Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

LAUGHING SINNERS (1931)

The loamy plot of this romantic-triangle from M-G-M is full of manure, and Harry Beaumont’s megging holds to the stiff rhythms of early Talkies, but the film’s worth a look just to see Joan Crawford and fast-rising Clark Gable in the process of fine-tuning their screen personas. Crawford’s a dinner club chantoosie who thinks she’s engaged to traveling salesman Neil Hamilton. But when he ditches her for the boss’s daughter, she’s ready to jump off a bridge. And that's when Salvation Army man Clark Gable steps in. (Nicely staged with the camera holding on their shoes as the drama plays out.) Joan reforms herself and sparks to Gable; then Hamilton reappears. Will Joan dump solid Clark for this smoothy? Will she regret her past . . . or her future? The young Crawford is a revelation for those who only know her later work. The lumbering technology of the day helped tame the unfocused energy of her flapper period, and she’s far less rigid & controlled than she became. (Charles Rosher’s fine-grained lensing doesn’t hurt, either.) You can’t do an easy comic impersonation of this Joan. But don’t blink, this early softness wouldn’t last long. Gable was also emerging, but as what? His previous pic (THE SECRET SIX) showed off a cool sexual confidence that moved past his initial tough guy roles. Even with sixth billing he stole the pic. (The studio saw it happening and gave him that film’s final shot.) Here, he’s charming in his Salvation Army outfit, even with those darn flapping ears, but the story removes the rough-and-ready edge. In his next pic, he’d give studio Queen Norma Shearer a slug in the puss . . . and then a big wet kiss. That put him over.

CONTEST: More than two decades later, Joan would return to M-G-M with a film that has two easy connections to this one. Name them to win our usual prize, a MAKSQUIBS WriteUp of the NetFlix DVD of your choice.

No comments: