Jun 16, 2011

Checked out Lloyd's of London,

Hitch's first Icy Blonde
A 1937 film starring Tyrone Power, Freddie Bartholomew, George Sanders (his first film), and Madeleine Carroll, on TCM last night.  The story is patently ludicrous:  Bartholomew, who gets top billing, plays a young Tyrone Power, a young man from a broken home, no Da, Mum runs the local Gin Saloon, but he is great friends with a filthy rich prodigy named Horatio.  Horatio Nelson, as in Admiral Nelson.  The two kids discover an insurance scam on a ship and vow to walk together to London (one hundred miles) to garner a reward by spilling the beans to Lloyd's.  Nelson cannot go but they make a sacred pledge, bff, all that, and Bartholomew hoofs it alone.  Bartholomew trades in his reward for a job at Lloyd's, he is a complete sucker for his mentor's spiel about insurance, ships, and patriotism.

Have you fallen asleep yet? Actually all the kid stuff and the set-up of the upcoming love triangle (between Sanders, Power, and Carroll) is pretty darn okay on film.  The second half and the war and the "reunion" of sorts for Nelson and Power is laughably bad.

But you do get Ms Carroll in 18th century gowns, absolutely leaping out at you, nitrate shimmer, platinum greatness.  Carroll was Hitch's first icy blonde in two of his English films.  She, of course, is best remembered in The Thirty Nine steps, handcuffed to Donat, peeling off her soaked stockings.

She made the whole two hours worth while.

This film is not very good despite the lovely Ms Carroll.  Maybe I'll watch The Thirty Nine Steps again this weekend.


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