The premise as I’ve seen it summarized sounds like it could be just a framing device. A recently deceased prankster’s final wish on the afterlife’s doorstep is to watch his three poker buddies’ reactions to receiving letters from him stating that he’s had an affair with all three of their wives. They can’t even be sure if it’s the truth or one last prank. It sounds like the prankster could set the scene for us and then drop out, or mainly appear in flashbacks, but mostly this seems to be a bowl of jealously-fueled comedy arguing.
This seems like more of a pulp kind of movie, something produced to have something fresh to bring audiences to the theater. It’s likely a contract picture. The title is almost as unimaginative as the choices in the 2018 TX-10 US representative race. They don’t have to all be named Mike, but it’s an extra gimmick to create a little more interest in a love-polygon story.
So, three romance stories in one movie, with the tension coming from the fact that only one of them can end completely happily. Not the worst way to spend 90 minutes.
This is one of those that nobody ever really discusses beyond the concept. A pair of strangers meet on a train and through conversation, discover that they both have someone they’d like to murder, and if they each just kill the other person’s target, they could both get away with it from having no apparent motive.
The only other thing people say about it is that it’s a Hitchcock film, which does more or less define a genre, or at least a tone. I also note that Raymond Chandler worked on the screenplay, so it should come off as a good detective story, assuming there’s a detective in it that nobody talks about. There has to be one, so there’s an antagonist, I assume.
I found this on the shelf, and it seemed like a pretty standard comedy vehicle. Bob Hope gets into trouble, and Bob Hope does a lot of crazy things trying to get out of trouble. A Bob Hope movie.
The more modern image on the box is probably more indicative of the content than the poster, which is most likely depicting the most outrageous, but minor, sequence. “Bob Hope wearing a dress! Hilarious, right?” But I stick to theatrical posters, and there was no other option.
Apparently this is a Christmas movie, but I didn’t realize that when I decided to watch it. Imagining refreshingly cold winter air is probably welcome right now.
This is yet another black box movie to me. Until I decided to watch it, I’d never heard what the plot was. Just something about a riverboat in Africa and Humphrey Bogart. Apparently it’s about civilians in World War 1 German-held Africa. And a love story, because every movie needs a love story. Continue reading →
Every story has at least two sides. Erwin Rommel fought on the side of the Nazis, and was a major opponent in Patton, but was himself a distinguished military leader with an interesting story to tell. Though how much of it is accurately told here is debatable, as for obvious reasons this movie apparently focuses less on killing Allied soldiers and more on a plot to assassinate Hitler that Rommel may not have actually been involved with. Even less than a decade after the end of the war, that’s as close as the rest of the world wants to come to celebrating a Nazi officer, which they wouldn’t even dream of doing today.
I’d heard about the premise of this movie before, but I never considered the idea that it might be a comedy. Alec Guinness leading a comedy sounds like the sort of idea Leslie Nielsen leading Airplane! was: a serious actor playing the straight man. However, the blurb describes him as “impish”, so I’m highly intrigued.
I also hadn’t realized until I started filing this post into categories that I’ve never done a movie from the 1950s. Now I just need to review Birth of a Nation and a Charlie Chaplin film, and I’ll have the entire span of feature-length movies represented (at least I assume the medium was too new to tell stories that long before 1910).