Mad Holiday (1936)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Mystery

Mad Holiday (1936) Poster

Philip Trent is tired of playing film detective Shelby James. He thinks that the stories are tripe and plans a vacation to get away from Hollywood. But on the ship, he meets a mysterious ... See full summary »


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12 January 2020 | MartinHafer
| Yet another film where amateurs solve serious crimes.
In the 1930s and 40s, Hollywood made tons of mystery films in which amateurs solve crimes that the police are just too stupid to solve. It seems that anyone who wanted to be a detective could solve crimes in these teachers, reporters, and, in "Mad Holiday", actors.

When the story begins, Philip Trent (Edmund Lowe) is finishing up his sixth mystery movie...and he's sick of them. He feels that the stories are trite and he refuses to do any more. Before he'll even consider returning to the studio to work in any film, he wants a vacation. However, when he takes a cruise, wouldn't you know it but bodies would start piling up, and, in some cases, disappearing! Apparently it all has something to do with a stolen Chinese diamond...and reluctantly Trent begins investigating the case along with Ms. Dean...the woman who wrote his trite screenplays.

In support of Lowe are a variety of familiar actors (such as Zasu Pitts, Edmund Gwenn and Edgar Kennedy), but the most interesting was Ted Healy. While I never have been a Healy fan, he is an interesting guy here because it's so obvious that the part was written for Ted Healy and His Stooges. The Three Stooges had been partners with Healy up until about 1933 and here, without the Stooges, he inexplicably smacks a few guys around as if they were Moe, Curly and Larry! Again and again, he's slapping poor schmucks who just seem willing to take it! It really was weird.

Even though this plot is too familiar, having Trent be an actor who has no interest in investigating crimes is unusual. He only begrudgingly investigates...and he really would rather be left alone.

So is it any good? Yes...mostly because I love Lowe and loved his style in this movie. He's an actor mostly forgotten today, though he certainly deserves to be remembered. Here he manages to take a B-mystery and inject a lot of life into it. Well worth seeing and fun.

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