URLs du Jour


It's movie day here at Pun Salad!

  • George Mason econ prof Tyler Cowen is one of the approximately four people in the world who liked Lady in the Water from M. Night Shyamalan. In fact he calls it "the best movie this summer." That's good enough for me!

  • On the other hand, Havard econ prof Greg Mankiw recommends Little Miss Sunshine. Also, good enough for me. If only more economists recommended movies!

  • Radley compares and contrasts Social Security vs. Mayonnaise.

    To force this into our movie theme, I'll toss in an additional comparison of my own: your navy flight school sergeant will not call you "Social Security" as a pet name.

Go West

[Amazon Link] [3.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

The second half of our Marx Brothers double feature. The boys are in the Wild West, involved with a classic western plot of an attempted land grab by bad guys.

Margaret Dumont never shows up. There is, however, a long train chase sequence full of (apparently dangerous) stunts that must have been incredibly expensive to film.

Unfortunately, it's relatively slight in the laughs department. When Groucho ties up and gags the train engineer, he asks: "Did you know this is the best gag in the picture?" And he's about right.

Last Modified 2022-10-16 5:24 PM EDT

The Big Store

[Amazon Link] [3.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

One of the Marx Brothers later (in other words: not as funny) movies, set mostly in a department store. Margaret Dumont is here, so that's a big plus. Notable for big witless slapstick scenes full of special effects and gimmicks.

One of the funnier scenes comes right at the beginning. Chico is a piano teacher at a conservatory; as he leaves, he tells the kids to go practice. They sit at their pianos, and start playing just like Chico, down to "shooting" the high keys with their right index fingers. Hilarious.

An odd moment in the middle: a zombie woman starts singing a lullaby. This turns out (after a little IMDB sleuthing) to have been Virginia O'Brien, who was actually famous back then for her deadpan singing style; people thought it was funny! Today, it's just creepy, apologies to the late Ms. O'Brien.

The immortal (so far, he's still alive at age 101) Charles Lane makes an uncredited appearance at the end. He was a relatively young 36 here, but still looked old.

Last Modified 2022-10-16 5:24 PM EDT