Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Barrymore leaves no doubt about the horror, Murnau aped him in Nosferatu two years later (and Olivier in Richard III, Robertson’s New York Times reviewer defends the film as worthy of the highest praise for the performance by Barrymore, who was onstage in Richard III and shows it, but contemns the rest as “uninspired”).
A unique analysis, arrogated to The Picture of Dorian Gray in the man of the world with a daughter unspotted who loves the saintly doctor, he runs a clinic for the poor, her father is cynical.
The Enchanted Cottage
Baudelaire’s “The Double Room” with lots of other preoccupations and associations, on the mangled Great War veteran and his plain English bride, company for misery, transformed by love if none else can see, and so ćsthetic preoccupations obscure the material of art, witness some of the adverse criticism leveled at Eliot, for instance.
Kurosawa’s Dodesukaden and Preminger’s tell me that you love me, junie moon cover certain aspects (there are a number of ways to look at it), away from the “nerve-wracking family” things have a life of their own and that’s what counts and so on, the inner life of things is not generally perceived, that’s what critics are for, not to perceive it.
Little Orphan Annie
A masterpiece by a director well-known in silent days. The animated dream sequence (Fleischer?) anticipates The Red Pony, and is followed by an amazing zoom that gives the shot the flavor of To Kill a Mockingbird. The 1934 Anne of Green Gables is sketched, and L’Argent de poche, and Our Gang is thrown in for good measure. Beyond that, it stretches into modernity with a taste of Richard Donner’s Twinky, and lots of other films.
Annie does impressions of Harpo, Chico and Groucho Marx in Horse Feathers, and then she does one of May Robson, who has the funniest line in the picture, after some hugger-mugger about ghosts, Annie is moved to reiterate “leapin’ lizards!” and the frazzled Robson lifts her skirts and looks around, crying “where, where?”
There’s an amazing process shot Victor Fleming topped with live action in Captains Courageous, and the swift dénouement set the stage for the M-G-M A Christmas Carol a few years later.