Daily Archives: August 2, 2010

Mr & Mrs Smith

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by Harry E. Edington
Written by Norman Krasna
Starring Carole Lombard
Robert Montgomery
Gene Raymond
Music by Edward Ward
Cinematography Harry Stradling Sr.
Editing by William Hamilton
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date January 31, 1941 (US)
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language English

To those who thought that this would be a review of the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie films from a few years ago…sorry. This is the Alfred Hitchcock screwball comedy from the 1940s starring Carole Lombard. All I want to say about the Pitt/Jolie film at this stage is that it really dumbfounds me how Jolie can be nominated so often as being the most beautiful woman in the world when so clearly she is not. She looks like John Voight in drag, which ain’t a very sexy thought. She’s gross. It makes me wonder who decides these things anyway? Is it the flamboyant gossip columnists who so often promote this myth or have women come to the conclusion that because Pitt is so hot that therefore Jolie is hot too? It’s just astounding and I’ve wasted to much space talking about this as it is.

Of course there is a reason I have spent so much space talking about crap, because this film is not much to write about at all. I know that a lot of Hitchcock’s films are humourous, like Psycho, but Mr & Mrs Smith is the only comedy that he ever made and it’s awful. It’s almost impossible to believe that the person who had just directed Rebecca and Foreign Correspondent and had not too long ago made The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes could also make something this horrid.

The film is only an hour and a half long but it drags on forever. The dialogue is not witty but stupid and Carole Lombard is annoying. Apparently she was close friends with Hitchcock and wanted to make a film with him, and so is the person who roped him into making this mess. I think it shows that Hitchcock’s heart was really not into this film at all. The movie is extremely boring.

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Living It Up

Directed by Norman Taurog
Produced by Paul Jones
Written by Ben Hecht & Jack Rose
Starring Dean Martin
Jerry Lewis
Janet Leigh
Edward Arnold
Music by Walter Scharf
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date July 23, 1954
Running time 100 min.
Country  United States
Language English

This is another Martin & Lewis comedy from the mid-50s and while it has a few good gags I don’t think it was the teams best effort. Part of the problem was Jerry, who acts like he is about seven years old throughout the film. There is no empathy for him at all and he just does stupid stuff for the sake of doing stupid stuff.

This was made not long before the relationship between Dean & Jerry started hitting the rocks. I wonder if this film could be a reason, as Lewis did want to start taking more control of what he did while Dean only seemed to care about getting a paycheck.