The Awful Truth

Lucy and Jerry have a cocktail

When The Awful Truth won the best director Oscar for Leo McCarey in 1937, McCarey straight-up said it wasn’t the best directed film of the year. It wasn’t even, he said, his best directorial effort of the year – he rated Make Way for Tomorrow more highly (and so has posterity). It’s easy to see why. Make Way for Tomorrow tackles a serious issue, with subject matter that’s even more relevant now than it was then – ageing parents abandoned by adult children. But The Awful Truth can claim a stake on glory, a more frivolous though still valid one, being the first time that the full Cary Grant persona – a balletic … Read more

Make Way for Tomorrow

Barkley and Lucy

Make Way for Tomorrow, what a purposeful title that is, a call to arms in the struggle for a brighter, more modern future. Get Out of the Way might be a balder, less glorious and less ironic way of expressing the sentiment behind that title, since this is a story about two old timers in their 60s and the adult children they lean on in their hour of need. The film is about the response of the children, who step swiftly away from the plate. Though they never quite put it quite this honestly, the kids are too busy leading their own lives to have time and space for the oldsters. It’s a … Read more

Duck Soup

Groucho Marx in Duck Soup

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 2 October Groucho Mark born, 1890 On this day in 1890, Julius Henry Marx, one of the 20th century’s most distinctive comedians was born, in New York City. He started off in a vaudeville singing troupe with various members of the family, including his mother at one point. When pure singing didn’t work for them, the Marx brothers started to include comedy in their act, losing non family members on the way and eventually settling down to be the four brothers, Julius, Adolph, Leonard and Milton (aka Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Gummo). Gummo decided to leave and Zeppo, considered the funniest … Read more