Binnie Barnes

  • Ida Lupino – The Trouble with Angels (1966)

    1961-1970ComedyIda LupinoUSA

    Cinema has long made the hallowed halls of education one of its most oft utilized settings, whether real (Eastside High School) or fictional (Rydell High School), of this world (Greendale Community College) or existing in another realm (Hogwarts). But where most are set in public schools or universities, it is the boarding school that often makes for a more interesting subset of school-based films for the opportunity to create a more instant feel for community and togetherness, whether in countless Anime fare, dramatic tales set in the past, or more action-oriented movies like Toy Soldiers, one of this reviewer’s favorite guilty pleasures. Director Ida Lupino’s 1966 film The Trouble with Angels, set in an all-girls Catholic boarding school, is a classic family-friendly Comedy that might show its age in 2019 but that remains true to the essential characters and the realities of life in one of cinema’s more endearing and possibility-filled essential locations.Read More »

  • Tim Whelan – The Divorce of Lady X (1938)

    Tim Whelan1931-1940ComedyRomanceUnited Kingdom wrote:
    Were women ever inferior to men? The Divorce of Lady X insists that females possess superior intellect to compensate for any lack of physical strength when dealing with the larger, if not the smarter, of the species. Five characters, including two couples, find themselves star-crossed, racing ’round London to set marriage right in this romantic comedy. Who could be more heart-pounding than a young Olivier, his career flying out the window as he pursues a judge’s grand-daughter? The judge, of course, identifies with the hero, who makes as much of a buffoon of himself as the girl’s grandfather probably once did. Laughter abounds in this film to such an extent that even the music sounds funny.Read More »

  • Gregory Ratoff – Wife, Husband and Friend (1939)

    1931-1940ClassicsComedyGregory RatoffScrewball ComedyUSA


    20th Century-Fox evidently adored “triangle” comedies like Wife, Husband and Friend; apparently so did Loretta Young, who appeared in most of these films. Young plays the wife of businessman Warner Baxter, while “friend” Cesar Romero is an amorous singing teacher who convinces Young that she has a future in opera. To show up his wife, Baxter takes lessons from diva Binnie Barnes–and as it turns out, he’s the one with the ideal operatic voice. The romantic quadrangle is resolved when Baxter makes a disastrous stage debut, whereupon Romero and Barnes exit and Baxter and Young realize the error of their ways. Wife, Husband and Friend was remade in 1949 as Everybody Does It, with Paul Douglas (of all people) as the would-be Caruso. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie GuideRead More »

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