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Johnny Doesn't Live Here Any More (1944)
Topic Started: Oct 27 2015, 05:07 AM (152 Views)
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Johnny Doesn't Live Here Any More (1944) Dir. Joe May

New Defense Worker in town Simone Simon finds herself an apartment in a town that has no rooms to let courtesy of William Terry, who's off to join the service - but Terry overlooked telling her that he gave keys to all his friends and neighbors, and her life is interrupted by a parade of strange men and boys, not to mention the itsy-bitsy tiny invisible gremlin who haunts her because she spilled salt in the dining car on the way into town. The parade of visitors, some of whom romance her, include Robert Mitchum(!), Shamrock Ellison, Grady Sutton, Chick Chandler, and Froggy from the Our Gang films, speaking in a normal tone of voice for once (and he talks like a girl, no wonder he used the funny alternative).

"Presumably amusing at the time" - Halliwell

One of the oddest films I've ever, ever seen; I'd never heard of it until I saw it at a flea market, and the combination of Monogram and Miss Simon appealed to me. In fact, it IS an appealing film, quite affable in its way, but loony as all get-out. Director Joe May was a notorious hardass director with no sense of humor, and that may be why the humor is so off. Or it may be Simone: no matter what happens to her, she's got the same big grin on her face. Comes home to a sailor naked in her tub? Grin. Gets chewed out by a little kid 'cause she touched his brush? Grin. She acts like a half-wit, or a quiz show host, or somebody who's just escaped from a concentration camp so no matter what happens, it's better than bein' back there.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Sailor, trying to edge out his rival for her affections: "You can't have us BOTH!"
Simone: "Why?"

And then there's the Gremlin, a little Humpty-Dumpty looking fellow voiced by Mel Blanc. He pops in and out of the film at random, performing pranks and occasionally stopping time. That sort of thing. I can see no good reason for his existence, but maybe that's what Miss Simon was laughing at.

A screwy film that I found quite enjoyable, not least of all because it's quite obviously Monogram's attempt to remake the previous year's big hit The More the Merrier. This is available from the Warner Archive, and I recommend it.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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