yessdanc

IMDb member since February 2003
    Lifetime Total
    25+
    Lifetime Plot
    1+
    IMDb Member
    18 years

Reviews

Pennies from Heaven
(1936)

Excellent film- bing and Edith Fellows are a great team!
Mr. Doyle's poor review is questionable at best. This film is a delight from beginning to end. Edith Fellows does NOT play a brat, but a determined and pleasant young girl who can use a little guidance. The songs are fun and Bing and Edith make a great team! If this was a crappy movie, the DVD wouldn't cost $30!! Madge Evans is a bit of a pain, but that's the role she has to play and does it well. Donald Meek is typically good, but Edith steals the show in the first scene at the carnival. Funny when her line 'Thank you, you CROOK! appears near the film's first few minutes. I;m giving this a 9 out of 10. I don't know where some of the rural scenes were filmed, but the interiors were filmed at the old General Service Studios in Hollywood.

The Gracie Allen Murder Case
(1939)

Gracie is almost intolerable after the first 45 minutes!
The Gracie Allen Murder Case starts out as a delightfully silly parody with plenty of Allen's trademark nonsensical quips. By about 45 minutes in you want so badly to slap her into silence it almost ruins the movie. Justifiably (thank god), so do her costars who basically tell her to shut up. In a 30 minute radio show she gets away with it, but in a feature film she eventually becomes as unwelcome as any obnoxious character does. Sorry to say... The supporting players are all well suited to the script, which is well written except for the overabundance of Gracie's big mouth. I don't know what sort of reviews it got upon release, but mine is 3 out of 10, and that's being generous.

Hollywood's Magical Island: Catalina
(2003)

This film is good, but Catalina now not worth it!
I enjoyed this film when it came out in 2003, and was in love w/ Catalina as a great place to slow down and recharge in a pleasant, family and couples oriented tropical paradise. My wife and I (and now kids) had been going for almost 16 years when we had to stop in 2005 due to financial pressure of our own. We went back this summer (2010), and found it almost circus-like in the Island's present approach to tourists, which is 'Gouge em for every dime, cut corners, and don't worry about giving their money's worth.' Everything had doubled in cost, including the tours and attractions (45 minute underwater sub tour- $75 each). On the the inland bus tour, we were driven up into the hills, and the driver was supposed to tell us Catalina history. We also got a 10 minute verbal commercial for their 'new Zipline ride'. Basically a trapeze swing across the canyon- $90. I believe the Santa Catalina Island Company is to blame. I was told by a (nameless) employee that someone new is in charge, and the Island is losing its family charm. So true!!!

Dr. Kildare's Victory
(1942)

Dr. Kildare's Victory
This played on TCM earlier this week, and since I had never seen this one, was looking forward to it. I love the DK series, and this one (I think) follows DK's wedding day. I found this one overlong and a bit too fragmented. I miss Nat Pendleton's goofy role, and the Frank Orth restaurant character is very briefly seen. "Cookie" doesn't seem like the kind of girl DK would go for, but she at least gets him interested in women again(ha). Marie Blake (Later 'Grandmama on the Addams family), also known as Blossom Rock and Jeanette McDonald's sister, is in unusual fine form, but her character comes across as annoying instead of funny this time.

The Jones Family in Hollywood
(1939)

There were 17 Jones Family films, not just one.
The 'reviewer' above states that The Jones Family in Hollywood was the only 'entry' in the Jones Family saga. Not so-not even close. According to the IMDb, there were 17 Jones Family films, and all were made in the span of 3 or 4 years, which is astounding! Jed Prouty always played the Dad, and though I haven't seen more than a couple of these fun but silly films, I believe that most of the films starred the same cast. Wish more were available on the rental market!

I recently met Sid Kibrick, who not only played the youngest son in the Jones sagas, he was WOIM, Butch's sidekick in fourteen episodes of the Our Gang shorts.

Breakfast in Hollywood
(1946)

Folks, ya gotta look at this the right Way!
I occasionally comment on films I find interesting, and it always comes down to- either you 'get' it or you don't. I have a sneaking suspicion those that don't are younger viewers. It was common practice in the 30s and 40s to take a popular radio show and bring it to the big screen. Why? For profit, of course. This being pre-TV, it also created the opportunity for radio listeners to see their favorite performers. These were pop movies, 'programmers'- meant to make a quick buck and capitalize on a radio show's popularity. I find many of them sweet, though not the best quality. Where else are you going to see Tom Breneman, a popular host of BREAKFAST IN HWOOD? The plot of BIH is completely unrealistic (fine w/ me)in that it has Brenemen getting involved in the lives of several of the people that come to see his show. Doesn't know them of course, but wants to help anyway! I found him affable and pleasant- just the kind of host you'd want to listen to shortly after waking up. Other reviewers have told the plot, so I'll stop here. Worth seeing for nostalgia fans, and that's a darn good reason!

Pirate Party on Catalina Isle
(1935)

Great Catalina historical piece from 1935
If you're a fan of Catalina Island as i am, you'll really enjoy this MGM short. Buddy Rogers' band is set up on the front of the late, great Hotel St. Catherine, which burned to the ground decades ago, and is now the Descanso Beach area and campgrounds. The great song, AVALON (Catalina's main tourist village), plays in the background. An earlier review already mentioned some of the mid 30s most famous stars, supposedly sitting near the water taking in all this entertainment, who squeeze out a smile for their day's wages. Chester Morris is rather annoying and way overdone as the blustery captain, but Becky Burgess is leggy and delectable as she and Johnny Long sing a nice little ditty, SMOOTH SAILING. The humor is 30s corn, but this is a time capsule, so that's forgiven. I always take this to Catalina with me to watch in my room at the Hotel Atwater (not shown here, but was in business at this time) and get a good feeling knowing this whole short was shot within two blocks of my snug little room. If you're going to Catalina this summer, first check out MURDER ON A HONEYMOON w/ Edna May Oliver, a splendid comedy/ mystery (also shot on the Island) and YOU'RE ONLY YOUNG ONCE, the second ANDY HARDY movie where the Judge's family head to Catalina for vacation. Over and out!

The Doodlebops
(2004)

The Doodlebops are Great!
Here's a fun, exhilarating show for the kids that is always positive. Well performed and produced, someone should tell this other 'reviewer he/she is a stick-in-the-mud. Relax. Every single kid's show doesn't have to be 'educational'. Kids have a right to have fun too, without everything having a message crammed down their little throats. Hey Mom/Pop (whichever), didn't you ever watch Seinfeld, Friends and other sitcoms. Were they educational??? Come on!! Very colorful and appealing costumes. Cute songs with a positive slant. Likable characters in DeDe, Rooney and Moe. Here's hoping the Doodlebops are around for a very long time.

The Haunted Mansion
(2003)

My 6 year old loved it!
My six year old son loved it as a rental, in the comfort (and safety) of our home. We ended up purchasing a copy and he must have selected it at least 3 times a week for a month. I thought it was a bit frightening for a boy his age, but i guess he enjoys being frightened. Reminds me of when i was his age and my Dad let me stay up to watch FRANKENSTEIN, or some other old classic that was considered scary in those days (I'm now 49). I thought it was well done,even w/ Murphy as a bit over the top realtor. It was the ROLE that was over the top, and I think Murphy was excitable in his usually funny way. I'm continually surprised at what DOESN'T frighten kids nowadays. A fun ride!

The Aviator
(2004)

Seemed like a TV movie re-hash
For all the 'Oscar buzz' one hears about this film, I came away rather disappointed. Why? 1. DiCaprio is a fine actor, granted. He does NOT possess the physical intensity that Hughes had, not to mention almost being the physical opposite. It'd be like Steve Martin playing James Dean. It's just WRONG. 2. For all the accolades Blanchett gets as Hepburn, she's somewhat of a caricature. Her accent was too over the top. What, did Scorcese think we wouldn't know who she was supposed to be? 3.I think an unknown as Hughes would have been a better idea, but then it might not have gotten the big box office receipts we're hearing about. And that's what's really at the bottom of this. I'll take the Tommy Lee Jones TV version any day!

Buck Benny Rides Again
(1940)

Buck Benny- warm & funny
This movie has the neatest 'look' to it. It's the visual equivalent to a warm bath. Silly and corny and all those other terms that add up to non-threatening, trouble-forgetting fun. Ellen 'the Body' Drew plays the hard to get singer in a sisters vocal group, also comprised of the cute and whimsical Virginia Dale and Lillian Cornell, who seems almost invisible, so little does she shine. The song, 'Say It' melts me every time i hear it, and it's in the film twice. Jack is an understated scream. When the girls tell him they're staying at a western-theme hotel, Jack, in his best western tone replies, "That's a little too 'delooxe' for me." His shiny, studded cowboy suits are overly done, a la Liberace! Phil Harris is great in his 'Well all Riiiight' hipsterspeak way, and Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson handles a great deal of the dialog. Great for a 'nothing-to-do' night, but don't think it ever came out on VHS. I taped it. If you get the chance, see it!

Garden of the Moon
(1938)

Excellent fun flick w/ Johnnie 'Scat' Davis!
This film is a pip and I'll tell you why- the presence of Johnny 'Scat' Davis.He was always the PERFECT musical sidekick in so many of the lightweight musical/ comedies of the late 30s and lights up the screen w/ his sincere energy and wholesome smile. JUST recently I've wanted to know more about him, and this is one of his best! Pat O'Brien is great and funny in a real 'rat you love to hate' kinda way. I can't look at pretty Margaret Lindsey without expecting to see Frankenstein's monster lumbering around the scene. This is a great little warm and fuzzy Busby Berkeley film. Perfect on a rainy afternoon. Caught it on TCM. John Payne is passable as the band leader, though he's not the best singer, if that's his voice. Definitely worth seeing!

La Fiesta de Santa Barbara
(1935)

THE LOCATION IS STILL THERE!
La Fiesta de Santa Barbara was filmed in 1935 at a former mission in SB, now a restaurant called the EL PASEO. Since it was a mission, they've named it a historical 'treasure' or whatever term they use when it can no longer be torn down. The fun part for me is something I didn't realize until I'd viewed the short probably a dozen times. Much of the dancing and such is performed on a stage that i'VE PLAYED ON A DOZEN TIMES and still looks exactly the same! The El Paseo hired my classic rock band, THE REVOLVERS many times to play on Friday and Sat. nights for the late diners and dancers in the late 90s. What a thrill for me to realize it's the same stage. I heartily agree with another reviewer who says the bright spot is TOBY WING climbing out of a covered wagon. It appears most of the girls are braless (I'm sure a director's choice) and it flatters some of the girls like Toby, but doesn't do much for others like Ida Lupino, who was never what I'd call a cheesecake actress, though in her early days it appears so. The short is funny, in beautiful color and worth catching on TCM occasionally.

Diamonds Are Forever
(1971)

Lana Wood is delectable
As a Bond fan and one who thinks of Bond as Sean Connery ONLY, the honest reason i watch DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER is for Lana Wood as Plenty O'Toole. I will admit to being powerfully attracted to her appearance- fair skin, lightly freckled in all the right places, a pouty, saucy brunette with big beautiful expressive eyes. And what's between her belly button and collarbone is powerfully perfect as well. If you saw her pictorial in Playboy in '71, you'd see a work of art. She was DEFINITELY blessed by the dairy fairy. Sounds chauvinistic (if anybody still uses that term), but i don't think noting beauty is a sin, unless of course my wife reads this! Oh yeah, Bond ain't bad either!

You'll Find Out
(1940)

THIS ONE GOT YOUR ATTENTION!!
It's funny how many 'reviewers' didn't 'get' YOU'LL FIND OUT. Kay Kyser was a huge star (as big as Karloff, Lugosi, and Lorre) in the late 30s thru the 40s, and his top-rated radio show spawned 7 feature films, playing himself every time except one, so to brand him as 'silly' means you're uninformed, bub! Corny, yes, but that was the cornerstone of his appeal. THAT'S WHAT RADIO COMEDY WAS LIKE THEN. Judging Kyser by today's standards is like criticizing a Jack Benny radio show because he was 'stingy'!! THAT'S THE HUMOR, FOLKS!!! I find the most criticism comes from those who watched YFO because Boris, Bela and Peter appeared together in it. Well, guys, the news for you here is, it was without a doubt a KAY KYSER VEHICLE, complete with his name above the title and everything, so don't expect friggin' FRANKENSTEIN MEETS DRACULA. The music was wonderfully appropriate, with all song lyrics by Johnny Mercer, and an academy award nomination for the song, I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE, so any detractors should be suitably chagrined.

Swiss Family Robinson
(1960)

A DEFINITE MUST FOR ANY 7 YEAR OLD BOY
Okay, here it is in a nutshell- If your 7 year old son doesn't want to go out in the backyard and energetically act out parts of this film after seeing it, your kid needs a doctor! James MacArthur is his usual early 60s insecure teen, Tommy Kirk is good as usual w/ an early beatle cut. John Mills seems a bit old for the part, but nonetheless does a good job, and Dorothy McGuire sits through most of the film(!) Great father/son film!! Kevin Corcoran is over-spunked as in most of the Disney films, but plays the part perfectly. I can see my little boy's admiration in his eyes when Corcoran's on the screen. I remember the 'Moochie" parts he played when I was a kid and also felt he'd be a great playmate. Okay, that's my 10 lines. Rent it for your family!

Around the World
(1943)

Kyser (a MAN) plus exotic locales works!
AROUND THE WORLD is a fine, entertaining RKO film. Kay Kyser was a hugely popular MALE bandleader when HE made this in '43. Appearances by Mischa Auer, comedy team CARNEY AND BROWN, Marcy McGuire and Joan Davis round out an entertaining cast. Good swing numbers-check out Roodle-EE-doo! Worth seeing if you're a fan of wartime comedy/musicals.

My Favorite Spy
(1942)

MY FAV SPY ONE OF KYSER'S BEST
Who could imagine anything more ridiculous than bespectacled 40s big band leader KAY KYSER ever being a spy?? Well, that's the key in this amusing wartime farce, and its strength. Everybody knows Kyser as a benign, southern gentleman from the ultra popular KOLLEGE OF MUSICAL KNOWLEDGE radio show, so drafting him and using him as a spy is the perfect governmental solution! When Nazis are discovered using musical arrangements to broadcast coded messages, Kyser is on the case! Particularly memorable are his two lovely costars, Ellen Drew (she of the PERFECT body and cheekbones)and Jane Wyman as his cohort in spy-dom. Kyser tries to act tough ("Bartender! Stab us with a couple of drinks!")but can't quite rise to the occasion. Perhaps he'll prevail in the end! Great(though not enough) songs! Harry Babbitt sings the perfect 'homesick soldier' song, JUST PLAIN LONESOME, and bouncy Sully Mason the catchy GOT THE MOON IN MY POCKET. People seem surprised to hear Harold Lloyd produced this film. Whaddya they want- Kyser hanging from a clock?? Ish Kabibble (Merwyn Bogue) is first rate in his usual capacity as inane sidekick, but could have been used more. Robert Armstrong (King Kong)is the perfect expressionless American Nazi/tough guy. Out of Kyser's 7 features, this one for RKO, I'd rate this 4 out of 5 stars. More on 'The IL' Professor of Swing at kaykyser.net Fun flick!!

Playmates
(1941)

Many of you just don't get it...
All you drama queens out there who whine about 'Poor John Barrymore- look what they've reduced him to, and in his last film!'Well, let me tell you something- 'Poor John' read the friggin' script and no one forced him to take the role. Also, HE didn't know it was his last movie! For those obviously uninformed, this movie was a KAY KYSER vehicle, meant for Kay Kyser and Ish Kabibble fans, designed to sell Kay Kyser records and promote the very very popular Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge radio show. The film was aimed at teenagers, to whom the name BARRYMORE meant little by that time. But Kay Kyser was a huge star. It's an entertaining little pop film, and that's all it was meant to be, so dry your widdle tears!

Around the World
(1943)

Kyser (a MAN) plus exotic locales works!
AROUND THE WORLD is a fine, entertaining RKO film. Kay Kyser was a hugely popular MALE bandleader when HE made this in '43. Appearances by Mischa Auer, comedy team CARNEY AND BROWN, Marcy McGuire and Joan Davis round out an entertaining cast. Good swing numbers-check out Roodle-EE-doo! Worth seeing if you're a fan of wartime comedy/musicals.

Swing Fever
(1943)

MGM HASN'T A CLUE W/ SWING FEVER!
It's a shame Kay Kyser's 5 picture deal w/ RKO ended with AROUND THE WORLD('43), because when MGM signed him for this one film, they dropped the ball big time. It's a poor story that barely features Kyser's great band, and has an overlong production number, MISSISSIPPI DREAMBOAT. I think this is the first onscreen appearance of Lena Horne, who sings a song then disappears, but i could be mistaken about that. Blonde and sexy Marilyn Maxwell plays Kyser's love interest, which seemed a bit far-fetched until Kyser's real life widow, Georgia Carroll, informed me Kay and Marilyn dated seriously in real life! THERE IS A CLASSIC VISUAL GAG where Kyser's rehearsing his band and identifies a couple of strangers playing along. Kyser (as Lowell Blackford) doesn't recognize them, but tells them they can't play his music very well. The camera pans over to TOMMY DORSEY and HARRY JAMES who leave the bandstand, complaining " No one can play this music. This guy'll never get anywhere. Besides, he looks too much like KAY KYSER!!" Best line in the film! In conclusion, SWING FEVER never reaches fever pitch, and the dummies at MGM never tried again w/ Kyser, who, by the way was a big big star at this time. Good posters, though!!

That's Right - You're Wrong
(1939)

KYSER'S BEST!
THAT'S RIGHT, YOU'RE WRONG is the first Kyser feature (there were 7) and I think his best. The plot is rather formulaic, but with a couple of cute twists. I recently purchased director David Butler's script (I'm a Kyser 'kollector') and followed along as i watched the film. There was a song cut, and dialogue as well. Turns out Louella Parsons and then columnist Ed Sullivan were to be in the film alongside Hedda Hopper, Jimmy Fidler et al. Songs are great, band great, Lucille Ball great. Could be this is a bit corny by today's standards, but who cares? It's a fun, innocent flick that presented all the (then) on-air radio characters of the extremely popular Kyser band- Ish Kabibble, Harry Babbitt, Ginny Simms, and Sully Mason, as well as Kyser, visually for the first time.

Carolina Blues
(1944)

Not Kyser's Best
Out of the 7 feature films starring Big Bandleader Kay Kyser, i rate this one dead last. I hate to say it, as I've commented on other Kyser films, and am a BIG Kyser enthusiast, but this, his one film for Columbia, and as it turned out, his last feature, is just embarrassing. It wasn't his fault. It was that Columbia had NO idea what to do with him. Kyser started w/ RKO in '39, did 5 features there, and was very successful. Then one for MGM, SWING FEVER, which was not very good, but better than this. But i digress...I don't know if it's just my 16mm transfer to vhs, but the production values seem cheap, as in dark lighting. The great band doesn't get enough to do, and though Ann Miller is good, comic relief Victor Moore practically chews the scenery. In a scene in a taxi, you can see Kyser mouth the other actor's line as he delivers it. The first 3 Kyser films are priceless in my book, as the freshness and heart are so very apparent. But this really drags. Thank God Ish Kabibble (Merwyn Bogue)is in fine, dumb-as-a-brick form.

That's Right - You're Wrong
(1939)

KYSER'S BEST!
THAT'S RIGHT, YOU'RE WRONG is the first Kyser feature (there were 7) and I think his best. The plot is rather formulaic, but with a couple of cute twists. I recently purchased director David Butler's script (I'm a Kyser 'kollector') and followed along as i watched the film. There was a song cut, and dialogue as well. Turns out Louella Parsons and then columnist Ed Sullivan were to be in the film alongside Hedda Hopper, Jimmy Fidler et al. Songs are great, band great, Lucille Ball great. Could be this is a bit corny by today's standards, but who cares? It's a fun, innocent flick that presented all the (then) on-air radio characters of the extremely popular Kyser band- Ish Kabibble, Harry Babbitt, Ginny Simms, and Sully Mason, as well as Kyser, visually for the first time.

You'll Find Out
(1940)

THIS ONE GOT YOUR ATTENTION!!
It's funny how many 'reviewers' didn't 'get' YOU'LL FIND OUT. Kay Kyser was a huge star (as big as Karloff, Lugosi, and Lorre) in the late 30s thru the 40s, and his top-rated radio show spawned 7 feature films, playing himself every time except one, so to brand him as 'silly' means you're uninformed, bub! Corny, yes, but that was the cornerstone of his appeal. THAT'S WHAT RADIO COMEDY WAS LIKE THEN. Judging Kyser by today's standards is like criticizing a Jack Benny radio show because he was 'stingy'!! THAT'S THE HUMOR, FOLKS!!! I find the most criticism comes from those who watched YFO because Boris, Bela and Peter appeared together in it. Well, guys, the news for you here is, it was without a doubt a KAY KYSER VEHICLE, complete with his name above the title and everything, so don't expect friggin' FRANKENSTEIN MEETS DRACULA. The music was wonderfully appropriate, with all song lyrics by Johnny Mercer, and an academy award nomination for the song, I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE, so any detractors should be suitably chagrined.

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