Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday night double feature

In a quandary here which one to run as the main film.  The first, as the name states, is about escaping in the fog - espionage thriller, short run time; the second is a comedy romp which will appeal to our lady readers.

Escape in the Fog [1940]

I'm not ill and I'm not insane. And I'm certainly not the victim of hallucinations.

Escape in the Fog is directed by Oscar "Budd" Boetticher and written by Aubrey Wisberg. It stars Nina Foch, William Wright, Otto Kruger and Konstantin Shayne.  Foch plays nurse Eileen Carr who dreams of a man being murdered only to wake and meet the man in real life...

Solid programmer out of Columbia, Escape in the Fog runs at just over an hour and gets by on its nifty spy like premise and a good sense of atmosphere. Boetticher himself would say that this early period in his career was all about a learning curve, and he shows some nice economical touches to mask the low budget nature of the production. 

 

Film is at its best when Frisco is fog bound, while the war time shenanigans amount to race against time espionage intrigue. Noir darling Foch is good value and Wright decent hero/romantic foil, and the skulduggery dealing villains are a fun product of the time.

Half a Sinner [1940]

https://youtu.be/2d6UuXNYP4A

I'm sure this little comic piece was never meant to be taken seriously. It involves a snowball effect caused by a young schoolteacher out on a lark. She ends up with a car carrying a body and evidence against a crime boss. It's a series of escapes and puzzled cops, running back and forth, chasing the young woman and her wealthy handsome new acquaintance. 
The police are good hearted buffoons. The crooks are silly and pretty ineffectual. There are some narrow escapes, but no one ever seems to get all that flustered over the events. Reality takes a holiday in this one and that's OK. It's just so darned tongue in cheek and over the top that we never really feel much for the plight of the characters.

3 comments:

  1. Something made me record a 1942 war propaganda film. Went the Day Well. It's about a Norfolk village occupied by German troops disguised as British. These old films portray a gentler time where good manners ruled. Comparing then with now and our probable future tugs at my heartstrings. How far we've descended in just a short time. Thanks for these offerings James, much better than watching a funeral.

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  2. Went the Day Well is a good 'un.

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