“Whiplash” is the kind of routine film that Warner Brothers pumped out weekly back in the 1930’s and 1940’s, the days before a television was standard in everyone’s home. Not saying this is as a bad thing or that “Whiplash” is a bad movie. It’s like the old saying goes, “They just don’t make’em like this anymore.” Now, no one is going to make the argument this is a great film but with that said, it does keep you interested despite its flaws, specifically a script that at times stretches the imagination in the believability department.
Dane Clark is a poor California artist named Mike Gordon who gets hooked on a tantalizing, mysterious woman named Laurie (Alexis Smith) who he met after finding out she bought one of his paintings. He convinces her to go out on a date and quicker than you can cook a three minute egg Gordon has fallen in love with the dame. Soon after, Laurie hastily, without a word, heads back to New York City only telling Mike they should not get involved. But Mike is already neck deep in love with her and follows his heart to the east coast. Continue reading →
The same year Warner Brothers released 42nd Street (1933) MGM came out with Dancing Lady, a backstage musical complete with a Busby Berkeley style finale. If you had to compare the two, the win would certainly go to 42nd Street, one the great Warner Brother musicals of all time. However, Dancing Lady is entertaining if not exactly a knockout, the film can certainly hold its head high. It is just not in the stratosphere of great musicals like its better known counterpart.
The film has a pedigree cast with Joan Crawford, Clark Gable and Franchot Tone in the leading roles. Joan is Janie “Duchess” Barlow, a virtuous downtown burlesque dancer whose dream is to make it to the big time on Broadway. Slumming one evening with his multiple girlfriends is millionaire playboy Tod Newton (Franchot Tone). The Burlesque house is raided that same evening and Janie and the other girls are all hauled off into court. Tod and his entourage decide to go to court for the entertainment value of the proceedings. Once there Tod suddenly takes a surprising interest in Janie and ends up paying her bail. Continue reading →