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

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Irene Ryan sizes up hunky Jon Hall
SAN DIEGO I LOVE YOU (1944). Director: Reginald Le Borg.

Virginia McCooley (Louise Allbritton of Son of Dracula) is so impressed with her widower-father, Phil's (Edward Everett Horton), lifeboat invention, that she's written to the government about it. The government is interested in talking to Phil and seeing his invention, but have by no means accepted it. Instead of waiting to see what they'll say, Virginia gets her father to quit his job and move the entire family -- four little brothers -- to San Diego, merely assuming the boat will be a success. Once you get past that idiotic premise -- I mean, why couldn't they just go to San Diego for a couple of days and see what happens? -- San Diego I Love You is a cute picture. Jon Hall [The Invisible Man's Revenge] plays a handsome, wealthy industrialist, John Caldwell, who might be interested in the lifeboat, and Eric Blore is marvelous as a weird butler who comes with the house the family moves into in San Diego; he and Horton have a funny scene together. Allbritton and Hall are fine in the leads, but the movie is nearly stolen by Irene Ryan [My Dear Secretary], who is hilarious as a woman who is looking for a cheap room and inadvertently thinks the McCooley's have one for rent -- and moves in! Buster Keaton shows up as a bus driver who is importuned to take the detour by the beach instead of his usual route when Virginia and John go on a date.

Verdict: Genuinely quite funny at times with a very spirited cast. ***.

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