Sunday, April 30, 2017

TCM in May: Highlights

April has flown past and it's time to turn the calendar to May!

The online May schedule is titled Now Playing. (As I write this, the May schedule is confusingly labeled April at the top; hopefully that will change once May is here. May 1st Update: It's now fixed!) This is in keeping with the recent news that TCM is discontinuing the print version of the Now Playing guide as of this summer; in the future the network will only provide an online schedule.

Clark Gable is the May Star of the Month. Well over 50 Gable films will be shown on Tuesday evenings in May. I'll have a separate post showcasing the Gable lineup posted here Monday or Tuesday. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: Clark Gable.)

The TCM Spotlight will focus on "Creature Features" every Thursday evening, with two dozen "monstrous" films shown this month.

TCM's traditional Memorial Day Weekend marathon will take place from Friday, May 26th, through Monday, May 29th.

Below are just a handful of this month's many highlights; click on any hyperlinked title to read the related review.

...TCM celebrates the centennial birthday of Danielle Darrieux on Monday, May 1st, with a six-film prime time tribute. I recommend THE RAGE OF PARIS (1938), a charming romantic comedy with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The supporting cast is filled with wonderful names like Helen Broderick, Mischa Auer, Louis Hayward, Charles Coleman, and Harry Davenport.

...A prime time tribute to James Whitmore on May 3rd includes the crime film MRS. O'MALLEY AND MR. MALONE (1950). It's lightweight but enjoyable fun, with some good William Bowers dialogue and a deep cast which includes Marjorie Main, Ann Dvorak, Dorothy Malone, Phyllis Kirk, and Fred Clark, not to mention top supporting players like Clinton Sundberg, Regis Toomey, Douglas Fowley, and Frank Cady. Those are plenty of reasons to give the film a look.

..The first night of "Creature Features" on May 4th includes the TCM premiere of REVENGE OF THE CREATURE (1955), starring John Agar and Lori Nelson. Also on the schedule to kick off the series is the classic CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954), starring Julie Adams and Richard Carlson.

...Cinco de Mayo features several films with a Mexican setting. It may not be Esther Williams' best film, but I'm quite fond of FIESTA (1947), which has an excellent cast, including Mary Astor, and some fantastic dancing by Cyd Charisse and Ricardo Montalban, seen at right.

...I haven't seen a majority of this month's Noir Alley titles! Eddie Muller kicks off the month on May 7th with Edmond O'Brien in SHIELD FOR MURDER (1954). John Agar and Carolyn Jones costar.

...The prime time theme on May 8th is "Cattle Drives," leading off with the wonderful James Stewart film THE FAR COUNTRY (1954), one of my favorite films Stewart made with director Anthony Mann. You won't forget that jingling bell on the saddle! THE FAR COUNTRY is Caftan Woman's "One for May" pick; read her thoughts here.

...It's Margaret O'Brien day on May 9th, with a run of eight of her films, including the all-time classic MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944). I also particularly recommend the very fine JOURNEY FOR MARGARET (1942), in which she's an orphan of the London Blitz adopted by Robert Young and Laraine Day; LOST ANGEL (1943) in which she's a child genius, costarring James Craig and Marsha Hunt (seen here with O'Brien); and THE SECRET GARDEN (1949), an excellent filming of the Burnett classic with Dean Stockwell and Herbert Marshall.

...A Margaret Rutherford birthday tribute on May 11th includes the very funny mermaid comedy MIRANDA (1948), starring Glynis Johns, and its sequel from several years later, MAD ABOUT MEN (1954). In MIRANDA Rutherford plays an eccentric nurse engaged to look after Johns as the mermaid, and her reaction to meeting a real mermaid is great fun.

...Tim Holt stars in THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD (1957) on May 11th. It's part of the second evening of "Creature Features." As a Holt fan I need to see this one!

...James Stewart, Janet Leigh, and Robert Ryan star in Anthony Mann's THE NAKED SPUR (1953) on May 13th. A classic. It's also being shown on May 23rd.

...On the 14th Noir Alley features another new-to-me crime film, THE PROWLER (1951), starring Van Heflin and Evelyn Keyes.

...George Brent and Jean Arthur star in the romantic comedy MORE THAN A SECRETARY (1936) on May 15th. Some of the film is quite outdated, while at the same time some of it seems very modern. It has a terrific supporting cast including Reginald Denny, Ruth Donnelly, and Lionel Stander. Check it out for lighthearted fun.

...On May 17th TCM pays tribute to the lovely and talented Frances Dee with a seven-film prime time tribute. The tribute includes the TCM premieres of three films: HAPPY LAND (1943) with Don Ameche, AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY (1931) with Phillips Holmes, and FOUR FACES WEST (1948) with Dee's husband, Joel McCrea. FOUR FACES WEST, costarring Charles Bickford and Joseph Calleia, is a superb, unusual Western which I recommend most highly; in fact, I'd go so far as to say if you try just one movie on TCM this month, let it be this one. The other Dee films showing on the 17th are I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943), OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1934), FINISHING SCHOOL (1934), and LOVE IS A RACKET (1932).

...There's a terrific evening of "Creature Features" on May 18th, including two real favorites of mine, THEM! (1954), featuring giant ants, and IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (1955), in which a giant octopus attacks San Francisco! Seen at right, the cast of IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, Donald Curtis, Kenneth Tobey, and Faith Domergue. Also on that night: THE MAGNETIC MONSTER (1953), starring Richard Carlson.

...There's an amazing day of mysteries on May 19th, including five Richard Dix "Whistler" mysteries, I LOVE A MYSTERY (1945) with Jim Bannon and Nina Foch, and THE UNKNOWN (1946) with Bannon and Jeff Donnell. I saw the latter two films at UCLA last year as part of a series titled Out of the Ether: Radio Mysteries and Thrillers On Screen.

...The Boston Blackie series will be featured as the Saturday morning "series" movie beginning May 20th, starting off with MEET BOSTON BLACKIE (1941). There won't be a Saturday morning series film later in the month due to Memorial Day Weekend, but look for Boston Blackie films to resume airing on TCM Saturday mornings in June.

...May 20th: Fred Astaire. Rita Hayworth. Jerome Kern. YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER (1942). Be there.

...Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, and Raymond Burr star in CRIME OF PASSION (1957), the Noir Alley film airing on May 21st.

...Tyrone Power and Kim Novak star in THE EDDIE DUCHIN STORY (1958) on May 24th.

...The last evening of "Creature Features" on May 25th includes TARANTULA (1955), starring John Agar and Mara Corday.

...DANCING CO-ED (1939), airing May 26th, is terrific MGM fun. Lana Turner, Ann Rutherford, Richard Carlson, and Artie Shaw star.

...Titles I especially recommend in the Memorial Day Weekend marathon are ABOVE AND BEYOND (1952) with Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker, showing on May 26th, and ONE MINUTE TO ZERO (1952) with Robert Mitchum and Ann Blyth (seen at right). The latter film will air May 27th.

...The final Noir Alley title for May, JOURNEY INTO FEAR (1943), is the only one this month I've previously seen! Joseph Cotten, Dolores Del Rio, and Ruth Warrick star along with an interesting supporting cast. Norman Foster directed, perhaps with some help from Orson Welles, who cowrote the screenplay with Cotten. This film is one of several "spy movie classics" being shown May 28th as part of the Memorial Day Weekend marathon.

...The Memorial Day Weekend marathon concludes Monday evening, May 29th, with several submarine films, including THE ENEMY BELOW (1957) with Robert Mitchum (left) and Curt Jurgens, directed by Dick Powell.

...There's a fantastic Howard Hawks birthday tribute on May 30th, including TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1944), THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951), and RIO BRAVO (1959). Each of these films is a top-drawer classic in the war, sci-fi, and Western genres, and all three are most highly recommended.

For more on TCM in May, please visit the complete schedule. Additionally, the May promo video reel may be found on Twitter.

Adrian Booth, 1917-2017

It's been announced on various web and social media sites that actress Adrian Booth, also known as Lorna Gray, died today at the age of 99.

Booth, who was born in Michigan, would have turned 100 on July 26th.

Booth began acting around age 20, under the name Lorna Gray. Beginning in 1945 she adopted the name Adrian Booth, which she used throughout the remainder of her career as a Republic Pictures leading lady. She appeared in many films with cowboy star Monte Hale and also worked with Rod Cameron, Forrest Tucker, and Bill Elliott.

Two of her Westerns have been reviewed here, BRIMSTONE (1949) with Rod Cameron and Walter Brennan...

...and ROCK ISLAND TRAIL (1950) with Forrest Tucker.

It was noted in an online forum that Booth, then known as Lorna Gray, had a role in BEWARE, SPOOKS! (1939) starring Joe E. Brown. The film's leading lady was Mary Carlisle, who just turned 103.

Booth was married to actor David Brian, seen below, from 1949 until his passing in 1993.

I'll update this post with obituaries as they become available.

May 1st Update: An obituary has been posted at

May 2nd Update: The Hollywood Reporter has now posted an obituary.

Tonight's Movie: Sunset in the West (1950) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

Roy Rogers stars in the Republic Pictures Western SUNSET IN THE WEST (1950), just released on Blu-ray and DVD by Kino Lorber.

I'll state right at the outset that the picture quality of this Blu-ray is fantastic. I don't think I've ever seen a Roy Rogers film look better, and fans should make haste to snatch it up. What a visual treat!

The plot doesn't matter overly much, as cattleman Roy helps a sheriff (Will Wright) he used to work with catch a bunch of train-hijacking gunrunners in 67 quick minutes.

The cast is rounded out by Penny Edwards as the sheriff's pretty niece and colorful Estelita Rodriguez as cantina gal Carmelita, who helps supply the good guys with info she's overheard. Supporting players in the film include Pierre Watkin, Paul E. Burns, Charles La Torre, and William J. Tannen.

Best of all, Roy's cowboy pals are Foy Willing and Riders of the Purple Sage. When Roy and the cowboys hop onto a train and launch into "Rollin' Wheels," I have to say I had goosebumps. It's a wonderfully staged moment. I would have liked even more music in the film, but what's here is excellent.

The film was energetically directed by William Witney, who does a nice job with the action sequences. I wish he'd reined in Gordon Jones as the comic relief, but otherwise Witney got the most possible out of the material. A scene as simple as one of the opening shots of the sheriff riding the train is done with great visual style.

The film was shot in Trucolor by Jack Marta, with attractive mountain and coastal location shooting. Some scenes such as the opening title song have obvious studio footage intercut with long shots from the location work, but the studio stuff, as seen on this Blu-ray, is so pretty that it really doesn't matter.

For those who might be new to Roy Rogers, the film's setting is what I refer to as "Roy Rogers Land," a whimsical mishmash of eras found only in Westerns such as this one. For instance, in this film there are no cars or telephones, but alongside the trains, horses, guns, and telegraphs, the women are dressed in "modern" dresses. In some other Rogers films, such as the same year's TRAIL OF ROBIN HOOD (1950), you might find a car, even if the town looks like something out of the 1800s and people are as likely to use a horse or wagon.

The disc includes a Westerns trailer gallery and an informative audio commentary by Toby Roan; now I know how to tell Trigger from his doubles! Full disclosure: As longtime readers know, Toby is a good friend of this blog -- and they also know that Toby has an encyclopedic knowledge of Westerns. It's terrific that he's had the opportunity to contribute commentary tracks to several recent releases, including this one.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Tonight's Movie: World Without End (1956) - A Warner Archive Blu-ray Review

The Allied Artists sci-fi film WORLD WITHOUT END (1956) has just been released on Blu-ray by the Warner Archive.

This mid '50s film may be hokey at times -- giant plastic spiders attack the heroes early on! -- but it's also highly entertaining, and the new Blu-ray is a thing of beauty. Those who love '50s sci-fi will want to grab this one.

The plot concerns four astronauts (Hugh Marlowe, Rod Taylor, Nelson Leigh, and Christopher Dark) who've been on a mission to cruise by Mars when their ship loses contact with Earth. The men pass out and ultimately crash land on Earth...and then realize they've hurtled forward in time by hundreds of years.

That realization comes as a particular blow to one of the men (Dark) who left behind a wife (Nancy Howard) and two children (Mimi Gibson and Hugh Corcoran), but there's no time to grieve as within short order the men must battle for survival, attacked by the giant (plastic) spiders and then a violent band of one-eyed cavemen.

Ultimately the men are rescued by an underground community, survivors of an atomic war, which mostly consists of elderly men, gorgeous young women (Nancy Gates, Lisa Montell, and Shawn Smith) in space miniskirts, and very few children.

The children are dying living underground, and the men left in the community don't have the nerve to fight the atomic mutants who live on the earth's surface. It's up to the astronauts to show the men how to retake earth and bring their children into the sunlight.

Between the spiders, the one-eyed mutants, and "earth" being good old Iverson Ranch here in Southern California, the movie may seem a bit silly at times, but all in all it's got a good script and an engaging cast.

Marlowe starred the same year in the classic EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS (1956), and he makes a good sci-fi hero, sort of in a Richard Carlson mode. And Rod Taylor completely steals the show with his Aussie charm; I imagine he was supposed to be American but he's got an accent in this one. Taylor was just emerging into stardom in 1956, with a supporting role in GIANT (1956) and a starring part opposite Debbie Reynolds in THE CATERED AFFAIR (1956); a few years later he would also star in another time travel film, the classic THE TIME MACHINE (1960).

WORLD WITHOUT END has lots of eye candy between the shirtless Taylor, the miniskirted Gates, and the fun and colorful underground sets. There's also a thoughtful script which, like so many '50s sci-fi films, reflects the fears of the atomic era.

WORLD WITHOUT END was written and directed by Edward Bernds. It was filmed in CinemaScope by Ellsworth Fredricks. The running time is a brisk 80 minutes.

The Warner Archive Blu-ray looks fantastic and is highly recommended for '50s sci-fi fans. There are no extras.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray. Warner Archive Blu-rays may be ordered from Amazon or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.

Tonight's Movie: Reno (1939) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Richard Dix stars in RENO (1939), available on DVD from the Warner Archive.

Dix plays William Shayne, a mineral rights lawyer who turns to a divorce practice when miners leave the area, threatening to turn Reno into a ghost town.

Shayne helps put the "biggest little city in the world" on the map for the unhappily married and gamblers, but in turn his own marriage to Jessie (Gail Patrick) suffers. He and Jessie eventually separate, but he's determined to see his daughter Joanne (Anita Louise) not make the same mistake with her own marriage, and he goes to extreme lengths to keep that from happening.

Given the three leads and John Farrow as director -- the same year Farrow made the exciting FIVE CAME BACK (1939) -- RENO is surprisingly tepid.

The plot, surrounded by a flashback framework involving Shayne being tried for running a crooked gambling house, is awkwardly constructed and manages to ramble quite a bit despite a short 73-minute running time.

Individual scenes have some interest but it's a movie in search of a story. There's not much of one, other than already outlined above. With intelligent actors like Dix and Patrick starring, I suspect this could have been quite an interesting movie if only their relationship weren't so underwritten.

Likewise, the lovely Louise doesn't do much but pout and serve as the reason for the flashback story.

Louis Jean Heydt has a nice role as an attorney who in his later years is the judge in the trial scenes. There's also a good role for Hobart Cavanaugh as Dix's friend and colleague.

Selmer Jackson, who seems to turn up constantly in my recent viewing, plays an attorney. The cast also includes Laura Hope Crews, Joyce Compton, Charles Halton, Astrid Allwyn, Paul Cavanagh, and Frank Faylen.

The movie was filmed by J. Roy Hunt.


The Warner Archive print is in good shape although the soundtrack seemed fainter than usual. There are no extras.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Tonight's Movie: Their Finest (2016)

THEIR FINEST (2016) is an enjoyable film about the production of a British morale-boosting film made during the London Blitz.

At the start of the 1940s, with England in the thick of World War II, Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) suddenly has the opportunity to jump from copywriter to screenwriting. Catrin ends up working with two men (Sam Claflin and Paul Ritter) to provide the "woman's angle" on a film about the evacuation of Dunkirk.

The movie is loosely inspired by twin women who took a boat to Dunkirk, but since they weren't able to make it to shore, Catrin must embellish their story. The scriptwriters also deal with varied demands, such as the Secretary of War (Jeremy Irons) wanting the film to help rally Americans to fight for England. To that end, a real-life American-born RAF fighter pilot hero (Jake Lacy of MISS SLOANE) is worked into the cast, despite the fact that Americans weren't at Dunkirk  -- and despite the fact that he can't act!

On a personal front, Catrin struggles with her relationship with her significant other (Jack Huston), a painter, while feeling a quiet attraction toward one of her writing partners (Claflin).

THEIR FINEST is a solid film which gets a lot right. The cast is excellent, with strong performances from Arterton and Claflin, and Bill Nighy is a scene-stealing gem as an aging actor.

I especially liked that the script avoids cliches for Nighy's character; the scene where he's finessed into serving as acting coach to the pilot who can't act is a gem, as are subsequent scenes of him working with the young man.

It's a terrific role and performance by Nighy. Another scene where he leads the film crew singing in a pub is genuinely moving, as is a scene where he tells Catrin that, as an older man and a woman, the war has given each of them opportunities they wouldn't have otherwise had.

The "woman's angle" is not just something Catrin provides for the movie within a movie, but it's a running subtext for the entire film, whether it's Catrin being told she won't receive the same pay as the men or the Secretary (Irons) repeatedly patting her shoulders as he makes his pitch for using the film for diplomatic purposes. The tone regarding this seemed just right; enough to make the viewer think about it, yet not so heavy-handed that it pulls one out of the 1940s setting.

The movie is also largely successful conveying an authentic London of the '40s; we know there must be some green screen work involved, but it didn't feel as overt to me as it did in, say, THE IMITATION GAME (2014). The film actually shows fairly little of the city, which probably made it easier, yet it captures the feel of London.

Where the movie let me down was in the "movie within a movie" scenes. Yes, movies in the '40s filmed in tanks and had fake backdrops, but the finished "movie" doesn't really look like anything actually made in the era, and it's also a shade too hokey to be taken seriously. The scenes work if you look at them as satire, but there's an extended sequence near the end as Catrin watches the film with a genuinely moved audience, and what's on screen is simply incongruous with the audience's reactions. I found this a significant problem in a film which is otherwise quite good; it almost, perhaps unintentionally, insults the audience in the film for being so easily manipulated.

To a lesser extent, I was disappointed in a character death I found entirely predictable, although I must say I didn't see the manner of death coming. The staging was also odd in that everyone walks off and leaves someone alone in the aftermath, who clearly shouldn't have been ignored at that moment. I wished the movie hadn't felt the need to go that direction with the story.

I've read a number of strong reviews of the film, and while I enjoyed it quite well, I think there tends to be what I've started to think of as a LA LA LAND (2016) phenomenon, where anything that's creative and different, with filmmakers thinking "outside the box," gets reviewer bonus points that might not really be warranted.

That said, the "different" setting was part of what made the film enjoyable to me; the Blitz is part of any number of actual '40s films I like, such as CONFIRM OR DENY (1941) or one of my favorite musicals, TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT (1945), but it's certainly a change of pace for a brand-new film.

It's worth noting that this summer will see the release of Christopher Nolan's DUNKIRK (2017). The two films could end up making an interesting double bill one day!

Supporting actor Jack Huston (seen at left) is the fourth generation of the Huston family to work in films; he is the great-grandson of Walter and the grandson of John, his father being Tony Huston. Anjelica is his aunt. The cast also includes Diana Rigg's daughter, Rachael Stirling.

The movie was directed by Lone Scherfig. It was filmed by Sebastian Blenkov. The script by Gaby Chiappe was based on a novel by Lissa Evans. The running time is 117 minutes.

The trailer is here.

Parental Advisory: This film is rated R. There is a brief scene of a couple "caught in the act" and a couple of scenes showing bombing victims. All are telegraphed in advance for those who want to avoid looking, but parents may want to steer clear of this for children. The up side is the film's depiction of resilience, hard work, and patriotism under very difficult conditions.

All in all, THEIR FINEST may be somewhat oversold in some quarters, but it's a good film which I do recommend seeing. I liked it and will want to see it again.

Finally, a couple of my periodic comments on the current state of the moviegoing experience, following posts of January and September.

First, one has to really want to see a movie these days, knowing that before seeing it you'll have to sit through a good 20 minutes of trailers, some of which are quite disturbing. I found the trailer for THE BEGUILED (2017) upsetting, and I was also unhappy having to sit through several minutes of Al Gore yelling in AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL (2017). And when I recently saw THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (2017) that meant sitting through several extremely violent action trailers completely different in tone from the movie I was there to see. Sigh.

Also, the trailers were played at full volume and perfectly understandable, but the volume on the movie itself then dropped significantly. Not ideal when we were straining to pick up some of the voices with their clipped British accents! It seemed to us to reflect the lack of a projectionist actually paying attention and adjusting accordingly. I'm going to want to see this again on DVD in part to pick up the dialogue I missed.

Movie-going issues such as I've written about here and in the past make me extremely grateful to have so many great experiences seeing older films at theaters such as the Egyptian and the Billy Wilder.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Kathleen Crowley Dies at 87

Actress Kathleen Crowley has died at the age of 87.

Crowley was born December 26, 1929, in Green Bank, New Jersey, where she passed away on April 23rd. An obituary appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.

Crowley was best known for her appearances in countless TV Westerns. She appeared in more episodes of my favorite TV series, MAVERICK -- eight in all -- than any other actress. She was in two episodes apiece as the recurring characters Melanie Blake and Marla, and she also took over the role of Modesty Blaine from Mona Freeman for a single episode.

With MAVERICK star Jack Kelly:

With Mike Road, Kelly, and Will Wright:

In addition to the five MAVERICK episodes mentioned above, she was in three more, including one ("Kiz") where she was uncharacteristically dark-haired. She's seen below in that episode with Roger Moore and Whit Bissell.

Her film appearances also included Westerns, notably THE SILVER WHIP (1953) with Dale Robertson and Rory Calhoun, Disney's WESTWARD HO, THE WAGONS! (1956) with Fess Parker, and the superb, underrated THE QUIET GUN (1957) opposite Forrest Tucker.

Crowley married in 1969 and when her son was born in 1970, she retired from the screen after a 20-year career.

Sincere condolences to the family and friends of a lovely lady whose work brought me great pleasure.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tonight's Movie: The Richest Girl in the World (1934) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Miriam Hopkins is THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (1934). It's a delightful film just released on DVD by the Warner Archive.

In the Oscar-nominated story by Norman Krasna, Dorothy Hunter (Hopkins) despairs of finding someone who will truly love her, not her money. When she falls for Tony Travers (Joel McCrea), she tells him she's Sylvia, Dorothy's secretary, in order to find out if he can love her for herself.

The real Sylvia (Fay Wray) agrees to pose as Dorothy, but when Dorothy tests Tony's love for her by throwing him at the faux Dorothy, it gets very complicated, given that Sylvia is actually a newlywed head over heels in love with the long-suffering Phillip (Reginald Denny), who's anxious to move back home to England with his bride.

Will true love win? What do you think?

This film is a lot of fun thanks to the deft playing by the cast, which also includes the wonderful Henry Stephenson as John, Dorothy's guardian and mentor.

This was one of several films Hopkins and McCrea made together in the mid '30s, and he'd also previously worked with Wray in THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932). When McCrea makes his dashing entrance, I could just imagine an enthusiastic crowd applauding if the movie were ever shown at a TCM Film Fest! He and Hopkins work well together, his relaxed attitude being a good foil for her excitability.

Wray and Denny are particularly charming as the newlywed lovebirds who delay their plans in hopes of helping Dorothy land her man. Wray had a real knack for comedy, as she demonstrated that same year in THE AFFAIRS OF CELLINI (1934); some of her side eye expressions are hilarious. Her eyeball roll near the end when she realizes that Tony saw Phillip sneaking into her bedroom late at night is worth the price of admission; that's followed by a funny scene as Phillip arrives at the breakfast table in a very happy mood.

The complicated plot could have been wrapped up a little more clearly at the end of this 76-minute film, but that's my only real complaint; there's some nonsense about every passenger on the ship where "Sylvia" and Tony sail getting a nice upgrade, as apparently Tony still doesn't know she's Dorothy, and John wants her to have a nice honeymoon. In the wrong hands the story might not have come off as well, with the leading man duped as to Dorothy's identity for so long, but thanks to the ensemble and a funny script it's all very light and frothy.

Selmer Jackson turns up here as a doctor. It's at least the fourth film I've seen him in in the last few days! Small wonder, as IMDb shows he had well over 400 credits.

The cast also includes Beryl Mercer, George Meeker, and Edgar Norton. Bess Flowers is a party guest.

THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD was directed by William A. Seiter. It was filmed by Nicholas Musuraca.

I previously reviewed this film in 2009; please check out that older review for interesting info on Reginald Denny's second career as an aviation pioneer. My liking for Denny in this film and my interest in his aviation inventions prompted us to pay our respects at his final resting place at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills earlier this month. He was a fascinating, multitalented man.

The Warner Archive print was occasionally light and scratchy, and I thought the soundtrack was a little weaker than the typical Warner Archive film, but it's still quite watchable. There are no extras.

THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD was remade as BRIDE BY MISTAKE (1944), also available from the Warner Archive. The Hopkins and McCrea roles are played by Laraine Day and Alan Curtis in the remake, with Marsha Hunt and Allyn Joslyn in the Wray and Denny parts.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.

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