EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|MEET THE BARON (director: Walter Lang; screenwriters: based on a story by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Norman Krasna/Allen Rivken/Arthur Kober/William K. Wells/P.J. Wolfson; cinematographer: Allen G. Siegler; editor: James E. Newcom; music: Jimmy McHugh; cast: Jack Pearl (Julius/Baron Munchausen), Jimmy Durante (Joe McGoo), ZaSu Pitts (ZaSu), Edna May Oliver (Dean Primrose), Ted Healy (Ted, Head Janitor), The Three Stooges (Moe, Curly & Larry), Henry Kolker (Real Baron), Greta Meyer (Aunt Sophie); Runtime: 68; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: David O. Selznick; MGM; 1933)|
script has its
pleasant idiosyncratic moments thanks
to The Three Stooges and a devilishly cute musical
number with almost
bare coeds singing in the shower."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A dumb comedy hodgepodge that despite a sloppy
its pleasant idiosyncratic moments thanks to The Three
Stooges and a
devilishly cute musical number with almost bare coeds
singing in the
shower "Clean as a Whistle." Director Walter Lang
Wore Tights"/"The King and I") seems
lost at sea in all the
the host of
writers, Herman J.
Mankiewicz, Norman Krasna, Allen
Rivken/Arthur Kober, William K. Wells and P.J. Wolfson, never get a handle on this
Munchausen (Henry Kolker) is a
German explorer and big game hunter in the jungles
of Africa. Julius
a former pants presser, and Joe
McGoo (Jimmy Durante), a former sailor, are his
servants. The lost and
parched servants thinking
their Baron died in the jungle
after reading his nasty farewell letter, are rescued
by a safari. The
boys pretend that Julius is the Baron and Joe is his
otherwise their rescuers would desert them if they
knew their real
identities as unimportant people. The phony twosome
are given a
Lindbergh-like hero's welcome in NYC,
where Julius is
speak on the radio and is paid by the word. After
nonsensical talk, the hero pair are then welcomed to
a lecture on their adventures at
a women's school, Cuddle
run by the haughty Dean Primrose (Edna May Oliver).
The Baron becomes smitten with the maid ZaSu (ZaSu Pitts). Meanwhile the dean has to call on the janitor (Ted Healy) and his helpers--Moe, Larry and Curly (The Three Stooges)--to fix the plumbing. Their comedy antics become the film's highlight, and liven up the silly comedy with some refreshing silliness. When the real Baron returns from Africa to expose the frauds, the frauds outmaneuver him. Thereby Julius wins the girl, even when she discovers he's a fraud, and he also manages to get a radio gig posing as the Baron.
REVIEWED ON 11/10/2010 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ