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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

INTERNATIONAL HOUSE (1933)

Typical Paramount revue comedy with a something-for-everyone assortment of tasty bits, misses & Dadaist logic. The plot, such as it is, has everyone trying to get the rights to an early tv prototype. That's what brings the whole crazy cast to our eponymous Asian Grand Hotel which gets to play host to the scandalous, if unphotographable, Peggy Joyce Hopkins (she was like the Paris Hilton of her day); W. C. Fields (game, but with little to chew on); terminally bland Stuart Erwin; an unexpectedly lively Bela Lugosi; George Burns & Gracie Allen in tip-top form & many others; including Cab Calloway whom we see performaing "Reefer Man' on that experimental television. It's really not as much fun as you want it to be, but on the plus side, the print looks great (Ernest Haller lensed) and if you've ever wanted to know what W. C. Fields might have been like as the Wizard of Oz, a part he almost got, just check out his entrance in this.

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