Movie Diary 1/14/2019

Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson, 1964). Still a delightful and weird movie, with Julie Andrews still splendid and Dick Van Dyke still murdering a Cockney accent.

Ladies Should Listen (Frank Tuttle, 1934) and Big Brown Eyes (Raoul Walsh, 1936). Working through a box set of early Cary Grant titles, proving that in this era and with this leading man, the studio system (Paramount!) could turn out some duds. Ladies is a very strained comedy, and the Walsh film, although it has scattered moments of wry dialogue and Walshian frankness, is thin and forced. Watchable cast, with Joan Bennett in good form, Lloyd Nolan, and a very lean Walter Pidgeon. The loony storyline has Grant as a detective, Bennett as a manicurist who becomes a reporter (the movie will twist your head around), and the strange touch of Grant throwing his voice, executed with a dubbed female voice. Oh, and the comic hijinks are punctuated with a gangster shooting a baby dead in a public park.

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