Thursday, July 29, 2010

William Powell's birthday, part 2

The William Powell movies keep coming this afternoon on TCM, and having blogged now for two and a half years, it's inevitable I've blogged about some of them before. At noon ET you can watch Powell in one of his non-Thin Man comedies alongside Myrna Loy, Love Crazy.

It's followed at 2:00 PM by another of their comedies I've recommended before, I Love You Again. Personally, I prefer Love Crazy, but that's not to say I Love You Again isn't a good movie by any stretch of the imagination.

If you want to see one of the Thin Man movies, you're in luck: the second of them, After The Thin Man, is on at 4:00 PM. Powell and Loy return as the Charleses, this time helping their cousin (Elissa Landi) when her fiancé gets killed. This one is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it's got James Stewart, before he really became a star, as one of the many suspects. (Stewart had done leads in B movies, but when it came to bigger movies, he was still getting smaller parts, as here or in Wife vs. Secretary at MGM the same year.) There's also the casting of "Mrs. Asta", giving the dog a love interest, if only one that's entirely secondary to the plot. And remember poor Elissa Landi. Despite being the real star of The Sign of the Cross, she didn't get the lead, and never quite got to be a big star. She retired from movies fairly young, and moved to the Catskills to raise her daughter, dying young of cancer in 1949. She's got a street named after her in the Kingston area, but this being Kingston, they spelled her name wrong, as you can see on the Google map.

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