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Mangled Italian Sturgesese and High Voltage Balls
on 15 May 2013
Yes the Balls of Broad Street start at 110 decibels (Edward Arnold and son Ray Milland)and the Sturges-istic bellowing doesn't really relent at all except when ancient secretary reminds Ed of his blood pressure. It'd probably take a proper critic to notice the stylistic differences between this (Mitchell Leisen) and a Sturges directed, as opposed to scripted, vehicle - maybe there is something slightly more poised, in the way the camera moves and in the subtler eroticism of the Hotel Louis dinner? Nevertheless, the stock company is being assembled here including briefly the great William Demarest. Luis Alberni is the focus of the verbal slapstick with some pretty hilarious malapropisms and fumbled idioms. There is classic chaos in the 'automat' and Ray Milland, Jean Arthur and Edward Arnold do a very good job throughout as double-take piles on double-take at the frenetic climax. Classical stuff with a deliriously optimistic, escapist, anti-Depression ethos with the Sullivan's Travels message.