" ... I was in this room, see, this huge, dark room, and it was filled, every inch of it, with chairs, all of 'em facing one direction like, like a church maybe, yeah, it was like a church, only the chairs were facing a blank wall. Can ya imagine? A blank wall ...
Suddenly the lights went out. I blinked, trying to get my eyes adjusted to the dark when the wall lit up, the one that was empty only a moment before, lit up bright, and whammo, there was sound from everywhere. And the wall wasn't blank anymore but instead ... instead there was everything on it, everything, everything you could ever think of, and more. Lots more. And smiling people, friendly, like ... like nobody you ever met. And they, they wanted ... me? You want me? They beckoned, motioning me over and calling for me. I could barely make it out, but I could hear 'em, I could ... they were calling ... calling ...
The dream... "
A different Lord Of The Jungle (a different studio), essentially cashing in on the trend of the time. While the yell (not the same) could curdle milk, all the action is the same: a jungle safari by pampered Westerners, easily spooked native types, an evil jungle overlord (this guy's an Arab sheik!), untrustworthy guides, a kidnapped woman, and our hero swinging to the rescue. And this Tarzan, beyond being a active Greenpeace member, can bend steel, not to be fooled with. In one chase scene he runs from the tribe of murdering savages carrying the woman under his arm as easily as one might carry a baby. Lots of second unit African animal shots, (from the plains, from the swamps, from the jungle, it doesn't matter) seen in lots of other jungle flicks, on display again here. Still, all in all, not the worst of the genre.
Joel McCrea (doing a Joel McCrea type) plays an arrogant, know-it-all, reporter up against an arrogant, know-it-all master thief (Reginald Owen, doing a stuffy English type) in this throwaway comedy/detective hybrid. Jean Arthur's the cupcake between 'em. She's good. The piece's not bad, but there's no real zing either.
Who is George Arliss? Talk film with anyone, newbie fan to longtime devotee, and see who mentions him. Nobody. And yet he was something of an auteur in his day, respectable as a bank and better thought of. This is the first thing I've ever seen him in, the kind of thing he was most known for, historical bio-pics. And its an unusual bit too. A film about banking? Are you kidding me? And Jewish bankers no less? In a positive light? Talk about flying in the face of public perceptions! Wake me when it's over, okay? And yet: objective achieved. Because of George Arliss, class, humanity, distinction, purpose, he's the hub from which these qualities flow to and through the whole piece, a benevolent fatherly presence that's believable. I was impressed.
One of the more interesting love stories ever, a Marine corporal and a Catholic nun are stranded together on a deserted island in the Pacific towards the end of WWll. With Bob Mitchum as the grunt and Deborah Kerr as the nun you got yer whole blamed chemistry set right there, so much chemistry that for moments in the film the whole war itself seems puny and insignificant. John Huston's the writer/director here and he plays true to both of the lovers, never going for the easy answers or for the hearts and flowers, so respect grows, and it grows in glorious Cinescope. Don't get me wrong, there's some war in here, too, but this is not a typical war film, no, not at all. It's about two lonely people who find each other while there happens to be a war going on.