1938: 3 movies

(Last updated 21 December 2013)

Hunky and Spunky
Directed by Dave Fleischer
Produced by Max Fleischer
Music by Sammy Timberg

   Just lovely! From start to finish, this is one of the best Western movies in cinema. It involves themes of animal rights, parental love, education, friendship, and slavery. Beyond that, the 3-dimensional effects of the Fleischer team only seems to have improved and the music is spot-on! Makes one crave a desert adventure, to breathe in the air, and for more protection of donkeys in the wild!

Hold It!
Directed by Dave Fleischer
Produced by Max Fleischer
Music by Sammy Timberg
Animated by Nick Tafuri and Dave Tendlar
Vocal acting by Jack Mercer

   The syncopation is sublime. How can you not smile at the music, the live-action house smuggled into the cartoon, and the outlandish effects?! This short movie gives us a rare glimpse of suburbs at night, and of the restless spirit that will never go away, no matter how much we try to ignore it. In other words, it's a shout out to night owls, to camraderie, and to fighting for our right to party.

Directed by George Cukor
Produced by Everett Riskin
Cinematography by Franz Planer
Starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, 
Doris Nolan, and Lew Ayres

   The spirit is a blend of celebration and urgency that perfectly communicates an aspect of the era. Katherine Hepburn is perfect as a person caught at a crossroads between being a little girl and a wise woman. She would rather spot the faults in others instead of living her ideal life. Cary Grant is a little aloof but that's partly the point: staying aloof, staying loose. It all gets a little wordy at times, even a tad over-dramatized, but the mansion is fun to wander around in, and the characters have a shade of mystery that makes them feel real and able to be pondered at length. In the end, it's a reverse fairytale where the heroes don't live happily ever after. As the last reel ends, the heroes become faced with a world of uncertainty and struggle. The magic of the movie is that they do so willingly, and that there are no villains, only differences of viewpoint. Is it a nightmare, is it a celebration? It finds the line between.

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