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A study in contrast


slaytonf
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The airing of The Church Mouse (Laura La Plante, Ian Hunter) this morning, as part of TCM's apparent salute to secretaries today, provides the opportunity to compare two essays on the same material.  We have this, and the earlier Beauty and the Boss (1932, Marian Marsh, Warren William).  The former is a flat, clunky, tedious waste of time and talent--evidently a 'quota quickie' by Warner Bros., made to fulfill the British requirement that a certain percentage of a company's films shown in England be made there.

 

The latter is a bright, agile and immensely entertaining adaptation of Ladislas Fodor's play.  Marian Marsh especially shines in the role of the 'church mouse,' delivering dialog at a machine gun rate.  Her elocutionary adroitness is astonishing.  She transmits the earnest, audacious courage-born-of-desperation of the secretary/indispensable factotum with economy and assurance.  Warren William, accustomed to be in charge as the fast-talking schemer, just manages to keep up here.  Although it's shorter than the other movie by ten minutes, it loses nothing by it.  In fact, it seems to concentrate the energy, and quicken the pace, essential for the success of a light farce/satire.

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The airing of The Church Mouse (Laura La Plante, Ian Hunter) this morning, as part of TCM's apparent salute to secretaries today, provides the opportunity to compare two essays on the same material.  We have this, and the earlier Beauty and the Boss (1932, Marian Marsh, Warren William).  The former is a flat, clunky, tedious waste of time and talent--evidently a 'quota quickie' by Warner Bros., made to fulfill the British requirement that a certain percentage of a company's films shown in England be made there.

 

The latter is a bright, agile and immensely entertaining adaptation of Ladislas Fodor's play.  Marian Marsh especially shines in the role of the 'church mouse,' delivering dialog at a machine gun rate.  Her elocutionary adroitness is astonishing.  She transmits the earnest, audacious courage-born-of-desperation of the secretary/indispensable factotum with economy and assurance.  Warren William, accustomed to be in charge as the fast-talking schemer, just manages to keep up here.  Although it's shorter than the other movie by ten minutes, it loses nothing by it.  In fact, it seems to concentrate the energy, and quicken the pace, essential for the success of a light farce/satire.

 

Marian Marsh was amazing in that film. I remember thinking when watching for the first time, why wasn't she more of a star. I mean if you stood Bette next to Marian at about that time and then asked which one would have been the most likely to succeed, it would have been Marian. No one worked harder than Bette though. Nevertheless, nice description above of Marian's perf in that movie. I remember being quite bowled over by it.

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Marian Marsh was amazing in that film. I remember thinking when watching for the first time, why wasn't she more of a star. I mean if you stood Bette next to Marian at about that time and then asked which one would have been the most likely to succeed, it would have been Marian. No one worked harder than Bette though. Nevertheless, nice description above of Marian's perf in that movie. I remember being quite bowled over by it.

laffite, I agree on Marian Marsh. I remember being blown away the first time I saw her (thank you, TCM) and thinking how she could easily become an actor today and wipe the floor with so many of the current 'stars'.

 

Another actor who is utterly amazing is Ann Harding, she outshine everyone else (e.g., Bette Davis, Kate Hepburn, etc.) of her time.

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The airing of The Church Mouse (Laura La Plante, Ian Hunter) this morning, as part of TCM's apparent salute to secretaries today, provides the opportunity to compare two essays on the same material.  We have this, and the earlier Beauty and the Boss (1932, Marian Marsh, Warren William).  The former is a flat, clunky, tedious waste of time and talent--evidently a 'quota quickie' by Warner Bros., made to fulfill the British requirement that a certain percentage of a company's films shown in England be made there.

 

The latter is a bright, agile and immensely entertaining adaptation of Ladislas Fodor's play.  Marian Marsh especially shines in the role of the 'church mouse,' delivering dialog at a machine gun rate.  Her elocutionary adroitness is astonishing.  She transmits the earnest, audacious courage-born-of-desperation of the secretary/indispensable factotum with economy and assurance.  Warren William, accustomed to be in charge as the fast-talking schemer, just manages to keep up here.  Although it's shorter than the other movie by ten minutes, it loses nothing by it.  In fact, it seems to concentrate the energy, and quicken the pace, essential for the success of a light farce/satire.

Yes, thank you for this and the review of Marian Marsh in it.  It inspired me to look at her bio on the imdb.

 

I'm still trying to catch up with lots of pre-code films which were not televised very much, if at all before TCM came along.

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