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  • Blonde Crazy

    Blonde Crazy

    ★★★★

    This breezy pre-code (turning more dramatic towards the end) has Cagney in top form as a cocky conman and Blondell is both feisty and touching as his lovely accomplice. Pre-code proof include sexual innuendos and knowing looks, a lot of skin, and a memorable scene with Blondell scrubbing herself clean in the bathtub while Cagney is looking for money hidden in her bra. There's some serious face slapping and nobody says ho-neeeeey like Cagney does. Love the ending too.

  • Rafter Romance

    Rafter Romance

    ★★½

    Promising story premise of two people sharing a (pretty cool) attic apartment in 12-hour shifts without seeing each other. (Of course they meet outside the apartment without knowing they're co-tenants and fall in love.) Too bad the execution of the story doesn't live up to its potential. Ginger is not to blame because she's delightful, especially when she's demonstrating her telemarketing skills trying to sell an ice box. And ooh la la ... there's some pre-code loveliness with Ginger undressing…

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  • The Shop Around the Corner

    The Shop Around the Corner

    ★★★★★

    "Psychologically, I'm very confused... But personally, I don't feel bad at all."

    Giving this half a * more because this is (close to) perfection, -- maybe the only issue I have is with Pepi whom I find just a bit annoying --, and all scenes with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan together are pure cinematic gold. No doubt my favourite Lubitsch. (But still have a lot to see. What's your favourite Lubitsch?)

  • To Be or Not to Be

    To Be or Not to Be

    ★★★★★

    I tend to be wary of watching a film for the first time while having high expectations. But this Lubitsch satire (very daring for its time) about a theater group in occupied Warsaw is every bit as brilliant as its reputation suggests. There's not a dull moment, it's funny, grim, suspenseful, exciting, full of wonderful twists and impersonations, the dialogue is intelligent and snappy, and all performances are excellent. Especially Lombard is amazing and beautiful and classy. I love the…