Laughter in Paradise

Perfect felicity is attained by four poor relations of a notorious practical joker per the terms of his will. The title therefore has a double meaning, and that is what Variety missed in claiming that Zampi had nearly succeeded in making a great comedy.

The writer of “penny dreadfuls” has an admirable style and an admiring secretary, his fiancée looks down upon his art and rather resembles Virginia Woolf whilst doing so.

The spinster with a sad history is given the chance to undo it.

The bank clerk finds his spine and saves the day.

The fast article and false front has the tables turned on him, but the last laugh is his.

Half the film is these workings, the rest Zampi and his cast displaying them in great breadth of style.


The Naked Truth

Chantage supports the publisher of the magazine whence Zampi has his title, he is doubtless the Mario of whom it is said that the libel is probably true, anyway 300 Spartans defend Albion from it at the last in an airship over the Atlantic.

The very odd thing is how unfunny it was thought to be by Bosley Crowther (New York Times), a notable expert on “labored, witless going” who evidently did not admire the several attempts by famous victims to do the cad in, the only result of which is the near death by drowning or explosion of another victim, a peer of the realm, before they all band together to liberate the fellow from Scotland Yard’s clutches and banish him for good and all, in that airship.

Time Out Film Guide calls it “spiffing”.


Too Many Crooks

Not since Annakin’s Value for Money, such a display of respect for the stuff. Crooks want it, of course, and here is a famous mob of incompetents well before Goldstone’s The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, they kidnap a London financier’s wife, thinking it’s his daughter, he doesn’t want her, he has a secretary, smartened up the wife masterminds her revenge, the refining fire.

And that’s what it is, the financier’s house is on fire, he’s socked bundles of boodle under the upstairs floorboards away from the tax man, driving up amidst the firemen and onlookers he runs toward the house and dives headlong into the flames, brought back he does it again and tries a third time.

A masterpiece.