EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|LAUGH AND GET RICH (director/writer: Gregory La Cava; screenwriter: story by Douglas MacLean; cinematographer: Jack Mackenzie; editor: Jack Kitchin; cast: Hugh Herbert (Joe Austin), Edna May Oliver (Sarah Austin), Dorothy Lee (Alice Austin), Robert Emmett Keane (Phelps), John Harron (Bill Hepburn), Russell Gleason (Larry Owens), George Davis (Vincentini), Maude Fealy (Miss Teasdale), Louise Mackintosh (Mrs. Cassandra 'Cassie' Palfrey, Sarah's Sister), Wade Boteler (Detective Flannery), Herbert Prior (J.C. Pennypacker), Ivan Lebedeff (Count), Alan Roscoe (Mr. Featherstone, a rubber magnate), Charles Sellon (Biddle); Runtime: 72; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: William LeBaron; RKO; 1931)|
|"Any pic that has
character actress Edna May Oliver in a leading role will most likely
get my approval, no matter what."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Gregory La Cava ("My Man Godfrey"/"Stage Door"/"Primrose Path") is writer-director of this amiable Depression-era domestic comedy, based on the story by Douglas MacLean. Any pic that has character actress Edna May Oliver in a leading role will most likely get my approval, no matter what.
No-nonsense snobbish family
Austin (Edna May Oliver) struggles to
get by running a boardinghouse in Holyoke, Massachusetts, while keeping
an eye on her unreliable unemployed idler husband Joe (Hugh Herbert) and their
romance-minded pretty teenage daughter Alice (Dorothy Lee). The stern
mom does not approve of daughter dating impoverished dreamer inventor
Larry Owens (Russell
Gleason), who is too much like her loafer hubby. Mom pushes daughter
into the arms of charmer Bill Hepburn
(John Harron), not knowing that the man of means is
part of an out-of-town robbery ring causing a crime-wave in town.
Foolish Joe steals his
long-suffering wife's hard-earned savings to invest in the fishy 'get rich quick' scheme involving
wildcat oil wells proposed by one
of the boarder's, Phelps (Robert
Emmett Keane). When wifey discovers what hubby did, he gets
put in her doghouse. Joe also lets struggling boarder artist Vincentini (George
Davis) slide on the rent by
pretending to sell his paintings of cows in the pasture and invests the rest of the stolen money in
Larry's whistling tire valve invention, which whistles to warn when air
pressure gets low.
Things turn predictable when
finally Joe becomes the family breadwinner, the artist sells his
paintings for real and Alice goes out again with the boy she loves,
which lets the air out of the comedy. But it rides along for most of
the pic with enough good will and pleasing comedy antics to be fairly
REVIEWED ON 11/21/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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