Main      Site Guide    
At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Miss Polly (1941)



Reviews and Comments

At 45 minutes, is this a long short or a short feature? Probably the former, but it plays like a full-length film. This is an interesting format for a merrily goofy comedy, as it's virtually unseen today. If not full-length features, comedies today tend to be 22 minute sitcoms.

The story doesn't matter. What matters is that there are two conflict fronts at play, namely the youth of a small town vs. the Purity League, composed of the stodgy older generation, and the stodgy older generation vs. Miss Pandora Polly (Zasu Pitts), the only adult in town with enough gumption to stand up to Mrs. Minerva Snodgrass, who leads the Purity League. Oh, and there is also something about a potion for restoring youthful vigor that is perhaps hidden somewhere in a wine cellar.

Zasu Pitts is hilarious. She has more character than the cast of lot of other films put together. But then there is a delightfully lackadaisical inventor of preposterous things, played by Slim Summerville, as if Pitts weren't already supplying enough zany quirks. Not all the jokes work, but there are plenty that do.

The film is dated, but it's relentlessly creative and barking mad. If that sounds like your cup of tea, it might be worth tracking it down.