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USA 1935
produced by
Arthur Hornblow jr for Paramount
directed by A. Edward Sutherland
starring Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Joan Bennett, Gail Patrick, Queenie Smith, Claude Gillingwater, John Miljan, Jan Duggan, Fred Kohler, Edward Pawley, Paul Hurst, Theresa Maxwell Conover, the Cabin Kids, John Larkin, Libby Taylor, Fred 'Snowflake' Toones, J.P. McGowan, Stanley Andrews, Francis McDonald, King Baggot, George Lloyd, Al Richmond, Eddie Sturgis, Mahlon Hamilton, Roy Bailey, Charles King, James Burke, Jack Carlyle, Harry Cody, Clarence Geldart, Jack Mulhall, Harry Myers
screenplay by Francis Martin, Jack Cunningham, adaptation by Herbert Fields, Charles Binyon, based on a story by Booth Tarkington

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Mississippi, circa 1850: Tom (Bing Crosby) has just lost his upperclass fiancée Elvira (Gail Patrick) to another man, just because he wouldn't duel him because that goes against his convictions. It might have lost him his fiancée, but it brought him the admiration of Elvira's sister Lucy (Joan Bennett), who has always secretly been in love with him. However, Tom is chased away by Lucy and Elvira's dad (Claude Gillingwater), and since he has to have somewhere to go, Tom joins Commodore Jackson's (W.C. Fields) as a singer. During one of his performances, Tom gets in a fight with one of the Commodore's adversaries (Fred Kohler) and ultimately shoots him in self defense using the other man's gun. That gives the Commodore an idea: Why not sell Tom as the "singing killer"? Soon, he adds more and more killings to Tom's resumé, including a cousin of Lucy's - all people has of course not killed and never even met.

Eventually, Tom and Lucy meet again and confess their love to one another - but then Lucy learns Tom is supposed to have killed her cousin and runs away. Tom follows her to her dad's house and plays the tough guy to put everybody including her dad, Elvira, Elvira's husband, and one of Lucy's suitors into their places before taking her back (and explaining the misunderstanding in the process).


Disappointing romantic comedy that seems to be rather disjointed in storytelling, makes only little use of W.C. Fields' comic talents, reduces Bing Crosby to a singer-and-lover stereotype, and especially the finale is a bit letdown. Sure, there's the occasional funny bit shining through even here, but by and large, this film is rather a disappointment.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD