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carole lombard 02

Could Woody's latest have used Carole's 'Magic'?

Posted by vp19 on 2014.07.22 at 17:48
Current mood: disappointeddisappointed

There's Carole Lombard with John Barrymore, both under the watchful eye of director Howard Hawks in "Twentieth Century." We bring this up because Lombard and Barrymore were cited in a review of the latest film from a director who perhaps admires classic Hollywood style more than any of his contemporaries...

...Woody Allen.

"Magic In The Moonlight," another in his recent series of Europe-set films, opens in some markets this weekend, and while "Midnight In Paris" was the equivalent of hitting a triple with two runners aboard, most critics rate "Magic" a weak infield single, relatively minor Allen fare. In fact, here's what Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter had to say about it (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/magic-moonlight-film-review-719438):

"Set in an F. Scott Fitzgerald-esque Cote d'Azur populated by rich Brits and Yanks, this story of an impetuous maestro's plan to cut off an alluring arriviste at the knees could have been filmed in 1935 by George Cukor, Frank Borzage or Gregory La Cava, starred John Barrymore and Carole Lombard and probably would have been the better for it. It certainly would have more comfortably fit the Depression-era zeitgeist, as well as the public's ready acceptance of fluffy, patently absurd comic premises."

An interesting premise to ponder, that -- had "Twentieth Century" been anywhere near the monster hit that its Columbia stablemate "It Happened One Night" turned out to be, the public might have demanded a Barrymore-Lombard re-teaming. (Then again, Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert didn't reunite on screen until 1940.)

What studio might have agreed to a '35 'Magic in The Moonlight"? Columbia, where Harry Cohn invariably gave Carole better treatment than she received at her home studio of Paramount (though once Ernst Lubitsch became head of production, that probably would have changed)? RKO, which always seemed to like such properties?

We'll never know. But Allen's "Moonlight," while relatively ephemeral by the standards of his past films, does have some things going for it.

Emma Stone, probably delighted to show she can be more than Spider-Man eye candy (though she'll never get anywhere near the paychecks she receives for those blockbusters), makes a game effort, according to McCarthy, and comes off better than Colin Firth, who's uncomfortable in his character's bitterness.

For all we know, while filming this, Allen himself may have wished he could have conjured up Carole and "the Great Profile" as the leads. Alas, that's a magic trick beyond the reach of even big-budget CGI special effects.


tommy50702 at 2015-05-09 16:31 (UTC) (Link)
I just saw this new Woody-effort last evening, and I'm here to tell you that, even though I went in with no expectations at all, I was surprised and delighted with this latest one.
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