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Monday 7 November 2022
125/2134. You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939)
W.C. Fields' misanthropic humor stands up well over time, and it works especially well here, where Fields is foiled by the equally irreverent dummy Charlie McCarthy. There has long been a rumor that MGM refused to cast Fields as the titular Wizard of Oz over his outrageous salary demands, but Wikipedia's bio of Fields seems to suggest his demands were high specifically because he wanted MGM to refuse him so he would have time to write this. True or not, there's a lot to laugh at here.
130/2139. Look Who's Laughing (1941)
I'm re-arranging my viewing order to mention this here, as it is the first movie reuniting Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy with their radio cohorts, Fibber McGee & Molly and the Great Gildersleeve. The plot is silly, sure, but this radio-sitcom-adapted-for-the-screen format will take the world by storm when the television comes along. Bergen's love-interest co-star, some actress named Lucille Ball, probably took notice.
126/2135. Here We Go Again (1942)
Look Who's Laughing must have made plenty of money to earn this follow-up. I'm really digging these Charlie McCarthy movies. In this one, Charlie is often given mobility by a midget in a mask — the original uncanny valley? — but Bergen's clever creativity and wry humor carry the day.
127/2136. Elvis (2022)
Baz Luhrmann's much ballyhooed biopic wants you to believe that the King of Rock and Roll was some sort of literal superhero (which would make The Colonel a Bondian supervillain). So long as you don't take it too seriously, it is entertaining enough. Austin Butler does a very good impression. Its heart is certainly in the right place, as you can tell by its dedication to replicating real-life product placement!
Drink Coke, fake Elvis!
Drink Coke, fat Elvis!
More to come.