Monday, May 31, 2010

1934 - HOLLYWOOD PARTY, bizarre mess of a comedy and musical

No director has screen credit and the actual film credits are at the end not the beginning of the picture which must mean something about this thing.

The film is loaded with character actors and comedians, but the essential story is about the actor Jimmy Durante currently starring in a series of Tarzan like films, who needs to start wrestling real lions in his films for more realism.  Durante decides to throw a big Hollywood type party in order to impress a man who owns real African lions.  Kind of an amazing plot even for a comedy.

Well anyway all of these people show up for Durante's big party which involves elaborate musical numbers and some mediocre and very strange songs.  The Three Stooges have a small part, along with a host of other comics.  MGM hired Walt Disney to contribute a color cartoon and have Mickey Mouse appear for a few minutes.  The whole thing is really a surreal hodgepodge of stuff.  

The film is really about Jimmy Durante a vaudeville comedian who always made jokes about his large nose and  had a really overbearing personality, the guy was always on and never seemed to know how and when to restrain himself. 

Durante is an interesting contrast to Laurel and Hardy who also appear in a short comic sketch involving cracking raw eggs.  The sketch isn't particularly funny, but Laurel and Hardy know when to shut up and use their body movements and faces to make this situation seem funnier than it is. 

The film lost money when it was released, it was just to weird for an audience, watching it today I can certainly say that it is very weird all right,  76 minutes of weirdness.

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