16 July 2005 | Jim Tritten
. . . . and thank goodness they have stopped
In the late 1930s, picture puzzles were a national craze. "Everybody's Doing It" was one of those movies that cashes in on topical issues such as picture puzzles but loses its entire relevancy outside of the context of the times.
In summary form, this movie suffers from bad writing and lame lines, poor direction, bad acting, and bad editing.
The major point of this film is that artists were able to create puzzles out of a combination of pictures, letters, and symbols that when put together, formed a word or a short sentence. But rather than involve the audience in the solution, we are only treated to short glimpses of some of the puzzles from time to time and not brought into the plot as a participant.
The major storyline is that an alcoholic artist comes up with a very good idea that will help sell cereal and that he fails to deliver the final batch of puzzles that will finalize the contest. He goes on a bender, gets waylaid by a health nut hired on by his fiancé, and then ultimately gets kidnapped by the same health nut. The story sort of makes sense but only if the viewer makes allowances. There is the unnecessary complication of racketeers who sell the answers to the puzzles and rampant slapping and punching that would have worked well with the Three Stooges and sound effects but in the end gets annoying.
It is tough to single out whose acting should be singled out as deserving of mention. I guess it would have to be Lorraine Krueger since she not only spoke lines but also tap danced. Preston Foster is a real disappointment.
Some of the transitions between scenes do nothing to suggest continuity was sought after by the director. Sounds were a problem in that many of the scenes are difficult to understand and obviously were not retaken.
On the whole, there is not much to recommend. Better than, by a hair, "Plan 9 From Outer Space."