married and carry on an affair of her own. When he doesn't agree, she dives into the wild life with both feet...all in an effort to upset her husband's stuff friends and to distract herself from a bum marriage.
So is it any good? Well, not particularly. The worst part is hearing Chatterton sing...it almost made me want to loud out loud AND hit fast forward! As far as the story goes, it was okay but had one major problem...I didn't care about anyone. Additionally, it's never at all apparent why Lukas' character falls in love. Otherwise, it's watchable and a decent enough time-passer.
Button Gwinnett Brown (Lee Tracy) is on his way to Washington, as he's just been elected to Congress. However, his efforts to reform and be a good congreessman set him on a collision course with Senator Norton...and he's a very powerful enemy. Unfortunately for Brown, he's blunt...way too blunt for his own good and soon he's battling everyone around him. Is there any hope for this freshman Congressman?
Apart from some bad rear projection (such as of the Bonus Army and of the Capital), this is a pretty nifty film. While the ending just doesn't ring true, it's exciting and well-intentioned...and Tracy is excellent as usual. Well worth seeing.
By the way, Button Gwinnett really was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was killed in a duel a year after signing this historic document. Because of that, his autograph is among the rarest of any of the signers....and is worth a fortune...hence the character's reaction when an original Button Gwinnett letter is torn to pieces!
Also, the Bonus Army WAS a real thing. In 1932, a huge group of WWI vets and their families camped out in Washington...demanding they get their approved bonuses now instead of waiting until the promised date of 1945. Unlike in the film, this effort did not turn out well and was disbursed by force later that summer.
While it's never said, I assume many viewers realize that in reality, these B-girls did tricks as well...though with the Production Code of 1934, such things could only be vaguely implied....and it's REALLY vague here. In fact, because of the subject matter many things are really vague in the film...such as the implication that Eddie is fooling around with one of the other B-girls. Still, in spite of this, the film is interesting and worth seeing....and awfully seedy for a Post-Code film.
1941 was an eventful year for young Sterling Hayden. He had the distinction of starring in the first two films in which he appeared. Both of which his co-star was Madeleine Carroll...and they both soon married in 1942. Sadly, the marriage didn't last...but it did result in "Virginia" and "Bahama Passage".
When the film begins, Adrian's father is found dead on the beach. Adrian Ainsworth (Hayden) accepts that his father's death was an accident. His mentally ill mother insists that the natives murdered him. However, on this small island of Dildo Key, the natives are friendly and loyal to the Ainsworth family....and they'd have no reason to kill anyone...yet. I say yet because the overseer that Adrian soon hires (Leo G. Carroll) is a harsh and wicked man. Again and again, the overseer provokes the natives until ultimately disaster happens...and Adrian is left to care for the man's daughter, Carol (Madeleine Carroll).
Paramout spent a lot of money on this production, with a location shoot in the Turks & Caicos as well as filming it in color. Despite this, the story is weak due to the writing and some of the acting. While I love Hayden and his films, when he finds his father dead he was simply terrible...with zero emotion and making for a very unconvincing scene. Additionally, Ms. Carroll's character is very poorly written. While you are supposed to like her and cheer for a romance between her and Adrian, she is wishy-washy in dealing with her irresponsible jerk of a father. It makes no sense for her to adore Adrian yet again and again to side with her father against him when clearly her father is not only wrong but created all the problems. She is too weak...and unlikable as a result. Overall, a nice looking film that doesn't quite hit the mark.
The story is set at a women's hotel. The main focus is on two very different women, Carol (Lynn Bari) and Jerry (Mary Beth Hughes). Carol is a nice lady. Jerry, on the other hand, is very superficial, uses people and craves excitement...even if it ultimately is sabotaging. They both are dating successful surgeons but while Carol has a healthy relationship, Jerry uses her man and ends up getting involved with the wrong sort of guy. And, when things get ugly, Jerry tries to lie her way out of it. Clearly Jerry learns nothing from her mistakes.
If it sounds as if the plot is a bit preachy, it come off this way. Again, the length of the movie forces it to develop too quickly and ultimately it becomes predictable as a result. Worth seeing...but ultimately just a time-passer that could have been better.
The story begins on a transport taking soldiers to fight in Europe. One of the soldiers, Moe Finklestein (Milton Berle), tells the men a story to buck up their morale and get them to fight as a team.
It seems that before the war, Finkelstein was a New York City cop and he was given the dubious duty of being stationed at the German consulate in order to protect them. Being Jewish (heck, EVERY officer in the place was Jewish), he was loathe to accept the assignment. Once there, he comes to see that the head of the consultate, Herr Baumer (Otto Preminger) is a nasty piece of work. Baumer gives ample reason for everyone there to kill him and ultimately when he dies, it's "Murder on the Orient Express"! Who did it and why? See the film.
This film is unique because most WWII propaganda films are incredibly serious. But this one has a lot of comedic elements which make it a welcome break. Well worth your time...and...oddly...fun.
When the story begins, someone has informed party girl Lola (Methot) that she will be dead by midnight. Just who this is an why is unknown and the Police Commissioner himself (Adolph Menjou) is taking the case. Apart from announcing the murder ahead of time, it's a mostly by the numbers murder mystery...the type they made by the hundreds or thousands during that era. Ultimately, however, the film ends on a high note...a shrill and thrilling Pre-Code ending that I'll keep to myself so I won't spoil anything.
Having the smooth Menjou in the lead sure didn't hurt this one and overall it's well worth your time. It is not super-remarkable but reasonably entertaining and, at times, clever.
When Don meets Jeanie (Janet Blair) he plans on putting her into the show. Perphaps she cannot play the lead but she can help the show significantly. Soon, however, the tempermental Donna quits the show...and Don agrees to make the unknown Jeanie a star. But, being temperamental, Donna soon returns and out of spite insists Jeanie be fired. When the play is finally put on, it turns out to be a complete bomb. What can Don do to salvage the show AND his reputation? And, what can Don do about Jeanie....a girl he's come to love?
This movie is a bit of a hard sell for me, simply because I don't usually like films with tons of production numbers...and this one has one or two too many. I found myself going to the bathroom, getting a drink or picking my nose a lot...at least until the not so memorable numbers ended. I did like the performing dogs, however....and the film could have used more of them!
Overall, a somewhat predictable musical with a few too many songs and some excellent acting. Worth seeing...but far from a must-see.
By the way, if you do watch the film, get a load of that lady pianist. She is INCREDIBLE!!
When a scientist, Dr. Ken Ford (Dennis O'Keefe) finds out that he's being subpoenaed to court, he instantly becomes upset. Why? Because he'll have to divulge that he once bought Gertie a garter which he had personally inscribed. Considering that they used to date and this happened long ago, it did seem strange that this was blown out of all proportions. Instead of just coming clean and admitting to his wife that he once dated Gertie, Dr. Ford spends the entire movie running about like a chicken with its head cut off. This is also a bit of a problem for Gertie, as she's about to get married as well and doesn't want her beau to know about her past with Dr. Ford. Hillarity ensues.
If you can ignore the fact that the serious problem is not all that serious, the film is enjoyable. Overall, it's about as good as the original.....flawed but enjoyable.
When the film begins, Jeff (Dennis O'Keefe) is headed west in a stagecoach. It's held up and the masked bandit (Wallace Beery) knocks him out and steals his watch. Later, Beery looks inside the pocket watch and sees a photo....and realizes the person he knocked out is his son he'd deserted long, long ago! When Jeff is made a deputy in order to collect taxes, Bill decides to help him...and apparently Bill is NOT good at being good! What's next? See the film.
So is this more violent and nasty version of Wallace Beery and this film worth seeing? Yes. It's got an exciting finale and O'Keefe is quite good. Overall, not a great film but one that is enjoyable despite its flaws.
The story finds Clem a lazy drinking man who has barely worked a day in his life. His wife is exasperated with him....and with good reason. However, when his son steals her stocks and sells them to cover his own improprieties, Clem is more than happy to step in and take blame. After all, she already is at the end of her rope with Clem and is ready to toss him out...so he might as well go out with a bang. So what happens next? See the film.
This is a very enjoyable and sentimental film. While it isn't among Beery's best, it is quite good and the sort of old fashioned film they sadly don't make any more.
The story is about Christopher Columbus. At first, the story irritated me, as it promoted many common myths about the guy (such as his being Italian (this is uncertain) and that he sought to prove the world was round...which he didn't). After all, I was a US and world history teacher. However, the story becomes so ridiculous and silly that I am pretty sure no one will think it's a history lesson...especially with the way the film ended. Fortunately, I loved the ending. Unfortunately, I pretty much disliked everything else...especially all the singing. Not brilliant not a pleasure to watch.
The story is odd...that's for sure. A mouse and cat seem to absolutely love each other. In fact, the mouse loves the cat so much that he begs him to eat him...but without success. The cynical dog (with a voice like Jimmy Durante) is confused but tries this with his enemy, the goat...with less than stellar results.
The biggest reason to see this one is the weird story. While it's not filled with laughs and features a few voices that are so cute you might die, it is unusual and far better than the pathetically low score the film currently has on IMDB.