Hey! Watch this!
Was there ever a child who didn’t yell this command to a parent or playmate when they were about to accomplish what, to them, was a courageous feat? Well, I’m not about to attempt a cannonball or a jump from some height, but with childlike enthusiasm, I am going to suggest some movies that I have enjoyed over the years. These movies I have watched more than once and am likely to keep on watching them for years to come. Some are the old, old black and white classics, some more modern, with color and everything.
Let’s do this chronologically, shall we?
The Thin Man 1934
William Powell and Myrna Loy star as Nick and Nora Charles. He is a former detective who married wealthy Nora and no longer has to work. Together they investigate murders because they get pulled into them either by knowing a family member of the deceased or knowing the deceased. It is often Nora who wants to get involved and pulls Nick in after her. She thinks investigating is thrilling.
Although the subject is serious, Nick and Nora’s wisecracking gives a humorous slant to the action. Of course, Nick always gets the culprit in the end. One thing that is treated with humor that would be considered verboten in modern times is Nick’s serious love of a cocktail. If you can overlook that one “flaw” and place the action in its time, you can have a good laugh at this adventurous couple. The scene stealer is their dog, Asta, who in one of the succeeding movies starts a bar fight.
The 1934 movie is the first in a series of Thin Man movies.
The Women 1939
A satire on the behavior of “society” women of the late 1930s, The WOMEN shows wives and their interactions when men aren’t around. There are absolutely no men in the cast There are no male actors. Even the dog is female. However, the cast might be all female, but the subject is men—husbands to be exact—and the women’s connection to them. There are cheating husband, lying husbands, and other indiscreet actions by husbands. The result of this male malefaction is Reno divorces for the women. That is where they meet. Some form friendships, some become adversaries. They support each other and fight among themselves while staying at a western dude ranch and awaiting their divorces.
The associates continue their acquaintances back in New York City. The action culminates in the ladies’ lounge at a society function. There the women exact revenge on the “other woman” who stole the husbands of two of their group.
The Women was remade twice, once in 1956 as a musical The Opposite Sex. This version has added men to the cast but that does not add anything to the picture. It was never as popular as the original and has not held up. The second remake was in 2008. In it, we are back to an all-female cast. The latest version is not as charming as the original. Perhaps its politically correct restraint has kept it down. It tries too hard to be a comedy even while lacking the swift repartee of the original.
Love Crazy 1941
Through a misunderstanding, Steve and Susan Ireland are divorcing. He sees that his big chance to save the marriage is to convince the court he is crazy. He proceeds to work on his craziness through all the means available including at one point, pretending to be his own sister. Myrna Loy and William Powell [I’ll watch him in anything] have their same on-screen chemistry that made The Thin Man series so hilarious.
That’s enough of my favorites for now. If you can catch any or all of them on Turner Classic Movies or Amazon Prime you might just thank me or say I have a warped sense of humor by today’s standards