Sunday, December 22, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: "Hips, Hips, Hooray!" (1934)

Well, you thought that I was going to stop blogging until the new year, eh? Well, you are WRONG!! Yesterday, I recieved a DVD set via FedEx called "Wheeler & Woolsey: RKO Comedy Classics Collection". I love early 1930's comedy of the pre-code era, what is the pre-code era, you are asking, well let me explain. In 1934, after the release of King Kong, Duck Soup and many others, times in Hollywood were changing, there was a new censorship code put in place, referred to as the "Hay's Code", which forced many of the big studios to stop inserting the following things into their films: sex, drugs and glorification of wrong-doing. Many people felt at the time, and to this day, that this was the beginning of the end. Such was he case with the, now long forgotten, comedy team of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey. Wheeler & Woolsey were vaudevillians and most vaudeville acts depicted sexual acts or innuendos. Their first screen outing was RKO's lavish 1929 cinematic version of the popular stage production of Rio Rita. Bert & Bob stole the show and took the comedy world by storm, by 1931 they had already filmed the successful The Cuckoos, Half Shot at Sunrise, and Hook, Line and Sinker. This film was the beginnining of the end of their careers. Bert & Bob's comedy was founded on sexual innuendos, but now that the code had enforced the banning of such risque material, they had to switch gears and make their comedy mor "kiddie" orientated. This film is often seen as their last great movie. Although, this was before the code was being strictly enforced. The basic plot of the film is this, Andy Williams (Wheeler) and Dr. Bob Dudley (Woolsey) convince Amelia Frisby, the owner of a beauty supply business to hire them as salesman to promote her new flavored lipstick, and hilarity ensues. The film is full of double entendres, and scantily clad women throughout. take a look at this scene from the film, which speaks for itself:


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