Unexpected Uncle

Very Misguided and a Waste

Very bad romance starring the lovely Anne Shirley, the very handsome James Craig, and the always delightful Charles Coburn. The problem is that Craig plays a spoiled and entitled alcoholic whom Anne falls head over heels for. I don’t know why, because when he is not trying to control and manipulate her he rudely ignores her and is mean to her. He treats her like crap. Instead of Coburn, The Unexpected Uncle, talking some sense into her and finding her a sweet humble boy for her to love, he actually helps him get her back when she finally sees the light and leaves him. Turrible.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

August 29, 2020

Saturday’s Children

Just Kind of Fades Away…

This is well-written as far as dialogue and character but the plot was pretty lame. I tuned in for the always delightful Anne Shirley and to see the charismatic John Garfield in something a little lighter. Unfortunately, he struggled in some of the lighter bits. There is a reason, it turns out, why he was cast in tense noir dramas. Claude Rains is great as her father, a rather lame character. He is charming and wise but lazy. But then feels bad because he is not more of a success. His dramatic scheme to help his daughter makes no sense. My main problem with the plot is that it did not have any resolution or closure. Instead of going after his dream of developing silk from hemp, a process of his own invention, he fell for Anne who encouraged him to marry her by making him jealous instead of accepting a promising job in the Philippines. They struggle financially. After she gets pregnant, he turns down a second chance for the life-changing job, and they will continue to struggle with no hope on the horizon. I would have liked to see him take that job in the Philippines with or without her, or have one of his many other inventions pay off. Perhaps one which will help with the coming war effort which actually is only a year away.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

August 29, 2020

Too Many Wives

For Anne Shirley Fans Only

I admit I only watched this one because I have a soft spot for Anne Shirley. Anne was fine in the role. She was matched up with John Morley. Also fine with a Dick Powell like appeal. I enjoyed seeing Jack Carson in a very early bit part and Gene Lockhart. The plot is silly: Its lack of wit is masked by it’s frenetic pacing, fast talking, and wacky but unfunny plot. Barry, unable to get a job as a journalist, is taken up on his offer to be the “fall guy” to distract disgruntled subjects of the paper’s stories. He will placate them leaving those responsible unbothered by the public’s complaints. To shield him from getting fired, he also pretends to be a young married father just trying to support his family. Unfortunately, Betty, his new love, has a complaint against the newspaper and is shocked to learn he is married and a father. Chockful of misunderstandings which still only manages to stretch the length out to 60 minutes or so, it was too long even at that.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

August 28, 2020