Douglas Johnson
Douglas Johnson

Douglas Johnson

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  • Purple Rain

    Purple Rain

    ★★

    Ah, this is garbage with a ridiculously brilliant song score. I mean, the film is one half great musical performances (Vanity 6, lol?!), a quarter of Prince standing around, posing and contemplating, and a quarter of our lead actor riding a motorcycle around. The half-baked "Prince-becoming-his-abusive-father" narrative is unintentionally hilarious but then moments like the slow zoom all up on Apollonia during "The Beautiful Ones" are almost perfection? What a fun mess.

  • Weary River

    Weary River

    ★★

    Hope you like the song "Weary River." A lot! You'll hear it countless times in this Frank Lloyd directed reformed criminal melodrama. Richard Barthelmess is a gangster, see, but he's sent to up the river. Lucky for him, this Big House is more like a boys choir camp and before long Barthelmess is letting his inner-Rudy Vallee warble tears of joy into the eyes of prisoners, radio audiences, Betty Compson, etc.

    This all earned Lloyd a direction Oscar nomination. And…

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  • The Third Lover

    The Third Lover

    ★★★★

    This is a flawed but wonderful appetizer to the main course Chabrol serves at the end of the decade. His gnashing of the bourgeoisie is tantalizing but not fully formed, though the psychological thriller elements are sharp.

  • The Awful Truth

    The Awful Truth

    ★★★★★

    This might be the most perfect comedy of remarriage ever. It's remarkably modern and sophisticated and one could see it easily transferred to the present (though God-willing no one will dare try, even if this film was a remake itself). Cary Grant fully emerges as Cary Grant with this film and Topper from the same year but it is Irene Dunne who walks away with The Awful Truth. Brilliant performance... that little lilt she does after she laughs kills me every time.