A really funny film with Sheridan turning on the oomph
Douglas M | 02/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Warner Brothers was always a studio which did not hesitate to copy the output of others. This hilarious film, made in 1940, is a cocktail of "The Front Page", "Red Dust", "Only Angels have Wings" and others with a showcase role for the very special Ann Sheridan who had been nicknamed "The Oomph Girl" after a major publicity build up in 1939.
The film is set on a banana plantation run by Pat O'Brien who employs James Cagney to help get the crop out on time. Cagney is playing around with the manager's wife, Helen Vinson, and Sheridan arrives, falls for Cagney and the fur flies as the wife and Sheridan spar. There is a subplot with bandits and George Tobias is very funny as their leader.
Cagney sports an absurd moustache and the rapid dialogue between him and O'Brien is excellent. This must be one of the few times when Cagney had a film stolen from him for Sheridan wears one immaculate outfit, tosses off wisecracks particularly towards Vinson and never loses her cool in the heat. This is a first rate comedy performance, even if the circumstances are cliched. She sings a song too in a bar in her usual irresistable flirty style - not a great contralto voice but great delivery. This woman was seriously attractive. It is obvious that no-one was taking the film seriously and the leads were having a ball. Outtakes on a blooper reel from another Warners' DVD verify this.
The print of the film is excellent preserving the crisp black and white photography. The film was produced by Hall Wallis so the production values are very good. The DVD includes "Warner's Night at the Movies" with short film, cartoon etc which add considerable enjoyment to the package. Don't miss this forgotten treasure."
Great movie, great DVD.
Michael Valdivielso | Alexandria, VA | 06/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Torrid Zone, starring James Cagney, Ann Sheridan and Pat O'Brien, is a movie from 1940, that is full of humor, adventure, action and great characters. Everybody in the movie is perfect for their parts, the timing of the jokes and lines are right on target and the ending makes you feel good. This is the eighth movie that Cagney and O'Brien teamed up for and it shows. They really know how to work together.
Cagney plays a banana plantation foreman who wants to get out of the business but is offered a large amount of cash if he will stay just a little loner. The plantation is having troubles and Steve Case, played by O'Brien, needs help fast. Add Lee Donley, played by Sheridan, who is both singer and card shark and you have a hot, funny, film just begging to be watched again and again.
The DVD is also great. It has, as extras, a vintage newsreel, a musical short, a historical short about the Pony Express Days, the first Bugs Bunny cartoon and some trailers. You can play them all, giving you the feeling of being in a movie theater in the 1940s. Just dim the lights and get some pop corn. Enjoy!"
Waiting a Long Time for This Movie
raja99 | FL | 03/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of my favorite Cagney movies. Then again, Cagney was my favorite actor of all-time, so there are quite a number of "favorites". I won't go into describing the movie because someone else has already done an excellent job of that. Cagney and Sheridan were paired up in several movies, most notably, Torrid Zone, Angels With Dirty Faces (my favorite Cagney film) and City For Conquest (another favorite). He was paired up with Pat O'Brien even more. O'Brien was also in Angels...
Of course, it helps that Cagney and O'Brien were real life best friends. They sort of had a kind of fraternity among Irish actors, which also included Spencer Tracy and Frank McHugh (who was in a ton of Cagney movies).
At any rate, this is a first rate movie which old movie buffs will love. It's Cagney at his best, Sheridan at her sexiest and good supporting acting from O'Brien and George Tobias."