Friday, May 24, 2013

Alternative Title Week: The Amazing Adventure

Hold on to your hats kiddies because we end Alternative Week this Friday on a Cary Grant flick? Gasp!  I know right?  To comment and critique about a film of class and elegance on my blog?  Poppycock you may say, but I say sit on your blood pressure and keep it down, ya hear me?  So dash out to the lobby, and get yerselves a drink and popcorn.  This is The Amazing Adventure a.k.a. The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss, The Amazing Quest, Riches and Romance and Romance and Riches.

Heavens, man. Is that your mustache or a small ferret nesting?

Ernest Bliss: Here’s to spoilers!

A fancy dan, a shiftless lay about millionaire of the name of Ernest Bliss (Cary Grant of His Girl Friday, My Favorite Wife, Notorious, Monkey Business, To Catch a Thief, North by Northwest and That Touch of Mink) is a rich, young man with too little to do and too much money to do it with; he suffers from "ennui." Not realizing the depression he's in is due to boredom, Ernest consults a doctor. Sir James Aldroyd (Peter Gawthorne of Good Morning Boys, Ask a Policeman, Much Too Shy and Soho Conspiracy) disgusted that a healthy young man is ill simply because of laziness and an indulgent lifestyle, gives Ernest a prescription he doesn't think Ernest can fill: Ernest must earn his own living for one year using none of his current wealth. Ernest bets him 50,000 English pounds that he can. 

I dare say I fancy more than a cup of tea.

Settling on a struggle oven company name of Alpha, Bliss reports directly to Frances Clayton (Mary Brian of The Front Page, Charlie Chan in Paris, Three Married Men, Killer at Large, Navy Blues and Affairs of Cappy Ricks) for his duty roster.  Sadly Bliss learns soon that he may not have the knack for salesmanship.  His boss Mr. Masters (John Turnbull of the Scarlet Pimpernel, Murder at the Baskervilles and The Hangman Waits) fears he will have to close up shop soon if supply and demand does not start to pick up.  With Clayton being sweet to him as a person he soon comes up with a publicity stunt to make up for their lack of sales brochures and details.   With a little ingenuity, Bliss helps the company and decides he has done all he can here and has several more months to go so back on the old work horse he heads.

Flailing in the rivers of hard work without a paddle; Ernest learns the true value of effort through working; the value of humankind, both good and bad, through living amongst the masses, the love of a good woman not dependent upon his monetary value and the blessing and responsibility of possessing money.

Darling, these dancers are a bit distracting.

And now I have just a few observational notes about this film.   This is director Alfred Zeisler’s fourth American major motion picture.  The film was shot on 35mm Spherical of which modern films could take a cue from.  It gives a wide range scope on your story and characters involved without snubbing the film quality and I have to hand it to the actor dealing with only a boom mic with a windsock for scenes.  Also the boom operators must have had the beefiest arms or the editor spotted every shadow.   It is simply flawless sound for it being shot in mono. 

Being clever, diverting and plenty of Grant snappy patter you will find this film moving, entertaining and just might make you smile. I dare say this film truly put Grant in the eyes of many and really pushed his career.