Friday, August 13, 2010


Sit Tight (1931) - ** ½. Awfully bizarre early Joe E. Brown comedy casts him as a letch in Winnie Lightner’s spa. First time I’ve seen the wisecracking Lightner (who looks like a young Karl Malden in drag) in what is basically a mixed bag of racy burlesque routines stitched together.

Flying High (1931) - ** ½. Mancrazy Charlotte Greenwood outshines the material in this at times unendurable Bert Lahr comedy. As with Joe E. Brown, Bert Wheeler, and other comedians of this era, Lahr’s “cowardly” antics come across as slightly effeminate. Pat O’Brian is out of his element as Lahr’s crony in this George White’s Scandals stage show.

The Better ‘Ole (1926) - *. Painfully unfunny WW1 comedy starring Charlie’s half-brother, Sydney Chaplin, a life-time private who matches wits with Sgt. Edgar Kennedy. Based on a popular British stage hit, this probably isn’t the best way to meet Sydney, who had a lengthy career. I imagine the short was his forte, because he is unimpressive here.

2012 (2009) - * ½. This film coulda used Sydney Chaplin! Every disaster film cliché is employed to bookend the DAZZLING SPECIAL EFFECTS that Hollywood believes we deserve when the world ends.

When Ladies Meet (1933)- **1/2. Myrna Loy competes with Ann Harding for the love of Frank Morgan in this soapy talkfest. Top-billed Harding is pleasant if somewhat dull while Loy exudes star quality. Alice Brady adds amble support, while perennial ‘excitable Italian’ Luis Alberni plays an excitable French valet.