The Villain Still Pursued Her (1940)

Originally posted at recollective.tumblr.com, November 29, 2011

My TiVo box is broken, so I’ve been watching quite a few randomly selected films on Netflix as of late. Today’s first selection: 1940’s The Villain Still Pursued Her, starring Anita Louise and Richard Cromwell as a widow’s daughter, Mary and her fiance(/husband, later on in the film), Edward, respectively. Dear Edward has saved Mary and her mother from eviction, and all is well until Edward falls prey to the temptation of – GASP! – alcohol!

This film is quite obviously a satire, and I was enjoying it very much for about twenty minutes. The actors perform in such an exaggerated manner that you can’t help but laugh. But eventually, the act gets old. What started as a quite hilarious parody becomes a tedious, try-hard attempt at comedy by the time the viewer reaches the half-hour mark. I have to give them credit for the effort it takes to make a successful parody (which they did… for a while), but the filmmakers would have fared better to cut this into a short film. The actors involved all give fantastic satirical performances, and so I can say with assurance that I would have loved it as a short film.

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