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Saturday, December 09, 2017

Marriage Counseling From RKO


Let's Try Again (1934) Reunites A Popular Team

Clive Brook and Diana Wynyard weren't exactly the Team That Generates Steam, but for civilized lovemaking, they were a pair to beat. So how was it we cared about a Brit couple's marital travails? Success of Cavalcade had something to do with that. RKO was here recycling what had worked the previous year for Fox, only on a much reduced scale. There was no disgrace in doing candy box versions of a past hit, being common practice among companies bound to release a feature per week. We can enjoy Let's Try Again for having sights lowered from heavier Cavalcade, being 67 minutes pleasantly spent, though I'd add caveat that liking for Brook/Wynyard is threshold must. As it happens, I'm a Brook loyalist, that a consequence of Greenbriar flying Union Jack where it comes to Brit pics or players. You'd think Let's Try Again was done over there, what with clipped speech and tea service banging against cocktail shakers. In fact, the whole thing takes place between pours. I kept waiting for characters to ask for a bathroom break. In fact, mix was deluded by Code edicts lately in effect, Let's Try Again released mid-1934 after guard dogs were awakened. Still it works, thanks to Britishers' natural reserve and fact that marital discord is here worked out over space of hours rather than weeks/months that might have consumed other partners. Let's Try Again shows up occasionally at TCM.

5 Comments:

Blogger CanadianKen said...

I generally admire both Brook and Wynyard but I find this one a bit of a slog. Seven years later they reteamed in the British film "Freedom Radio". It examines an affluent, accomplished couple in 30's Germany and how their differing reactions to the rise of Nazism affect their lives. It's a fine, gripping movie and they're both superb in it.
By the way, isn't that beautiful Irene Hervey (wife of Allan Jones, mother of Jack)) in the black and white shot at the top of the article? I believe she's also in "Let's Try Again". There's a woman whose talent and charisma warranted major stardom. She was always a pleasure to watch and listen to. Remember her terrific cameo decades later with Clint Eastwood in "Play Misty for Me"?

5:03 PM  
Blogger Donald Benson said...

Note on your topper image of the Liberty's 1958 Christmas Eve show: "Who Killed Doc Robbin" was a decade-old Roach Streamliner, and supposedly a bomb. Just the cheapest kid feature at the exchange, or did it find favor with the matinee crowd?

Coincidentally, they just reran a Calvin & Hobbes that references kiddie matinees:
http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/2017/12/09

This would have first run in the 80s; Watterson was born in '58. The implication is that Calvin's mother couldn't handle the chaos, but I assumed the deal with kiddie matinees was the absence of parental supervision.

2:56 AM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

I'd guess the cartoons, Santa, gifts, and candy were the real draws. Only regret I wasn't there for the fun, but age four was a little young for me to make the Liberty scene.

5:45 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Incredibly, Who Killed Doc Robbin was booked as a kiddie matinee at several Cleveland theaters in January, 1974 under the title The Haunted Mansion. The ads also promised cartoons. I was around 12 at the time and took a 6 year old nephew to see it. Under any title, Who Killed Doc Robbin is terrible; but for me, the big surprise of the day was instead of cartoons they ran Way Out West. It was also around this time that I saw Scared to Death as a kiddie matinee.

12:22 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Amazing that SCARED TO DEATH would still have played a theatre in the 70's. I tried getting through a surprisingly nice transfer on TCM some months back, and it was agony, but great seeing Bela Lugosi in color.

1:33 PM  

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