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Acteurist oeuvre-view – Clara Bow – Part 4: MY LADY OF WHIMS (1925) & THE PLASTIC AGE (1925)

There's Sometimes a Buggy: Irresponsible Opinions About Classic Film

Release Date: 02/19/2021

Special Subject – Produced By Joan Harrison, Part 1 - PHANTOM LADY (1944), THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY (1945), NOCTURNE (1946), THEY WON’T BELIEVE ME (1947). Also: Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchc show art Special Subject – Produced By Joan Harrison, Part 1 - PHANTOM LADY (1944), THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY (1945), NOCTURNE (1946), THEY WON’T BELIEVE ME (1947). Also: Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchc

There's Sometimes a Buggy: Irresponsible Opinions About Classic Film

A four-film Special Subject episode, Joan Harrison, Producer, Part 1 looks at: Phantom Lady (1944), The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945), Nocturne (1946), and They Won't Believe Me (1947). These idiosyncratic noirs and Jamesian melodramas by the former Hitchcock screenwriter and honorary family member interrogate gender roles, flip gendered tropes, and deconstruct male resentment of women in ways that faintly anticipate Elaine May's work. We also discuss the Negative Capability of George Raft, the void-like charisma of Robert Young, the...

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Hollywood Studios Year-by-Year – Universal – 1935: REMEMBER LAST NIGHT? & NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS show art Hollywood Studios Year-by-Year – Universal – 1935: REMEMBER LAST NIGHT? & NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS

There's Sometimes a Buggy: Irresponsible Opinions About Classic Film

Our Universal 1935 Studios Year by Year episode examines two movies about the shenanigans of the idle rich, but that's where the resemblance ends. James Whale's Remember Last Night? (1935) is a Thin Man parody heavy on the class satire and absurdism, while Lowell Sherman's swan song, Night Life of the Gods, is about a wealthy scientist who discovers how to turn his straitlaced family into statues and brings a museum's statues of Roman gods to life.  Also, for no reason at all, his love interest is a 900-year-old fairy. And yet, somehow the funniest thing in the...

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Acteurist oeuvre-view – Clara Bow – Part 6: KID BOOTS (1926) & IT (1927) show art Acteurist oeuvre-view – Clara Bow – Part 6: KID BOOTS (1926) & IT (1927)

There's Sometimes a Buggy: Irresponsible Opinions About Classic Film

Our first Clara Bow movie of this episode, Kid Boots (1926) allows Bow to show off her slapstick skills again in a surprisingly compatible pairing with Eddie Cantor. Then we turn to the second masterpiece of the series so far, the famous-but-somehow-still-underrated It (1927), directed by Clarence G. Badger. We marvel at the full flowering of the Bow persona, including its feminist modernity, its subtle (most of the time) incorporation of androgyny, and, once again, its sexual subjectivity.  Time Codes: 0h 01m 00s:               ...

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Hollywood Studios Year-by-Year – RKO – 1935: CHASING YESTERDAY & BREAK OF HEARTS show art Hollywood Studios Year-by-Year – RKO – 1935: CHASING YESTERDAY & BREAK OF HEARTS

There's Sometimes a Buggy: Irresponsible Opinions About Classic Film

RKO 1935: we look at a couple of starring vehicles for two of the Queens of the Lot. First up is Anne Shirley in the deliberately slight and quietly charming Chasing Yesterday, paired with another father figure, O. P. Heggie (also her kindred spirit in the previous year's Anne of Green Gables, from which she took her screen name and which was also directed by George Nicholls Jr.). Then, the not-at-all-quiet Break of Hearts, directed by Philip Moeller (or Jane Loring?), in which Katharine Hepburn's dewy-idealed aspiring composer and Charles Boyer's jaded superstar conductor...

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Special Subject – Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire, Part One – THE GAY DVORCEE (1934), TOP HAT (1935), ROBERTA (1935) & SWING TIME (1936) show art Special Subject – Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire, Part One – THE GAY DVORCEE (1934), TOP HAT (1935), ROBERTA (1935) & SWING TIME (1936)

There's Sometimes a Buggy: Irresponsible Opinions About Classic Film

In Part 1 of our look at Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' cinematic pairings (part 2 is penciled in for January 2023), we discuss Mark Sandrich's The Gay Divorcee and Top Hat, William A. Seiter's Roberta, and George Stevens' Swing Time. What formula does Sandrich set up for the stars, and how do the other films acknowledge and/or depart from it? What does RKO contribute to the 30s musical? Why is Ginger so paranoid? Is Fred really more like the romantic heroine? What makes Edward Everett Horton sexually irresistible? Expect these and other searching questions to be...

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Hollywood Studios Year-by-Year – Fox Film Corporation/20th Century Fox – 1935: ONE MORE SPRING & STEAMBOAT ‘ROUND THE BEND show art Hollywood Studios Year-by-Year – Fox Film Corporation/20th Century Fox – 1935: ONE MORE SPRING & STEAMBOAT ‘ROUND THE BEND

There's Sometimes a Buggy: Irresponsible Opinions About Classic Film

For our Fox 1935 episode of The Studios Year by Year, we look at two films about forming idyllic communities within a nightmare society: Henry King's One More Spring, Fox's version of a Depression movie (based on a novel by Portrait of Jennie author Robert Nathan); and John Ford's Steamboat Round the Bend, another Will Rogers satire of Southern mores. Plus Dave reports on the reaction in Southern newspapers to Ford's previous film with Rogers, Judge Priest, and some evidence about Black audience reception of the Rogers/Stepin Fetchit comic pairing in Atlanta.  Time Codes:...

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Complete Viewing Schedule - The 2020s! show art Complete Viewing Schedule - The 2020s!

There's Sometimes a Buggy: Irresponsible Opinions About Classic Film

Hello everyone! Well, just in case you were wondering, here's what we plan to watch & discuss for the rest of the decade.  A little summary, for those who find this kind of thing overwhelming. Our future Acteurist Oeuvre-View subjects (after current protagonist Clara Bow) will be: Margaret Sullavan Daniel Day-Lewis Jean Arthur Dorothy McGuire Lilli Palmer Paul Robeson Diana Wynyard Gloria Grahame For those 8 performers, we'll be covering all of the films we can find (unless there's a language barrier + no subtitles)  After Gloria Grahame, we switched tactics and decided on an...

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Acteurist oeuvre-view – Clara Bow – Part 5: DANCING MOTHERS (1926) & MANTRAP (1926) show art Acteurist oeuvre-view – Clara Bow – Part 5: DANCING MOTHERS (1926) & MANTRAP (1926)

There's Sometimes a Buggy: Irresponsible Opinions About Classic Film

This week's Clara Bow Acteurist Oeuvre-view episode sees our star's debut at Paramount, in a supporting role in Dancing Mothers, followed by a starring role in what is sometimes considered her best silent film, Victor Fleming's Mantrap (both 1926). Bow plays two versions of an amoral child-woman, one irritating and one dazzling. We contemplate the Flemingesque woman (so much better than the Hawksian woman, although admittedly, the latter sounds snappier), with comparisons to Sternberg and Bergman. Warning for insane amounts of colonial racism (with a Canadian setting in...

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Hollywood Studios Year-by-Year – Warner Brothers – 1935: STRANDED and LIVING ON VELVET show art Hollywood Studios Year-by-Year – Warner Brothers – 1935: STRANDED and LIVING ON VELVET

There's Sometimes a Buggy: Irresponsible Opinions About Classic Film

**Originally released February 26, 2021**   A Warners, 1935 Borzage/Kay Francis/George Brent double feature: Stranded, in which Francis plays a sort of socialite social worker who's romanced by Brent's conservative he-man construction boss; and Living on Velvet, in which Francis is determined to overcome Brent's insouciant death-wish. As usual, Borzage delivers romance with a difference. We discuss Depression-era Liberal Republicanism, argue about whether Living on Velvet's ennui is adequately dramatized, and argue for Julius Epstein as a screenwriting auteur. But what...

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Acteurist oeuvre-view – Clara Bow – Part 4:  MY LADY OF WHIMS (1925) & THE PLASTIC AGE (1925) show art Acteurist oeuvre-view – Clara Bow – Part 4: MY LADY OF WHIMS (1925) & THE PLASTIC AGE (1925)

There's Sometimes a Buggy: Irresponsible Opinions About Classic Film

This week, we get closer to Clara Bow's Mature Period with her first big hit, the college movie The Plastic Age (1925). But first, another 1925 pairing with the stalwart Donald Keith. My Lady of Whims. The two films show the flexibility of the flapper archetype, with Clara as a socialite-turned-bohemian in the first and as a hard-partying college girl in the second. Frustratingly, Keith is our protagonist, but the two films give Bow a chance to show off her comedic and dramatic skills, respectively, and pave the way for more complex versions of similar plots in future...

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More Episodes

This week, we get closer to Clara Bow's Mature Period with her first big hit, the college movie The Plastic Age (1925). But first, another 1925 pairing with the stalwart Donald Keith. My Lady of Whims. The two films show the flexibility of the flapper archetype, with Clara as a socialite-turned-bohemian in the first and as a hard-partying college girl in the second. Frustratingly, Keith is our protagonist, but the two films give Bow a chance to show off her comedic and dramatic skills, respectively, and pave the way for more complex versions of similar plots in future vehicles.  

Time Codes:

0h 01m 00s:                  My Lady of Whims (1925) [dir: Dallas M. Fitzgerald]

0h 28m 41s:                  The Plastic Age (1925) [dir. Wesley Ruggles]

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* Check out our Complete Upcoming Schedule - now projected to the end of our Lilli Palmer series in 2024

*Intro Song: “Sunday” by Jean Goldkette Orchestra with the Keller Sisters (courtesy of The Internet Archive)

* Find Elise’s latest film piece on Billy Wilder and 1930s Romantic Comedy

*And Read lots of Elise’s Writing at Bright Wall/Dark RoomCléo, and Bright Lights.*

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