29 July 2010 | boblipton
Loose as a Goose
Joe E. Brown is very good in this comedy about a health camp that occasionally tries to go the crazy comedy route -- he and Winnie Lightner together sound like Wheeler and Woolsey -- but, despite many good moments, the whole thing is less chaotic than muddled.
Mr. Brown, who rose to prominence in SALLY, was moving out of the musical-comedy roles that had defined him on stage into the brash roles that became his type for the next ten years. Sometimes, as noted, he sounds like half of Wheeler and Woolsey, sometimes he sounds like Charley McCarthy and sometimes he seems to be channeling Bert Lahr. He is excellent at the physical comedy -- his circus background was a real asset to physical comedy -- and it's easy to see why within a couple of years he would be one of Warner Brothers' biggest stars.
Miss Lightner sings one song and scraps with Mr. Brown, who is in love with her and there is a considerable subplot with young lovers Paul Gregory and Claudia Dell -- he's quite good and she is gorgeous. Tom Kennedy has a nice hulking bit. But despite some nice comedy construction, the remnants of a standard 1920s musical comedy plot render this antiquated.