Alphabetical Movie – The Kennel Murder Case
If there is one thing that I really enjoy about the availability of cheap DVDs, it is the ability to pick up an old film I’ve never heard of for just a couple of bucks. Most are horrible, grainy copies of movies that are in the public domain but they aren’t on Netflix so how else am I supposed to watch them?
Aside: Why aren’t they on Netflix? They are in the public domain!!!!
The Kennel Murder Case is just such a movie. I was browsing the shelves at half price books and there it was for a measly $2.00.
Now Half Price Books has a lot of cheap old movies for sale. I don’t buy every one of them. Hell, I hardly buy any of them.
But this one had William Powell in it and I have a hard time saying no to a $2.00 movie starring William Powell.
I know what’s happening right about now. 2% of the people reading this blog entry are nodding their heads and thinking “yeah – I’d totally pay $2.00 for a movie with William Powell in it.” The other 98% are googling William Powell (or looking him up on the IMDB).
Of that 98%, about half will realize that he was Nick Charles in The Thin Man movies and the rest will have no idea why that is important.
So, for that last group I can only say this: go watch The Thin Man. The rest of us will continue on without you.
There is nothing great about The Kennel Murder Case at all. Unless, of course, you count the fact that William Powell is in it. He’s one of those classic movie actors that makes a film watchable just because he is watchable.
We live in an era where Shia LaBeouf can be a movie star because he’s in films that don’t require him to be interesting. I don’t think LaBeouf is a horrible actor. How would I know, anyway? The Transformers franchise requires little more than someone who can duck and look afraid. I know dozens of people who could do that convincingly.
In an era before special effects, actors and actresses had to do stuff you wanted to pay attention to. Why do you think so many of our favorite film actors come from that era?
Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, William Powell and so many others weren’t any better or worse than movie actors today. They were just the focal point of the film.
As great as Ian McKellon is as Gandalf, the world of Middle Earth is what makes The Lord of the Rings appealing to a mass audience. McKellon is an amusing side show.
Films that are about actors acting receive lots of critical acclaim but you don’t see very many of those films making a lot of money.
That is the nature of the film industry and I’m OK with that. I love me some Lord of the Rings action.
But I also love me some William Powell action. I admire a guy who makes me want to watch a movie simply because he’s interesting.
Charisma was an underrated part of the classic movie actor’s tool kit. The great ones just drew you to them.
So the next time you are in half price books and you see a movie with William Powell in it for $2.00 just trust me and buy it.
Unless it’s My Man Godfrey. In that event, you should buy it no matter how much it costs.