Bob Cummings plays a down-on-his-luck returning war vet who's hired by… MoreBob Cummings plays a down-on-his-luck returning war vet who's hired by a mobster to chauffeur him around Miami Beach. There's a problem. The nearly psycho mobster's got a beautiful and unhappy wife. There's another problem. The mobster's got nearly psycho associate: Peter Lorre (the best of the film). There's another problem. Maybe the ex-sailor's a little crazy since the war, maybe he's imagining things. Maybe.
Is the mobster trying to kill him? Did the wife make a pass at him? Why's he got a chauffeur's uniform on?
Sliding reality's the thing here, confusion every moment.
Maybe you like that in a noir. Me, not so much.
I'm thinking that O. Selznick must've thought Americans soft on the… MoreI'm thinking that O. Selznick must've thought Americans soft on the Brits as here is yet another production of his wherein Brits succeeding in America is a major plot point. A family of con artists set their greasy sights on one kindly but lonely old woman ... this cannot turn out well.
Or can it?
Given the transparency of the cookie-cut plot still all do okay in their assigned tasks. Fairbanks Jr., I realise for the first time, got along as sort of a second class Ronald Colman, and you can see him crudely working that here. Goddard and Burke, w/o much to work with, merely sorta glide along using their established stage personas, as does Stephenson, too (as entertaining as those personas are). All in all not a lot of work done. The story of the redemptive power of trust does the job all on its own.
Irene Dunn and William Powell radiate likeable charm like a bakery… MoreIrene Dunn and William Powell radiate likeable charm like a bakery throws out smells good from a block away in this slice-o-life family drama depicting "the good ol'days". There's a way things should be done, a way a family should be raised, there's the moral fiber of a family, and these considerations are on the table of a loving couple who nonetheless disagree about the answers to these thoughts and battle the whole movie for their own point of view, and battle each in their own way. Its a fun contest.
A remake of 1959's The World The Flesh And The Devil, but set in New… MoreA remake of 1959's The World The Flesh And The Devil, but set in New Zealand. The opening is good (one man facing the possibility of being the last man on earth), but the essential dramatic qualifying dilemma (2 guys at the end of the world ... and only one woman - it's movie gold!) is inexplicably downplayed which very nearly guts the thing.
Still, some interesting moments, though it's better to see the original.
Most thirties films with children as the leads followed the formula,… MoreMost thirties films with children as the leads followed the formula, whatever the vehicle, that the savvy, cynical, smartypants adults around them learn to hope, laugh, and love again because of the innocence of the child. David O. Selznick mounts this showcase for the wunderkind Freddie Bartholomew, who ably manages to string together adult sentences and ideas w/o the slightest difficulty, and who's trust in the inherent good in people changes lives.
You see all the punches coming long before they arrive, and still it's a charmer of a work.
If anything can be said of Russ Meyer it's that he knew something of… MoreIf anything can be said of Russ Meyer it's that he knew something of the American male psyche. Forget about conjecture or estimations or hypothesis or psychology or audience surveys or anything: put some big tits on the screen and American men will watch.
And he fills the screen with 'em.
There's a bit of the old ultra violence, too. On the side. Against the women. Mainly against the women.
And that's about the whole show: "I hate my mommie. No, I love her. No, I hate her. No ..."
You be the judge. You decide.
What that says or means about this nation I've got no clue. I wanna be ignorant.
The illustrious Ben Hecht was the initial screenwriter here with a… MoreThe illustrious Ben Hecht was the initial screenwriter here with a work intended for Cary Grant and Kate Hepburn, but Cary dropped out and so the producers got Mr. Bob Hope instead (yeah I know, what's the connection?). And Hope (as he always did) brought his own writers to, er, "massage the script". Kate wrote in her memoirs that "... so I became his stooge." There was denunciations all round afterwards, after it was panned and bombed, and in the end Hope himself saw to it that this film was not shown in the United States for nearly 20 years.
Kate's Russian accent is as bad as could be imagined but at least you can see the old girl working to lift the thing by sheer willpower if need be. Not all of Hope's humor flies either, for all the massaging. This is not quality product.
But then it's not all bad either.