Nov 12, 2021
This Universal 1937 episode stays paused on the pivotal moment in the studio's history, with another James Whale/Deanna Durbin pairing: Whale's last hurrah, The Road Back, and Durbin's second outing, One Hundred Men and a Girl. Whale's film, based on a Remarque novel about Germany between the wars (familiar territory for the pod), compromised by Nazi censorship, and mutilated by the studio, may not represent the director's vision, but is the emphasis on the low comedy characters played by Slim Summerville and Andy Devine a fatal flaw or a Shakespearean inspiration? Then we turn to Henry Koster's surprisingly dark depiction of the American obsession with success, a perfectly constructed comedy that makes good use of its star's boundless energy.
0h 01m 00s: THE ROAD BACK [dir. James Whale]
0h 40m 14s: ONE HUNDRED MEN AND A GIRL [dir. Henry Koster]
Studio Film Capsules provided The Universal Story by Richard B. Jewell & Vernon Harbin
Additional studio information from: The Hollywood Story by Joel W. Finler
* Marvel at our meticulously ridiculous Complete Viewing Schedule for the 2020s
* Intro Song: “Sunday” by Jean Goldkette Orchestra with the Keller Sisters (courtesy of The Internet Archive)
* Read Elise’s latest film piece on Preston Sturges, Unfaithfully Yours, and the Narrative role of comedic scapegoating.
* Check out Dave’s new Robert Benchley blog – an attempt to annotate and reflect upon as many of the master humorist’s 2000+ pieces as he can locate – Benchley Data: A Wayward Annotation Project!
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