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Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Isn't Romantic Comedy redundant?

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby Rita Hayworth » December 5th, 2013, 3:48 pm

JackFavell wrote:I just can't do that, Erik, because once I make a list, it makes me immediately never want to watch anything on it. :D

I don't deal with regimentation very well.



Okay ... just trying to help! :)

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JackFavell
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby JackFavell » December 5th, 2013, 3:50 pm

Thanks. I have a streak of rebelliousness that does me no good at all.

RedRiver
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby RedRiver » December 6th, 2013, 2:10 pm

"What are you rebelling against?"
"What have you got?"

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JackFavell
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby JackFavell » December 6th, 2013, 3:28 pm

Ha! No I only rebel against listmaking, regimentation in general (except for those things that keep my house clean), things or people that are too popular, and anything with the word 'should' in it. I am quite sure my life would be better if I stopped rebelling against most of these but it's ingrained now, a habit, and you know how hard it is to break lifelong habits. I'm rebelling against breaking habits. :D

RedRiver
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby RedRiver » December 7th, 2013, 4:27 pm

We don't need the word SHOULD. This is what I do. This is what I don't do. Should? Whatever...

kingrat
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby kingrat » December 9th, 2013, 5:26 pm

I finally saw Theodora Goes Wild (1936), a favorite for some of you, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The writing, the directing, the editing, and the comic timing couldn’t have been sharper. This is a great example of the Elmore Leonard precept of not including the parts the audience doesn’t want to read (or see, in this case). Don’t explain how we got from Point A to Point B, we’re at Point B and there’s so much going on we don’t bother about how things changed in the meantime.

Sometimes Melvyn Douglas doesn’t seem attractive enough for a leading man role (Ninotchka, for instance), but here he’s perfect. It’s probably more effective if the man he plays isn’t as handsome as Cary Grant. He and Irene Dunne have good chemistry, and she’s believable and delightful as both the shy and the wild versions of Theodora. JF praised Elisabeth Risdon in another film, and she is great here as Aunt Mary, bringing just the right amount of sympathy to the maiden aunt role. I also thoroughly enjoyed Thurston Hall as the publisher and Nana Bryant as his wife, who refers to herself in the third person as “little Ethie.” In fact, the entire supporting cast is strong.

SPOILERS: One of the most appealing aspects is that Theodora isn’t punished for going wild, and that the man she loves is allowed to divorce his wife. The structure of the movie is so satisfying, as Michael Grant forces Theodora to give up the sheltered life she wants to leave, and then Theodora forces him to give up the hypocrisy in his own life. Maybe the censors were napping.

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movieman1957
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby movieman1957 » December 9th, 2013, 7:32 pm

So glad you liked it. Nice to have another fan of this picture.

The first time I saw it I didn't know the title as a friend had recorded it and cut off the very beginning. She gave it to me hoping I'd know what it was. I didn't but I had a great time trying to figure out the name.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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JackFavell
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby JackFavell » December 10th, 2013, 10:09 am

Ahhh, Theodora Goes Wild is a great one, kingrat! I swear it's the only movie where Melvyn Douglas actually comes across as sexy. :D

You've really pegged the joys of the movie. I can say that it only gets better the more you watch it. I used to think the second half was not nearly as good as the first - it's got that The Lady Eve type construction (or maybe The Lady Eve stole it's plot construction from Theodora) - but I now find the second part every bit as enjoyable, as Theodora turns the tables on Michael and gives him the bitter medicine he's been dishing out. Ditto about Thurston Hall, he's never been as funny as here. A WONDERFUL movie. I never miss it when it's on TCM.

RedRiver
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby RedRiver » December 10th, 2013, 12:15 pm

"Theodora" is very well written. I would watch Ms. Irene Dunne in anything!

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feaito
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby feaito » December 10th, 2013, 12:44 pm

Kingrat, You have encouraged me to watch Theodora once again! :wink:

This is what I wrote in June 2003, when I first saw it:

"Besides "The Awful Truth" (1937), this is Dunne's funniest comedy ("My Favorite Wife" (1940) running a close third). She impersonates a small town girl with a double life, because nobody from her hometown knows that she's Caroline Adams, the "daring" and "sinful" (for that small town folk) authoress of an "outrageous" romantic novel. Melvyn Douglas works perfectly with Dunne, as the playboy son of a wealthy banker, who designed Caroline Adams' book cover and gets mixed-up with her.

The film is very well paced and is funny indeed; taking in account that what was daring in the Post-Code 1930's, it is tame by today's standards.

Wonderful supporting cast which includes Thomas Mitchell, Thurston Hall, Robert Greig, Spring Byington, etc.

Mention apart for Caroline Adams' flamboyant wardrobe... especially that sort of "feathered", gorilla? fur coat, Dunne wears in a key scene with her publisher (Thurston Hall).

This gem ought to be given the first-class, full restoring treatment it deserves prior to its transfer to dvd format.

Until then and for the time being the VHS copy is OK."



....And this what I wrote in 2010 when I revisited it:

I have just seen "Theodora Goes Wild" (1936) again. What a grand comedy! Irene in arguably her best comedic role with an equally outstanding Melvyn Douglas. She's so delightful when she turns "loose" on purpose. The lady had class, was talented, had a down-to-earth but at the same time tongue-in-cheek quality; a unique charm and femininity; she was superb! The outrageous Orangutan/Gorilla/Monkey suit she wears in a scene is eye-popping. The supporting cast is excellent and Boleslawski's direction deft. The print I saw was quite gorgeous. "A" plus picture. I'm so happy of having acquired the Icons of Screwball Comedy Collection.
Life is Beautiful.

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Fossy
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby Fossy » December 10th, 2013, 5:21 pm

Theodora goes Wild (1936)

Irene Dunne is a favourite of mine. When I first started collecting movies, I collected sopranos , which , of course included Irene Dunne, who sang in 19 of her 41 movies.

Theodora is a good show, but I think it was spoilt by Melvin Douglas. He appears in at least three movies I have, The others being a Deanna Durbin movie and a Grace Moore movie. In each of these movies he displays a high degree of arrogance, which I suppose he was meant to do, but it just rubs me the wrong way.

As for Irene`s comedy movies my preference would be “ My Favourite Wife”.

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movieman1957
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby movieman1957 » April 28th, 2014, 8:31 pm

MERRILY WE LIVE has been mentioned in other threads but I thought a comment might work here. There seems to be some mixed opinions and that is fine.

It may not be so refined or even sophisticated as some others but a great deal of it, IMO, is quite funny. Some of it is even silly but I think that is part of its charm. No one can play Billie Burke like Billie Burke. Most of those inane comments she makes are delivered with such charm and innocence that you can't help but smile. Brian Aherne sometimes wavers between charming, which he pulls off well, and completely silly, which he does not pull off so well. The rest of the cast I thought was pretty good.

Being a Hal Roach production some of the dialogue reminds me Laurel and Hardy as do some of the gags. It is certainly broader than its patron saint "My Man Godfrey" and not quite as smart but it sure was fun.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

kingrat
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby kingrat » April 30th, 2014, 3:24 pm

Chris, we're on the same page about MERRILY WE LIVE, a funny film. If only all knockoffs of hit films were as successful as this one.

goldennoir1950
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby goldennoir1950 » April 30th, 2014, 10:01 pm

Constance Bennett showed how lovely of an actress she was in both dramatic and comedic pictures. Again, it was great when TCM had her as Star of the month a couple of years ago to showcase many of her films, including Merrily We Live.


The angles are the directors thoughts. The lighting is his philosophy.
- Douglas Sirk

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Fossy
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Re: Comedy - Romantic and Otherwise

Postby Fossy » May 10th, 2014, 8:05 pm

Barefoot Boy (1938)

The Characters
John Hale (Ralph Morgan) A convicted thief who, having served his sentence is coming home.
Valerie (Claire Windsor), John`s wife who cannot live with the shame of having a former convict for a husband has left.
Kenneth (Bradley Metcalfe), their son, an arrogant prick who has been sent to a military style boarding school.
Pige Blaine (Marcia Mae Jones) Plain Jane sister of Julia Blaine (Marilyn Knowlden) who secretly wants Billy (Jackie Moran) for her boyfriend, but Billy wants Julia for his girl.

There have been a few show where juveniles catch crooks, and this is another. (Ref Frankie Darro, Bonita Granville, Shirley Temple, et al)
The crooks are caught, the million dollars worth of bonds, supposedly stolen by John are recovered. John is no longer a bad guy, Kenneth is no longer an arrogant prick, but has become a good guy.

Julia declares that she will always be Billy`s girl. Pige says, over my dead body, drags her sister away from Billy and gives him a passionate kiss. Billy realises that he always wanted Pige for his girl anyway.

So why have I put this in the comedy section? Let us examine the movie a bit closer.

Kenneth has allowed Julia to fall in the lake. She is rescued by Billy who gives CPR and revives her. Kenneth takes the credit and Julia becomes his girl. The incident was seen by Pige who chastises Billy for not speaking.

Pige devises a plan to show up Kenneth as a coward. The youngsters go for an evening picnic in the forest, near a deserted house. Pige tells horror stories of murder and ghosts in the vacant house. Actually the house is the hideout of the bad guys who actually committed the crime which sent Kenneth`s father to prison.

Kenneth is dared to enter the “haunted house”. Kenneth reaches the verandah when the little dog, frightened by the bad guys flees in terror. Ghostly moans and rattling chains are heard and Kenneth flees.

Kenneth then dares and double dares Billy to enter the house. Pige will go with him and they will wave from the cellar window to show they are not afraid.
As Billy and Pige approach the verandah, ghostly moans are heard along with the rattling of chains. Will they be attacked by ghosts or even murdered? The tension mounts, and then it happens!

Pige`s panties fall down.


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