Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Stand Up and Cheer! (1934)
IMDb plot summary: President Franklin Roosevelt appoints a theatrical producer as the new Secretary of Amusement in order to cheer up an American public still suffering through the Depression. The new secretary soon runs afoul of political lobbyists out to destroy his department.
Directed by Hamilton MacFadden. Starring Warner Baxter, Madge Evans, James Dunn, and Shirley Temple.
Well, this was... strange. I wondered at first if this was Shirley Temple's first movie, because it clearly wasn't meant as a vehicle for her -- she's in it for a grand total of MAYBE five minutes -- but it looks like she was in other things before this, so hadonno. Good things first: the final number is really entertaining, very hopeful and optimistic, the love ballad is very pretty and gorgeously sung, and when Shirley is in the movie, she doesn't have any terrible or uber precocious dialogue, so she's a pretty cute little kid. However, the rest of this move is CRAZY. The plot is really scattered and abrupt, and it's interrupted by what I must assume are joke routines I just don't get, but they're just STRANGE -- one scene features a bird who is apparently supposed to be Jimmy Durante, and another features two men calmly discussing politics while back flipping all over the room. It's also more than a little uncomfortable to watch its portrayal of the primary African American character in this movie. So the film does have a few good moments, but they're few and far between, and the rest of it is just... very, very weird.
Flickchart: #1877 out of 2252, below The Love Bug and Apocalypto. This is too low, because apparently I have a whole bunch of boring-but-not-awful movies down in the 1800s, when they should be higher.