Save Big on AppleiPhone, iPad, MacBook and more. Ends Saturday.Shop now ›

Hollywood Comedy Legends: 50 Movies [12 Discs] [DVD]

Price Match Guarantee

Best Buy is dedicated to always offering the best value to our customers. We will match the price, at the time of purchase, on a Price Match Guarantee product if you find the same item at a lower price at a Designated Major Online Retailer or at a local retail competitor's store.

Here's how:
  • If you find a qualifying lower price online, call 1-888-BEST BUY and direct a customer service agent to the web site with the lower price, or when visiting a Best Buy store, one of our employees will assist you.
  • On qualifying products, Best Buy will then verify the current price to complete the price match.

Exclusions apply including, but not limited to, Competitors' service prices, special daily or hourly sales, and items for sale Thanksgiving Day through the Monday after Thanksgiving. See the list of Designated Major Online Retailers and full details.

$17.99
Cardholder Offers

Overview

Synopsis

Hillbilly Blitzkrieg
Popular comic strip characters Snuffy Smith, his pal Barney Google, and their loyal horse Spark Plug come to life in this comedy. The fun begins as an Army sergeant is assigned to guard a top-secret missile site located in the backwoods of Tennessee. Snuffy, a buck private, is assigned to assist the sarge. Trouble ensues when enemy spies attempt to steal rocket plans. Only Snuffy and his sergeant can stop them. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Pot O' Gold
James Stewart once classified Pot O' Gold as his worst film, though this may have stemmed from his reported inability to get along with his costar Paulette Goddard (who is supposed to have dismissed Stewart's acting technique with a flippant "Anyone can swallow.") Inspired by the popular radio giveaway series of the same name, the film represented an ill-fated production venture for James Roosevelt, son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Stewart plays Jimmy Haskell, nephew of breakfast-food mogul C. J. Haskell (Charles Winninger). Befriending bandleader Horace Heidt (playing himself) and his orchestra members, Jimmy and his sweetheart Molly McCorkle (Paulette Goddard) tries to persuade C. J. to sponsor Heidt's radio program. The elder Haskell refuses until Jimmy and Molly's landlady mother (Mary Gordon) come up with a sure-fire "gimmick" for the program: they'll pick names from the phone book at random, call up those numbers, and give away huge prizes to whomever answers-provided that the call-ees are tuned into Heidt's show. This format worked beautifully for the real Pot O' Gold radio program, but tends to fall flat on screen, despite the energetic musical contributions of Horace Heidt and his entourage (including a very young and astonishingly articulate Art Carney, in his film debut). In England, Pot O' Gold was retitled The Golden Hour. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Nasty Rabbit
This parody takes a poke at Cold War espionage films as it tells the tale of two Red spies who sneak into the U.S. and onto a Western dude ranch with an infectious bunny. It is hoped that the little hopper will cause a deadly epidemic. Once on the ranch, the Soviet agents finds themselves surrounded by similarly disguised agents from all over the world. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Something to Sing About
Battling Hoofer is the reissue title of the 1936 James Cagney vehicle Something to Sing About. Cagney plays Terry Rooney, a New York bandleader who heads to Hollywood when he is offered a movie contract. The down-to-Earth Rooney resists the "star treatment," an attitude misinterpreted by movie executive Bennett O. Regan (Gene Lockhart) as arrogance. When Terry's first film is a hit, Regan orders everyone involved to keep its success a secret from Terry, lest he develop a swelled head! (We don't believe it either.) The best sequence has Rooney chewing out his Asian houseboy, Ito (Philip Ahn), whereupon he drops his "So solly" pidgin English and begins talking like a Harvard professor! Terry gets to romance newcomer Evelyn Daw, as well as veteran vamp Mona Barrie; he also gets to participate in several lively dance numbers. Something to Sing About was the second of Jimmy Cagney's films for Poverty Row studio Grand National: the production values and snappy script work that he might have enjoyed at Warner Bros. are noticeably lacking, but Cagney is always fun to watch. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Rescue From Gilligan's Island
Eleven years after the network cancellation of Gilligan's Island, the crew and passengers of the ill-fated S. S. Minnow returned to the small screen in Rescue from Gilligan's Island. The cast remains the same, with one significant change. Bob Denver plays inveterate bumbler Gilligan, Alan Hale is the long-suffering Skipper, Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer are the fabulously wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell III, Russell Johnson is the resourceful Professor, and Dawn Wells, as perky as ever, is Mary Ann. Tina Louise wanted no part of any Gilligan's Island reunion, so her role-perennial starlet Ginger Grant-is filled by Judith Baldwyn. The premise: a huge tidal wave transports the seven castaways back to civilization. While they're thrilled to be back in the real world, none of the seven are able to adjust to life outside the island....least of all Gilligan, who on top of all his other problems must contend with a pair of enemy agents (Vincent Schiavelli and Art LeFleur). Conceived as a two-hour pilot film for a weekly revival that never materialized, Rescue from Gilligan's Island was originally telecast in two ratings-grabbing 60 minute installments, shown on October 14 and 21, 1978. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Greeks Had a Word for Them
Zoë Akins' archetypal "gold-digger" stage comedy The Greeks Had a Word for It was transferred to the screen in 1933, with the "It" changed to "Them" in the title, reportedly at the insistence of over-cautious producer Sam Goldwyn (this became a moot point in the 1940s, when the film was reissued as Three Broadway Girls). Ina Claire, Madge Evans, and Joan Blondell star as ex-showgirls Jean, Polaire, and Schatze, who pool their resources to rent a luxurious penthouse apartment. Their strategy is as follows: if they live like millionaires, dress like millionaires and act like millionaires, they'll be able to attract wealthy boyfriends. The original play ended with all three girls continuing their gold-digging activities unto eternity, while the film concludes with one of the three finding true love in the arms of Dey Emery (David Manners). The Greeks Had a Word for Them was later remade (and considerably rewritten) as How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), with Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, and Lauren Bacall. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Smallest Show on Earth
The Smallest Show on Earth is a gentle, frequently uproarious takeoff of Britain's neighborhood-cinema industry. Real-life husband and wife Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna star as Matt and Jean Spencer, a middle-class couple who inherit a decrepit movie house in a tiny railroad whistle stop. They also inherit the theater's ancient, doddering employees: bibulous ticket-taker Percy Quill (Peter Sellers), former silent-movie accompanist Mrs. Fazackalee (Margaret Rutherford) and doorman/janitor old Tom (Bernard Miles). Making the best of things, the Spencers set up shop going through the usual travails of small-time cinema owners: substandard projection and sound reproduction, a dismal selection of films (all they can afford is American B-Westerns), and sundry mishaps with the audience. Just when they're about to write off the theater as a loss, crafty old Tom comes up with an underhanded but effective method to allow the Spencers to make a huge profit on their shaky enterprise. Though chock full of entertaining vignettes, the best and most poignant scene in The Smallest Show on Earth finds the three elderly employees tearfully reveling in a nostalgic screening of the 1924 silent film Comin' Thro' the Rye. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Alfie Darling
Alfie is an incorrigible womanizer who uses his trucking job as a way to commute from tryst to tryst as he makes his way across the women of the nation. Then he meets Townsend, a magazine editor. They have a lot in common; that is, she's as callous and fond of one-night stands as he is. An unlikely relationship builds between the two. But can they stick together? And what other dangers are waiting in the shadows? This sequel to the 1966 hit Alfie is also known as Oh Alfie on video. ~ Eric Wampler, Rovi

Earthworm Tractors
Joe E. Brown was an ideal choice for the character of Alexander Botts, the brash, arrogant "natural born salesman" created for The Saturday Evening Post by William Hazlett Upton. As a representative for the Earthworm Tractor company, Botts tries to convince old-fashioned lumberman Guy Kibbee to buy his newfangled products. Several disastrous slapstick sequences later (including an hilarious setpiece in which Botts unwittingly tows away Kibbee's entire house!), Botts closes the deal, winning the hand of Kibbee's daughter June Travis in the process. Despite the character's unremitting cockiness, Joe E. Brown manages to make Alexander Botts immensely likeable. Earthworm Tractors was the next-to-last film on Joe E. Brown's Warner Bros. contract, and (with rare exceptions like 1938's The Gladiator) his last truly worthwhile vehicle of the thirties. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Seniors
When faced with graduation, four seniors plot to prolong their college experience for fear of steady employment, but they're also loathe to leave behind their accommodating housemate Sylvia (played with mute, topless allure by a pre-Three's Company Priscilla Barnes), who functions as a live-in maid and concubine ("Where else are we going to find a nympho who loves to cook and clean house?"). In between sumptuous meals and bouts in the sack, the boys pester their parents to pay for post-graduate studies, without success. Luckily, a Poindexter science major named Arnold is desperate to lose his virginity to Sylvia, so the guys trade her sexual favors for his complicity in an elaborate scam. He's the only trusted assistant of reclusive genius Professor Heigner (Alan Reed, the voice of Fred Flintstone), a three-time Nobel Prize winner studying the mating habits of mosquitoes. Foundations are eager to fund the professor's work with generous grants, and since Heigner signs anything Arnold hands him without question, the seniors draft their own letter of request for cash and claim to be studying the sexual habits of college-age girls. It works, and with a 50,000-dollar-grant they offer coeds a 20-dollar honorarium to participate in the study by engaging in any kind of sex they like with our four heroes as the only male volunteers. Eventually, exhaustion and avarice lead them to expand the study and allow local businessmen to take part for a 50-dollar fee, which leads to huge profits. Only the intervention of "the establishment" will show the seniors the folly of their ways, when they enter into partnership with a feminine hygiene corporation and find themselves targeted for murder. The female head of the foundation that funds the seniors' project mistakenly believes that Professor Heigner is some sort of sexual dynamo and pursues him endlessly, leading the misanthropic scientist to chase her away by firing a rifle at her, spraying her with sticky white fire extinguisher foam, and setting a blaze beneath her while she frantically climbs up a chimney. Endless lines of co-eds wait breathlessly for the chance to copulate with strangers for a double sawbuck (it's all in the name of science, after all, and why not earn money for something they'd be "giving away" otherwise?). ~ Fred Beldin, Rovi

Misbehaving Husbands
Misbehaving Husbands was intended as a comeback vehicle for silent-film comedy great Harry Langdon, who after his fall from grace in the 1920s had to content himself with cheap 2-reelers, featured roles and screenwriting assignments. Langdon plays henpecked store-owner Henry Butler, who decides to save money by designing his window displays himself. When Henry's wife (Betty Blythe) spots him in an innocent but compromising situation with one of his underdressed models, she walks out on him and files for divorce. Making matters worse, poor Henry is accused of murder when he's seen carrying a store dummy into his house. It's all strictly short-subject material, but Langdon carries off his assignment with finesse, proving that he was still capable of carrying a feature film if given half a chance. Others contributing to the general merriment are statuesque Esther Muir, Langdon's longtime screen partner (and close friend) Vernon Dent, Ralph "Dick Tracy" Byrd and veteran western heavy Richard Cramer (who'd previously appeared in the Langdon-scripted Laurel&Hardy vehicle Saps at Sea). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again
The Over the Hill Gang Rides Again is a TV-movie sequel to 1969's ratings-grabbing The Over the Hill Gang, which told of a group of retired Texas Rangers rallying to save their small town from criminals. In the sequel, the gang --Walter Brennan, Edgar Buchanan, Andy Devine, and Chill Wills (Pat O'Brien, seen in the first film, is absent this time around) -- team up to rehabilitate Fred Astaire, cast against type as The Baltimore Kid, a one-time ranger who has become a town drunk. Astaire is restored to the job of marshal of Waco, while the other old-timers end up as his deputies. Harmless fun for an undiscerning audience, Over the Hill Gang Rides Again lacks the easygoing charm of the original film. Both Over the Hill Gang entries, by the way, were designed as pilots for an unsold weekly series. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Antonio
Singer Trini Lopez proved he could act in The Dirty Dozen. He went on to show that he could carry a picture in Antonio, though precious few filmgoers got the chance to see it. Lopez plays a poverty-stricken potter in a South American village. Enter Larry Hagman, an American oilman on the lam from his divorce lawyer. Rather than have his expensive car fall into the hands of his ex-wife, Hagman gives the vehicle to Lopez. The gift unduly complicates Lopez' life, compelling him to travel over hill and dale to return the car to Hagman. This charming little morality play was directed by Claudio Guzman, who'd previously helmed several I Dream of Jeannie episodes costarring Hagman in the 1960s. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Great Rupert
Jimmy Durante plays the patriarch of a down-on-their-luck family of acrobats, who suddenly finds a great deal of money hidden in his house amid the depths of the Great Depression. The authorities suspect Durante of being a thief, but in fact the culprit is a benevolent little squirrel named Rupert. This clever critter has been pilfering money from the obnoxious, wealthy miser who lives in the adjoining house and who decided to stash most of his funds in the wall separating the two residences. The stop-motion animation is the handiwork of George Pal. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven
Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven deserves a historical footnote as director William Castle's only comedy western. Future Wild Bill Hickok star Guy Madison plays Eddie Taylor, a lonesome cowboy who falls in love with city-gal Perry Dunkin (Diana Lynn). The couple "meets cute" in Brooklyn, where the two have migrated to seek their fortunes. The plot veers into Runyonesque territory as Eddie tries to write the Great American Play, while Perry "adopts" pickpocket Mandy (Florence Bates) to pose as her mother. The loosely structured storyline permits several entertaining diversions, including a trip to Coney Island and a wild episode at a Brooklyn riding academy which hero and heroine have been conned into purchasing. Audie Murphy makes his second film appearance in a near-microscopic role. Based on a Saturday Evening Post story by Barry Benefield, Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven was released in England as The Girl From Texas. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

My Man Godfrey
One of the landmark "screwball" comedies of the 1930s, My Man Godfrey offers the radiant Carole Lombard in her definitive performance as flighty young heiress Irene Bullock, who on a society scavenger hunt stumbles on Godfrey (William Powell), an erudite hobo residing in the city dump. Godfrey becomes the family's butler, much to the dismay of Irene's father Alexander (Eugene Pallette), who thinks his household is crazy enough without another apparent lunatic under his roof. Halfway through the film, we discover that Godfrey isn't a penniless bum at all, but the scion of a wealthy Boston family. Having been burned by an unhappy romance, Godfrey dropped out of life, taking up residence in the dump. Here his faith in humanity was restored by his fellow indigents, who managed to survive and remain optimistic despite the worst deprivations. Meanwhile, however, he wants to straighten out the Bullock family, who he feels are a basically decent bunch beneath all their pretensions and eccentricities -- and along the way, of course, Irene determines that Godfrey will be her husband. While Godfrey's ultimate "solution" to the exigencies of the Depression seems more of a placebo, My Man Godfrey is all in all a totally satisfying jolt of 1930s-style wish fulfillment. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Catch Me a Spy
Dick Clement directed this late-in-the-game spy thriller, starring Kirk Douglas. Douglas plays Andrej, a drone that smuggles books out of communist countries. Unfortunately for Andrej, he is mistaken for a spy and gets into a series of convoluted situations. Fabienne (Marlene Jobert), who lives with Sir Trevor Dawson (Trevor Howard), a randy British minister, is the slinky sex-bomb who finagles Andrej into the heart-thumping predicaments. Also on hand is Tom Courtenay as Baxter Clarke, an inept counter-espionage agent, who manages to make Andrej's already bad situation worse. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Ghosts on the Loose
Ghosts on the Loose (which features no ghosts whatsoever) is perhaps the best-known of Monogram's "East Side Kids" series. This time, Muggs (Leo Gorcey), Glimpy (Huntz Hall), and the rest of the kids offer to decorate the honeymoon cottage of Glimpy's sister, Betty (Ava Gardner), and her new husband, Jack (Rick Vallin). Unfortunately, the boys end up at the wrong house, a sinister mansion that serves as the headquarters for a Nazi spy ring headed by Emil (Bela Lugosi). The rest of the film is an extended chase -- first the Nazis chasing the boys, then the boys chasing the Nazis. Incidentally, this is the film in which Bela Lugosi allegedly sneezes out an obscenity. Ghosts on the Loose has been reissued under several titles, notably The East Side Kids Meet Bela Lugosi. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Sin of Harold Diddlebock
There Goes the Bride
Retrograde even at the time of its 1980 release, this filmed version of the mid-'70s play by the same title stars Tom Smothers as Timothy Westerby, the bumbling father of the bride, and his imaginary dance partner, Polly (Twiggy). Events of the chaotic wedding day are told in flashback as Westerby is shown sweating over an advertising assignment from a bra company and hoping that a photo of Polly from the bygone '20s will inspire him. Instead, Westerby bangs into a door and Polly comes fuzzily to life, but only he can see her, causing all sorts of havoc at the wedding and among the guests. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Happy Go Lovely
The Anglo-American musicomedy Happy Go Lovely is set in Edinburgh, Scotland, during a major film festival. The gathered throngs are aghast when unknown dancer Janet Jones (Vera-Ellen) steps daintily from a limousine owned by a Scottish millionaire. A few miles earlier, the girl had thumbed a ride from the limo driver, but the public doesn't know this, and soon rumors are flying. Before she knows what has happened, Jones has become the festival's main attraction. She is also romanced by B.G. Bruno (David Niven), whom she assumes to be a reporter but who, of course, is the millionaire in disguise. Ostensibly a musical, Happy Go Lovely is limited to two songs, though both are performed con brio by the fabulous Vera-Ellen. The film was produced independently by N. P. Rathvon and released by Rathvon's former studio, RKO Radio. It was shot in black and white but is now reportedly only available in a colorized print. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Passport to Pimlico
Passport to Pimlico is one of the most charmingly whimsical Ealing Studios comedies of the late 1940s-early 1950s. As a result of wartime bombing, an ancient parchment is uncovered, proving that the Pimlico section of London belongs to Burgundy, France. Long taken for granted by other Londoners, the tiny Pimlico populace decides to take advantage of its "foreign" status. Affable oaf Stanley Holloway is made head of the new government, whereupon he merrily begins erecting borders and imposing customs duties. The sweetly satirical script of Passport to Pimlico was written by director Henry Cornelius and Ealing stalwart T.E.B. Clarke. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Made for Each Other
James Stewart and Carole Lombard star in this comedy-drama about the struggles of a young married couple directed by John Cromwell. Stewart and Lombard play a recently married couple, Jane and John Mason. John works as an attorney for the law firm of skinflint Judge Doolittle (Charles Coburn). Doolittle calls John back to work immediately after the wedding ceremony, forcing the couple to abandon their honeymoon. But John is ready to do Doolittle's bidding, since he hopes to become a partner in the firm. Doolittle is openly disappointed at the marriage, hoping John would have instead married his daughter Eunice (Ruth Weston). Eunice eventually marries another lawyer in the firm, Carter (Donald Briggs). John and Jane try to make ends meet and invite Doolittle, Eunice, and Carter to dinner. The dinner turns into a disaster, climaxing with Doolittle informing John he has decided to make Carter a partner in the firm. Crushed, John and Jane work hard but to no avail, sinking deeper and deeper into debt. Jane has a baby, but when the child becomes seriously ill, the only way to save the baby is to have a special serum flown in through a blizzard from Salt Lake City. John needs $5000 to hire a pilot and get the medicine, and his only hope is to beg Judge Doolittle for the money. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Fit for a King
In this romantic comedy, a rookie reporter works for his uncle's newspaper and gets assigned to write a story about an elderly archduke. While interviewing him, the young journalist falls in love with the crown princess. He then exposes a conspiracy to kill her and her father. Mayhem ensues as he successfully thwarts the killers, and marries the girl who soon becomes queen. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Wake Me When the War Is Over
In this post WW II comedy, a Nazi-hating German baroness takes care of a deluded American officer who thinks he is still at war. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Alice of Wonderland in Paris
Francois, the magical mouse of France, entertains Alice on an adventure to meet the country's storybook characters as The Frowning Prince, Anatole and Madeline. ~ Eric Wampler, Rovi

Broadway Limited
Two of Hal Roach's short-subject stalwarts, Patsy Kelly and ZaSu Pitts, are teamed in the Roach-produced feature Broadway Limited. The whole story unfolds on a Chicago-to-Manhattan express train; among the passengers are Hollywood starlet April (Marjorie Woodworth), her producer Ivan (Leonid Kinskey) and her wisecracking secretary Patsy (Kelly). Hoping to stir up publicity for April, Patsy and Ivan conspire to adopt a baby for their client. Trouble is, the authorities are convinced that the child has been kidnapped, causing no end of trouble for such innocent bystanders as engineer Mike (Victor McLaglen), bookish young doctor Harvey North (Dennis O'Keefe) and garrulous clubwoman Myra (Pitts). The film is stolen by infant performer Gay Ellen Dakins, who spends most of her scenes smiling at the camera, oblivious of the adult slapstickery. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Ginger in the Morning
Veteran art director Gordon Wiles occasionally wielded the directorial megaphone in both films and television with mixed results. Ginger in the Morning is an aggressively "small" picture, its success or failure totally reliant on the rapport between its stars. A young Sissy Spacek plays the title character, a gangly teenaged hitchhiker who thumbs a ride from travelling salesman Joe (Monte Markham). He is drawn to her free-spirited outlook on life. She, in turn, is attracted by his conservative, old-fashioned values. Nothing much happens, but the scenery is lovely and the leading players seem to be having a good time. Also appearing in the all-TV supporting cast are Susan Oliver, Mark Miller and Slim Pickens. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Amazing Adventure
Amazing Quest was the original British release title of the 1937 comedy Romance and Riches (aka Riches and Romance). Making a rare return trip to England, Cary Grant plays the heir to a huge fortune. Alas, Grant is miserable, because he's never worked for his money. Determined to prove his worth, Grant makes a wager than he can earn his keep for a full year without ever touching the family millions. He loses his bet when he must draw upon his money to wed poverty-stricken Mary Brian, the better to save her from an unhappy marriage of convenience. Still, his experiences among the working classes have left an indelible impression; turning his back on his "equals," Grant invites all of his newly acquired lowborn friends to his wedding reception. Like His Girl Friday, Penny Serenade, and Charade, Amazing Quest is one on the ever-growing list of Cary Grant films that have lapsed into public domain, and thus are more readily available than when first released. Amazing Quest was based on a novel by E. Phillips Oppenheim. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Swing High, Swing Low
Swing High Swing Low is a new coat of paint on the old stage play Burlesque, first filmed in 1929 as The Dance of Life. Ex-serviceman Skid Johnson (Fred MacMurray) rises to the uppermost rungs of show business as a bandleader. As his fame swells, so does his head, and he becomes impossibly arrogant, forgetting the friends who helped him get to the top -- not to mention his ever-faithful sweetheart, band vocalist Maggie King (Carole Lombard). Consuming great quantities of booze, Skid hits the skids, ending up a skid-row derelict (there seems to be a pattern here). The ultimate humiliation comes when he isn't even allowed to return to the Army because his insides are shot. In the film's calculatedly teary finale, Skid is rescued emotionally and professionally by Maggie, now a big star in her own right. As indicated by the synopsis, the film is banal and old-hat, but the stars are terrific, especially Carole Lombard, who sings in several scenes (and not all that badly!) Swing High, Swing Low was remade in 1948 as When My Baby Smiles at Me. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

That Uncertain Feeling
Ernst Lubitsch's That Uncertain Feeling was previously filmed by the director in 1925 as Kiss Me Again; both versions were inspired the Victorien Sardou-Emile de Najac bedroom farce Let's Get a Divorce. Six year into her marriage to preoccupied insurance salesman Larry Baker (Melvyn Douglas), Jill Baker (Merle Oberson) develops a case of hiccups. Phlegmatic Freudian psychologist Vengard (Alan Mowbray) suggests that Jill's affliction is caused by marital problems, whereupon she decides to enter into a new relationship with Vengard's star patient, hilariously neurotic concert pianist Sebastian (Burgess Meredith). Magnanimously agreeing to a divorce, Larry nonetheless remains in love with Jill, and she with him. They'll get back together, of course, but not until a multitude of delightful misunderstandings. Outside of Burgess Meredith's brilliant comic performance (obviously patterned on Oscar Levant), the film's highlight finds Larry trying to figure out the gentlest possible way to permit Jill to file for divorce on the grounds of cruelty. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Second Chorus
Though not the best of the Fred Astaire musicals, Second Chorus is the most easily accessible thanks to its current public-domain status. Astaire and Burgess Meredith play Danny O'Neill and Hank Taylor, friendly-enemy musicians who after spending seven years in a college band aspire to join the Artie Shaw Orchestra. Danny and Hank also spend a lot of time vying over the attentions of their pretty manager Ellen Miller (Paulette Goddard). While Paulette Goddard later became Mrs. Burgess Meredith in real life, guess who wins her hand in this picture? Charles Butterworth steals the show as Mr. Chisholm, a music-loving eccentric who finances Shaw's "swing concerto" concert at Carnegie Hall. Oh, and Fred Astaire dances, too. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Fat Spy
Joseph Cates (Who Killed Teddy Bear?) directed this insipid, widely reviled musical-comedy featuring heavyset comedian Jack E. Leonard in his leaden screen debut as twins Irving and Herman. The plot concerns some teenagers searching for treasure on a tropical island owned by a cosmetics tycoon (Brian Donlevy). His daughter (Jayne Mansfield, a year before her death) heaves her bosom a great deal and sings (badly). The best singing is done by lead teen Jordan Christopher, making his own screen debut with some promising numbers backed by the Wild Ones. There are a number of subplots involving spies, mermaids, and the legendary Fountain of Youth, as well as some amusing interplay between Leonard and Phyllis Diller to keep things interesting. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Angel on My Shoulder
In this comedy, Paul Muni plays a recently murdered gangster who finds himself roasting in Hell. Muni can't believe that he's in for All Eternity and keeps trying to "bust out," which brings him to the attention of the Head Man (Claude Rains), who calls himself Nick. Nick strikes a bargain with Muni: There's a troublesome honest judge on Earth who's been shipping too many souls to Hell; if Muni will take over the judge's body and begin performing bad deeds, Nick will set him free. Muni readily agrees, eager to settle the score with the ex-partner (Hardie Albright) who bumped him off. Once he "becomes" the judge, however, Muni discovers that he is utterly incapable of performing any misdeeds--and when he falls in love with the judge's fiancee (Anne Baxter), Muni becomes determined to wriggle out of his agreement. Angel on My Shoulder is based on a story by Harry Segall, whose previous play Heaven Can Wait was filmed as Here Comes Mr. Jordan, also with Claude Rains. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Spooks Run Wild
In their first of two Monogram spook comedies, the East Side Kids and Bela Lugosi square off in yet another haunted house. On their way to summer camp, the malapropism dependant East Siders are warned of a "monster killer" loose in the area, and, sure enough, almost immediately encounter Nardo (Lugosi) and his weird little helper Luigi (Angelo Rossitto). Nardo does very little to repudiate the Kids' impression of him as a vampire (the Kids say "vulture" lest Monogram should get in trouble with Universal, who held the rights to Dracula), but is he really the monster killer? Perhaps Doctor Von Grosch (Dennis Moore) knows, the famed mystery writer and "monster hunter" having arrived like clockwork at the creepy Billings mansion with camp nurse Linda Mason (Dorothy Short) in tow. Although Peewee (David Gorcey) is at one point feared to have become the victim of the "vulture," the smart aleck turns up safe and sound, and Muggs (Leo Gorcey) and the Kids decide to trap the killer. And so they do, ably assisted by young attorney Jeff Dixon (Dave O'Brien), who, for reasons not immediately clear, has a vested interest in the well being of the East Side Kids. O'Brien and leading lady Dorothy Short were married in real life. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

His Girl Friday
The second screen version of the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur play The Front Page, His Girl Friday changed hard-driving newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson from a man to a woman, transforming the story into a scintillating battle of the sexes. Rosalind Russell plays Hildy, about to foresake journalism for marriage to cloddish Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). Cary Grant plays Walter Burns, Hildy's editor and ex-husband, who feigns happiness about her impending marriage as a ploy to win her back. The ace up Walter's sleeve is a late-breaking news story concerning the impending execution of anarchist Earl Williams (John Qualen), a blatant example of political chicanery that Hildy can't pass up. The story gets hotter when Williams escapes and is hidden from the cops by Hildy and Walter--right in the prison pressroom. His Girl Friday may well be the fastest comedy of the 1930s, with kaleidoscope action, instantaneous plot twists, and overlapping dialogue. And if you listen closely, you'll hear a couple of "in" jokes, one concerning Cary Grant's real name (Archie Leach), and another poking fun at Ralph Bellamy's patented "poor sap" screen image. Subsequent versions of The Front Page included Billy Wilder's 1974 adaptation, which restored Hildy Johnson's manhood in the form of Jack Lemmon, and 1988's Switching Channels, which cast Burt Reynolds in the Walter Burns role and Kathleen Turner as the Hildy Johnson counterpart. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Beat the Devil
Humphrey Bogart stars as one of five disreputable adventurers who are trying to get uranium out of East Africa. Bogart's associates include pompous fraud Robert Morley, and Peter Lorre as the German-accented "O'Hara", whose wartime record is forever a source of speculation and suspicion. Becoming involved in Bogart's machinations are a prim British married couple (Edward Underdown and blonde-wigged Jennifer Jones). As a climax to their many misadventures and double-crosses, the uranium seekers end up facing extermination by an Arab firing squad. The satirical nature of Beat the Devil eluded many moviegoers in 1953, and the film was a failure. The fact that the picture attained cult status in lesser years failed to impress its star Humphrey Bogart, who could only remember that he lost a considerable chunk of his own money when he became involved in the project. Peter Viernick worked on the script on an uncredited basis. Beat the Devil eventually fell into public domain, leading to numerous inferior editions by second and third-tiered labels. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Lovers and Liars
A presumptuous American actress falls for a handsome Italian banker before embarking on the misadventure of a lifetime in this comedy of errors starring Goldie Hawn and Giancarlo Giannini. Anita (Hawn) is an American actress vacationing in Rome. When the free-spirited screen star sets her sights on a friendly banker named Guido (Giannini) who's currently en route to visit his ailing father, she agrees to join him on his trip without realizing that her handsome traveling companion is a married man. In the days that follow Anita and Guido will form a special bond as their journey together leads them from one comic disaster to the next. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
A star-studded cast highlights this musical adaptation of the classic fantasy tales of Lewis Carroll. One day young Alice (Fiona Fullerton) takes a nasty spill down the rabbit-hole and finds herself in the bizarre kingdom of Wonderland, where she encounters a number of strange and enchanted characters, including the playful White Rabbit (Michael Crawford), the manic March Hare (Peter Sellers), the mysterious Caterpillar (Ralph Richardson), the Doormouse (Dudley Moore), the imperious Queen of Hearts (Flora Robson), and the quizzical Mad Hatter (Robert Helpmann). The cast also includes Spike Milligan, Peter Bull, Roy Kinnear, and Michael Jayston as Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland won two prizes at the 1973 British Academy of Film and Theatre Awards -- for Georfrey Unsworth's photography and Anthony Mendelson's costume design. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Something Special
In this sometimes light-hearted and sometimes serious look at what it means to be male or female, 14-year-old Milly (Pamela Segall) gets a new perspective on the gender wars when she decides she'd rather switch than fight. On the threshold of womanhood, Milly is convinced boys have easier and less complicated lives. Thanks to some hocus-pocus and an eclipse, Milly wakes up one morning to discover she's now Willy. While her parents are understandably confused, Willy proceeds to learn all the cuss words and mannerisms required for acceptance in the world of young boys. One problem arises when Alfie (Eric Gurry) befriends Willy, who does some soul-searching regarding his sexual orientation when he finds Willy quite appealing. Milly's transition is not permanent but the situations he/she creates raise universal questions and give cause for thought. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Private Snuffy Smith
Billy DeBeck's classic comic strip "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith" was brought to the screen in the pig-bladder Monogram service comedy Private Snuffy Smith. Diminutive silent-screen funster Bud Duncan stars as hillbilly Snuffy Smith, while Sarah Padden is seen as his giant-economy-sized wife Loweezy. Upon arriving in boot camp, draftee Snuffy immediately runs afoul of irascible sergeant Cooper, played with the fury of a mad dog by Edgar Kennedy. After stumbling and bumbling his way through basic training, Snuffy redeems himself by exposing a gang of Fifth Columnists. About as subtle as a kick in the head, Private Snuffy Smith can be quite funny if one is in the proper frame of mind, though the film isn't quite as memorable as its sequel, the gloriously yclept Hillbilly Blitzkrieg. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
In this Canadian comedy, a husband sleeps with his ex-wife on a weekly basis. The busy woman also has time to get involved with an aspiring politician whose career is on the rise. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

The Wackiest Wagon Train in the West
This comical western chronicles the silly adventures of a bumbling wagonmaster and his clutzy assistant as they attempt to take seven passengers across the prairie. Among the passengers are two wealthy Bostonians, an aspiring showgirl, a teacher, and bachelor. The story is adapted from Dusty's Trail, a television sitcom. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Love Laughs at Andy Hardy
For his first post-WWII starring film, 26-year-old Mickey Rooney returned to familiar territory in Love Laughs at Andy Hardy. In true Art-Imitates-Life fashion, Rooney plays returning GI Andy Hardy, who arrives in his home town of Carvel to the open arms of his family: Father Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone), mother Mrs. Hardy (Fay Holden) and Aunt Milly (Sara Haden). After reels and reels of "Gee, Mom and Dad, it's great to be home", Andy launches into a new romance with college coed Kay Wilson (Bonita Granville). His boundless ebullience is dampened when Kay elects to marry another, setting the stage for a another of those man-to-man talks between Judge Hardy and Son. Fortunately, Andy bounces back to his old self when he meets Latin American exchange student Isobel Gonzales (Lina Romay). Wisely, MGM decided that Mickey Rooney was too old to continue to play Andy Hardy, and the studio dropped the series with this entry (there would be a so-so "reunion" picture, Andy Hardy Comes Home, in 1958). If it seems nowadays as though Love Laughs at Andy Hardy is being telecast at least seven times per week, it may be because the film lapsed into public domain in 1974. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Town Went Wild
In this romantic comedy, two warring neighbors are aghast when their respective daughter and son fall in love and plan to marry. Despite their parents' objections they begin planning and getting the legal paper work done; it is then they learn they could be brother and sister. Fortunately, the situation is straightened out and the two find out they are related only by marriage. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

The Over-the-Hill Gang
One of the better and more diverting of ABC's first full season of made-for-television movies, The Over-the-Hill Gang was a low-budget Western with a gimmick: Get a bunch of elderly actors, known either for their leading roles in the 1930s, or for playing comic sidekicks (and Walter Brennan was a lot of both categories) through the 1950s, and put them together in a plot. The result was this enjoyable oater about a quartet of retired Texas Rangers (Pat O'Brien, Walter Brennan, Chill Wills, Edgar Buchanan) who take on the corrupt mayor (Edward Andrews) of a small Nevada town where O'Brien's daughter (Kris Nelson) and newspaper editor son-in-law (Rick Nelson) live. Jack Elam represents the bad guys' muscle with his usual threatening aplomb, and Andy Devine gets a lot of mileage out of his role as a corrupt, inept judge. The other surprise in the cast is Gypsy Rose Lee, looking radiant as ever, portraying an admirer of the former rangers, in what was her final screen appearance, and such familiar old faces as Myron Healey, William Benedict, and Elmira Sessions in supporting roles. When O'Brien and company realize that they're no longer fast enough to do the job with guns, they decide to use their wits instead, outsmarting and outflanking the villains. The pacing by director Jean Yarbrough (whose own career went back to the 1920s, and whose last film this was) is a little leisurely, but the script is fairly clever and it's a lot of fun watching the veteran actors chewing up the scenery, with Devine having the most fun of all in an unusual role as a villain. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

Take Your Best Shot
Actor Robert Urich cannot find work in Hollywood and his marriage is falling apart in this fictitious comedy. Can he turn his life around? Richard Levinson and William Link teams up again for made-for-TV Take Your Best Shot. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi

The Steagle
In this comedy, Harold Weiss (Richard Benjamin) is a professor at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when a nuclear holocaust seemed imminent. Rather than sit around waiting to die, he decides to drive from Long Island to Los Angeles, taking in such sights as Las Vegas along the way. As he travels, he assumes different momentary identities which he uses--to humorous effect--in his interactions with the people he meets. This story is captured in a number of short sketch-like episodes, as the professor acts out his fantasies with increasing abandon. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Eternally Yours
Anita's (Loretta Young) life seems to be progressing nicely. She's engaged to Don Barnes (Broderick Crawford), a wealthy man that will give her all the stability and comfort a woman could desire. But then she meets a magician with the unlikely name of The Great Arturo (David Niven), who performs a singular feat of magic -- he sweeps her off her feet. Promptly dropping Barnes, she weds Arturo and travels the globe as his assistant. After some time, however, the magic begins to wear off and Anita longs for a simpler life, perhaps on a quite farmhouse in the country. She's also a bit put out by Arturo's flirting with other women, but what really worries her are the dangerous stunts he has added to his repertoire. Realizing it is time for her to do something, she pulls a little magic of her own and disappear, forcing Artuto to set off on a lively chase to find her. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Hoosier Schoolboy
Hoosier Schoolboy was the second 1937 release of the newly reorganized Monogram Pictures. Mickey Rooney (borrowed from MGM) has the title role in this easygoing rural drama. Young Rooney idolizes his father, a shell-shocked war veteran who has lately turned to drink. The boy must protect his dad against the recriminations of the townsfolk. Rooney has ample opportunity for the emotional scenes he did so well, before he and his father are rescued from a life of poverty by an understanding schoolteacher. Hoosier Schoolboy was based on a novel by Edward Eggleston, at one time a very popular chronicler of American small-town life. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.