Movie Diary 11/23/2009

Ain’t Love Cuckoo? (Jules White, 1946). Columbia two-reeler by the Three Stooges production unit. Stars are Richard Lane and Orson Welles regular Gus Schilling, but this movie is taken over for a couple of scenes by a vaudeville and radio comedienne named Terry Howard. (I guess she’s from vaudeville and radio; there’s almost no info on her online, except that she did a kid voice on “Amos ‘n’ Andy.” She does not seem to be related to Moe, Curly or Shemp.) Her offhand delivery and zany stunt dancing steer this already weird movie into the realm of the surreally hilarious. The short is included in the DVD set that also has these two with the great Jean Arthur:

If You Could Only Cook (William A. Seiter, 1935). Really charming movie with Arthur as a jobless gal landing a job as cook to a gangster (Leo Carrillo) because rich guy Herbert Marshall pretends to be as poor and unemployed as she is (he gets the butler job). Some great Jean Arthur line readings, but that’s taken for granted.

Too Many Husbands (Wesley Ruggles, 1940). Based on Somerset Maugham’s stage play: Arthur is married to Melvyn Douglas when lost-at-sea first husband Fred MacMurray re-appears. A pretty labored film. Oddball ending, at least.

Old Dogs (Walt Becker, 2009). Travolta and Williams, and the marking of time. Food fight with a gorilla. Facial paralysis and the ghost of Mr. Sardonicus. Broad. (full review 11/25)

The Maid (Sebastian Silva, 2009). Most surprising for not being a moody study of pathology, in which blood there shall be. (full review 12/4)