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Ann Sothern's first SOTM Night


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I hadn't seen anybody else post on this topic yet. I wanted to make a point of watching this first night of her SOTM run before, I fear, it will turn into all-MGM, all the time. After the entire 31 Days' programming featured, I think, only 10 movies I hadn't seen before, I was delighted that "March" kicked off with three films in a row previously unseen by me.


GRAND EXIT was a pretty good THIN MAN-wannabe, if Nick Charles was an arson investigator. My only complaint was if buildings were being torched to the ground on what seemed like a daily basis, the city in question might have been in a bit more of a panic in general. A clever enough mystery that kept me entertained, and I liked the humorous bits, particularly the ever-changing roster of secretaries. Also, it's always nice to see a Columbia film from the '30s NOT directed by Frank Capra. You might not know such films actually existed sometimes by watching TCM.


THE SMARTEST GIRL IN TOWN was a just-okay misidentification romantic comedy with a plot very similar to HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE (obviously, it came out much earlier). It mostly kept me occupied just because it was new to me. It felt at times like the entire cast except for Sothern wandered in from a Fred and Ginger movie (they were probably all RKO regulars), and I kept half-expecting the famous couple to waltz through a scene.


And I only made it a little more than 15 minutes into TRADE WINDS, as sleepiness began to consume me, but it looked like it was probably the strongest of all three. Wish now I had hit Record before I went to bed. Unlike the first two, this clearly must have been an A-budget film, with Joan Bennett, Frederic March, Ralph Bellamy and Thomas Mitchell. I don't know how big Sothern's part ended up being. I saw her in the one scene near the beginning where she tries to get March to take her along on his world travels, and he refuses. I assume she had more to do later in the film.


What did the rest of you think of this trio of offerings?



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