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The Bickering Critics – Anita and George

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Barbara Hale is “Lorna Doone” (1951) – reviewed by George

More than just color and sound have been added to “Lorna Doone” between this filming and the Madge Bellamy silent picture reviewed here a week ago. Here the waterfall’s top is the entrance to Doone land, not the bottom. And John Ridd (Orley Lindgren) climbs the waterfall specifically to find a way in for revenge after the Doone reprisals have become more stringent, but he is still a boy. Lorna’s kidnapping is not shown, but is told about after she is grown. Doone castle is different too: the major entrance is now a very narrow part of the mountain that connects the castle to the rest of the mountain, and then there’s a drawbridge.
But the major Doones are the same: Sir Ensor (Carl Benton Reid) who Lorna thinks is her father, Counselor (Onslow Stephens) the father of Carver, and of course Carver (William Bishop) who wants Lorna for himself. There’s also Charley Doone (Sean McClory) who is Carver’s best bud. Another important character is a highway man, Tom Faggus (Ron Randell), who is a long-time friend of John Ridd’s.
The leads, Lorna Doone and John Ridd, are played by Barbara Hale (Della Street on the old Perry Mason TV show) and Richard Greene, who played Sir Henry in the Basil Rathbone “The Hound of the Baskervilles”.
The Doones are considered outlaws and threats to the crown – by the crown – but the royals are in London and the Doones are in Exmoor, so no action has or will be taken by the crown. The local farmers are strictly on their own, and they are defenseless against the well-armed nasties with whom Sir Ensor has surrounded himself.
But Carver’s continued heavy hand (heavier every year) has finally resulted in the beginnings of a rebellion.
As for that waterfall, Yosemite is given as one of the locations, so I’m guessing that the waterfall was shot there, and that the child climbing the fall was shot in the studio with rear projection (and a prop man with a bucket of water and a sprayer).
This is really an exciting version, and while all the cast is good, William Bishop stands out as the hateful Carver.
From the Novel by Richard D. Blackmore, Adaptation by George Bruce, Screen Play by Jesse L. Laskey Jr. and Richard Schayer, Directed by Phil Karlson.

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The Lady Vanishes (1938) – reviewed by George

This review of Alfred Hitchcock’s 23rd film was first posted on December 4, 2016, before I had begun reviewing Hitchcock films in chronological order. This film was contrasted with two remakes in reviews immediately following.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, with a Screen Play by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder, from the Story “The Wheel Spins” by Ethel Lina White, this is a mystery, but not a whodunnit, more of a why-in-the-world-are-they-lying?!
Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) is ending her vacation on the continent to return home to get married. She is not very enthusiastic about this. On her last night, on the landing outside their rooms, Iris meets the elderly lady who has the room next to hers. This is Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty), who is a nanny, but whose charge has outgrown her, thus her return to England tomorrow. They chat briefly, and Iris excuses herself to go to bed. Once in bed she can’t sleep because of noises from the room directly above her. It sounds like a herd of buffalo stampeding. Yelling and banging are ineffectual, so she goes out on the landing and meets Miss Froy again. Miss Froy also is unable to sleep. However, she is quite content to let Iris do the castle-storming, so she returns to her room while Iris storms upstairs and finds Gilbert (Michael Redgrave) composing a tune on a small, possibly local, horn, while three hotel employees in what I took to be Swiss outfits (which they wear at work) dance and stomp about. Instant enemies in a sort of meet-cute? Obviously love is where we are headed.
Next day they all meet again at the train station where Miss Froy can’t find her luggage (everything has been sent ahead by the hotel). Iris helps her, but is somewhat injured when a case falls on her head from a second-floor window. An angle shot had shown the case teetering on the sill as though someone were aiming it – obviously at Miss Froy. Iris then sees Gilbert and is snooty towards him. They board, and Iris and Miss Froy stick together and share a compartment with a Baroness (Mary Clare), and an Italian family, Signor and Signora Doppo (Philip Leaver and Zelma Vas Dias) and their little Doppo. The Signor is a professional magician. They are also seen together by two Englishmen, Mr. Charters and Mr. Caldicott (Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne) who are very concerned about getting back in time for the cricket Test-Matches in Manchester, and by a Mr. and Mrs. Todhunter (Cecil Parker and Linden Travers), who are, when push comes to shove, not married; at least not to each other.
Iris’s head hurts so Miss Froy takes her for tea and they are seen by a waiter. Back in the compartment Iris is urged to rest and when she wakes up Miss Froy is gone. “Where is my friend?” And everyone assures her that she boarded alone, that she went to tea alone, and that she came back alone. Iris hurries into the corridor and runs into Gilbert who is not, but becomes, sympathetic and helpful. In every place they visit they are told there was no elderly lady in tweed, you were alone. They also meet a brain surgeon, Dr. Hartz (Paul Lukas), who is on the train to meet a patient at the next stop. Since the doctor fancies himself a bit of a psychiatrist he starts explaining to Iris how the blow to her head has affected her perceptions. He attaches himself to Iris and Gilbert and is a bit of a bore, as well as an impediment to their search for Miss Froy.
Now, why would everyone lie? The Baroness? The Doppos? The wait staff? The cricket fans don’t want an investigation which will delay the trip and make them miss the matches, and the “Todhunters” don’t want anyone asking them questions, but what about the others?
Well, you’re watching a Hitchcock movie, and a good one too, so ride it out and all will be revealed. The film is totally a studio production, but at the beginning there is some excellent model work, and the moving train shots are done very well with rear-projection. A very good night in front of your DVR.

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Love Among the Ruins (1915) – reviewed by George

The Italian title is “Amore Tra Le Rovine”, and this remarkable film is a silent picture introduced by a documentary about how the cans of film were found and how the film was restored. But it’s not true! The first part is a mockumentary, and the film was made and copyrighted in 2014!
The Lumini Brothers are supposedly the creators of the film, so in the documentary they are shown frequently (played by Lauro Pampolini and Arturo Pesaro). Also a lot of film historians and film makers play themselves discussing this fictional movie very seriously.
“Amore Tra Le Rovine” deals with World War I in Ferrara, Italy, where it was supposedly made (maybe it really was), and the fate of the famous “Ferrara dirigible”. The cast of the fake film is very good. They are: the hero Demode (Stefano Maroni), his love Ester (Mary Di Tomasso), her father Secondo (Edoardo Siravo), Calipodio, the servant who defeats the bad guy (Filippo Parma), and the evil one himself Atlas (Massimo Maducelli). The film looks like what it wants to be: a 1915 silent movie. So good job all around! And Special Kudos to the writer/director Massimo Ali Mohammad!

I recorded it on Turner Classic Movies thinking I was getting the film with Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier (ha ha on me!), and only just watched it. Boy, was I surprised! It was a lot of fun, and I could not feel cheated since Ben Mankiewicz introduced the film with full disclosure. See this if you can!

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Blondie of the Follies (1932) -reviewed by George

The story of two girls, neighbors in New York’s East Side tenements, is more soap opera than show business tale, but it rises above the script because of the actresses playing the two young women. Blondie McClune is played by Marion Davies and Lottie Callahan is played by Billie Dove. This was my first chance to see Billie Dove, and she is really beautiful and talented, and a worthy foe/friend for the excellent Marion Davies.
The girls grew up friends, but Lottie got a chance to be in the Follies, if she would entertain the men who ran the show and their rich friends, the investors. Sounds like current headlines, doesn’t it? Except that Lottie wasn’t physically forced into anything, just coerced; if she wanted the job, and then to keep the job, she would comply. Which is bad enough, and is maybe what the current headlines are partially/mostly about anyway. And she falls for Larry Beaumont (Robert Montgomery), who is only half a heel. When Blondie decides she wants to take a chance at the Follies, it’s largely because she has met Larry and wants to see him again.
There’s an extended sequence on a yacht, and someone will die, and someone will be crippled. Jimmy Durante shows up about an hour and 9 minutes in, and Zasu Pitts, James Gleason, Sidney Toler, and Douglass Dumbrille are also in the cast.
The captions are just flat weird. “Poor baby” is a phrase used a lot in this movie, and the caption always reads, “Poor, baby”. Whenever Durante says “Garbo”, it’s always captioned as “Garble”. Why not “gargle”? If you’re going to screw up, screw up good. And when Larry tries to be French, he says “Oui”, which is always rendered “Qui”. A “pip” of a  party becomes a “pimp” of a party, and “tout suite” becomes “too suite”. The dialogue is clear – I wish I’d left the captions off.
Anyway, as a sort of morality play it doesn’t cut it, but as a soapy tale of women trying to get ahead but wasting time sabotaging each other it works.
Story by Frances Marion, Dialogue by Anita Loos, Directed by Edmund Goulding.

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Guy Henry is Sherlock Holmes in “Young Sherlock: The Mystery of the Manor House” (1982) – reviewed by George

This is a miniseries in 9 half-hour episodes. It is very clever, and as the mystery is revealed in pieces, the solution comes in pieces as well. Also each episode begins with a metal box with a label tied to the handle. The label reads: “To be handed to Dr. Watson and listened to only after my death. Sherlock Holmes”. Each time Watson takes a fresh cylinder (historically correct: the first recordings were made on wax cylinders) from the box and plays it – every episode begins with Holmes’s narration and soon becomes a regular film-story. There are nine cylinders (one for each episode) and as you look at the arrangement of the cylinders in the box, it certainly looks as though Watson is playing them in the wrong order – nine through one instead of one through nine.
In November 1871 at the age of 17, Sherlock (Guy Henry) has to leave school early for Xmas vacation because there has been a “mild” outbreak of typhoid at his school. When he arrives at his family’s home, The Manor House, he is rudely turned away by a young blonde man later identified as Jasper Moran (Christopher Villiers), and even has a large Irish Wolfhound sicced on him by Jasper. He ends up at the home of his father’s distant cousin – his widowed Aunt Rachel (Heather Chasen), who makes a home with her brother, Uncle Gideon (John Fraser), and her daughter Charity (Eva Griffith). They know the full story of his family’s financial troubles (about which Sherlock is completely uninformed), and indeed were expecting his arrival. They tell him that the Turnbulls, who are in residence at the Manor, bought the place from his parents, and are charming and a credit to the neighborhood.
Sherlock is confused by all this, but is mostly angry at his parents for not confiding any of their problems to him or preparing him in any way for what he would find when he came home from school. Well, he did leave school unexpectedly early, but he is unwilling to make allowances for that small fact. To make life even harder, Aunt Rachel is unyielding in all her prejudices; Cleanliness and Punctuality are her simple precepts. She urges him to learn from Charity, for if he does he will have no problems. She then asks their servant Mrs. Cunliffe (Jane Lowe) to show Sherlock to his room, and Mrs. Cunliffe is the first to notice his torn stocking and wound, where apparently the dog bit him just below his right knee, though the back of his calf would be much more logical. Charity jumps up and names the dog, then points at Sherlock and says, “And HE made him mad!”
Sherlock is sent off to see Dr. Sowerbutts (David Ryder Futcher), who is somewhat scatty, but it turns out that his niece Charlotte (Zuleika Robson) is now married to an old friend of Sherlock’s, John Whitney (Tim Brierley), now a doctor himself.
The Turnbulls are Colonel Turnbull (Donald Douglas), his wife (June Barry), Jasper, and two Indian servants the Colonel has brought to England: Ranjeet (Lewis Flander) and Anil (Raj Patel). And other important roles are Natty Dan (Davy Kaye), Sergeant Grimshaw (Tom Chatto), and Newbugs (Ian McCurrach).
Jasper, when talkative, is a fount of information: his brother is Sebastian Moran, and he studies binomial theorem with Professor Moriarty! In Chapter 3 we find out who is really in charge at the Manor, in Chapter 4 Sherlock meets Mrs. Cunliffe’s friend (beau) Tom Hudson (Robert Grange), in Chapter 5 Mrs. Turnbull is tested for proficiency, and in Chapter 6 the villains stage a rehearsal.
The story is quite good, and the suspense is well-maintained. The acting is all good, but Heather Chasen is outstanding as Aunt Rachel. Her vocal work is wonderful.
My only quibble is the total miscasting of the Irish wolfhound: Sherlock’s nemesis which is never seen again, as far as I can remember. When Jasper first threatens Sherlock with the dog, the dog seems like a sweet cuddly mutt, and when it chases Sherlock it looks only as if it wants to play. No wonder the biting is not shown.
Written by Gerald Frow, Directed by Nicholas Ferguson.

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Mighty Joe Young (1998) – reviewed by George

An update on King Kong, with a naturalistic approach and not a dinosaur in sight. Dr. Ruth Young (Linda Purl) is a zoologist working in Africa, living there with her little girl Jill (Mika Boorem). One night poachers appear and kill a mother gorilla in order to catch her child, and they also kill Ruth when she interferes. So both the gorilla who comes to be known as Joe and Jill are orphaned in the same incident. The poachers are Strasser (Rade Serbedzija) and Garth (Peter Firth), and they will come back.
As Joe matures it becomes obvious that he has a gene for growth factor – he ends up 20 feet tall. And a game preserve in California wants to have him live there. Their representative Gregg O’Hara (Bill Paxton) promises Jill, who has more or less raised him, that Joe will be both studied and protected (the poachers hear the stories about the giant ape and want to cut him up and sell the parts in the Orient as medicinals).  So grown-up Jill (Charlize Theron) and Joe move to California. Joe’s adjustment is up and down, but when the poachers arrive and know what buttons to push, they can make Joe seem dangerous and even murderous.
The action sequences are quite good and the effects are fabulous. Joe looks fantastic and fits into the surroundings seamlessly.
Various people at the animal preserve are played by David Paymer, Regina King, Naveen Andrews, and Lawrence Pressman. And at the big party for contributors look for Terry Moore (star of the first “Mighty Joe Young”), Ray Harryhausen (First Technician on the Special Effects staff of the first movie), and Dina Merrill.
Joe was played by John Alexander and 15 puppeteers, and was designed and produced by Rick Baker. The visual effects supervisor was Hoyt Yeatman, and the musical score is by James Horner.
Screenplay by Mark Rosenthal & Lawrence Konner, Based on a Screenplay by Ruth Rose and a Story by Merian C. Cooper. Directed by Ron Underwood.

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The Richest Girl in the World (1934) – reviewed by George

Miriam Hopkins’s billing here is 100% alone above, so it’s a surprise when Dorothy Hunter, the richest girl etc., turns up at a board meeting and it’s third-billed Fay Wray!
Turns out that Dorothy (Miriam) routinely and for years has been sending in her secretary, Sylvia Lockwood (Fay) to pretend to be Dorothy. And no one suspects! Partly because Jon Connors (Henry Stephenson), a father-figure who is Dorothy’s right-hand man, advisor, and friend, does such a good job of managing all their lives.
Being Dorothy’s public face is only a problem because Sylvia is married to Philip Lockwood (Reginald Denny), and Philip’s patience wears thin occasionally. And rightly so because Dorothy likes to send in Sylvia to test her beaus – the most recent, even though he and Dorothy were sort of engaged, told her he was in love with someone else.
At the party where the engagement was supposed to be announced (Dorothy said to have the party anyway), Dorothy meets a nice-looking young man , and the following conversation takes place:
Connors: “Miss Lockwood, may I present Mr. Wilson?”
Dorothy as Sylvia: “How do you do, Mr. Wilson.”
Wilson: “How do you do.”
Connors: “Miss Lockwood is a great friend of Miss Hunter’s.”
Wilson: “Did you cross with Miss Hunter?”
Dorothy: “Yes.”
Wilson: “Did you have a nice crossing?”
Dorothy: “Oh, it was fine. It was just smooth enough to be comfortable.” (She watches him watching Sylvia as Dorothy) “Wasn’t nearly as cold as we expected.”
Wilson: “Yes, isn’t it?”
Dorothy: “I don’t think you know what I’m talking about.”
Wilson: “Yes, certainly.”
Dorothy: “Excuse me.” (She leaves)
With that kind of thing happening frequently it’s no wonder she wants to test the men she meets. Problem is, when she meets Anthony Travis (Joel McCrea) she really falls and yet insists on throwing Sylvia at him, and telling him she thinks he has a chance with the richest girl in the world, and so on.
So, is she destroying her best chance at love, or will things work out? This is not a romantic comedy, or maybe it was in 1934, but I didn’t find it at all funny. The setup is so confusing, it’s easy to see why Anthony might pull away from Dorothy’s whole crowd. And he pretty much does.
Still, the film certainly has a compulsive attraction – it never occurred to me to stop watching. And it was a great print, perfectly restored. But Anthony really is a bit of a jerk, so I can’t say I was rooting for him. The two women are the most likable characters, and yet Dorothy seems self-destructive.
I’m analyzing it too much – if you like the three main stars, you have a very good chance of liking the movie.
Story and Screen Play by Norman Krasna, Directed by William A. Seiter.

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Madge Bellamy is “Lorna Doone” (1922) – reviewed by George

The child Lorna (May Giracci), daughter of the Countess of Lorne, on the way to London, and young John Ridd (Charles Hatton), a farmer’s son on his way home from boarding school, meet at The White Horse Inn, a resting place for travelers. Though children, they are attracted to each other, and John gives Lorna his knife and Lorna gives John her handkerchief. Then on the coast road to London the Lorne carriage is attacked by the Doones, an outlawed clan of thieves and cut-throats, and in the course of the robbery Lorna is kidnapped by the leader, Sir Ensor Doone (Frank Keenan).
In the present, Lorna (Madge Bellamy) is now old enough to marry, and Carver Doone (Donald MacDonald) wants her, and prevails upon his father “Counsellor” Doone (Jack MacDonald) to go to Sir Ensor on his behalf. Lorna tells her “father” no, and he says that as long as he is alive Lorna will make up her own mind.
One day John (John Bowers) is working near the river and gets caught in a fast current and hurled over a waterfall. Resting in the shaded woodlands Lorna sees this and runs to help. As the pair realize their identities, they have to laugh at the fact that all these years they have been living about a mile apart. Their romance is filled with turbulence because of the Doones and their attitude to anyone not part of the clan, and  you have to wonder if the novelist R.D. Blackmore, who originated the story, ever had a happy ending in mind.
A good silent film with a lot of action and some suspense, and even strife from John’s family, since his cousin Ruth (Norris Johnson) wants John for herself, and tries her darnedest to sabotage Lorna. Good acting by all the cast, but Madge Bellamy is something of a find. She is pretty, delicate in a sturdy “I can take care of myself” fashion, and she gets your attention away from the other actors in every scene.
The photography is really good and the scenery is beautiful. You know it’s probably California, but it is so easy to believe it’s rural England. A timeless story, remade many times.
Scenario by Katherine Speer Reed, Cecil G. Mumford, and Wyndham Gittens, Photographed by Henry Sharp, Directed by Maurice Tourneur.

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Young and Innocent (1937) – reviewed by George

This is not just one of my favorite Hitchcock movies (his 22nd), it’s one of my favorite movies, period. It begins with a spat, which would be a marital spat except that the wife, the actress Christine Clay (Pamela Carme), has gotten a Reno divorce. She keeps yelling, “Listen!”, and her ex-husband Guy (George Curzon) keeps yelling “Liar!”, so you can see resolution is impossible. Guy refuses to recognize the divorce and he also accuses her of having “boys” around all the time. “I’m not going to have any “boys” hanging around!”  She: “What do you mean?” The madder he gets, the more his eyes twitch oddly, and he replies, “You can’t fool me, I’ve watched him! I followed him down; I saw him come in!”  She is surprised and says, “Don’t be a fool! That boy’s not a ….”. But he is screaming again, “Liar! Liar!”. She shuts him up by slapping him hard three times: palm, backhand, palm. She expects a physical response, but he just goes out on the balcony over an angry sea and looks back at the door, eyes twitching.
The next morning the sea is calm, and it washes ashore two things: Christine’s bathing- suit-covered body and the raincoat belt she was strangled with. Over the hill a young man appears: the “boy” argued about the night before. He is Robert Tisdall (Derrick de Marney) and he sees the body and runs to help, but realizes up close that she is dead. He now runs back to the hill to get help, but two young women have seen the body and the young man running away. In the next scene we see a small crowd around the body: bystanders, the two young women, Robert, and two policemen, one of whom has the belt. The girls say they saw the body and him running away. He says he was running to get help, and they say, “You were not! You were running away!” How anyone could so surely tell the difference I don’t know, but the women are believed and Robert is detained. The police interrogation seems unnecessarily adversarial untill one copper says, “…considering that she’s left you 1200 pounds in her will?” At this point Robert looks stunned and faints dead away, and Erica Burgoyne (Nova Pilbeam) comes in. She takes over, ordering one policeman to fetch brandy, and bringing Robert around with some unorthodox maneuvers she learned from the Girl Guides. Robert comes around and when she leaves he says, “Who’s that?” And “Chief Constable’s daughter” is the reply.
Robert’s interview with his court-appointed solicitor Mr. Briggs (J.H. Roberts) is both frustrating and funny, and makes you feel like Christine: “Listen!” But then Robert cleverly escapes from his arraignment, and hides in the trunk of Erica’s car. She is sympathetic and takes him to an abandoned building where he says that she can come back with food after dark, and she says basically, don’t hold your breath.
At lunch with her dad and four younger brothers, the boys discuss Robert’s chances, agreeing that he has none. Now Erica feels doubt, and she does go back later with food. Robert has told her that his raincoat was mistakenly left at a pub called Tom’s Hat. Eventually they find the tramp to whom the killer gave the raincoat, but without a belt, and Robert was really relying on the belt to be there. The tramp is Old Will (Edward Rigby), who remembers the man who gave him the coat as being “twitchy-eyed”, and remembers a match book in the pocket of the coat from “The Grand Hotel”. So Erica gets Old Will outfitted in new clothes and takes him to the hotel to look for the man with the twitch. The hotel layout is such that the lobby is right in front of the dining room, and they are separated only by a half-wall. Erica and Old Will get tired checking out men in the lobby and go to the dining room for tea. The waiter says, “India or China?” Old Will looks exasperated and says “Tea!”
Then Hitchcock employs a truly remarkable crane-tracking shot. The camera starts high over the lobby, then swings around over the half-wall and moves over the dining room where a live orchestra is playing “No One Can Like the Drummer Man”. The camera continues over tables and customers and picks up the orchestra. All the musicians are in blackface except the band leader who is also the vocalist. The camera picks up the band leader and the drummer, who is behind him on his left. The camera continues to zoom in until only the drummer’s eyes and nose fill the screen. Only now, in close up, do his eyes begin to twitch madly. The shot has lasted 1 minute and 10 seconds.
The twitcher recognizes Old Will and gets even twitchier, and the cops who have been following Old Will and Erica thinking they will be led to Robert, now have been led to Guy.
Happy ending all around.
The tracking shot is amazing for its time, but even beats a similar shot in the Masters’s film “Frenzy” (1972), where the temptation was too great or the staircase too narrow: in any case, as the camera turns round a ninety-degree corner in the middle of the stairs an FX seam is briefly visible.
“Young and Innocent” is so superior to most movies in so many ways – humor all the way through, but thick, thick suspense when needed – excellent acting by the entire cast: a child’s birthday party at the home of  Erica’s aunt and uncle (Mary Clare and Basil Redford) makes an indelible impression – Hitchcock holding a camera outside the courthouse – Erica’s brothers any time they are shown – Edward Rigby after Old Will gets dressed up – all contribute to a movie you’ll remember, and maybe like me, cherish.
Screen Play by Charles Bennett, Edwin Greenwood, and Anthony Armstrong, Based on the Novel “A Shilling for Candles” by Josephine Tey, Musical Director Louis Levy, Song by Lerner, Goodhart, and Hoffman, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

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Engaging Father Christmas (2017) – reviewed by George

You watch a movie. It has a happy ending. You assume that true love’s course will be smooth, but if it runs along smoothly, then where’s the sequel?
This film is a sequel to “Finding Father Christmas”, a Hallmark movie from 2016, that I reviewed four days ago. Well, I’m happy to say (since I thought the first movie was very special) that this extension of the story has the same rich emotional foundation, and that the bump in the road is both logical and plenty big enough to cause problems.
You see, now that Miranda (Erin Krakow) knows the identity of her father, she has a real obligation to his legitimate family not to tell – ever. As much as her new relatives care for her, they don’t want their patriarch’s secret love-child to be found out – and Miranda has made a huge mistake in being so happy about the love she shares with Ian (Niall Matter) that she tells the secret to an old trusted friend, Josh (Andrew Francis). Now a snotty reporter, Steve Decker (Ben Wilkinson)  knows, and yet the friend swears that he never told anyone. Still, she is worried all the time and hopes that if the secret becomes known, the family, especially her father’s widow (Wendie Malick), will forgive her. In the meantime Ian proposes, and they begin (somewhat hesitantly on her part) to plan their life together.
Like the first film this one is full of warm emotions (family love, love of Christmas, love of community), but worry is there, and the viewer shares Miranda’s concerns and suspicions. How did Steve Decker find out? Is Josh trustworthy or not? And is there any way to stop Decker from printing the expose he envisions? Well, it’s a Hallmark Christmas movie, so things will work out, but how? And in the end I thought, the wedding will surely take place next Christmas: “Marrying Father Christmas” (2018). Hey, I am in!
Written by David Golden, Based upon the books by Robin Jones Gunn, Directed by David Winning.

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