20 April 2017 | MartinHafer
Very watchable because it overdoes everything...
In the 1930s, MGM made a string of so-called 'Colortone Musicals' and the ones I have seen are among the strangest and most watchable films of the era. The weirdest are among the best, such as "The Devil's Cabaret" as well as "What Price Jazz?"...but even the slightly less weird ones like "My Grandfather's Clock" are enjoyable...albeit strange!!
This entire film is told through song. Most of the songs are very familiar public domain tunes and the lyrics are occasionally pretty funny. It begins with the murder of an old man...as the killer was hiding inside the grandfather clock! So, they phoned for Philo Holmes and Dr. Watkins and they come to investigate...and sing!
This is a film that doesn't work completely. It's a bit more conventional than the really weird ones...but still keeps your interest. What also kept my interest was the color. While the films in this series were all made with the two-color process (producing a somewhat limited array of colors), this one looks MUCH better than I would ever expect. In particular, the blues you don't see in Cinecolor and Two-Color Technicolor are actually very blue. The purples are also very nice...so nice I actually think this IS an early form of Technicolor using the three-strip process. I had no idea any of the Colortones were truly full-color...but it sure seems more colorful than usual.