Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Eyes Have It

She had big blue eyes that rivaled those of Bette Davis, but unlike Bette's eyes, which always promised a knee to the groin if you got too close, Blondell's eyes promised a good time—if you measured up.

Joan Blondell and Bette Davis

Other than a promotional short (i.e., info-merical) the two made for General Electric in 1933, Blondell and Davis made only one movie together, 1932's Three On A Match, a gangster melodrama about three former schoolmates (Blondell, Davis and Scarface's Ann Dvorak) who reunite with disastrous results—if you consider drug addiction, alcoholism, adultery, divorce and kidnapping to be a problem.

Definitely a pre-Code production.

Because of my high regard for you, I watched it this afternoon on YouTube, a great sacrifice, I know. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy (Little Caesar, I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang), it moves like lightning, clocking in at a mere 63 minutes, and at that pace, you have no time to get bogged down in the soapy absurdity of the story line.

A young Humphrey Bogart also makes an appearance, his tenth movie actually, but he would return to the New York stage soon after and with one exception wouldn't be seen again on screen until 1936's Petrified Forest (also with Bette Davis). Edward Arnold and Warren William provide solid support.

It's worth tracking down.

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