If you’re not a classic movie buff, you probably didn’t recognize that name (and therefore may not be interested in reading further). I bring up the name of Leo McCarey because today is his birthday (born Oct. 3, 1898), and he deserves to be remembered, at the very least, for the great movies he directed (and, in some cases, also wrote and/or produced) during Hollywood’s “Golden Age” — including these:

DUCK SOUP (1933) – not only one of the Marx Brothers best, but one of the best, comedies of all time.

SIX OF A KIND (1934) – with a cast including W, C. Fields, George Burns, Gracie Allen and Charlie Ruggles, how could this not be great?

BELLE OF THE NINETIES (1934) – a Mae West classic.

RUGGLES OF RED GAP (1935) – one of McCarey’s lesser known films, but one of his very best. Charles Laughton did it (starred as a butler).

MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937) – speaking of lesser known McCarey films, this one probably takes the cake. A departure from his previous run of comedies but just as well done, and a personal favorite of mine.

THE AWFUL TRUTH  (1937) – screwball comedy starring Cary Grant; McCarey won Academy Award for Best Director. Enough said.

LOVE AFFAIR (1939) – Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer (quoting film critic Leonard Maltin) “are a marvelous match” in a “superior comedy-drama.” Remade twice (including once by McCarey) but, as is usually the case with remakes, not up to the original.

After the 1930s, McCarey continued to make movies into the 1960s, but in my opinion, never again with the magic of the above films. But what a glorious run he had while it lasted.



  1. K.J. Ulsh says:

    Nice to see you up and running. By the way, Oct 3rd is my birthday. How odd is it that, your first post on a birthday salute. Keep it up Muse.


    • mistermuse says:

      Happy Birthday a day late, K.J. – and welcome to my first post which would’ve been on SWI, if not for having been not only blindsided, but effectively back-stabbed. At least, that was the end result, even if I just “happened” to be the primary victim, which seems to be the case. In my opinion, Bob Grant was the first one blindsided (by HostGator), but instead of instead of insisting on time to remove posts in an orderly, thought-out and fairer way, he capitulated, panicked and deleted in a way that was the complete opposite. Why all of a sudden the big rush, when obviously site capacity had been approaching for days, if not weeks? Sad.


      • K.J. Ulsh says:

        Murray Banks wrote a piece called “Stop The World- I Want To Get Off”. It got me through some difficult times as a youth when I had dilemmas I could not comprehend nor control. I have not read it in 20 odd years, maybe I should dig it up in my attic. I only mention it because I just thought of it as I read your reply….for some reason. Maybe it was rushing to conclusions as we did, but a very sketchy scenario no doubt in that world, hence, we got off the ride…for now.


      • mistermuse says:

        Back in the 1960s, there was a Broadway show and movie musical of that same name (I happen to own the original cast LP) starring Anthony Newley. You may heard the hit song from the show, “What Kind Of Fool Am I?” Probably no connection with the Murray Banks piece, except the show/movie may be where he got his title from. I’ll try to check it out before the world stops.


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