I usually set a whole slate of films to record on TCM on my DVR and then watch them later because usually the movies I want to see are on at 2 AM or some other inconvenient time. However, today I did get to catch a film as it was airing. As part of their Jane Wyman birthday celebration, they showed Hitchcock’s Stage Fright. Anyway, I still had to watch the last Marx Brothers film I hadn’t seen that they showed on New Year’s as well as one from the Warner John Ford/John Wayne set.
Monkey Business – 1931, Norman Z. McLeod – TCM – Absolutely hilarious stuff. Mindless and totally plot-less, this is probably my favorite Marx Brothers film. There’s no song to spoil the fun and Zeppo gets to throw some punches! My only problem was the lack of Margaret Dumont, who thankfully came back for Duck Soup. 9/10
3 Godfathers – 1948, John Ford – Warner DVD – I got the Warner Ford/Wayne set for $15 on Amazon because I wanted to get a copy of The Searchers and I’d heard some good stuff about They Were Expendable, although nothing about any of the other films. I decided to watch 3 Godfathers first, expecting something light and I didn’t really expect any major revelation on the level of The Searchers. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, this isn’t on The Searchers‘s level, but it was filled with Ford’s usual touches. Harry Carey, Jr. was really good and the Duke was…well, the Duke. It’s a good Western with a surprisingly sentimental, human story. 7/10
Stage Fright – 1950, Alfred Hitchcock – TCM – The best thing about the film is the ‘lying’ flashback that opens the film and pays off at the very end, like a typical Hitchcock twist. Still, I don’t think the acting was all that exceptional, although I guess you can’t go wrong with Marlene Dietrich. Entertaining, but certainly not one of Hitch’s best. 6/10