Showing posts with label Joan Blondell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joan Blondell. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Goodbye Again (1933)

Goodbye Again (1933)

Author Kenneth Bixby (Warren William) is one hot ticket. His sensational novels are titillating lady readers all over the country. Bixby and his secretary Anne (Joan Blondell) are on a nation wide book tour and have made a pit stop in Cleveland. Anne, who is a secretary by name but is practically his wife in all other respects, tends to Bixby's hectic schedule, his meals, his growing scrapbook and the multitude of calls for lectures and bookstore visits. But Bixby is more interested in attending prize fights than he is giving short informal talks or autographs to his adoring fans. And a possible distraction for this perennial playboy is just around the corner. Housewife Julie (Genevieve Tobin) is bored with her life and her mild mannered husband Harvey (Hugh Hubert). Her obsession with Bixby, with whom she once had a fling, has turned her into a crazed fan. Julie is convinced she's the inspiration for all his passionate novels. Julie and Bixby have an affair while Julie's uptight sister Elizabeth (Helen Chandler) and brother-in-law Arthur (Wallace Ford) try to separate them to save Julie's marriage. Caught in the middle is the long suffering Anne who sees her beloved Bixby slipping away from her and Bixby who wants nothing to do with outrageous situation. Can sensible Anne get Bixby out of this jam?

Goodbye Again (1933)

Joan Blondell in Goodbye Again (1933)

Goodbye Again (1933)

Goodbye Again (1933) is a ridiculous movie that has to be seen to be believed. This film is full of outrageous antics, zippy one-liners and a love triangle so twisted it will make your head spin. When does this guy have time to write his books? It's amazing how much comedy they tried to fit in only 66 minutes. And like many Pre-Codes, Goodbye Again is infused with sexual innuendos and scenarios. Bixby and Julie have a full on affair and Anne practically lives with Bixby while they're on the road. At one point Bixby pretends to have a son and he claims that he's not married, just "bohemian". Based on a successful play by Allan Scott and George Haight, Goodbye Again was directed by Michael Curtiz for First National picture after they had merged with Warner Bros.

Goodbye Again (1933)

Goodbye Again (1933)

Warren William and Joan Blondell were two of the most dynamic on screen personalities in the Pre-Code era. This is one of five feature films they appeared in together. The others were Three on a Match (1932), Gold Diggers of 1933Smarty (1934) and Stage Struck (1936). William and Blondell are the two biggest reasons to watch this film. William fits the bill as the remorseful playboy and Blondell is at her best as the wise-cracking and sensible dame. Tobin was a bit too over-the-top for my taste but it's what her character called for. And there wasn't nearly enough for Hugh Hubert to do.

You have to be in the mood for a zany whackadoodle film to appreciate Goodbye Again. This short screwball comedy moves so quickly that you'll have to watch it a second time to catch what you missed. In Alan K. Rode's book Michael Curtiz: A Life, he says 

"Blondell was never better than in this film. She serves up smart-aleck palaver to William, who volleys it right back... Variety got it exactly right, 'Perfect for audiences of quick wit, but too slick for others.' Fortunately, there were enough clever theatergoers who appreciated this amusing picture."

Goodbye Again (1933) is available on DVD-MOD from the Warner Archive Collection and can be purchased at the WB Shop. You can hear George Feltenstein, Matt Patterson and D.W. Ferranti discuss this movie on the Warner Archive podcast. This movie makes its home video debut with this DVD release.

Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. Thank you to Warner Archive for sending me a copy of Goodbye Again (1933) to review!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Warner Archive Wednesday ~ Miss Pinkerton (1932)

Source: Cinemagraphe

Joan Blondell as Nurse Adams in Miss Pinkerton (1932). Nurse Adams is sick of the monotony of being a hospital nurse and is quite vocal about her discontent. But things are about to change for the bored nurse. She's given the exciting opportunity of working at the home of the well-known Mitchell family. The head nurse informs Nurse Adams that she'll also be assisting the police in a homicide case that happened at that same home. When she arrives, she finds herself in a situation that is a lot more than she bargained for. Her situation brings to mind the common saying: Be careful what you wish for because it might come true.

George Brent plays Police Inspector Patten who is continuously at the house investigating the suspicious death of the Mitchell family heir Herbert Wynn. He enlists Nurse Adams to help him look for clues and dubs her Miss Pinkerton, a reference to the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. It's a reference that someone from 1932 would have gotten right away but a contemporary audience might scratch their head in confusion.

The film has a rather convoluted plot and there is quite a lot going on including murder disguised as suicide, insurance fraud, a secret marriage, affairs, poisoning, forgery, tricks and more. The film tries to spook audiences but in my opinion it falls flat and loses itself in its own plot. Even Joan Blondell couldn't save the movie for me. And I absolutely adore her and will watch just about any movie she's in. In Miss Pinkerton, Blondell's wide eyes grow even wider whenever she screams in fear. She does the frightened look well. But her character is in no way a victim even when she's put in various dangerous situations. She's sassy, clever and scrappy: the perfect detective. If I had to chose one thing I really liked about the film, it was Miss Pinkerton as a pre-code woman!


Nurse Adams/Miss Pinkerton and Inspector Patten (George Brent) have a romance which I thought could have been played up a bit more. The love story is rather neglected. It isn't given enough time to develop and because of that we don't really see any sparks between the two love birds. That whole plot line seems to have been added as after thought rather than an important part of the story.

It was nice to see actress Mary Doran in the film. She plays Florence Lenz, a gopher of one of the story's villains. Doran also played the other woman in one of my favorite pre-codes The Divorcee (1930). Also, Lyle Talbot has a bit part early on in  Miss Pinkerton as newspaper reporter.

Miss Pinkerton (1932) is one of five films in Warner Archive's Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume 5 DVD set. If you are a Pre-Code enthusiast, I recommend watching this film at least once to add to your repertoire.

Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. I purchased Miss Pinkerton as part of the Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume 5.

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