Monday, April 24, 2006

Go take a ride in the park with Mr. Duncan

Watched Unfinished Business, a little 1941 gem I've never seen before. It's one movie that I both love & have a problem with. Let me start with the problem - the ending.

First off, I'm not going to spoil the ending for those of you who haven't seen the film. Let's just put it this way, I felt like the writers looked at their watches, learned they had five minutes left, and quick whipped up the end. Yes, it's certainly a credible end, considering the - *ahem* - beginning of the story & some piano action, but come on! OK, enough whining, there's still a bunch of good movie left.

A quick overview, courtesy of IMDB: Small town girl (Dunne) Meets and falls for a playboy type (Foster) on a train to New York. For him, the fling is over when they arrive, but she continues to carry a torch. She meets and marries his brother (Montgomery), a mismatch which eventually grows into real love. Pretty lame overview, eh? The movie's more entertaining than that lets on.

There are a number of good "nuggets" - scenes that really pop out. Let me give you a few of my favorites:
  • Bob answering the switchboard at the night club - while he's toasted. I nearly laughed my a** off during this scene. He has no clue how to use the switchboard but pulls up a chair & headphones and starts answering calls with "Schwab's Fish Market - Can I Sell you a Herring?" and "Hello, The Aquarium."
  • Bob & Irene doing shots of a milk based cocktail, called a Whizboom. "You can hear the whiz but you'll never feel the boom."
  • Bob waking up under his bed - after a night of Whizbooms (the drink that is).
  • Irene Dunne's hat - marry a woman into some money and they gravitate toward the oddest fashions.
  • The mannerless butler, played by Eugene Pallette, is loveable. Tis also the same butler from Made on Broadway. Not afraid to say what's on his mind!
An irresistible force seems to be drawing me toward movies with heavy drinkers...

And thanks to bantaskin for hooking me up with the movie!

The closest I could find to Whizboom:

This recipe is so evocative of the jazz age, speak easys and flappers, I could not resist listing it here.
2 oz. Scotch
1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth
2 Dashes Grenadine
2 Dashes Pernod
2 Dashes Orange Bitters

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.


Anonymous said...

The switchboard scene sounds like a riot. ;)

Anonymous said...

Tis a hoot!

Anonymous said...

Bob sort of reminded me of Bill Murry in the whizboom scene, especially when he said "Oh, she doesn't have any trade in value." I love that scene. I agree about the ending--it was a bit weak.

Anonymous said...

The script from the nightclub through the marriage is just hilarious - well done & entertaining in my humble opinion.