November 30, 2013

They Shall Have Music (1939)

Knowing how heart-breaking Andrea Leeds (Academy Award nominee for Stage Door who only made several films) can be, I decided to sit down and watch They Shall Have Music (the one she made with Joel McCrea) when I saw it posted (in its entirety) to YouTube. But in fact, the real stars are Gene Reynolds (who grew up to become a producer/writer/director of the television series M*A*S*H) as a kid from the streets and Jascha Heifetz, the famous violinist, who teaches Reynolds about music; Leeds and McCrea don't even enter the story until almost 45 minutes into the movie. Still, it's a very sweet film with many long musical, classical interludes (including opera) and a child actors in Reynolds and Diana Lynn who knows how to unlock your tear ducts.

November 24, 2013

Theodora Goes Wild (1936)

I'm not sure what gives Theodora Goes Wild classic status as I find it slow moving, contrived and forced. Irene Dunne is fine as the prim author of a '50 Shades of Grey' type (by 1936 standards) best seller but this screwball comedy is neither of those. Melvyn Douglas plays a dastardly reporter (is there any other kind?) whose romance with the titular Theodora is as inexplicable as it is unbelievable.