Caught In The Act (1941)

caught in the act 1941

Mike’s daughter is all set to get married. Through a series of misunderstandings Mike ends up in jail with his boss, his wife thinks he’s a Casanova and the real crooks think he’s an even bigger mobster. No slapstick so that makes it palatable but not something to search out.

Mike Ripportella (Henry Armetta) has worked as a foreman for fifteen years at the Brandon Construction Company. His daughter Lucy is about to marry newspaper reporter Jim Keene. Mike’s wife Mary reminds him to ask his boss for the next afternoon off so he can be in their place for the wedding.

Leonard Brandon is in his office when Henderson and Davis walk in. They’re gangsters that want to force him to use their inferior construction material. He says his foreman Mike will just throw the junk away. They say they’ll deal with him. Brandon says he’ll take care of it. Brandon tells Mike he wants to see him the next morning at nine. Since there have been layoffs he’s so nervous he can’t sleep.

The next morning Brandon tells Mike he’s promoting him to salesman. Mike goes home and puts on his old suit to show Brandon he’s ready for the job. He goes back to the office and Brandon sends him to his tailor for more updated suit. That leads to an unfunny bit with the tailor and Mike. Mike leaves the tailors’ and while stopped at red light the blonde Fay Kingman jumps in his car and forces him to speed away. They’re being followed.

Near Mike’s house she loses the tail and gets out. She kisses Mike on the cheek and two neighborhood gossips see it all. When he gets home Mary starts yelling at him calling him Casanova. There’s still lipstick on his cheek. The cops show up and take Mike to headquarters. One stays behind to keep Mary there.

At the police station a confused Mike gets them confused into thinking that Brandon is the boss of the protection racket. Fay was at a construction company one of the gang wrecked when they wouldn’t pay protection. She was running from there when she got into Mike’s car. She didn’t want anything to do with rough stuff. The cop who was with Mary comes in. He’s got a black eye. Mary comes in and she’s put into a cell with Faye. She tells her why she doesn’t like blondes. Fays doesn’t say anything. Because Mike is in jail the wedding has been called off.¬† Jim investigates and reports to his paper that Brandon is the head of the racket and they print it.

At first Fay doesn’t want to be bailed out but she eventually agrees so she can get away from Mary before she finds out anything. Mike is convinced that Brandon is a crook and agrees to be bailed out. Now everybody is confused.

At least there’s no running around and door slamming. A bit with a seltzer bottle at the end but it’s short. This isn’t anything special.

 

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It Had To Be You-Lost Radio Recordings 1950-51-Jo Stafford

01. It Had To Be You (2:45)
02. Nevertheless (I’m In Love With You) (2:49)
03. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (2:34)
04. I’ll Get By (2:29)
05. Little Girl Blue (3:27)
06. It’s A Lovely Day Today (2:25)
07. You Love Me Just As I Love You (2:20)
08. Rain (2:23)
09. Can’t We Talk It Over (1:49)
10. Teardrops From My Eyes (2:36)
11. I Love The Guy (2:50)
12. Orange Colored Sky (2:04)
13. Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes (2:32)
14. It’s A Marshmallow World (2:10)
15. When My Sugar Walks Down The Street (1:47)
16. Row, Row, Row (2:13)
17. Where, Oh Where (2:33)
18. In The Still Of The Night (2:06)
19. Use Your Imagination (2:26)
20. The Old Man Of The Mountain (2:06)
21. I’ve Got The World On A String (1:59)
22. Dixieland Band (2:08)
23. Dream A Little Dream Of Me (2:36)
24. They Can’t Take That Away From Me (2:25)

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Painted Faces (1929)

painted faces 1929

Comedian Joe E.Brown does a dramatic turn as a circus clown who is the lone hold out on a jury in a murder trial. He uses a fake German accent but you’ll get used to it after a short while.

A vaudeville theater is about to open a new show. Among the acts is the dance team of Barnes and Barton. Buddy Barton wants to walk out because The Great Roderick is also on the bill. He’d been after his fiancee Babe Barton. Babe tells him they need the job and there’s nothing between her and Roderic anyway. They stay.

Barnes and Barton are onstage. Barton walks off because it’s time for Babe to do a solo number. In the middle of it a shot was heard from backstage. There’s Buddy Barton outside Roderic’s dressing room with a gun. He says he found it on the floor and picked it up. He’s arrested for the murder. He says he’s innocent.

At the trial Buddy acts up and has to be restrained a few times. Finally the jury gets the case and goes off for deliberations. It’s eleven to one for a guilty verdict. The lone holdout is Herman (Joe E.Brown) Everyone is mad at him,. Christmas is a few days away and they want to go home. One woman pleads with him to change his mind and some of the men physically threaten him. Herman is stubborn and says he won’t convict on circumstantial evidence. He almost wins them over when he says he’s a circus clown and it’s the off season. He does a few short routines but the good will doesn’t last long.

He says he’ll vote guilty if they let him tell a story. They agree. Now a flashback to the circus. Herman is Beppo the Clown. He cut his act short one night because his late partner’s daughter Nancy is coming in for a visit from school. The ringmaster didn’t know he’s been caring for her since she was fourteen when her father died. That softens him up.

Nancy (Helen Foster) says she’s leaving school and wants to stay with him at the circus. She’s almost eighteen and Herman can’t help but notice. One night while he’s doing his act for the audience, Nancy is on the midway. She’s charmed by Wally (Lester Cole). He plays the ukulele and sings as the barker for a cooch show.

Herman’s act is over and he sees what’s going on. He tells Nancy it’s time to have some dinner at the cooks tent. Wally says the three of them should go out and have a good time. He takes them to a Chinese restaurant. The band recognizes him and asks him to sing a song. He does the one that charmed Nancy. It’s obvious that Herman is very uncomfortable and jealous.

The circus is packed up and on the train to another town. Wally and Nancy haven’t shown up. Herman leaves to go find them. After a while he sees an item in the paper about the body of a young girl found in the river. She’s a suicide. The jury tells him the story has nothing to do with the case and it’s time for another vote. Herman has a surprise for them.

Brown is very good despite the bad accent. There’s no hint of the big career to come except he is called funny face by some jurors. That rubbery face would be a big asset in making him one of the era’s top comic actors.

Lester Cole didn’t make too many movies as his forte was Broadway.

Lester Cole-Helen Foster

Lester Cole-Helen Foster

 

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The Man And The Challenge (1959-60)

Joyce Meadows-George Nader

Joyce Meadows-George Nader

George Nader stars as scientist Dr.Glenn Barton in this series produced by Ivan Tors. Barton works for the Institute Of Human Factors. They work for the government and test human endurance. He ably assisted by Joyce Meadows as Lynn Allen. The show is a bit on the silly side but that makes it good for some unintended laughs. You can loosely put this in the SF category.

April 23,1960 episode: “The Dropper” – Glenn comes up with a new drug that can slow things down in order to speed up perception. He tells his test subject to turn around while he sets up discs. The first one has letters he has to read and the second has animals to identify while the third has playing cards. Glenn gives him a gun and tells him to shoot the aces. The discs are speeding so fast you can’t make anything out…unless you have the drug. Lynn looks on and makes marks on paper.

Glenn goes to see his state trooper friend Captain Norman Whitlow. One of his men goes through some judo moves and tosses Glenn around and then there are two more tests. Then Glenn takes the drug. All of a sudden he’s a judo flash. Whitlow tells him some maniac has killed two troopers. He baits them into a car chase and then drops logs out of the trunk. The papers have named the driver The Dropper. Two troopers have been killed when they hit the logs as the maniac laughs it up. He wants Glenn to give troopers the drug. That way they’ll see the logs dropping in slow motion and be able to avoid them. Glenn hesitates but then agrees to experiment with two troopers.

All’s quiet for a week but then the maniac is at it again. Trooper Jack O’Brien gives chase but the drug comes and goes and he takes a bad spill. Luckily he lived through it. Glenn says no more experiments with the troopers. Instead he’ll take the drug. He has thirty days of training and he’s on the road.

Sure enough the maniac is back. Glenn chases him and the logs begin to fall.

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Officer O’Brien (1930)

officer o'brien 1930

This is so slow that it has to speed up to stop. William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd is a top cop whose father has been paroled to him. He gets involved with a murderous gangster.

Bill O’Brien (William Boyd) has been appointed a Lieutenant after nabbing mobster Mike Patello for murder. The witness against him is officer Johnny Dale. He’s his fiancee Ruth’s brother. To his surprise his father is being paroled to him after spending fifteen years in the big house. He thinks he’s being let go for good behavior.

On the train J.P.O’Brien meets his old pal Limo Lewis. He’s got some booze with him he got from Patello. J.P. hates cops. Limo says a tough one is waiting on the station platform. They leave before J.P. can get a good look at him. Good thing because it’s Bill. Things get bad when J.P. sees a police uniform in Bill’s closet. Needless to say they get off to a shaky start.

Ruth tries to get Johnny not to testify against Patello. Bill is no help and she breaks their engagement. Sure enough, in the courtroom, Johnny is shot and killed. Patello is a free man. Bill warns him that he’ll get him. J.P. has committed a jewelry robbery and stashes the take in Limo’s room. Later it turns up with Patello.

Bill tells his boss that he’s ready to bring Patello down. This has to be one of the most drawn out and worst endings to any movie of that or any era. The “acting” is so slow and so stiff it was tough to stay awake. This is definitely not worth the time.

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Holiday (1930)

Ann Harding-Mary Astor

Ann Harding-Mary Astor

Ann Harding deserved her Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. The winner was Marie Dressler for “Min And Bill.” The movie has too many dull spots but it’s worth sticking with to see her performance. A woman brings home a man she’s only known for ten days to meet her rich family. Then he meets her sister.

Julia Seton (Mary Astor) plans to marry struggling lawyer Johnny Case (Robert Ames). Her sister Linda (Ann Harding) and brothers Ned and Edward (William Holden) like him and her father takes a while but warms up to him.

Linda wants to toss them an engagement party. Friends Laura and Seton take over and it ends up three hundred people instead of sixty. Linda decides to go to an upper room and have an intimate gathering of six people including her friends Susan and Nick (Edward Everett Horton).

Julia’s father gets upset when Johnny says he plans to quit work for a couple years after getting marriage. He has a stock market investment that will allow him to take a holiday. Linda is getting more and more interested in Johnny. At the wedding rehearsal Laura takes over and annoys everyone.

Julia and Johnny eventually separate and Johnny decides to go to Paris with Nick and Susan. He changes his mind on a few things and that  affects everyone.

It’s a mixture of comedy and drama that takes too long and if it wasn’t for Harding it wouldn’t be worth the time.

This is not the same William Holden that became a major star.

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1940-Glen Gray And The Casa Loma Orchestra

[3:20] 1. Little Brown Jug
[3:05] 2. Last Night’s Gardenias
[3:00] 3. Save Your Sorrow For Tomorrow
[3:02] 4. Tuxedo Junction
[2:55] 5. The Fable Of The Rose
[2:52] 6. Would’nt Could I But Kiss Thy Hand, Oh! Babe
[2:39] 7. Castle Of Dreams
[3:25] 8. Git Away Day
[2:53] 9. You’ve Got Me Out On A Limb
[3:20] 10. In The Mood
[2:34] 11. Yodelin’ Jive
[3:03] 12. Watching The Clock
[2:52] 13. Jimtown Blues
[3:05] 14. I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
[2:50] 15. Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)
[3:10] 16. Polka Dots And Moonbeams
[6:51] 17. No Name Jive Parts One And Two

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