Norman Krasna

Norman Krasna

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The Devil and Miss Jones Review


Excellent
Wow, that title sure sounds like a porn movie, doesn't it? (The Devil in Miss Jones came out in 1972.) Of course, this one isn't adult fare, and in fact the devil doesn't even make an appearance in the film. The misleading title actually refers to a department store owner, J.P. Merrick (a masterful Charles Coburn, who never really got his due), who goes undercover in his own store to root out union organizers. Along the way he finds love, friendship (with Jean Arthur's Mary Jones), and a surprisingly funny series of events. The sole dud in the film: Robert Cummings, as Mary's boyfriend/union ringleader, whose whining and soul-searching nearly wreck the whole thing. It's supposed to be a comedy, Bob!

Let's Make Love Review


Weak
Old Marilyn Monroe farce, with ultra-rich Yves Montand coming from France to Broadway in order to see the rehearsal of a new play satirizing his life. Only he sees the inimitable Monroe on the stage and decides to roll with it, taking the role of himself in the play in order to get closer to the girl.

Yeah, only in the movies.

Continue reading: Let's Make Love Review

Clash By Night Review


OK
Cannery Row in Monterey. Christ, you can smell the fish through your TV.

The setting is always good for a noir, and throwing Barbara Stanwyck in as the lead doesn't hurt. Here Stanwyck plays a woman who didn't quite make it in the big city, so she's moved back home to figure out what to do next.

Continue reading: Clash By Night Review

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) Review


Grim
It's unusual -- unique, even -- for a director's "big departure" to be a screwball comedy. And here it is: A disastrously ill-advised bickering couple's comedy from none other than Alfred Hitchcock.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith offers a potentially rich setup: Married couple discovers there vows weren't quite legal, and the wife (Carole Lombard) decides she prefers it that way, sending husband (Robert Montgomery) into a tizzy. The usual setups follow: Montgomery checks into his men's club and stalks his "wife," who immediately begins dating a series of men.

Continue reading: Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) Review

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