Friday, May 23, 2014

My first blogathon, part 2

N: The Nasty Girl. The girl, of course, doesn't turn out to be as nasty as you might guess from the title. Instead, this German film is based on the true story of a young woman who, for a school project, did a report on her town's history during the Third Reich, and found out things that the town fathers would rather have left undisturbed.

O: Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mom's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad. Another movie I haven't seen. I think I first came across this title when I was looking up the films of Rosalind Russell. The plot synopsis of the movie makes it sound lousy, but the title sure is interesting.

P: Putting Pants on Philip. Go ahead and say I cheated a bit by using a short. This is a silent Laurel and Hardy short in which Ollie tries to put pants on his Scottish nephew Stan. Not much else happens.

Q: Queen of Outer Space. Zsa Zsa Gabor saves the men of Earth from the evil women of Venus! I'll admit I picked this one in part because it a more fun (if not very good) movie than the title implies.

R: Romance of Radium. Yes, I used another short. Boy meets isotope, boy falls in love with isotope in this Pete Smith short that's decidedly non-comedic, instead dealing with the possibility of using radioactive isotopes in medicine, something that would have been a new phenomenon in 1937 when the film was made.

S: Susan Lenox, Her Fall and Rise. Greta Garbo in the only movie she made with Clark Gable. It's typical pre-Code nonsense in the sense that the plot defies belief and the motives of some of the characters may make you scratch your head, but it's still enjoyable enough just because when the pre-Codes did this stuff, it was fun.

T: Throw Momma From the Train. Another of the great titles of all time, regardless of letter. This comic homage to Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train has Billy Crystal having problems with his girlfriend, and Danny DeVito having problems with his overbearing mother (Anne Ramsey). And when you meet her, you too just might want to throw her from the train!

U: Under the Yum Yum Tree. Jack Lemmon is mildly creepy as he pursues a couple of college girls in what is supposed to be a comedy. It's one I could never really get into.

V: Violent Saturday. This is a title that sounds like it should deliver a powerful punch. It doesn't quite live up to the title, although Lee Marvin is fun again as a sociopath. What it does deliver is a guilty pleasure full of mediocre material delivered with panache. And Ernest Borgnine as an Amish farmer.

W: Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter. W starts a bunch of question words in English, so there should be any number of interesting titles that begin with a questoin word. Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe would be another, but I haven't seen that one and could link to Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, which also has the benefit of having a real person's name in the title, although it's not about him. Although, to be honest, I'm not quite a fan of the movies Rock Hunter did with Doris Day.

X: Xanadu. There aren't too many movies whose titles begin with the letter X, but the thought of Gene Kelly on roller skates trumps everything else.

Y: You Can't Win. The title might make you guess that this is a Crime Does Not Pay short about rigged games of chance. It is a short, but it's another Pete Smith short, with Dave O'Brien, who showed up later in the series, having everything go wrong to him on his day off work.

Z: Zombies on Broadway. The title of this movie might be mildly misleading in that you might think it's about a zombie attack on Broadway. Instead, the plot involves a couple of men who are sent down to the Caribbean to get some of those zombies for a Broadway producer's show. It's a dopey comedy; not terrible, but decidedly B mateiral.

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