The Golden Age of Hollywood

A companion thread to my "What's the Last DVD You Purchased?" thread. I thought it might be fun to discuss what we all are watching or have recently watched. Below will be my first post in this thread.

Kevin

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This week I went from Thirteen Women to The Mask of Fu Manchu. No masterpieces by any means but solid and enjoyable, obscure in a 1932 kind of way. More than anything I was watching Myrna Loy and trying to figure out how she went from those parts to, well pretty much everything from the following year onwards. What a way to turn your career around, hats off to a wonderful actress and beautiful lady. I'll probably keep studying some of her work next week.  

Yesterday I watched No More Ladies while finishing up some work. The plot is a little weak (new husband Montgomery is a womanizer by habit, and bride Crawford teaches him that two can play that game), but it was really fun to see Joan Crawford, Robert Montgomery, Franchot Tone, Charles Ruggles, Gail Patrick, and ESPECIALLY Edna May Oliver, all in one movie. I love Edna!

Now I'm trying to decide what to put on in the background while I work.

Last night my son and I watched Galaxy Quest. He had never seen it before. Next will probably be some Christmas movie, but I'm also trying to get hold of Stand and Deliver to show to my son. It's a true story about a math teacher. I'm hoping I can get it from the library before he leaves.

Being the huge Star Trek fan that I am I love Galaxy Quest. One of my favorite sci0fi comedies. Have you seen the new Fox show The Orville? You might like it.

I thought of you, Kevin, when I watched it and figured you probably knew this movie! It's a great tribute to fandom. Those kids who knew the layout of the ship were wonderful. I wonder if the movie makers look for fans like that to be technical advisors. Probably not, but they should!

I haven't seen any new TV shows in a while, since I gave up cable about a year ago. What's the show about?

Thanks Rosie, might try this one for my son.

My son and I watched Stand and Deliver the other night. It's an inspiring true story, and I can recommend the movie to all, but especially to high school students or teachers.

Now I'm doing some work while watching one of my new movies, Lady in a Jam. It looks very promising so far.

Report on Lady in a Jam: the leading man (Patric Knowles) had to play a rigidly rational character, but I think he still could have injected more comedy into the role. The humor was lame. Irene was in good form, but she didn't have much to work with. It's the kind of silly, totally non-challenging fluff that I find soothing after a rough day, so I will probably watch it again, but I wouldn't rank it among my favorite screwball comedies.

I'm watching Casanova Brown while doing some work. I borrowed it from the library. It stars Gary Cooper and Teresa Wright; Frank Morgan has a large supporting role. I was pretty happy to see it in the library, as I've never seen this movie.

My opinion on Casanova Brown: sweet ending! But the plot rambled around and didn't tie up the loose ends. I would have liked to know what happened to the other people in the story, such as Casanova's two most recent fiancees. If I had been the screenwriter, I would have created a satisfying outcome for all concerned. (Maybe the nurse could have gotten engaged to the bellman, and the rich woman could have had another suitor she was better matched with.) I would also have liked to see more of the relationship between the two main stars. They hardly spend any time together on screen. But I still recommend this movie as a light romantic comedy involving a baby. Not great, but pleasant. What I would have cut: some of Frank Morgan's scenes and some of the scenes involving Casanova's scientific care of the baby.

Interesting.

I'm watching Algiers, a 1938 remake of Pepe le Moko, starring Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamar. Sigrid Gurie is made up to look dark-skinned. These makeup jobs never look convincing. There must have been thousands of actresses who could have done the job without the makeup. To quote Joseph Calleia in the movie, "What a shame. Such a waste of talent." Hedy, as usual, looks gorgeous. So far, the movie is intriguing and visually interesting. Charles Boyer is charming as the lovable professional thief.

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