February 15, 2007
It's my age. I think that is the reason that I currently find very little in the current crop of movies from Hollywood that I want to see. Certainly I don't want to go to the movie theater and spend the exorbitant cost of a ticket. But primarily they don't make movies for anyone out of their teens. So the lack of any new pictures to enjoy deepens my like for the oldies. I've found that the old movies told stories and isn't that what we want? A good one I watched the other night was DINNER AT EIGHT, with as they used to say, a cast of thousands. Well it wasn't thousands, but there were quite a few, as the poster here shows. They each had a story that interested the watcher. Both Barrymores, Lionel and John were great. John as I have read played himself mostly and he was great. Marie Dressler was fantastic as the washed up femme fatale and friend of Lionel Barrymore. Wallace Beery was his usual loud mouthed character and held his own against his wife in the story Jean Harlow who has some great lines and dishes them out perfectly.
Lee Tracy runs his mouth in his usual mile a second dishing out of his dialogue, as he did so perfectly in another film I saw him in, playing the outgoing President in THE BEST MAN. Edmund Lowe plays the ladies man doctor and Billie Burke was Billie Burke as she is in all her movies, but in this one maybe a little more frantic. It is a great movie made greater because it was in black and white. We were watching the actors and paying attention to the story instead of our eyes critiquing the furnishings of the house. I copied it off of TCM a while back and just got around to watching it. I always allow a little more time at the beginning and the end when I copy a movie there because I would hate to miss the commentary by Robert Osborne. He is the quintessential insider which always makes the movie experience a little bit better.