Saturday, September 4, 2010

Nothing Sacred (1937)

Frederic March is Wally Cook, a newspaper man who needs to redeem his reputation after promoting a man claiming to be a sultan who turns out to be a lowly janitor (why, that uppity ...). He takes on the story of a poor, hot Vermont woman (Carole Lombard) dying of radium poisoning.

Here's the deal, though. It turns out that she isn't REALLY dying. Seems o'll Doc Enoch screwed up the diagnosis. Apparently the only thing worse than a slow painful death is living a long life in Vermont, so Hazel Flagg (that's the character name) decides to play along in hopes of getting an all expense paid trip to New York.

Hazel becomes the toast of the town while Wally slowly falls in love with her. Will her secret come out? Will Wally's reputation be totally ruined? Will their love triumph? Well, this is a screwball comedy, so you figure it out.

I've mentioned before that I long believed The Wizard of Oz was the first color movie, but two years before Oz we have here a Technicolor film. Margaret Hamilton plays a Vermont drug store patron, so it wasn't even HER first color movie. Technicolor meaning, of course, technically color.

Here's something weird. In the 1974 animated feature Journey Back to Oz, Hamilton lends her voice as ... Aunt Em? I suppose the witch was dead. Liza Minnelli (Judy Garland's daughter, people) plays Dorothy. For the youngsters in the audience, back in the day, Liza was ... well ... ok looking.

Fun, entertaining, predictable. AMRU 3.

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