Archive for November 27th, 2008


by Allan Fish

(USA 1937 92m) DVD1

Suitable for any occasion

p  Pandro S.Berman  d  Gregory la Cava  w  Morrie Ryskind, Anthony Veiller, Gregory la Cava (uncredited)  play  Edna Ferber, George S.Kaufman  ph  Robert de Grasse  ed  William Hamilton  m  Roy Webb  art  Van Nest Polglase, Carroll Clark  cos  Muriel King

Katharine Hepburn (Terry Randall), Ginger Rogers (Jean Maitland), Adolphe Menjou (Anthony Powell), Gail Patrick (Linda Shaw), Constance Collier (Catherine Luther), Andrea Leeds (Kaye Hamilton), Lucille Ball (Judy Canfield), Eve Arden (Eve), Samuel S.Hinds (Henry Sims), Jack Carson (Millbank), Ann Miller (Annie), Margaret Early (Mary Lou), Franklin Pangborn (Harcourt), Jan Wiley (Madeline), Grady Sutton (Butch), Phyllis Kennedy (Hattie), Peggy O’Donnell (Susan), Elizabeth Dunne (Mrs Orcott),

Welcome to New York’s Footlights Club, the venue for the 1937 annual gathering of Wisecrackers Anonymous.  Here we have a film that is a product of its time, which cannot help but date in certain ways, which constantly betrays its theatrical origins, and yet it is a secure in its classic status as ever it was.  Few people would argue against the calibre of the cast; Leslie Halliwell hit the nail on the head when he said that “the performances alone make it worth preserving” as there certainly have been fewer greater ensembles in history.  Even critical doyenne Pauline Kael observed that it was “one of the flashiest, most entertaining comedies of the 30s, even with its tremolos and touches of heartbreak.”  One could be cynical and say that Kael herself would not have been out of place tossing around waspish, cutting remarks amongst the guests at the Footlights, but she was right to praise it.  It truly is one in a million. (more…)

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