Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Black Watch (1929)

The Black Watch is a film I am not entirely sure how I felt about it. I did not hate it but I did not like it that much. This is an early sound film and many early sound films have several issues such as sound and acting. The acting was alright the sound was good you could hear what was happening and the direction by John Ford was top notch. To me the problem with this film was the story, it was awfully boring.
            The story takes place during World War I. Donald King (Victor McLaglen) is a Scottish soldier in the Black Watch regiment. His regiment is schedule to be shipped out to the front in France when he is called to see his commanding officer. The officer asks Donald about how he grew up in India and can speak several dialects of the country’s language. Donald is assigned on a secret mission to go to India to stop a rebellion that is being lead by a woman named Yasmani (Myrna Loy). Her followers see her as a goddess on earth and will do whatever she wants. She also has a stockpile of weapons. Donald does not want to go to India he wants to fight the war with his regiment. The officer gives him no choice he must go. Donald returns to his regiment and tells his superior that his request for a transfer to India has been approved he will not be going to the front. Donald’s younger brother Malcolm and their fellow soldiers think he is a coward for not going to the front with them.
            Donald begins his mission by walking past Yasmani’s home everyday to catch her attention. Men around the town gossip about how Donald constantly drinks whenever he is in town. One night he gets into a fight with another soldier and kills him. The fight is fake to make Yasmani believe that Donald is now a rogue from the Scottish army and will be willing to join her rebellion. Yasmani is immediately taken with Donald and wants to seduce him. Her top followers do not like how she is falling for this westerner and worry their whole empire will crumble because of her desires.
            Yasmani brings Donald and some of his fellow Indian soldiers in disguise to her hide out in the hills the Cave of Echoes. Slaves turn the door to the cave open. The slaves are captured British soldiers one of them being a friend of Donald’s. Yasmani has Donald brought to her private chambers. She tries desperately to seduce him but he will not give in. She shows him her crystal ball as a way to show him that he is not missing fighting in the war. He sees his brother is either dead or hurt and he becomes upset that he is not there with his friend. Unable to bear what is doing Donald tells Yasmani that he was sent there to stop her. She knew what he was doing the whole time and does not care. He gets Yasmani to speak to her followers to tell them there will be no fighting. Angry that she has turned her back on them two of the followers shoot her. Donald and the Indian soldiers are able to stop the rebels from attacking them and put an end to their rebellion.
            Donald returns home during a break for Christmas to his regiment where he has been reinstated.
            Myrna Loy at this stage in her career was still in her vamp phase. Even in this part of her career and at twenty-four years old she had great talent. She was the only actor who was not wooden or over the top with their performance. Victor McLaglen was very rigid. At times his acting made me laugh it was so bad. Loy wrote in her autobiography that McLaglen was not at all comfortable with their love scenes because he was nineteen years older than her and saw her as a little girl. You can see a lot of awkwardness in their “love” scenes.
            The Black Watch was directed by John Ford. His direction is not terrible at all. The story is what I feel brings the film down. As I said it was awfully boring and longer than it should have been. It was not a terrible film but it definitely is not one of the best. Only view The Black Watch if you are a fan of Myrna Loy or John Ford. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)

Demetrius and the Gladiators is a sequel to The Robe which had been released the previous year. I have not seen The Robe. I would have watched it had I known that Demetrius was a sequel. But I did not find it difficult to follow even though I had not seen the previous film.
            The film begins exactly where The Robe left off with two characters Marcellus and Diana being lead to their execution for believing in Jesus. Before Diana is executed she hands Peter the robe Jesus was wearing when he was crucified.
            Caligula, the emperor of Rome, is furious over the fact that Marcellus and Diana were not afraid to die. His uncle Claudius has been looking into Jesus. He reports to his nephew that other philosophers concur that there is no possible way a person can have eternal life as Jesus had promised his followers. Caligula will not listen he wants Christ’s robe thinking it has the power of eternal life. He sends out his guards to look for the robe. He tells the guards to relay to the people that if they know where the robe is they will be given twenty pieces of gold and the penalty for having it is death. 
            Peter is leaving Rome to preach Jesus’ word in the north. He leaves the robe with Demetrius (Victor Mature) who was one of Christ’s faithful followers. Demetrius returns to his part of the city. Almost as soon as he returns Caligula’s guards enter the town. Demetrius’ friend Lucia was holding the robe when the guards came through and hid it. The guards become rough with Lucia. Demetrius protects her by fighting the guards and they arrest them.
            Demetrius is sentenced to be a gladiator. Since he is a Christian he refuses to fight because he cannot take a life. He tries to run away from the gladiator training ground but he is instantly caught. Messalina (Susan Hayward), the wife of Claudius, sees Demetrius’ attempted escape. She is immediately taken with Demetrius. Messalina knows that he refuses to fight because of his religion so she has him put in the arena to see what he will do under pressure. The night before they are all to fight to the death the gladiators are given a big feast with lots of women. One woman named Paula (Anne Bancroft) sits next to Demetrius. Paula is kind to Demetrius, even more so after she finds out he is from Corinth just like her. Soon after Demetrius almost gets into a fight with another gladiator. He refuses to fight the man so another gladiator named Glycon steps in to protect Demetrius. Messalina witnesses this scene and sets up a fight in the arena the next day between Demetrius and Glycon.
            Demetrius and Glycon are the last gladiators left standing in the arena. They fight making it look as if they are both so good that they cannot kill each other. When the fight is declared over by Caligula Demetrius has Glycon freed but the emperor wants the Christian killed and has him fight two tigers. Demetrius defeats the tigers but he is injured. Messalina helps to heal Demetrius. Instead of fighting in the arena Messalina has Demetrius become her personal slave. She uses him for her own amusement and tries to tempt him out of his religious ways whenever she can. After some time Demetrius has enough and tells Messalina in so many ways that he refuses her advances. In anger she has him returned to the arena.
            Paula finds Lucia and brings her to Demetrius disguised as one of the many women who come to entertain the men. Messalina sees Lucia and Demetrius speaking to each other and becomes jealous. She has him taken away. As soon as Demetrius is taken away Lucia is ravaged by the other gladiators. Demetrius asks God to help her but it his prayers are not heard and Lucia collapses. The following day after his fight, Demetrius denounces his faith in Christianity and tells Caligula that he is the only god.
            After some time fooling around with Messalina and living his life without worries Demetrius returns to his religion through a miracle. He and Glycon are made head guards after Caligula is murdered and are free to worship their Christian religion.
            The only stand out performance in this film is Susan Hayward. I loved how she was this femme fatale, this temptress. Hayward was not outrageously seductive and sexy it was her attitude and how she said certain things that made her this wonderful temptress. Anne Bancroft had a small role as Paula but she was great. The more films I see of Bancroft’s from her early career I find that no matter how large or small her role is she stands out because of her talent. I actually put effort into seeing this film because I saw that Hayward and Bancroft were in the same film. I was not impressed with the rest of the cast. Victor Mature’s face started to bother me after a while. He was not bad but he was not good either.
            Demetrius and the Gladiators is a good film. It is a typical Christian story of how a man was a faithful Christian, then lost his faith, and then he found it again. I am a bit over these stories from all the years I spent going to church and CCD. I did not find it difficult to follow even though I did not see The Robe. I would like to see The Robe so I can get some of the references and more background. I would only recommend seeing Demetrius and the Gladiators if you have seen The Robe or if you like Susan Hayward (which was why I watched it) other than these reasons it is not a must see film. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mogambo (1953)

“The only lions I ever want to see again are the two in front of the public library.”

            MGM never made any of their films on a small scale. With Mogambo they went all out and actually filmed some of the scenes actually filmed in Africa. MGM sacrificed story for the sake of production values. I know this is a remake of Red Dust I have yet to see it so I cannot compare the two. I can only hope that Red Dust was a little better.
            Victor Marswell (Clark Gable) is a hunter in a small village in Africa. He brings people out on safaris and he also traps animals to send to zoos and circuses. Victor comes back from trying to trap a panther when he sees several suitcases strewn about his home. He gets to the back porch and sees a woman taking a shower. The woman introduces herself as Eloise Kelly (Ava Gardner). He is not thrilled with seeing and she is even less thrilled being in the jungle. Victor gives her the bad news that the maharajah she was supposed to be with there has left to go back to India on important business.
            The usual happens- Victor at first does not like Kelly then all the sudden he has the hots for her then he tells her to get lost. Kelly leaves on a boat but is back that night because something happened to the boat. Now she will about when a husband and wife are coming to the complex to go looking for gorillas to study. The husband and wife are Donald and Linda Nordley (the missus being played by Grace Kelly). Almost right away Victor is attracted to Linda and Kelly can see that. Kelly winds tagging along on the trip to find the gorillas. She makes Victor and Linda’s life uncomfortable the whole time since she knows their little secret.
            I really have nothing further to write about the plot. I am sure you can tell just by the poster with Clark Gable and Ava Gardner being first billed that they wind up together in the end.
            Ava Gardner was the whole film. She just stole all her scenes with her beauty and her fabulous wit. Her character was the only one with a sense of humor and liveliness. She was cynical and delivered the lines to perfection. Gardner had the best lines and scenes of the film whenever she is not in a scene the film just falls flat. Clark Gable was in his fifties by this time and in no way the matinee idol he was when he originally made Red Dust. I have never understood Gable’s appeal he was not a good looking man in any sense of the word and I cannot understand even in character how women could fall for him. Gable and his character just looked like they could not keep up with Gardner and Grace Kelly he looked like he could have cared less for either of them. Grace Kelly… I wanted to smack her in the face so damn bad! Gardner was nominated for her only Academy Award, she deserved it, and should have won. Kelly was nominated for an Oscar as well as a Golden Globe and she won the Golden Globe. So absolutely unfair. Gardner was so much better than Kelly. Kelly was annoying to the most extreme. Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly became very good friends during filming and remained so until Kelly died.
            Gene Tierney was supposed to play Linda Nordley but by this time her psychological problems were beginning to interfere with her work. I cannot even imagine how incredible it would have been to see Ava Gardner and Gene Tierney work together. They were two of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. Tierney would have been ten times better than Grace Kelly.
            John Ford directed the film. Ford made very manly films especially his films with John Wayne. You can almost imagine Wayne in the lead. Apparently he was very nasty to Ava Gardner during the making of this because he had wanted Maureen O’Hara in her role. Maureen O’Hara as Eloise Kelly? Get the hell out of here!  Only Gardner was perfect for the role and if you have yet to see this film you will know why. Clark Gable got into some fights with Ford over his treatment of Gardner.
            Mogambo was good I enjoyed it but after a while all the jungle scenes and any scene with Grace Kelly gets tedious. Ava Gardner is the film’s savior she was so amazing. Mogambo is a film I recommend seeing even if it is a little boring because the cast is good (even if Grace was annoying beyond words) and there are some funny scenes. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Silent Sundays: The Musketeers of Pig Alley 1912

Made in 1912 The Musketeers of Pig Alley is the first film to portray gangs and gangsters. This is a genuinely short film by D.W. Griffith running seventeen minutes long. At last I found a film by the director that just gets to the main point of the story! (If you do not normally follow this blog I tend to find that Griffith’s films are way too drawn out and about an hour too long).
            A gangster named Snapper Kid is the head of the Musketeer Gang. The gang is located in a poor neighborhood where they prey on the people. Living in the neighbor is the Musician and his wife The Little Lady (Lillian Gish). The Musician has been given the opportunity to make money and will be away for a few days leaving The Little Lady by herself.
            When The Musician comes back, Snapper and his associates beat him and steal his money right in front of his apartment. The Musician vows to get his money back.
            One night The Little Lady reluctantly goes to the Gangster’s Ball with her friend. The Little Lady meets a gangster who is a rival to the Musketeers. Snapper knows the gangster is up to no good when he sees him take The Little Lady to a private room. Snapper runs into the room and saves The Little Lady from the gangster’s evil intentions.
            This intervention sparks revenge. The gangster and his crew go looking for the Musketeers. They have a shoot out in the alley near The Musician’s apartment. The Musician comes out in the middle of the fight and beats Snapper until he finds his money.
            When the fighting dies down, the police arrive to arrest the men who are still alive. Snapper runs into the apartment looking for a place to hide. He runs into The Musician and The Little Lady’s apartment. He tells The Musician he was the one who saved his wife from the other gangster and begs for them to tell the police officer who has followed him that he was with them to whole time not out in the alley. Since he saved The Little Lady they agree to tell the police officer he was with them.
            I liked the story of The Musketeers of Pig Alley. It looked like Snapper Kid was the true bad guy until the other gangster tried to drug The Little Lady. This story of a mean gangster who finds redemption would become popular several years later but for 1912 this story was something new.
            There is no denying that Griffith was a genius director. Each frame of the film is innovative and beautifully created. You can feel the tension mounting between the rival gangs as Griffith cut back and forth between each member as they were walking towards the alley for their final shoot out. The whole time you are waiting and waiting for something to happen then it does and it is over before you can blink. That was genius it just leaves you stunned and amazed and leaves no time for your nerves and attention to break. Griffith wrote the screenplay with Anita Loos. Whenever I hear Anita Loos’s name I immediately think of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I have to admit I was a little surprised to see Loos attached to a gangster film but after researching her a bit I found out she spent a little time in the underworld with her alcoholic father.
            What makes the film even more stunning is the acting. There was no over the top silent film acting it was genuine and real. Lillian Gish, who was nineteen at the time, was perfect. She was not in it too much but what scenes she was in she just nailed them.
            The Musketeers of Pig Alley is an all around greatly made silent film. Martin Scorsese lists this as a film that has influenced his filmmaking. Anyone studying film and wants to become a filmmaker The Musketeers of Pig Alley is a must see film. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lincoln (2012)

“Shall we stop this bleeding?”

            I knew Lincoln was going to be a good movie even before I saw it. How can anyone ever go wrong with a Steven Spielberg picture? I was not prepared for how impressive and how amazing the movie is. Never for one moment was Lincoln dry and boring as if we were watching a history lesson before our eyes. You are watching a story, an actual nail biting story with touching and thought provoking moments.
            The story is about Abraham Lincoln’s struggle over ending the Civil War and gaining enough votes for the Thirteenth Amendment to end slavery. If he ends the war the south will keep its slaves and never free them if he does not pass the amendment first. On the other hand the war needs to end thousands and thousands of young men have sacrificed their lives and even more have lost homes and land. Congress cannot come to an agreement over the amendment. Arguing goes on and on much like it does today with bills and other items stuck in limbo.
            We get to see Abraham Lincoln not as the myth he has become today. He is a family with two sons and a wife. We see his struggles. Most importantly we see his humanness. We see he was a good man who wanted good for his nation and its people. We see him struggle through every decision and action he or Congress or the army make. The writers made movie Lincoln personable and warm. I can only hope that this movie will bring this brilliant man into a more human light.
            The cast was phenomenal. In all seriousness if Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field are not at least nominated for an Academy Award there is something completely wrong with Hollywood. Day-Lewis’s performance is one of the best I have seen in ages. You were not watching an actor you are watching the character. Field is just so damn good in anything she does. Mary Todd Lincoln was a very complex person full of grief and sadness over the loss of her sons. Field played the rollercoaster emotions of Mary Lincoln to perfection. Joseph Gordon- Levitt was not in the film that much but of course he was great. Tommy Lee Jones was the man. He was the perfect choice for his character. It was interesting to see Lee Pace play an angry Congressman from the late 1800s. He seems so quiet and he was angry and mean here! One of the last scenes of the movie with him was one of the best. There are so many great actors that it would take me forever to review them all. Every one of actors and actresses were stunning no one did a bad job in the slightest.
            Steven Spielberg is just awe inspiring with his direction. The story was personal so his direction was personal. You feel like you are in the room with the characters. Adding to Spielberg’s genius direction is the cinematography by Janusz Kaminski. The movie is dark. The only bright colors are the scenes in Congress and the outside scenes other than those scenes the interiors are dark. I believe Kaminski captured the time period perfectly. It was dark inside compared to outside there were no electric lights. Through the colors and direction you can feel the cold atmosphere and you can feel the history seeping out of every frame.
            Lincoln will most likely go down as one of the great historic movies and one of the greatest movies about the life of Abraham Lincoln of all time. As I said we are not watching a myth on the screen we are watching a man. If you like Steven Spielberg’s movies especially War Horse you will like Lincoln. If you enjoy an excellently written and acted movie you will like Lincoln

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Silent Sundays: Pollyanna (1920)

Throughout her career Mary Pickford played girls who were much younger than she actually was. In the teens she was in her twenties playing little girls. Even into the twenties she was playing sassy bright happy little girls. Today an actress who looks like she could play a twelve year old could never pull it off. Pickford pulled off playing young girls because she looked like one. She was short, had long curls, and had a small face with these wide childlike eyes. I have seen several of Pickford’s films and her playing these types of characters does not get boring. Pollyanna was one of her films where she plays a cute little girl with a big heart.
            Pollyanna had been living in the Ozark all her life with her father. Her father has died and left her with an aunt named Polly in a small town in New England. Pollyanna had a big heart and plays a game called the Glad Game. No matter what happens in her life there is always a reason for her to be glad. Not even the rainy windy weather upon her arrive brings her happiness down. The moment Aunt Polly sees Pollyanna she is a mean old lady mad at her niece for getting her all wet and tracking mud through the house.
            As the movie progresses we see Pollyanna bringing light into the town. She befriends a boy named Jimmy Bean who is also an orphan. Pollyanna tries to get her aunt to adopt him but Polly only sees him as a dirty little boy who belongs outside. Pollyanna also meets a man who the boys are afraid of. Mr. Pendleton- as the title card explains- was once in love with a girl who married a man and went off to live in the Ozarks. Pollyanna was picking apple on his property and Mr. Pendleton helped her to get down. He was yelling at her bit and then is shocked when he looks into her eyes and recognizes them as his lost love’s. Pollyanna is brought into his house and Jimmy storms in thinking Mr. Pendleton is doing something mean to her.
            There are more cute stories like this throughout the film. Think of the stories in Amélie and how she helped Nino and the people in the building and that is what Pollyanna is like.
            Pollyanna I have to say has been one of my favorite silent films I have seen since starting Silent Sundays. Lately I have been feeling a little sad and anxious and Pollyanna was perfect I had such a great time watching it. Some scenes were really funny. Mary Pickford was excellent. I can see her appeal and why she played little girls for so long she was so good at that part. I have to admit it was odd to see that her love interest was an actual kid. You can tell she was an adult around actual kids so that was a bit weird even though their relationship was just a friendship. As I mentioned at the beginning I have seen several of Mary Pickford’s films but not enough to say what her best is. But if I were to ever teach a film class Pollyanna would be the Mary Pickford film I would show to the class.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Skyfall (2012)

“A storm's coming.” 

            James Bond is in an institution in my house. My brother Anthony has been obsessed with James Bond for as long as I can remember. He had some of the films on VHS. The first time I remember watching a Bond film was Goldeneye with Pierce Brosnan. To me Brosnan along with Sean Connery is the ultimate James Bond. If I were to imagine a smooth handsome British spy it would definitely be Brosnan. Sean Connery is the ultimate Bond he is the original and nothing can every top the original. Daniel Craig as James Bond is in a league of his own. His Bond films are prequels they are setting up the other Bonds that have come before him. We see James making mistakes and see his progress in his becoming the best double-o agent. Craig’s films are modern and sleek. Skyfall is Craig’s latest turn as James Bond.
            I am going to give you guys a quick and dirty plot- James was in pursuit of a suspect when he was shot by another agent completely by accident. He falls off the train he was riding on top of with the bad guy and into a river. For next three months he has been away from MI-6. He returns much to everyone’s surprise and does not do too well to be reinstated. M’s office at MI-6 is blown up by a cyber terrorist. The terrorist stole a device that names all the agents planted within terrorist cells and will release them publicly every few days.
            This attack was a personal attack on M. She reinstates Bond because she knows he is the only one who could track down the bad guy.
            The whole movie is very personal for Bond and M. The story touches on some aspects of their personal lives but does not divulge a whole ton of information keeping the characters in a shroud of mystery.
            There is so much amazingness in this movie I do not even know where to begin. The cast was perfect. Jarvier Bardem is perhaps one of the best of the best Bond villains ever. He was just creepy he got under your skin and stayed there. If he does not get an Academy Award nomination then there is something utterly wrong with the film industry.
            The cinematography by Roger Deakins is unbelievable. You could feel the atmosphere of every place Bond went. The best scene was when Bond was at a casino in China. The colors were warm and beautiful. I was drooling over that scene and I was drooling over Daniel Craig and his beautiful blue eyes as he was traveling on a yacht. The sun and the blue of the water and his white shirt he was wearing just made his eyes pop.
            No Bond movie is complete without a sweeping theme song. The Bond themes of the past few years have been so-so the only really stand out one has been Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name.” Adele sings the theme this time. The woman can do no wrong. Her voice on a James Bond theme song fit like a glove. Adele’s voice here is like Shirley Bassey on “Diamonds Are Forever”- classy, sophisticated, and smooth just like James Bond. You can almost imagine a classy and sophisticated man like Bond would listen to this Adele song. The opening credits are fantastic. In all my years of watching Bond films I never realized before Skyfall that they allude to what will be happening in the movie. Go me and finally realizing this haha.

            Skyfall is one of the all around best films of the year. Anthony was completely happy with it and says it was perfect and gets all excited just thinking about it. So many references are made from past Bond films in honor of the series turning fifty years old. The references make sense they were not thrown in the movie haphazardly. James Bond has spectacularly stood the test of time in the past fifty years. The character and the idea of Bond being the ultimate spy has inspired so many men and boys and sparked countless imaginations. Skyfall and Daniel Craig have excellently continued that tradition.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rockabye (1932)

Rockabye is full of pre-code fabulousness. That was one reason I had to see the film the other because it is the third of four films pairing Constance Bennett and Joel McCrea. It was an over dramatic story to say the least but a few scenes between Bennett and McCrea completely make up for the dramatic scenes.
            Judy Carroll (Bennett) is a Broadway star. Her star is in jeopardy when she defends her gangster friend Al Howard (Walter Pidgeon in a very small role). The prosecutor attacks Judy left and right and hits her right in the gut when he insinuates that a baby she is trying to adopt is a baby she had with Al. Furiously Judy jumps up saying that is not so. Nothing she says can help Al and he is sentenced to jail.
            When she returns home the first Judy does is play with the little girl she plans to adopt. Judy loves the little girl and the little girl loves her. That very same day two people from the welfare home where the girl comes from arrive at the house. Judy thinks they are there with the adoption papers instead they are there to take the girl away because her name is associated with a gangster. Judy and the little girl are heartbroken.
            To get away from everything Judy and her mother go away to Europe for eight months. When Judy gets back she tells her agent she wants to do a show called Rockabye. The play is very similar to her own life and at first her manager forbids her to do it. Judy meets the plays writer Jacobs van Riker Pell (McCrea). Jake says that Judy cannot play his main character. She hears this and starts screaming and yelling. This leads Jake to see that she can play his main character. Judy tells Jake she is feeling low and wants to go out somewhere. She takes Jake to the places she went as she was growing up downtown before she was an actress. They have a great time together. Judy tells Jake to come to her house after they have been out drinking so they can eat something (**will be explained**).
            Judy and Jake have fallen in love. Jake is in the middle of a divorce and promises as soon as the divorce is final he will marry her. On the opening day of the play Jake is nowhere to be found, no one has been able to get in touch with him. At a party at Judy’s house an older woman asks to speak to her. The woman is Jake’s mother. She tells Judy that when Jake’s wife has just had a baby and she never told Jake since they had separated when she had found out. The mother pleads with Judy to let her son go so he can be a father to his own son. Judy is upset and refuses.
            Jake comes to the house. Judy puts on a show in front of him saying she is going to marry her manager (who the whole time as been in love with her). Jake is upset with her he still loves her and still wants to be with her. Judy tells him they cannot be together anymore since he has a son now.
            So much pre-code wonderfulness in this film I do not know where to begin. First off, Constance Bennett’s character is defending a gangster which would later be a great big no, no. I love the insinuation by the prosecutor that the baby Judy was trying to adopt was her baby with Al Howard. The best scenes were the kitchen scene between Bennett and Joel McCrea and the one the following morning. The kitchen scene was so great. The two of them were playing around chasing each other when McCrea pushes Bennett into a cabinet, she then slaps him back. This whole scene plays out for a minute or two and they just push and slap harder. Next Bennett throws a pie in McCrea’s face, he grabs her, pulls her down to the floor, and they role around together. The next day McCrea has filled Bennett’s room with dozens of balloons. They hear her manager at the door and she tells McCrea to get into her bed as a joke. Since the manager is in love with Bennett he is none too happy to see McCrea in bed with Bennett. I think I nearly died with these scenes I loved them so much and they were seriously very sexy for an old film.
            Constance Bennett and Joel McCrea were perfect together. I love their chemistry in all their films. Bennett was great but there were times when she overacted. Her best scene was when she was with the little baby again on a picnic with McCrea. She and the baby were pretending to talk on a play phone. I cannot even begin to tell you how adorable that was and how fantastic Bennett was. McCrea really did not have too much to do in the film. He was outrageously handsome. There were some scenes where he was a little hammie too but all is forgiven because he is such a good actor.
            Rockabye is not one of the best pre-codes but it is a very good example of such films during the time period. This is definitely a film to catch on TCM if they ever air the film again (it aired over the summer when Joel McCrea was part of TCM’s Summer Under the Stars and this month for Constance Bennett as the stations Star of the Month) if you love pre-code and are a fan of Joel McCrea and Constance Bennett and their pairing.