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

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Hattie: "Woman, you better run for your life cause I'm rowed!"
EVERYBODY'S BABY (1939). Director: Malcolm St. Clair.

Jones Family daughter Bonnie (Shirley Deane) has a baby girl and makes the mistake of ascribing to the dopey child-rearing theories of one Dr. Pilcoff (Reginald Denny of Strange Justice), who believes the baby should have little contact with the parents for the first year. This doesn't sit well with Bonnie's husband, Herbert (Russell Gleason), nor with any  member of the Jones family, especially Granny (Florence Roberts). Pilcoff hires a hatchet-faced nurse (Claire Du Brey of Jane Eyre) who comes into conflict with the family, and especially with Bonnie's wise old housekeeper, Hattie (Hattie McDaniel of The Great Lie), in the movie's best and funniest scene. In this installment of the popular Twentieth Century-Fox series, Bonnie is pretty much an idiot, at one point suggesting that Hattie, who has eight children (including the adorable Triola), "doesn't know anything about children." She also objects strenuously and in almost racist fashion when she finds Triola in her daughter's crib. On the other hand, there's a great scene when the gang finds Bonnie's "missing" baby at a meeting of black families where Triola wins a prize and the Jones baby sits happily with the other infants. Granny is again revealed as the smartest member of the Jones family, cooking up a clever scheme to get rid of Pilcoff and his notions once and for all. The rest of the family is in tow, all giving fine performances, and McDaniel is as terrific as ever. Fun!

Verdict: One of the cutest entries in the series. ***.

No comments: