A group of buttoned-up, ivory-tower lexicographers realize they need to go out into the real world and hear how people actually talk—and end up helping a beautiful nightclub singer (Barbara Stanwyck) escape from the Mob.
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35mm, UCLA restoration, rewatched. A superior example of classical language: the fiction, with characters and scenes is the Aristotelian basis of the structure, common to almost all the movies that are usually spoken and commented, but here with a higher level of script writing and dialogues (Wilder and Brackett), cinematography (Gregg Toland) and actor's representation, clearly and ironically filmed by Hawks camera.
Or: Eliza Drumboogie, the Seven Dwarfs, and One Very Tall Cornball. (Or something like that.) There are more than enough sparks here to compensate for the occasional sputtering, and more than enough Stanwyck--root, zoot, cute, and, you know, also solid--to compensate for Cooper's comparatively flat feet and stilted delivery. Fully conjugated fun, kids.
So many great character actors in this one! At the end I was hoping Robert Osborne would come on and give us some more information about the film. Like "Howard Hawks recalled that for the scene in which Bertram reveals his feelings about Sugarpuss in the darkened bungalow, cinematographer Gregg Toland coated Barbara Stanwyck's face with black grease paint so that her eyes would stand out."
"Meet John Doe" lovers with the seven Pa's (Pamuk Prenses ve Yedi Dedeler). A real NERD movie. Clever dialogues, match boogie, Chinese torture, Great Oddley (Richard Haydn - what a voice!) and -Edith Head is right- the most beautiful legs in Hollywood: Barbara Stanwyck. One of the best screwballs of its era. Hawks did it again.
My reaction to this one shocked me. I love almost everything Billy Wilder has been involved with and Howard Hawks is one of my favorite directors...but I do not like this one. It's too dated, I don't find it that funny, and Gary Cooper just doesn't fit.