Doodad Kind of Town

Playin’ Catch Up
June 1, 2009, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve been back from Houston since Friday night, but I haven’t been able to make myself blog. It was too beautiful a weekend, too sunny and glorious, to spend much time inside with the laptop. So I wandered though the neighborhood art festival with a friend, got in a yoga class, and finished out the weekend by finally watching “What Price Hollywood?”- the 1932 George Cukor film that’s been languishing at the bottom of my DVR queue for months.

“What Price Hollywood?” is generally considered the original version of “A Star is Born,” although the story got significantly reworked before the 1937 Janet Gaynor/Frederic March version hit the screen. Constance Bennett plays a spunky Brown Derby waitress who is launched to stardom by a perpetually sozzled producer (Lowell Sherman). His career plummets while hers soars – in that respect, it’s definitely the prototype for “A Star is Born.” But, in this film, there’s no romance between the main players, only a warm and close friendship.

With the exception of “Topper,” I have little experience of Constance Bennett, so I was pleasantly surprised by how good she was in this film. Ditto for Sherman, who I don’t recall ever seeing before. (Per IMDB, this was apparently his last film as an actor – he died in 1934 – but he also had a string of impressive directing credits, including “Morning Glory” and “She Done Him Wrong.” ) Also in the cast: Neil Hamilton, who famously went on to play Commissioner Gordon in the “Batman” TV series, as Bennett’s uptight husband. All in all, a pleasant way to wind up a pleasant weekend.

And now, I’m gettin’ back to the blogging business. This week, I’ll be participating in the “Counting Down the Zeroes” series over at Film for the Soul, reviewing Peter Mullan’s 2002 docudrama “The Magdalene Sisters.” (HINT: If you like excruciatingly depressing true-life stories about sadistic Irish nuns, this is the film for you. But I don’t want to give too much away.)

I also plan to get up a post in response to this meme challenge from Daniel at Getafilm. I’m still working on my response. Turns out, all the places and times I’ve ever wanted to visit have been inspired by books rather than movies – who would have thought?

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

For the record, Pat, feel free to use books instead – I'm all for modifying/recreating memes, so if that's a better way to do it, consider me interested!Thanks for your consideration.

Comment by Daniel Getahun

Daniel -Never fear, I have a movie-related choice in mind,and hope to get the post up by the end of the week. (Been kind of a rough week at work, so I'm not writing much in the evenings.) Anyway, it'a a great idea for a meme. Thanks for inviting me to participate.

Comment by Pat

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