HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Turnabout Gender Bender
Year: 1940
Director: Hal Roach
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Carole Landis, John Hubbard, William Gargan, Verree Teasdale, Mary Astor, Donald Meek, Joyce Compton, Inez Courtney, Franklin Pangborn, Marjorie Main, Berton Churchill, Margaret Roach, Ray Turner, Norman Budd, Yolande Donlan
Genre: Comedy, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's another morning in the household of the Willows, husband Tim (John Hubbard) and wife Sally (Carole Landis), though while he likes to rise and shine early, doing his exercises that will continue throughout the day, she prefers to catch a little more time in bed asleep. That's kind of difficult when Tim's lolloping Great Dane Dopey wanders in and she insists for the umpteenth time that he get rid of the animal, and he humours her without any intention of doing so. Off he goes to work in his advertising agency while she stays at home, each believing the other has it better than they do...

Although you wouldn't know it from the first half hour, Turnabout was actually a fantasy, because that Indian bust sitting in their bedroom will come into play in an important fashion later on. Before that we were treated to some bright playing by an excellent comic cast assembled by one of the kings of screen comedy as far as producing went, Hal Roach, the man who had discovered Harold Lloyd and offered Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy their big break, among other once-famous screen comedians. Here he had seen the success of a different Thorne Smith adaptation in Topper and decided to draw on another of his risque novels.

While this was considered daring in its day, it never quite went on to achieving the same status of some classic screwball comedies, only occasionally showing up on television, and if it was recalled at all it was not for kicking off the body swap genre, such as it was, but for starring Landis, one of the most beautiful but tragic leading ladies of the forties. She had committed suicide before the decade was out, victim of depressions and other problems, which makes the fact that her forte was light humour seem all the more baffling that she should want to end her life, but then went to illustrate the screen persona of a star does not always tally with what they were actually like.

So if Carole was troubled (and there were some pretty salacious rumours going around about her which can't have helped her peace of mind) you would never know it from this thanks to the tone being as breezy as possible, in order to gloss over the fact that there was a strong homosexual element to the humour which would not have got past the censor if Roach hadn't been so careful to render it in an incredibly silly fashion. Before the Willows switch bodies, we had the stuff of many a comedy of the day, with office politics offered in exaggeratedly daft variety and domestic matters resting on the lady of the house negotiating the servants and her friends, all amusing enough but nothing groundbreaking.

Then the bickering couple settle down to go to bed and as they drop off they murmur that they would like to change places because they could live each other's lives far better, and the statue awakes and grants their wish. So when they awake themselves the next morning, Tim is Sally and Sally is Tim, except they retain their own voices, as if this were not bizarre enough as it was. This leads to what can best be described as high camp, with Hubbard swishing about the elegant sets in his best Landis impersonation, and Landis adopting a manly swagger for vice versa, all while dubbed with the other's voice. Some have found this too stupid to be funny, but don't listen to them: if you have any sense of the ridiculous whatsoever then Turnabout generates many solid laughs, and with a more than qualified group of actors to bring this about you're guaranteed fun. Understandably Roach was unable to go too far in his contemplation of the whole sex change idea, but he did slip a truly weird punchline past the censors. Music by Arthur Morton.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2535 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: