Hellzapoppin (1941)

Directed by H.C. Potter
Written by Nat Perrin and Warren Wilson
(number 189)

From the second this movie started it had me hooked. Meta humour and quick wit? I’m in! Add in some impressive sets, a catchy theme tune and epic dance sequences and I might just have a new favourite film.

When you think of old films, it’s easy to think of boring slow movies, things which are hopelessly out of date. This film is hilarious. Lots of fast talking jokes, nods to popular culture (Rosebud makes an appearance and a Judy Garland look and sound alike) and Blair, Ellen and I were all laughing out loud. It’s sort of like watching a live action Looney Tunes film.

The film is an adaptation of a stage musical. The story is about struggling to make a movie out of a broadway musical, but… I don’t think this film is about the story as much as it’s about the bizarre situations and humour.

The two leads, Ole and Chic’s cousin Louis is the projectionist/cameraman and there’s some brilliant stuff with him following the pretty girl instead of the leads in the movie, messing up the film so it’s split screen and the actor’s being all ‘why are you down there?’ and bringing in stock footage to make up for it.

I’d love to see this movie being remade now. It would be amaze. I reckon they could update it quite easily without losing the kooky humour and meta weirdness.

Does it make me love the people? Yeah, I reckon. You can’t quite help but love the poor fools.

Bechdel test: No, I don’t think so. There’s a few named characters but they pretty much talk to men, or to each other about men. Betty was a pretty astounding comedic character, if somewhat uncomfortably insistent on making out with a guy screaming ‘no no no’ at her, but the actor was amazing. Totally crass, adorable, fantastic singer and dancer and I was rooting for her by the end. At the very least because she called Chic and Ole out on their stupidity.

Best line: (not spoken mind, just drawn over the screen during a sweet romantic song) If Stinky Miller is in the audience, GO HOME!

State of Mind: Kinda want to do swing dancing again… hehe. This was awesome. Loved it, will definitely watch it again. Also whatever drugs everyone was on? They seem good.

Watched movie count

Check out the best, fastest lindy hop sequence I’ve ever seen…


1 thought on “Hellzapoppin (1941)

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