Archive for February, 2011

February 28th, 2011

I Love You Again (1940)

I Love You Again I Love You Again I Love You Again
You be careful, madam, or you’ll turn my pretty head with your flattery.
I often wished I could turn your head – on a spit, over a slow fire.

Happy (VERY) Belated Valentine’s Day, dear readers! This year for Hallmark’s most important holiday, I wanted to watch something a bit off the beaten rom-com path without delving into territory too arcane. When I asked myself what elements I felt were important for an enjoyable romantic comedy experience, I came up with a pithy list of adjectives that included “sexy” and “sophisticated.” Who better personifies such a combination than that comedic dream team of William Powell and Myrna Loy? Answer: NO ONE.

So, I queued up W.S. Van Dyke’s 1940 love letter, I Love You Again, in which Powell plays a stuffy, by-the-book teetotaler named Larry Wilson. Loy is along for the ride as his suffering wife. When Larry is knocked unconscious after a decidedly screwball accident (during a pleasure cruise, one too many grape juice and gingerales has him jumping overboard to save a drunken man), he awakens with amnesia and the revelation that 10 years prior, he used to be a con man named George Carey. Apparently the only thing that Wilson and Carey have in common is their attraction to Kay Hijinks ensue.

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February 13th, 2011

Penny Wisdom (1937)


She’s decided to bake something. . .probably a cornerstone for the new town hall.

Penny Wisdom, one of “Pete Smith Specialties,” is a culinary film that won the 1937 Oscar for Best Short Subject, Color. The rather pedestrian plot goes a little something like this: Housewife Chloe Smudge (a gum-smacking Gertrude Short) is informed by her husband (Harold Minjir) that he’s bringing his boss and best client home for dinner. Unfortunately for the Smudges, Chloe’s a bit of a tyrant and the household cook has quit. On her own reconnaissance, she attempts to conjure up a multi-course meal, with disastrous results. Following a near nervous collapse, Chloe is rescued when the narrator (Pete Smith), calls his pal, Prudence Penny of the LA Examiner, to assist the little wife with her kitchenly duties.

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