Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! HOOK, LINE AND SINKER starring Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey (Radio Pictures, 1930)

Wow, whatta surprisingly funny offering from the team of Wheeler and Woolsey, one that I gotta say is much better'n their previous romp HALF SHOT AT SUNRISE. Now that one, although delivering on some rather good guffaws if you paid attention hard enough, was bogged down by musical numbers and a rather weak script that just couldn't hold the attention span of this mental adolescent occupied long enough but you don't get any of that here...heck, there ain't even an opening musical theme to accompany the titles so you know that this 'un ain't one of those high-falutin' comedies custom-made for the fru frus who go for sophisticated high class comedies with Katherine Hepburn in 'em that's for sure!

Wheeler and Woolsey play a couple of lovable ne'er do well types (what else?) who come to the aid of the cute as a button Dorothy Lee, a lass who has inherited a sleazebag hotel which (thanks to the quick thinking of Woolsey who places a bogus article in the papers) becomes a four star resort for the rich and classy types on the lookout for a li'l getaway. Strangely enough Woolsey's ingenious idea bungles the plans of Lee's old boyfriend, a lawyer who is also working as a smuggler using the hotel to hide his goodies.

A lotta advance publicity regarding the hotel's extra-secure safe also bring out the criminals including a phony duke and duchess, and after the usual funtime plot twists it all comes to a shooting conclusion during a power outage which (believe it or not!) is a whole load funnier'n any preconceived notions you might have accrued after years of watching b-movie crankouts on weekend television during your kiddie upbringing years.

W&W in their typically years of vaudeville experience fashion spew the lines out at quite a rapid pace, and even the cornballiest of jokes work when they're rat-a-tatted your way to the point where they're almost toppling all over each other. The standard plot (I mean, how many films both comedy and drama have used that over-squirted premise?) actually is improved thanks to the talents of the two, and it's so good to the point where even the misfires don't make you wanna switch stations and watch DICK CAVETT  like you probably woulda hadda do way back 1972 way. And just because Dick Cavett liked Wheeler and Woolsey doesn't mean you have to hate them, though frankly I don't know what Cavett thought of 'em one way or the other!

A surprise winner from this still-remembered comedy team that just might suit even the most jaded of people who troll this blog. Might be the one to catch next time it pops up on your local low-wattage "antenna" station in between DANNY THOMAS reruns, but you rich kids who get Turner Classic Movies might wanna check your tee-vee schedules as well.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Terrific interview Chris,you really made my night!Only if they had some studio recordings or an album for our listening pleasure.After all these years the underground small club circuit of new york is still alive and great stories and memories for true aficionados of this era are outthere...Got to give another listen to this forgotten live artifact of the few!