Wednesday, September 30, 2009

40's movies marathon - part 29

The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942, USA) - Monty Woolley is America's greatest intellectual, a friend of statesmen and actors, and a royal ass. He is forced stay for a while with a small-town family that represents everything he despises about the middle class, and he punishes them with his temper, his tyrannical demands, and his outrageous Hollywood friends. I have a suspicion there are specific people being parodied here, including, brutally, Harpo Marx. Watched it all. Wikipedia confirms it: the movie parodies Alexander Woollcott, the critic, and .. yes, Harpo Marx. They both loved it, and at one time played their own roles in the stage version. (Read about Woollcott and Harpo's unlikely friendship in Harpo's autobiography.)

Captains of the Clouds (1942, USA) - James Cagney flies about in Canada, transporting things in his boatplane, and he's a real jerk about it too. Watched: 11 minutes.

Son of Fury (1942, USA) - Tyrone Power grows up with a Dickensian uncle who has stolen his inheritance. As an adult he takes his revenge. You can rarely go wrong with a good vengeance theme, but the South Sea island paradise clichés, complete with a submissive native girl, ruin the second half, and there's too little swashbuckling to justify the title. Watched it all.

The Payoff (1942, USA) - Cheap gangster movie. But I like the idea of displaying the title and cast as a newspaper frontpage. Watched: 4 minutes.

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