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  • A Life of Her Own

    A Life of Her Own

    ★★

    A good performance by Lana Turner and a great (brief) one by Ann Dvorak. The story starts out quite interesting, but devolves into speechifying symbolism in the final act. 


    The plot device of the sympathetic “other woman” as the wife in a wheelchair reminded me of an earlier movie that I finally recalled as “That Certain Woman” (1937), with Bette Davis and Henry Fonda. I thought this might be a re-make, but re-reading that one’s story the surrounding plot was quite different despite this stark similarity.


    I was not expecting that dance appearance by Hermes Pan, but I did recognize him when it happened. Pleasant surprise.

  • Paris in Spring

    Paris in Spring

    ★★★

    Fairly fun musical comedy that could have used more Ida Lupino—though the leads, who I was not familiar with, were pretty good.

    The first half is quite enjoyable. The opening scene at the Eiffel Tower is about as cute as a meeting (between Carminati and Lupino) due to potential suicides can be. Then the stunning nightclub set is a trip. Mary Ellis’ operatic singing style is not to my taste, but her two big production numbers here were fun to…

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  • Thirty Day Princess

    Thirty Day Princess

    ★★½

    Charming performances from Sylvia Sidney and Edward Arnold are the highlight of this otherwise routine romantic comedy. Cary Grant is ok, but clearly not yet up to his future form.

  • You Can't Take It with You

    You Can't Take It with You

    ★★½

    Re-watched this after seven years. I don’t recall what I originally thought of this film, but this time I found it quite slow and with an overdone, preachy story. No doubt the performances from Edward Arnold and Lionel Barrymore are excellent. Jean Arthur’s role is distressingly small.

    The two African-American actors (including the great Eddie “Rochester” Anderson) were given insulting lines that stand out even in a period where such characters are almost universally portrayed as demeaning stereotypes.