Monday, May 30, 2011
EASY LIVING (1937)
I’ve seen a number of the classic Hollywood movies of the 1930’s.But going over some of the titles in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, I noticed more than a few omissions from my movie viewing resume. For two weeks I’m going to try to fill in some of those gaps as well as re-watch some old favorites. I’ll list my expectations for each film going in and state whether these expectations are reached or not. And I’ll give each film my Elisha Cook Jr. supporting player award strictly for the reason that I think it would be fun to do so.
Easy Living (1937)
Expectations: I saw it on the library shelf and was directed by Preston Sturges and it was in the 1001 movie book. I usually enjoy 30’s screwball comedies, so I figured I would like it.
After viewing: Correction: This was only written, not directed by Preston Sturges. This also isn’t in the 1001 movie book! I wanted to look up something up about this movie in the 1001 book as I was watching it, but it wasn’t there! (Audible gasp!) I must have been thinking about The Lady Eve! Anyway, I’m glad I made the mistake. This movie is a lot of fun. There is a scene in a food automat (I think it's just cool to see an automatic diner) that is truly a slapstick tour de force. Lots of gags, misunderstandings, etc. Edward Arnold is well cast as the Wall Street banker. Jean Arthur is the cat’s meow in the lead.
And the Elisha Cook Jr. supporting player award goes to…Always some good choices in a screwball comedy, but let’s give it to Franklin Pangborn, always insufferable, snobby, prissy and gossipy (But not gay, the motion picture code of the era forbid the existence of homosexuals). His exasperated expression when something goes wrong or when there is something he thinks is a juicy tidbit is always hilarious.