Woman Unafraid (1934)

US / 58 minutes / bw / Goldsmith Dir: William J. Cowan (i.e., William J. Cowen) Pr: Ken Goldsmith, George E. Kann Scr: Mary E. McCarthy Cine: Gilbert Warrenton Cast: Lucile Gleason, Skeets Gallagher, Lona Andre, Warren Hymer, Barbara Weeks, Laura Treadwell, Ruth Clifford, Eddie Phillips, Jason Robards Sr., Erin La Bissoniere, Franklin Parker, Baby Waring, Richard Elliott, Julie Kingdon, Joyce Coad, Florence Wix, George Guhl, Henry Hall, James T. Mack.

Woman Unafraid - 0 opener

It wasn’t all that often that 1930s crime dramas got the balance between drama and humor right—usually you wish they’d just skipped the cringeworthy humor and had a shorter movie—but sometimes they managed to integrate the two elements perfectly. Some of the lines here are laugh-out-loud funny; elsewhere there are moments of genuine, non-bathetic (well, only a bit bathetic) poignancy; and there’s a likeable, entirely admirable heroine to bind everything together.

Augusta Winthrop (Gleason) is a middle-aged cop with a big heart: she’s a universal aunt. A principal duty of hers is to attend the dancehouse run by Tom Brady (Elliott) to make sure none of the dancers are getting so frisky as to commit public indecency, and also of course to check that none of the taxi dancers are offering more than dances. There are flies in her ointment, not least that Mrs. Eleanor Worthington (Treadwell), the self-appointed President of the Girls’ Protective League, has a habit of calling by on the lookout for “outrages.” Ironically, another problem for Augusta is that Eleanor’s nephew, Anthony Desmond (Gallagher), arrives at the club most nights in a skunklike state—a condition in which his hands become . . . venturesome. As one of the taxi dancers remarks of his latest performance on the dancefloor, “That guy ought to be a chiropractor.”

Tonight Augusta has been Continue reading

o/t: The Clock (1945)

===
The Wonders in the Dark Romantic Movies Countdown continues. There was a panic last night when a contributor dropped out at the last moment, and, in a fit of stupidity, I said I’d cover. Finding our dusty copy of the movie (thank you, some forgotten yard sale) took the first hour (well, cooking and eating supper took the very first hour!), and then, of course, there was the job of actually watching it, taking notes, etc. The end result is, alas, a visibly rushed job; but, for what it’s worth, here it is.

======

Wonders in the Dark

The Clock 1

by John Grant

US / 90 minutes / bw / MGM

Dir: Vincente Minnelli (reportedly helped by Fred Zinnemann)

Pr: Arthur Freed

Scr: Robert Nathan, Joseph Schrank

Story: Paul Gallico, Pauline Gallico

Cine: George Folsey

Cast: Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleason, Keenan Wynn, Marshall Thompson, Lucile Gleason, Ruth Brady, Chester Clute.

Corporal Joe Allen (Walker), an Indiana boy home from the war on furlough with no knowledge of where next in the combat zone he’ll be posted, finds himself in New York’s Grand Central Station with no real clue as to what to do with himself. Just then, pretty office worker Alice Maybery (Garland) trips over his foot, breaking the heel on her shoe. The chance encounter leads them to a trip around the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in due course out on a date—she standing up her regular squeeze Freddy, her romance with whom, we soon understand…

View original post 393 more words