February 27, 2011

My Sister Eileen (1942)

My Sister Eileen is stagy, stodgy and stale but Rosalind Russell is a revelation yet again as the unsung, untried and inexperienced writer from Ohio who moves to New York with her blond sibling. A mundane type of hilarity ensues but Russell's mannerisms, delivery and double takes are classic film comedy. Russell is ably supported by a cast that includes Janet Blair and Elizabeth Mrs. Trumbull Patterson so it's unfortunate the story just has no spark or relevance.

February 26, 2011

Goodbye Mr. Chips (1969)

This 1969 musical version of Goodbye Mr. Chips was unconventional for its time in that the songs are, for the most part, sung as narration in the minds of the characters - similar to how the Academy Award winning film Chicago dealt with its score almost forty years later. Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark are both excellent and appealing as the titular professor in an all boys school and the woman with whom he falls in love. Although O'Toole's singing is not much better here than it was four years later in Man Of La Mancha AND it's a very long movie, the star chemistry, some tuneful Leslie Bricusse songs (with lyrics that mention Las Vegas and rock musician in 1924 England) and thankfully an intermission made it an enjoyable movie-going experience.