40’s movies marathon – part 21

Johnny Eager (1942, USA) – Robert Taylor is a gangster on parole, who pretends to be a taxi driver while running his gang in secret. He gets involved with a sociology student who has a thing for bad boys. The gangster movie looked dead there for a while, but this is something new and interesting. The conflict here isn’t between gangsters and the law, but between cynicism and compassion. Watched it all.

Babes on Broadway (1941, USA) – Why do musicals have to be self-refential? When it works it works, but when it doesn’t you’re left wondering why you’re supposed to care about these eager youths who want to “make it big on Broadway”. Go make it big in some other business. Watched: 13 minutes.

Saboteur (1942, USA) – A man is wrongly accused of a crime, escapes, runs all across America, unravels a conspiracy, then confronts the bad guy on top of a national monument. This time the bad guys are American fascists, but they might as well be anarchists. Favourite scene: Robert Cummings trying to convince guests at a party that their hostess is a traitor. Watched it all. IMDB reviewers say this is a “lesser” Hitchcock, a snobbish way of putting it.

The Talk of the Town (1942, USA) – Cary Grant has been innocently convicted of arson, but escapes and seeks help from a friend. There’s a good serious movie in here somewhere, but it’s hidden beneath a lot annoying goofiness that makes me hate every single major character. Watched: 35 minutes.

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