Who Done It?

Who Done It? Universal Pictures 1943.

Before watching the movie:

What can one expect from an Abbott and Costello movie? Bumbling into trouble, one-liners, slapstick. I can’t point to anything about this movie that I think is going to be truly remarkable. It’s a vehicle picture coming out of the Hollywood machine of the Golden Age contract films model.

I have nothing to point to that I’m very interested in, beyond seeing Abbott and Costello get into trouble and be silly for a bit. They’re what sell the movie, which is the whole point.

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Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn. Paramount Pictures 1942.
Holiday Inn. Paramount Pictures 1942.

Before watching the movie:

What can this film offer to audiences seventy years later? It appears to be a show made of a bunch of Christmas songs (which have since become old standards) woven together with the lightest touch of plot. I’m sure some of the songs haven’t passed into the zeitgeist, but I wonder if the performances can be enough to really make a variety show with a plot worthwhile.

Maybe I’m coming at this too negatively. It’s very likely a fun, light way to get into the holiday spirit. Art doesn’t have to be weighty or novel to be good, what matters is if it elicited the response the artist and the audience wanted. Anyway, we’re still talking about it almost three quarters of a century later, so it’s clearly not garbage.

The Holiday Season is here, folks. Try to take it slowly enough to still enjoy it when your holiday of choice is here.

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Casablanca

Casablanca. Warner Bros. 1942.

Before watching the movie:

This week I turn my attention to the oldest film yet reviewed. I admit it diverts in style from most, but Casablanca is almost universally considered a classic, and I share any classic I first watch here.

While the romance again receives a great deal of attention, the World War II backdrop is rich and contributes significantly to the plot, I am told.

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