11 September 2015 | Michael_Elliott
Central Park After Dark
Central Park (1932)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Dot (Joan Blondell) and Rick (Wallace Ford) are both as broke as broke can be when they meet each other in Central Park. After stealing a couple hot dogs to eat the two agree to meet up later in the day. They both end up getting small jobs by the police. Rick gets one from a nice policeman (GUy Kibbee) who is losing his vision. Dot thinks she's working for cops for a charity benefit but she's actually getting double crossed by a gangster.
CENTRAL PARK is without question one of the strangest films you're ever going to see from this era of Hollywood. I'm going to guess that the screenwriter had written four or five incomplete scripts and just decided to throw bits and pieces of all of them into one film. This movie starts off dealing with the depression, which is something rare for this era. It then turns into a cute romantic comedy. Then, out of nowhere, it turns into a bizarre murder film with a nut escaping from a mental hospital. Then it turns into a film about an escaped lion. Oh, then we get back to the woman being double crossed by gangsters.
As you can tell, there's all sorts of crazy stuff that happens in this film and what's even more shocking is that they pack it all into a short 58 minutes. Is this a good movie? Not really but with so much weird stuff going on you can't help but be entertained. The greatest thing going for the picture are the three leads who deliver fine performances. Again, with such a short running time they don't get too much to do but what's here is a lot of fun. Blondell and Ford have a lot of nice chemistry together and Kibbee is always watchable no matter what he's doing.
CENTRAL PARK isn't a well-known movie, which is a shame. I'm sure if more people watched it it could gain a cult following because of how nuts it actually is.