Big thanks to Fritzi at Movies Silently and Janet at Sister Celluloid for organizing the Backstage Blogathon, a 4-day bonanza devoted to those films that go behind the scenes of the performing arts. Criterion Collection fans obsessed with spine numbers will happily note scheduled posts on Ernst Lubitsch’s hilarious To Be or Not to Be (1942) and Powell and Pressburger’s dazzling The Red Shoes (1948) – two excellent choices.
MMC! will be suggesting a wacky “C” for H.C. Potter’s Hellzapoppin’ (1941), a rarely seen, cockamamie classic featuring Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson. A title in desperate need of a legit release to home media, Hellzapoppin’ smashes through the fourth wall at every turn, uproariously upending both stage and screen like a Looney Toons cartoon come to life. Lovers of the Lindy hop, Citizen Kane references, pratfalls, beautiful women spit roasted by devils, and the unexpected interruptions of an inattentive projectionist should take note – the mothership arrived 75 years ago and it’s still waiting for you.