Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Wise Women: Spring Byington and Florence Roberts
LOVE ON A BUDGET (1938). Director: Herbert I. Leeds.

"Somewhere in that deep, dark breast of yours lies the spirit of Carnivale."

Bonnie Jones (Shirley Deane) and her new husband Herbert (Russell Gleason) are having trouble making ends meet and have little furniture in their attractive new home. Along comes Bonnie's free-loading Uncle Charlie (Alan Dinehart), who has Herbert cashing in his bonds not to buy furniture but to invest in a scheme that ultimately leaves him deeper in debt. Shirley wants to move back in with her parents, or file for divorce, and things aren't helped when Herbert and Charlie go out dancing with the former's employee, Millie (Joyce Compton of Dark Alibi), who looks sensational without her glasses. Love on a Budget is an amusing trifle with Granny Jones (Florence Roberts), in particular, in top form, dispensing wisdom and put-downs to Uncle Charlie in equal measure. The scene when Bonnie prepares her first dinner for the whole family is also quite funny. Mayor Jones (Jed Prouty), Mrs. Jones (Spring Byington), Jack (Kenneth Howell), Roger (George Ernest) and sister Lucy (June Carlson) are also along for the ride, as is a much more subdued Dixie Dunbar as Jack's date, apparently a different character from the crazy gal she played in previous Jones Family movies. Leeds also directed Bunco Squad. Shirley Deane was Princess Aura in Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe. Florence Roberts was the Widow Peep in Babes in Toyland. This is the eighth movie in the series.

Verdict: Pleasant minor comedy. **1/2.

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