Aug 4, 2018
When proletarian Warner Brothers hightails it to the Ozarks, things can only go two ways: toward tragedy or rough mockery. Swing Your Lady offers a touch of the former (thanks primarily to genuine chemistry between unlikely screen lovers Louise Fazenda and Nat Pendleton), and a whole mess of the latter. There's not much Gipper in this one, but what there is, is choice - by now he's got his sharpie media character persona so well honed that he runs rings around wrestling promoters Humphrey Bogart, Frank McHugh, and Allen Jenkins (none of whom, it must be owned, is playing at the brighter edge of their respective character ranges).
The film offers wonderful opportunities for your hosts to digress upon such weighty matters as "Ozark face" minstrelsy; the eruption of "hillbilly" music upon the popular scene during the 1930s; the strange careers and love lives of The Weaver Brothers & Elviry; a lengthy disquisition upon the unique properties of "The Old Apple Tree" (a tragi-comic lynching ballad); a potted history of American wrestling (on and off the big screen), with a special focus on hirsute suitor Daniel Boone Savage; and an ode to future Blondie star Penny Singleton's sick terpsichore.
Along the way, you'll hear all of the features you've come to know and love, including AFI Film Catalog Subject Tags, Would You Bang Reagan?, and a date with Norbert "I Love Actresses!" Lusk (whose critical wisdom puts the callow carping of the Medved Brothers and Bosley Crowther to shame.)
"The Old Apple Tree" - performed by Artie Shaw & His Rhythm Makers (1938)
Now is a time for choosing. Choose RED TIME FOR BONZO!
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"Driving Reagan" by Gareth Hedges