Saturday, December 17, 2016

Park Avenue Blogger

Park Avenue Logger (1937) is a little piece of Depression nonsense that we watched for two reasons:
  1. One of the bloggers (Farren Nehme?) mentioned it in Twitter and it was available on Netflix.
  2. George O'Brien
You may know O'Brien, if at all, as California's Lt. Gov, who did a lot of the governing while Gov. Jerry Brown ran for president. Maybe you know him as Ronald Reagan's father from This is the Army. We know him as "Coffee" Cupp, the irrepressible sailor in A Girl, a Guy and a Gob. He is a whirlwind of energy and charm, schemes and a big white grin.

His character in Park Avenue Logger is similar: He's a rich boy who tries to be a sophisticated intellectual for his father, while secretly wrestling as the Masked Marvel. His father, though, thinks he's a milquetoast who needs to be toughened up, so he sends him off to Oregon to be a lumberjack.

Of course, once he's there, he falls for the daughter (Beatrice Roberts) of a competing outfits owner. He is at first scorned as a greenhorn,and nicknamed "Parky" but everyone soon learns to love him for his energy and big smile - everyone but the daughter and her suitor, the foreman for her outfit (Ward Bond, played with a Nat Pendleton feel).

Bert Hanlon handles the comic relief with a broad but indeterminate accent (Greek? Yiddish? Russian?) as cook and speech-mangling labor agitator.

There's a plot about a mortgage and some crooks that is handled very economically in a half-dozen telegrams and a 5-minute scene in the police station. It was interesting because the rest of this 67-minute movie is quite rambling and unfocused. The whole sissy/he-man misunderstanding depends on everyone ignoring the what's right before their eyes, and the same is true with the romance. Plus, there isn't a lot of real humor in the movie.

Still, it's kind of cute and not very long. Not our favorite George O'Brien, but a pleasant programmer.

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