Thursday, June 15, 2017

Three with Margaret Lindsay

Here a a few of TCM's offerings that I saw over the last few days.

Caught a quickie--60 minutes long--yesterday: 1936's Isle of Fury. In addition to Margaret Lindsay, it stars Humphrey Bogart. The film begins with their wedding, which is interrupted by a shipwreck which brings a new arrival (Donald Woods) as a rival to Bogart. The problem is that the romantic rivalry is never really developed or possibly too subtle under the Production Code. Bogart and Woods become best buddies despite the underlying conflict between their positions. I can't discuss this film without mentioning the stupid octopus attack. The whole sequence makes no sense. Bogart is going pearl diving to show the natives it's not dangerous. But he wears a deep sea diving suit--they have no such equipment. The octopus is ludicrous. Then Woods dives in--sans suit--and saves Bogart. Strange.

I had previously seen and recently recorded Fog Over Frisco (1934.) This stars Lindsay and Woods along with the great Bette Davis. Davis is the "bad influence" sister of Lindsay and is involved in securities fraud. She pays for her crimes by dying halfway through the film. This is one of her few early films that Davis enjoyed. It's fast paced and fairly complex with good San Francisco location shots. Although some IMDB users compared Fog Over Frisco to Psycho, the comparisons are few. Both films involved the star stealing money and both stars died in the first half of the movie.

Today's film was Private Detective 62 (1933). This time Lindsay stars with William Powell. They had great chemistry. Come to think of it, I can't think of anyone Powell didn't have good chemistry with. (I would love to re-watch Fashions of 1934 to see him with Davis.) Powell plays a moral "private detective" in an immoral profession. He reluctantly takes a job to discredit Lindsay, but falls in love instead. He ultimately saves her from being framed for murder.

To sum up: Isle of Fury is only worth watching for fans of Bogart, Warner Brothers B films and bad octopi. The other two are much more enjoyable.

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