Showing posts with label Norman Z. McLeod. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Norman Z. McLeod. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

On This Day...Alice In Wonderland (1933)

 Cary Grant's 13th full length feature was Alice in Wonderland in 1933.


On a boring winter afternoon, Alice (Charlotte Henry) dreams that she's visiting the land behind the mirror. This turns out to be a surrealistic nightmare, with all sorts of strange things happening to her, like changing her size or playing croquet with flamingos.

Cary Grant plays the Mock Turtle.

"Why mince matters? Alice in Wonderland of the worst flops of the cinema.
...Mary Pickford, who once contemplated doing it, was right when she said that "Alice" should be made only in cartoons.
...It's a cinch that all the grown-ups will get is the mild fun of trying to identify the Big Names behind turtle shells and teddy bear skins." - Bob Wagner, Script

With William Austin and Charlotte Henry...or is he? Apparently he only provided the voice!

Did You Know?

Virtually the entire star stable was thrown into this movie because Paramount was trying to keep from going bankrupt and thought that such a star-laden movie could save the studio from failing. It didn't work since most of the stars couldn't be recognized because of their costumes. Instead, two Mae West movies, She Done Him Wrong (1933) and I'm No Angel (1933), saved the studio from bankruptcy instead (both with Cary Grant).

The running time, 76 minutes, is the length of the time Alice is through the looking glass: the clock on the mantelpiece starts at 3:40 and she returns at 5:00.

Although much of the technical crew of the film is left completely uncredited (standard practice at the time), the opening credits sequence is one of the longest up to that time, lasting almost a full three-and-a-half minutes. Its length is due to the fact that practically every character was played by a major star or character actor of the time, and all are listed, one by one.

The Mock Turtle, who says he is what mock turtle soup is made from, is a cow in a turtle's shell. This was because mock turtle soup (for those who couldn't afford to have real turtle soup) was generally made from veal.

The film was one of several theatrical films based on literary classics which were released to US schools in the 1950s and '60s, for showing to children. The others included Heidi (1937) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939). They were all released to the schools in heavily cut versions that had a running time of no more than forty-five minutes.



 Richard Arlen ... Cheshire Cat
 Roscoe Ates ... Fish
 William Austin ... Gryphon
 Gary Cooper ... White Knight
 Leon Errol ... Uncle Gilbert
 Louise Fazenda ... White Queen
 W.C. Fields ... Humpty-Dumpty
 Alec B. Francis ... King of Hearts
 Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Rabbit
 Cary Grant ... Mock Turtle
 Lillian Harmer ... Cook
 Raymond Hatton ... Mouse
 Charlotte Henry ... Alice
 Sterling Holloway ... Frog
 Edward Everett Horton ... Mad Hatter

Lobby Cards:

Directed by Norman McLeod.
Distributed by Paramount Publix.
Running time: 90 minutes (Varies)

Thursday, July 16, 2020

On This Day...Topper(1937)

Topper was Cary Grant's 27th full length feature film, released in 1937.

Cary Grant plays George Kirby, who with his wife Marion (Constance Bennett) are two sophisticates who live from drink to drink.

This leads to their early deaths in a car crash. But they return in spirit form and flesh to assist Cosmo Topper (Roland Young).

"The possibilities for farcical episodes are of course endless and the trick-work is brilliant throughout...The fun is by no means mechanical; Constance Bennett and Cary Grant make an attractive pair of phantoms. But above them all is Roland Young. His performance really makes the film." - The Spectator

With Roland Young and Constance Bennett.

With Constance Bennett.

An interesting French poster that gives a lot away...the plot!

A press release picture that shows some of the special effects.


Marion Kerby                    Constance Bennett
George Kerby                    Cary Grant
Cosmo Topper                   Roland Young
Mrs. Topper                      Billie Burke
Wilkins                              Alan Mowbray
Casey                                Eugene Pallette
Elevator Boy                      Arthur Lake
Mrs. Stuyvesant                 Hedda Hopper
Miss Johnson                     Virginia Sale
Hotel Manager                  Theodore Von Eltz
Policeman                         J. Farrell McDonald
Secretary                           Elaine Shepard
"Three Hits and a Miss"      Themselves

Lobby Cards:

Directed by Norman Z. McLeod
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Produced by Hal Roach
Running time: 98 minutes