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Monday, June 02, 2014

Another From Universal's Vault


The Mating of Pash-Pie and Double-Bubble in No Room For The Groom (1952)

Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie were a love team before Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh were a lovelier team, latter arrangement sanctified by marriage and of longer duration. Besides, Tony and Piper did not mesh offscreen, as testified mutually in memoirs done decades later (shared suspicion that one had tried to sabotage career advance of the other). That story is more interesting than anything that happens in No Room For The Groom, a Universal-International assault on nerves that sets a record for gather of unappealing characters under single feature roof. There's an insufferable child (Lee Aaker) that Bill Fields in better days would have properly cooked, plus fringe folk being obnoxious beyond what 82 minutes of patience can endure. Do I recommend? Yes, but guardedly, any groceries off U-I shelves being edible for simple fact so few are digitally served. Consider fact that Curtis and Laurie made four pictures together and this is the first so far available on DVD. You could say this doesn't matter on basis of all being negligible, but C&L were a popular duo and their pairings do reflect what young people surrendered allowance and TV to go out and see (note direct appeal to youth in the above slang-slanted ad).


No Room For The Groom is based on a one-joke premise, being junior varsity spin on Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan's situation in I Was A Male War Bride. It's a photo finish, in fact, as Tony, like Cary, is in the service and has but limited leave time to marry Piper and consummate the union, a mission made impossible for their inability to find private quarters. This of course was 1952, when movies observed strict presumption that couples did not achieve intimacy short of vows being spoke. Frustration in this case, however, extends to the audience and becomes as acute for us as for Curtis/Laurie. The stars would look back on No Room For The Groom as a "B" picture, which it really wasn't, despite modest budget and opt for black and white. Tony Curtis was by 1952 a major enough name to command top-of-bill placement, his the lead attraction that would sell a double feature and fill houses with Tony-boppers. Universal's "Vault Series" has just released No Room For The Groom on DVD. Contrast is light, but passable. The director is Douglas Sirk, so there might be cult interest, though you'd be hard-pressed finding Sirkian signature here (Curtis, by the way, considered DS worship a pure fraud, calling the director "cold and aloof and unsympathetic").

1 Comments:

Blogger Kevin K. said...

At first glance, I thought the woman opposite Tony in the top photo was Audrey Meadows, and the guy on the right was British comedian Peter Cooke. Maybe that might have made a more interesting movie. On second thought, perhaps not.

3:22 PM  

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