Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 03/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A question of running times has been raised for the three movies in VINTAGE HOME ENTERTAINMENT's CLASSICS OF CARY GRANT. The assertion that all three are only 90 minutes each is somewhat impossible, as one of these pictures has always clocked in at 80 minutes ("The Amazing Adventure"). A second ("His Girl Friday") is only 92 minutes in length to begin with. It's doubtful that much if any of this comedy has been excised. That leaves the superb melodrama "Penny Serenade." This one clearly must have been tampered with, as the manufacturer's reported running time is 265 minutes for the box (80+92=172, a balance of 93) and this movie's supposed to be two hours long.
THE AMAZING ADVENTURE-- On a dare from his doctor, a son of wealth tries to live a working class existence for a full year without touching his inheritance. Money (or the lack of it) was a common cinematic theme during the depths of the Great Depression.
HIS GIRL FRIDAY-- Based on the Hecht/MacArthur stageplay "The Front Page." Newpaper editor tries to stop his ace reporter ex-wife's remarriage by tempting her with a news story about a sensational murder trial. Superb cast includes Cliff Edwards (the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney's PINOCCHIO). Directed by Howard Hawks.
PENNY SERENADE-- A story of married life told in flashback: the memories various songs on records evoke. A young couple unable to have children adopt a daughter who later dies. This tragedy plus financial woes ruins the marriage, that is, until a fortuitous event. Edgar Buchanan in support is outstanding. Screenplay by Marx Bros. favorite, Morrie Ryskind.
GINGER ROGERS COLLECTION is another interesting 3-pack of vintage motion pictures.
Parenthetical numbers preceding titles are 1 to 10 viewer poll ratings found at a film resource website.
(6.2) The Amazing Adventure ("The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss") (1936) - Cary Grant/Mary Brian/Peter Gawthorne
(8.1) His Girl Friday (1940) - Cary Grant/Rosalind Russell/Ralph Bellamy/Gene Lockhart/Frank Jenks/Regis Toomey/Billy Gilbert
(7.1) Penny Serenade (1941) - Cary Grant/Irene Dunne/Beulah Bondi/Edgar Buchanan/Ann Doran"