Sunday, October 28, 2012

A medical long shot: the Mill Creek comedy cure

Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton: More efficacious than Xanax and Celexa?

$10 worth of comedy
A few months ago, readers, I saw that a bargain bin at the local grocery store had a selection of Mill Creek boxed sets -- you know, those massive boxed sets of cheaply-purchased or public domain films bundled together into packs of 25, 50, 100 or more. Of these, one in particular caught my eye: Comedy Classics a 24-disc set containing 100 vintage comedies almost none of which I'd actually seen. I figured for $10, I could hardly go wrong, so I purchased it. But it's remained unwatched on my shelf since then. As longtime viewers of this blog may remember, I made a valiant attempt to make it through Mill Creek's Drive-In Classics set (apparently all culled from the vaults of Crown International Pictures), but I broke down when I reached Malibu Beach, an utterly insipid movie which cast James Duaghton (the uber-WASP villain from Animal House) as the supposedly sympathetic lead. I may well return to that set someday. After all, I still haven't reached They Saved Hitler's Brain yet, and it was the main reason I bought the box in the first place.
Mill Creek: The mark of quantity

What I really need these days, though, is laughter, and here are 100 (!) movies which supposedly provide that. So what I've proposed to do is make my way through as much of this set as I can and determine whether I feel the films are funny or not. I've decided to tackle the films in the order in which they are presented in the set, so the first item on the docket is 1946's Colonel Effingham's Raid with Charles Coburn. As soon as I get it watched, I will report back to you and tell you whether it deserves to be called a "classic," comedy or otherwise. Stay tuned for further development, precious readers. In the meantime, if you'd like to play the home game, you can find the entire movie of Colonel Effingham's Raid on YouTube. and judge for yourself

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