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  • mistermuse 9:21 pm on October 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Charles Laughton, , films, Gary Cooper, Leo McCarey, , , ,   

    ONE MORE TIME 

    A year ago today, I noted the birthday of one of my favorite directors, a man whose best films you can’t forget (unless, of course, you’ve never seen them) — even if you don’t remember who directed them. At the time, I’d just resurrected this blog after a bad experience blogging for another site, so the “theater” for that October 3rd screening was all but empty. I am therefore going to do a remake, beginning with the question, Who was that man who directed those movies, including the Marx Brothers’ DUCK SOUP? Here’s another clue: his first name is Thomas.

    OK, I doubt that last clue was helpful, as he didn’t go by Thomas. His full name was Thomas Leo McCarey, and here is a clip from DUCK SOUP (1933):

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, here are some other goodies McCarey directed and/or wrote:

    THE COWBOY AND THE LADY (1938) – Romantic comedy starring Gary Cooper
    THE AWFUL TRUTH (1937) – Academy Award winner for Best Director
    MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937) – “One of the most exquisitely sad motion pictures ever made” -Robert Moses
    RUGGLES OF RED GAP (1935) – One of McCarey’s best comedies. Charles Laughton did it (starred as the butler)
    BELLE OF THE NINETIES (1934) – A Mae West classic, despite heavy cutting by censors
    SIX OF A KIND (1934) – Cast includes W. C. Fields, George Burns, Gracie Allen and Charles Ruggles. Need I say more?

     
  • mistermuse 10:25 am on October 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BELLE OF THE NINETIES, , , Leo McCarey, LOVE AFFAIR, MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW, RUGGLES OF RED GAP, SIX OF A KIND, THE AWFUL TRUTH   

    DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS NAME? 

    LEO McCAREY.

    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.

     
    • K.J. Ulsh 4:46 am on October 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      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.

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      • mistermuse 2:32 pm on October 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        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.

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        • K.J. Ulsh 3:27 pm on October 4, 2013 Permalink

          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.

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        • mistermuse 4:57 pm on October 4, 2013 Permalink

          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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