Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (2)
| Fresh (2)
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Even with its many flaws this is a gem of a film.
A quintessential Joan Crawford vehicle of the Depression era, this melodrama centers on a working-class femme (cook's daughter) and the three men in her life: bad boy lover Gene Raymond, rich boy Franchot Tone, and drunken millionaire Edward Arnold.
It's so strange that almost no one today knows about the extraordinary early career of Joan Crawford. She was America's leading lady in the 1930s and made an incredible number of wonderful little movies in that decade -- several gems per year, many with Clark Gable.
I stumbled upon movies like 1934's "Sadie McKee" while in the process of exploring Bette Davis's early movies. Now I know why Davis had such a bee in her bonnet when it came to Crawford: Davis was envious of Crawford all through the early 1930s. Crawford was the legend that Davis so wanted to become.
It's sad today that while Davis's movies are still seen, most of Crawford's aren't even available on disc! Tragic. Everyone remembers Crawford, but more for the sideshow that her personal life became and for the performances she gave after her rediscovery in "Mildred Pierce" (1945). No one watches her early movies. There's so little demand for them that most aren't even pressed on disc.
"Sadie McKee" has some problems, particularly when it comes to story structure. While it's a bit jumbled and tries to be too many things, it's also entertaining as hell and has some sublime moments that seem to stop time. I kept imagining myself in a theater in 1934 watching this gem flickering in the dark. Imagine going back in time to see movies in theaters in the 1930s, when cinema was still so fresh and new, still being invented. It gives me goosebumps.
Watching Joan Crawford's early work has made me fall in love with the movies all over again.
Rags to riches with Joan, the clothes are phenomenal the film dated.
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