A fellow classic film enthusiast lent me her copy of The More the Merrier which I found awesome and coincidental because it was on my TCM Top 12 way back in November. The More the Merrier is another housing shortage film and I can’t seem to get enough of them. Much like Apartment for Peggy, we follow a young couple falling in love alongside a domineering older man who causes personal kerfluffles along the way. The More the Merrier veers a bit too much into improbability in the third act, but the comedic stylings of Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn turn this into a frothy romantic adventure you’ll want to move in with!
All four categories finally join together with only one actress in each category progressing onto the final rounds. Voting starts now and runs through Sunday night. After the jump I’ll introduce our final contestants with voting at the bottom.
Journey for Margaret is a movie interpreted in different ways from 1942 to today. For 1940s audiences, the movie is a rousing call to arms for the nuclear family to band together; a condemnation against isolationism and the need for compassion for our British allies as embodied by two orphaned children. For today’s audience, Journey for Margaret is a bittersweet tale of a couple coming together during wartime and embracing two children who need their love. Whereas that plot was originally there for 1940s audiences, Journey for Margaret is hard to swallow today. Its rallying cry prevents the audience from feeling any emotion not conveyed via lengthy speeches, yelling, and patriotic music. Despite its star-making début of young Margaret O’Brien, it’s hard to see her possessing any discernible talent which, thankfully, ended up proving false.
After devoting over a year and a half to reviewing every Disney animated film, I was ready to put Disney behind me, for awhile. I recently became one-half of the Walt Sent Me podcast (available to listen to now) and our first featured film was The Reluctant Dragon. The Reluctant Dragon isn’t considered one of the 53 movies Disney considers part of their animated legacy. Odd, considering it contains an equal amount of live action to animation, on par with the later package films. The movie is gimmicky in its depiction of a happy Disney environment during a time when it was anything but, but it depicts a moment in time at the Walt Disney Studios we’ll never witness again, and that makes all the difference.
Maybe I wasn’t in the right mindset to watch Life With Father; I watched it right after To Kill a Mockingbird, so I had the bar set pretty high. Or maybe it’s because I love Meet Me in St. Louis, which also deals with a turn-of-the-century family. Regardless, I found Life With Father to be a tedious affair powered by William Powell and a 14-year-old Elizabeth Taylor. There are particular moments of fun, but the rote characterization and plot never go anywhere, keeping it hard to maintain your attention for two-hours.