Archive for November 16, 2021

Student Bodies

Posted in FILM, Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2021 by dcairns

SPRING MADNESS, from a play by Philip Barry, is very Philip Barry, but not substantial the way HOLIDAY and THE PHILADELPHIA STORY are. Feels like they left something out. Since part of the plot is Lew Ayres & Burgess Meredith’s plan to journey to Soviet Russia, maybe part of what was gutted was politics.

The director is the intriguing S. Sylvan Simon, but I have yet to find an SSS film that has as much dynamic blocking as GRAND CENTRAL MURDER, which is a real masterclass in actor-camera dance moves, or, failing that, the rambunctious slapstick of the Red Skelton WHISTLING movies. He gets the thing going at a hell of a pace, I have to give him that, but nothing seemed to stick. Although Maureen O’Sullivan is a joy to watch, and Joyce Compton (Dixie Bell Lee from THE AWFUL TRUTH) clowns very well.

Lew & Burgess’s jimjams also deserve mention. Costumes by that great eccentric Dolly Tree. Some sociological interest here since the decorous student ball around which the story revolves masks a riotous and rather nasty spirit of wild hedonism not so far removed from the modern phenomenon of the spring break.