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42nd Street Review


Excellent
Of Golden Age musicals, 42nd Street is about as close to the archetype as they come. It's about an hour of exposition as a big Broadway director puts on his last big show (as he's ill), and all manner of catastrophes befall him en route to opening night. Most notably in 42nd Street, his star breaks her ankle and has to be replaced by a chorus girl. Then comes the music and dancing, rapid fire. While "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" is the sentimental favorite musical number, it's the title song and dance number, about 20 minutes of insanity that takes place largely on an enormous lazy susan, that really gets things moving. Too bad it comes right at the end.

Dead Ringer Review


Very Good
1964's Dead Ringer is the middle film in Bette Davis's personal trilogy of tacky terror, falling between the unforgettable What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and the slightly more forgettable but still tacky and terrifying Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte. It almost seems as if Davis was trying to keep up with Joan Crawford, her archenemy and Baby Jane co-star, whose axe-murderess epic Strait-Jacket came out the same year. It's safe to say that 1964 was a weird year down at the Bijou.

Dead Ringer is a classic good twin/bad twin murder mystery and identity swap that will keep you on your toes. Davis, directed her by her Now, Voyager co-star Paul Henreid, plays the twins: Edie Phillips, the down-on-her-luck twin who runs a seedy bar in downtown L.A., and Margaret Phillips DeLorca, the just-widowed wife of an outrageously rich Spanish nobleman who lives in an enormous mansion decorated to look like a 17th-century Andalusian monastery. It's ookey and it's spooky.

Continue reading: Dead Ringer Review

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