Tree limb scene

About 20 minutes into the movie, the two leads walk behind a tree limb and their faces are obscured by the limb for about 10 seconds. Is this some sort of inside joke? Just seemed very odd.



He says "this moth-eaten yup-and-nope village" in reference to the apparently very limited vocabulary of the folks in Warsaw.

"facts are stupid things" Ronald Reagan


"Slapstick" comedies usually depended on rapid-paced scenes.

William Wellman's classic with Carole Lombard, "Nothing Sacred(1937)" did not.

This movie depended on very-short funny scenes - sometimes at a fast-pace - and sometimes not - spliced together. Fast dialogue was great and often paired with a fast visual [consider Dutch girl on horse asked to show how she plugged the dike].

That "tree limb" thing was pure Wellman. Moviemaking had advanced by the late 1930s. The perfectly-framed image matched to perfect dialogue had been mastered. So, Wellman tossed that all away. He makes his main characters talk and stroll over to a tree. He stops his performers with their faces and heads completely hidden by a heavy horizontal tree limb: we only hear tender romantic words and only see their lower bodies.

Sloppy camera work? Nope. Brilliant camerawork, because it's so unexpected from professional filmmakers. Love talk coupled to a ridiculous image.

On 2nd viewing, I first caught this one: Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom [a former pro boxer] gets ready to talk to his brother by phone from the editor's office. Just before speaking, Maxie reaches up with his opposite hand to adjust his ear to the phone. Prizefighters sometimes suffered physical damage to their ears ("cauliflower ears"). That "ear adjustment" happens so fast and isn't emphasized.

You have to be completely sober to get the most out this flick. The moviemakers played a lot of quick tricks on viewers here, I'll bet knowing we would not "get" most of them.

E pluribus unum